Saturday, August 30, 2008

When parenting becomes a little harder

The six year old son has decided that the best sound to make repeatedly and unannounced, is a combination of a burp and growl coming up from the pit of his stomach. It is supposed to represent something Pokemon, he has told me. He may or may not combine this with his "dribbling saliva out of the mouth" trick. When you ask him to stop, and tell him that it is rather disgusting in fact, he looks you in the eye, moves a little closer, and with a big grin pushes that extra globule of spit through his teeth. He does it in public too.

Jip is stubborn, a streak he has perfected over the summer. Unless notified three days beforehand in writing of a deviation from the (holiday) routine, he will, at any given moment, cross his arms, spread his legs and glare at you, refusing to budge. This could take place anywhere from the supermarket, the car or on the stairs up to the bedroom. The "all right, I'm going without you" ploy no longer makes an impression.

Jip is bored. Everything is boring. In his opinion there can’t be much more to life. God forbid, playing outside in the fresh air. Now that he is six he has seen it all, pretty much. School is boring, he does not want to practice reading 15 minutes a day because it is boring. He sees no added advantage to being able to read his own Pokemon cards or the instruction to video games. And no, he has no problem with me reading to him for the rest of his life. He doesn’t like people either. He doesn’t like anyone, he says (to which Rosie answers “but I like YOU..”) Only his friends at school are okay. They like Pokemon and Bakugan (the latest mind numbing craze) too.

The one thing Jip can get excited about is spending money. Since he gets $1 pocket money a week and sometimes money for doing jobs, he has a wallet and counts the contents continiously. He has shown no inclination to save, which he must get from his father. Walgreens or Target are his current favorite stores. Any outing is marked by the new thing he really, REALLY wants and has he got enough to pay for it?

"You are not the boss of my body" Jip says as I request him to brush his teeth, and remains lounging on the floor.

Jip has reduced the number of vegetables he will eat voluntarily from four to one. He likes spinach, he could eat spinach everyday. To my knowledge, spinach should not be eaten everyday, due to the high nitrate content. This is unfortunate.

The relationship between Jip and Rosie has moved into cooler waters, or rather it has heated up. Rosie likes to place herself in front of the television Jip is watching, with her nose pressed to the screen, removing the view. Rosie likes to walks through Jip’s carefully laid out and sorted Pokemon cards. Rosie likes to grab an essential part of Jip's battle construction and run. It will end in pinching (Rosie), arm twisting (Jip), on occasion spitting, hitting or kicking, accompanied by lots of shouting and screaming. The "she pinched me for no reason" is a familiar cry.

Rosie, locally known as "the girl with chocolate on her face" has developed a nuanced feeling for language. When I say NO she hears “Please carry on with what you are doing” Sometimes she will hear, "Not only carry on, but you could do it a bit louder?" In context "No" can also mean "Hit me hard" or "Stamp your feet." "No" turns out to be the international sign for "run and do it quickly". Other phrases with various meaning are "Hurry up" and "Come here."

So where am I, the parent, in all this going on? Cowering in a corner usually, standing next to my patience and sense of humor, seeing all the best pactices in parenting flash before me, just before my fuse fizzles out and I raise my voice to a shrill pitch, or throw in a bribe, knowing full well this is not going to do ANYTHING to relieve the situation.

But I am sure the end of summer, in which J and R were dragged around for weeks on end, the start of school, to which mother joyfully skipped again this week, and the return of routine, (some) rules and three organic meals a day, will do a lot to bring out the best in everyone once more.

Back in town, we are listening to this song, keeping our cool during a mini SF heat wave. This cd being the latest addition to my car collection.



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A song i like to sing to the cows in the fields

Hello all
A little favourite song of mine from my at the moment favourite funny comedy show " The Mighty Boosh" I discovered them in the mountains of Czech Republic this summer.
They were hiding in a cave.
The theme of the song might not be very appropriate for this time of year
but the cows here love hearing it again and again
and i look at it as a preparation before returning to the winter months of the dark continent. Please notice the striking red shiny outfit. Hint hint something we could all be treated to ! Here it is ,
All my Love

Saturday, August 16, 2008

music to share

Dear Sisters,
So short after parting, a post. I don't have many words but some music to share.

It is quite mournful, but let this not mislead you; I am in great spirits! So here it is, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, sung by Andreas Scholl and Barbara Bonney; enjoy.
Love from S2 in Antwerp