I have a dinosaur hatching at my house. You know your five year old son’s obsession has rubbed off when you find yourself debating with your spouse as to the proper name of a toy – “It’s an ankylosaurus” – “No it’s not, it doesn’t have the club tail!” Never mind the fact that you only learned of the existence of larger dinosaurs when the five year old introduced them to you via the BBC series Planet Dinosaur. Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus are so much cooler than the comparatively little but much more well known T-Rex. Oh how our world and vocabulary has expanded.
I don’t know that I’ll manage to get as creative with plastic dinosaurs as the American parents, who must surely blow their childrens’ minds during their yearly Dinovember, but I do admire their inventiveness.
To satisfy any level of curiosity the library has loads of items to borrow about dinosaurs including the fabulously big, bold and pictorially beautiful Dinosaurs. There’s also lots of information to be found in online resources like National Geographic: Kids, National Geographic Virtual Library and World Book Online available from The Source.
Right, I need to go and check on the development of the hatching parasaurolophus which is bound to be my son’s favourite dinosaur for the next five minutes.
Do you have a budding paleontologist at home or a favourite dinosaur?
Dementia. It is a hard thing. Local author Janet Wainscott has written a book called What are you doing here? Reflections on Dementia. She tells the story of her Mum’s dementia as it progresses over many years, and shares other people’s experiences too – at all stages, from those earliest incidents indicating something is wrong:
Later, D. and her brother found a kitchen cupboard where their mother has hidden a pile of wooden chopping boards marked with deep black circles from the bottom of overheated pots and pans. She’d obviously been having difficulty for some time, but had managed, just, to cover it up and hide the evidence.
This small book combines medical knowledge with observation. It is also beautifully written – in a support club, Janet sees The Press used as “reality orientation”:
The newspaper is normal. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what you’re reading or you read it upside-down, because it’s familiar. Even people with no language will look at the newspaper and at the pictures.
There is such honesty in this book – toileting issues, guilt, the toughness of being a caregiver, and the pain of having to get your parent into a resthome. But they need to be talked about – What are you doing here? does it in a way we can all identify with.
Visit Janet’s website for more information.
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