Eleanor has a little difficulty following instructions.
I think it's her hearing: I mean I'll say something like "Don't touch this pan: it's very hot" but she'll hear something more like "Boring, boring, boring, Touch This Pan! Boring, boring, boring."
Well, that's what I assume happened today anyway.
Then her hearing must have retroactively improved as she suddenly realised what I had said, and therefore, as she's a good little girl, decided she couldn't possibly have actually touched the pan as that would be naughty.
Eventually she was persuaded to admit that she might, in a moment of weakness, have accidentally poked the pan to see what would happen, and that perhaps it would be ok to run her hand under the tap now.
And wrap it in a wet cloth.
Ok, and make a fuss of her for a while.
We reminded her that although we do want her to do as we tell her*, and we never tell her to do something without a really good reason, we'd much rather know she's hurt than have her conceal it, and that we won't be cross, just worried about her.
She says she'll remember next time.
I can't wait.
She has similar problems in ballet class.
It's not that she doesn't pay attention, or not exactly.
It's more that if one or two of the other students are doing something different to her, like standing on their heads while pretending to be penguins for example , she'll assume she wasn't paying attention and that when she heard the teacher say "Now sit down and see if you can touch your toes" she was actually instructed to impersonate an inverted waterfowl from the southern hemisphere.
She's mostly got over this by now though.
I explained that the teacher always knew what she should be doing, so now if she's not sure she just copies the teacher.
Which is fine as long as she doesn't try to take the register.
Of course occasionally she'll pay so much attention to the teacher that she won't actually remember to do whatever it is she's supposed to be doing, but at least if you asked her she'd know what it was.
Then there are her workbooks.
Oh how she loves her workbooks.
She completes about four pages a day and, even when the work seems too hard for her, stridently resists any suggestion that we should just put the book away for the day.
The problem is that sometimes she simply won't think.
It's not that she's lazy, it's more that there are days when she doesn't want to have to work for the answer if she thinks she can get there without it.
So if the answer seems to be on the page somewhere, for example in a spot-the-odd-one-out problem, she will just guess at random until she happens upon the right one.
Which is a little frustrating.
Much worse though are the times when she thinks the answer is on the page but it actually isn't.
Even if I tell her that the answer isn't on the page, if she thinks she knows better she'll just assume I'm not paying attention properly.
I suppose it must run in the family.
She started two new workbooks yesterday: the Letts' Little Wizard books in Maths and English.
All went well with Maths so we boldly embarked upon the English.
Unfortunately the genius behind the Little Wizard books has chosen to use letters as bullet points in each section.
I didn't immediately spot the problem here, but then we came to a section requiring her to give the first letter of each word.
The first was fine, so was the second, then she noticed the bullet points.
It took me half an hour to convince her that Frog did not begin with C.
It wasn't that she couldn't understand the question, it wasn't even that she couldn't do the work**, it was simply that she knew the answer, it was there on the page, and the book couldn't possibly be wrong.
I spent last night blacking out every bullet point with a crayon.
I had to use a crayon because we don't have any pens.
You see, I did tell her not to use them...
*Unless it's something stupid.
** "What's the first sound in Frog?"
"And what letter says "Ffff"?"
"So what letter does Frog begin with?"