A Window into Life in the Suburbs


"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kids Stuff

The sniffles I've been complaining about have turned into a full-blown headcold and from time to time I feel the sensation of  needles jabbing up against my sinuses. My head hurts when I sneeze. Nothing drug-wise seems to be helping much except sleep so I expect that it's some dastardly virus that's responsible. Luckily I've stocked up on tissues... unluckily I'm stuck with a box of Aldi all-purpose-but-not-really-for-runny-noses tissues. Is it just me or have these Aldi Confidence paper products turned into plastic sandpaper in the last shipment?

No doubt I've mentioned in days gone by that the 4 year old is mildly obsessed with DORAAAAA the ExplorAAAA. Generally, it's a harmless kid show with plenty of shouting and parroting audience participation appealing to the noise-making under 7s demographic. But it is unequivocally, unabashedly a kids show and the 4 year old can't seem to get enough of it. Once, however, is enough for me. Only in an imaginary, fantastical kid-friendly world can yelling "Swiper, no swiping." stop an avaricious fox in his tracks and prevent him from nicking stuff. Or when a bad witch turn into a good one cos' sweet Dora pleads ever so nicely. The right words can make all the difference.  Afterall baddies are just harmless, misunderstood social misfits, right?



The real world, unfortunately, ain't a kid friendly place. Looky at the news... In many places, they shoot first and ask questions later. Yeah, Mr Gadaffi...

Speaking of cartoons and violence, while watching vintage Loony Toons yesterday with the 4 year old, I was struck by the amount of violence that follow Daffy's misadventures. Stuff gets blown up frequently, plenty of gun pointing and whacks over the head. But it's kids stuff because nobody dies or when they do they turn into angels.

However did we survive these cartoons? Could it be the world was a better place then... In some ways yes, but in general, I don't think so. The Gadaffis of the world have been around... forever. I'm old enough to remember Lockerbie. It was a proto 9/11. Human nature hasn't changed but bit by bit, the restraints that once held people morally accountable have lessened over time. The age of tolerance has been a double-edged sword.

While I'm a big fan of Studio Ghibli flicks such as Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Nausica with their idealization of childhood and the inherent goodness of children, now that I've had kids of my own, I'm less inclined to take all that too seriously. Certainly kids can be delightful, imaginative and warm-hearted but kids can be cruel too especially to one another. 9 year old told me in the car on the way home from swimming yesterday that some girl in her class told another girl in the class that "She hates me!"
I put on my mummy councellor hat. "So how do you feel about that?"
"I'm angry... really, really angry."
"Why?" (A bit obvious)
"Because in front of me she seemed really nice and friendly. And then behind my back she says she hates me. I feel betrayed!"

This brought back memories... I was a few years older. A girl I called friend did the same thing to me. More or less. It hurt a lot at the time but I learnt an important lesson about people and friendship. I don't know what the 9 year old will take away from this but she has a certain resilience that I didn't have. She's warm hearted and easy going. Too easy going...


I got pretty fed up just before school started with the way stationery goes AWOL at our place and then show up at the most unlikely places. So I emptied out one of my drawers and turned it into the stationery drawer. Any stray rubbers, pencils, gluesticks, sharpeners go in here:



Pencil cases, pencil holders don't work at our place. They leak pencils faster than the Titanic. Then they become toys and then forgotten...
Yeah, pencil cases don't work at our place. At least not now. Who knows... things may change when the 4 year old goes to prep next year.

One thing you learn to do very quickly, when you're a parent, is to work within the realms of reality. Fantasy is best left to books and all other preferred media.

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