Monday, May 12, 2008

5/12/08 The Shift

As I was driving away from picking up Julian, I thought my car had been suddenly sideswiped by a big blast of wind. The air pressure inside the car increased too, sort of like when the sunroof is open without any other windows. I was taken aback, but soon realized what this was. A migraine moment.

Later as I was making dinner, all of a sudden, the kitchen lights got slightly brighter. My kitchen is famously dingy, so this was a real surprise. Then they did again. An electrical surge? Yes, but not in the house wiring -- it was in my head wiring.

15 days and counting on this one. Today the actual headache pain is down to a 2 out of 10, but I sure could do without all the special effects.

That wasn't the biggest shock I'd get driving. Driving with the boys on our way to get Katrina, I saw what I thought was a funny color on a car (sort of a metallic lime green). We got talking about names of colors, like that my car is "wintergreen," but what is that funny light green called? So Julian offered, "f*ck*ng b*tch!"


Holy Sh*t!!

I mean, er, umm, excuse me, but what?!

Apparently he got this from a chum at school, one of the few who isn't from foreign-born parents. This is one very good thing about so many of our kids' classmates coming from families raised in other languages -- when they repeat bad language learned from home, we can't understand it! I wonder what Julian's passed on to his classmates that he's learned from me?

I debated for a moment ignoring it, having learned from Julian's "dammit" phase as a toddler that giving something too much attention only cements its power in their little minds. But the bad words quickly spread to Gabriel, and within seconds they were shouting it together at the top of their lungs. This had to be dealt with.

I explained to them that some words aren't "kid words," and that kids aren't allowed to say bad words. Saying bad words is like bad table manners, and no one wants to be around kids with bad manners. I introduced them to the word "offensive," and said that offensive words make people angry and that grownups might misunderstand if they say words like that. I have no idea if I deterred them from using these words, but I'm certain I permanently instilled their power. Great.

Gabriel didn't have school today, so I brought him to music class this morning with Katrina. He was really looking forward to it, and he had a great time in class playing with Katrina.

First she insisted on sitting in his lap. Hmmph!

Then he walked her around when we did a music train.

The kids gathered on a wall to be little mice, and he walked her through waiting on the wall, then scampering across the room at the right time.

We managed to avoid any major fits in class, thanks to him! To me, it doesn't get any sweeter than to see Katrina in the capable hands of her brother.

Sweetness can turn sour quickly though. When we got home, it was back to Tantrum Land. I think this one got started because I had to put my hand on her tummy as I carried her inside from the car. She tried very hard to push my hand away, which of course would have caused me to drop her. Oh, the offense!

It lasted a solid 20 minutes, during which time I prepared a highly desirable dinner and her milk, and then managed to casually persuade her to take a few bites. If she gets hooked on the food, the tantrum passes. Big if.

This afternoon, Gabriel and I played a game of computer chess. He's not so good -- I was able to win even though I barely remember how the pieces move, and didn't remember essential elements like pawns getting promoted to queens. Losing to me is pretty pathetic -- I'm so bad at chess that I almost lost to 6-year-old! It's fun, I like playing chess with him. He gets very excited when he takes one of my pieces and I wasn't expecting it, and I make a big deal out of losing my piece.

Believe it or not, in all this, I got a lot done today on preparing for remodeling. I'm taking Mondays off for a while, a good choice for a day "off" since I can only get in 4 hours of work anyway between music class and piano lessons. Dave looked at a rental house tonight that's a good prospect, except that there were 3 other families looking at it too. We're very unattractive tenants with our 8-month term.

In some ways, I'm looking forward to getting back to the relative calm of work tomorrow! And oh my, wouldn't it be nice to have a headache-free day again. I'm forgetting what they're like.



MommaWriter said...

Ergh. It pains me to think that other parents treat each other like that...especially in front of their kids. I'm sure if my kids ever spouted anything like that at preschool, I'd get a very stern talking too from the preschool director! How embarrassing would that be? Kinda gotta feel sorry for that kid...

On the flip side, it gives me a great deal of confidence that despite all my failings and their own issues, my kids are probably going to turn out just fine.


mommycupcake said...

Hi N,

I finally figured out some time to take Saul to an extracurricular activity - we are doing gymnastics on Saturday mornings, starting tomorrow. Yeah!

What music class do you and Katrina do?