Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Year and all it will bring


Happy New Year sisters,
My year has really only just started, after an extended period of feasting with friendly guests and the necessary recovery.
I thought I would give you an update, the annual e-mail to friends and family as it were; where do we stand and where are we going in 2013?
Jip’s teachers have indicated he is cheerful and a joy to have around, but they could not beat around the bush – he is lazy.
“Oh, you mean like a lot of boys are lazy?’ we smiled expecting them to “ho, ho, those kids” (slap on thigh) with us.  But they said: “No, like one of the “very few in a year” kind of lazy.”And they did not smile when they spoke.
So, for 2013, we have the daunting task of instilling work ethic and self-discipline in our son. His musical ambitions are a good starting point. Jip has decided he wants a career in music and has requested singing lessons besides his guitar lessons, thereby giving up fencing and hockey.
We, as concerned parents have said “Great honey, but maybe you should take a typing course, as back up. “ 
Not really. We have no wish to curb his enthusiasm. Not that it can be curbed by anything we say.  He hangs around dreaming of filled concert halls and recording deals, lounging, looking up Youtube music videos on his new self-bought laptop, but above all singing loudly everywhere. Even guitar practice is picking up. 

On the other hand, Jip’s band still has the same four songs in its repertoire as last summer. Jip explained he has been suffering from writers block. “Like you, mom.”
I found a rehearsal space for the Bad Bunnies. It is a cheap, airless room with graffiti on the walls, an old drum set and ancient amplifiers, which pick up the interference of trains passing overhead. The band members are hugely excited (especially by the size of the amplifiers) and we will be making a two weekly thing of it. Surely the repertoire will expand by summer. Watch this space. 

At Rosie’s parent-teacher conference we were warned she was keeping bad company. She and two other girls were constantly fighting; cattiness was the default mode. The teacher strongly advised us to put our daughter first and limit the playtime together.
Rosie has since found a new friend in our building; a happy spunky girl, which makes all the difference. You see Rosie look up in surprise when her friend does not react with a nasty sneer. The new friendship brings new parental challenges for us, however, as they are curious.
For example, we found out they typed “sexing” in Google and were confronted with unsavory images of a lady entertaining herself. When I asked , she broke down crying, exclaiming she had no intention of ever doing such a thing, ever! I hadn’t seen it coming, expecting the eldest to be the first to monitor. A new horizon in parental guidance has dawned. 
Rosie is saving her pocket money for nail varnish.
Hers ambition for the future in this phase of her life (seven going on eight) is to work in a restaurant. When we suggested she could aim to own a restaurant, she looked at us warily and said:
“Can I wait the tables in my own restaurant? Alright, then I want my own restaurant.”
Allard and I have the modest ambition to go to bed earlier and do more yoga. Both are hard, especially as we have a newly acquired  HBO subscription, presently watching Girls, limiting ourselves to one episode a night. Season 3 has just been announced. It does not look good for us.
I looked at the resolutions I made last year and it seems like only yesterday I wrote them down. Has a year passed? (Please, don’t mention the book.) At least the house is finished and I trained for the marathon that was never run. Maybe it is time to look for a job this year that involves me leaving the house and results in payment at the end of the month. Maybe the idea of giving up will spark a defiant cord, and get me writing through all diversions.
And the dog?
At the moment his little black book lists two brand new cables - chewed, one Nintendo ds cartridge - chewed, a new lamp cord - partially chewed, (all in one week) and two emergency visits due to poisonous chocolate gorging. And we will not count the pens that have been reduced to shards of plastic or the ripped garbage bags, spilling a weeks worth of decaying leftovers. Nor shall we mention the times I have washed bath mats, rugs, children’s clothes or duvet covers due to accidents of a canine nature.
However, nowadays, generally the dog does his business outside, although he still likes to tipple over to Rosie’s room for a tinkle now and then, when we are not watching, which frustrates me no end, and if he really wants to say f*%ck you, he knows to make his way, prying open the bathroom door to get in the back way, (there is a doors closed policy in our house) of our room, to do his business. But that is just a spiteful pre-meditated act for not getting attention. He has done it twice. He returns and sits, staring silently at us, (probably thinking  na-na-nana- na), waiting for us to cotton on and blow.
But we can’t help but love the beast, and I will surely find my way in “the long dog walking and what about the rest of my day” kind of feeling I am having. I was warned, I know. 

I do get outside though; every day, without fail, weather or no weather. I can see why people live longer when they have a dog. The side effect is that my personal style has plummeted to an all time low, and may include rain ponchos. 
And you silent sisters? What will this year bring?


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