Hot Stuff

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years


Today is hot.  I mean, fiery hot.  Firey hot, even, but thankfully, not just here.

It is currently 46degC at our house.  That is 115F.  It is the record for the hottest day ever recorded in our city.  It is also crazy.

I have been feeling nauseous for most of the day.  The kids have not been on their best behaviour – they are going troppo, too.  I have finally relented, and despite the extreme UV warning, have allowed them to play in the paddling pool in the shade.  Not the best option for their skin, but no point being a pretty corpse.

And, I have to admit, that as much as I am not fond of them, I am feeling a bit sorry for our guinea pigs.  Imagine wearing a fur coat in this weather!


But  you know what is amazing?  We did schoolwork today.  Well, sort of.  School doesn’t start for another week and a half, but in desperation, trying to entertain them indoors, we talked about, of all things, spiders.

You see, Bandicoot is fascinated by spiders.  Personally, I dislike them.  Would even say phobic.  Almost as bad as snakes.  DH is not much better and Possum is tending in the same direction.

Now, over a year ago, we went away for a weekend with some other friends.  One of them kindly bought the kids some activity books.  Bandicoot chose a spider book.  Yes, an entire book of spider sticker photos.  And not a straight forward one – these stickers go on this page type thing – no.  You have to read what the spider is on the sticker page, then go through the book reading about all the spiders to find in the paragraph what sticker goes with it.  Really, just what I have needed.

(I am NOT putting a picture of that book on my blog, but if you really want to know, it is called the “DK Ultimate Sticker Book – Spiders”)

This is not the kind of thing that a 3 – now 4 year old can do on his own.  Finally, today, with much prayer, I managed to sit down with him and read the book and put stickers in.  (NO, it is definitely still on the banned list for bedtime readers!)

Then I wondered what else I could do, to try and build his attention span (and get spiders out of his system).

I have been reading Karen Andreola’s, “Pocketful of Pinecones” in preparation for our new school year.  Her main character is forever referring to her handbook, Comstock’s “Handbook of Nature Study”.  While this sounds like and excellent book, I do not live in North America.  I do however, have this book:


“The Wonderland of Nature” by Nuri Mass. (Read about it here).

This is set where I live.  In fact, part of what we read today talks of a bushwalk half an hour drive from our home.  But that is a bit of a spoiler.


I dug out this book and read about watching a spider building a web.  I also continued to read at the boys’ request (Possum had been sucked in, now) about the Saint Andrew’s cross spider (I had never realised they had yellow, brown and white banded patterning on their bodies) and then about the leaf-curling spider.  Both these spiders frequent our garden.

And just to make it more poignant, later, when I finally got the courage to hang out the washing, what did Bandicoot find?  A leaf curling spider outside its leaf (very rare in the day time), as well as a couple of big, fat Saint Andrew’s cross spiders (so big that we could check out the patterns).  One of them was in the middle of a feast and another binding a fly.

The day has gone downhill since then – the heat eating away all our good humour – but at least I managed to spend some quality time with Bandicoot.

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