There’s rain in the forecast

Raising kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. By a nautical mile. Our middle child gives me the most grief at the moment, I often feel like I’m just not getting through to her. For example, she says “por nada” (you’re welcome) when she should to say “gracias” (thank you), like she’ll say “Por nada para la rica comida papi!”. Even though we’ve pointed this out to her countless times, she keeps making the same mistake. She’s slow in learning to speak, even at 4 years old, I don’t know to what extent that factors into it.

Of course there’s the normal kid stuff that drives parents crazy. No matter how many, many times we’ve asked our 2 oldest to be quiet when their baby brother is asleep, it never happens. Clean up your toys at night? Hang up your coat when you come in the house? Not happening.

We’re staying at my parents’ house for a while and the other day my oldest asked me about the barometer on the wall. I’m not sure she’d ever seen one before so I explained to her it’s an instrument that helps us predict the weather, that the atmospheric pressure changes as weather systems move and the barometer helps us predict if it’s likely to be sunny or cloudy and rainy.

My middle daughter was in the room but she wasn’t paying any particular attention to the conversation. Then 2 days later I happened to pick up my middle daughter as I walked past the barometer. She looked over at the barometer and casually goes:

“Hey, there’s rain in the forecast.”

Go figure.

barometer

Do not mix

kaboom

One day an Alchemist working for the Good Creator was doing some experiments, dabbling in this mixing with that. Kaboom. Things didn’t work out as planned. The Alchemist wrote a detailed report for the Good Creator, 43-101 compliant, many pages of detail, temperatures, pressures, formulas and conclusions. He sent his report up to the Good Creator.

The Good Creator called down to his Alchemist and asked “What does this all mean?” He said sorry we’ve been real busy here with the war in Syria and that situation with De Bruyne in Chelsea, really don’t have time to delve into the details of the report. Would appreciate if you could explain in layman’s terms.

The Alchemist responded: “It’s about gringo and Peruvian genes. I suggest they not mix because the results can be very unpredictable.”

do_not_mix

The Good Creator sent the report down to his geographic department with a sticky note:

“Take care of this.”

A while later the geographic department responded that they had implemented a fix. The gringo genes would be placed well above the equator and the Peruvian genes below the equator. There would be an ocean and a big jungle in between the two. Most of the Peruvian genes were placed on top of a big old mountain where they would not likely mix with others.

And the Good Creator saw that it was good.

* * *

Seriously, our girls are little bundles of hellraiser. I should have read a book about parenting. I waited until I was 35 to have my first baby so I had plenty of time. I read lots of books, about knights and cowboys and wars, of course. I read “1984” and “Catcher in the Rye”. Books about computers and airplanes. Never once thought about reading a book about parenting and forget about it now, no time.

I mean, we don’t have any real issues. I’m not talking juvenile detention here, only that some days it seems like every other parent is a better parent than me. Everyone else’s kids are easier than ours. So it seems.

  • When it’s time to eat, other kids sit at the table and eat nicely. Ours make a mess, barely eat when it’s time to eat.
  • When it’s time to sleep, other kids say goodnight and go to bed. Ours never go to bed until we do, and the baby who was sleeping good as a newborn now wakes up 5-10 times every night. Her older sister used to wake up 3-4 times a night until she was 14 months old.
  • When it rains, other kids put on their coat and try to stay out of the rain. Our Brianna will go out of her way to jump in puddles of water and make a big spash.
  • When it’s time to do homework, other kids follow instructions. Brianna turns every task into a Picasso. Same for the walls in our house.

“Brianna Nayaraq”. Nayaraq means “who has a lot of desires”. Should’ve known I guess.

Patricia does believe in the whole mixing of genes thing. She says her friends who married gringos all have wild little kids. We had to take a blood test before getting married here in Peru, to test if “we were compatible” and we’d have good kids. Sometimes we talk about going back to that clinic and asking for our money back 🙂

In all seriousness I’m not complaining. We have 2 beautiful, healthy girls and that’s all I could ever ask for. They’re healthy, happy and growing. I am fortunate enough to be able to provide them a decent home, pay for private school (for the oldest) and a maid who cooks like Gaston Acurio.

Every day!

But am I the only one or do you sometimes wonder, why does parenting look so much easier for other parents?

* * *

As for the story of creation…

They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple but man I ain’t going for that, I say it was a pink Cadillac.

Going through the motions

I took Brianna to a birthday party last weekend. I’ve been to probably 10 or 15 birthday parties with her now. Especially since she’s been in “jardin” (pre-school) she gets regular invitations and we usually try to go. I’m a regular, even some of the clowns that usually work the kids’ parties know me, they call on me when they need a tall doofus to participate in their act. They know by now I’m usually up for anything. At this last party I was the helper when the clown did his balloon tricks (ie. make things out of balloons and do a little sketch).

Some of the moms (other moms?) at the parties know me too, the regulars. And then there are the working moms, the professionals, the ones who hardly ever have time to go to a party with their kid. Those moms are usually all Nervous Nellie when the clown calls on them, or they are beaming with pride when their kid plays in the party. The moms who come to every party, they’ve pretty much seen it all before. They still enjoy seeing their kid at a party but they’ve seen most of the magic tricks, they’ve danced “chu-chu-ua-ua” and “gangnam style” 200 times before. The “regular moms” are sort of tuned out, they chat with their friends, wait for the chicken and the cake. Even during the “hora loca” the “regular moms” still shake their booty but they’re just sort of going through the motions.

Until the piñata.

There’s no more going through the motions when it’s time to “rompe la piñata”. Not for the moms who have been to 20 or 200 parties before, not for the moms who are taking their kid to their first party ever. When it’s time to “rompe la piñata” all the moms get up, grandmas are rolling around on the floor, mothers are stepping on their own kids, anything and everything just to get that plastic helicopter or jojo.

Have fun at your next party!

pinata

Quien rompe la piñata?

birthday party Cuzco Peru

Brianna’s 4th birthday party

birthday party

Like the hat?

Multi-lingual kids

Brianna was playing with a little friend today. Yelling and being loud – of course.

Me – in Dutch: “Brianna, stop yelling! I know you guys are playing but don’t be so loud.”

Brianna: “OK papi”

Brianna’s little friend – in Spanish: “What did your dad say?”

Brianna – in Spanish: “Oh, nothing.”

Our Brianna speaks almost exclusively Spanish but she understands Spanish, Dutch and English. Some words she’ll speak in Dutch, a few in English because English is so easy and universally present. Patricia and I still speak English together more than we do Spanish. Patricia says I can go out and practice my Spanish any time I want but she doesn’t get to speak English much outside the house and she wants to keep up her English skills, which makes sense.

Some people say having a multi-lingual child will benefit her down the line, others say it will confuse her at this early stage. I don’t think it will affect her much one way or the other. Many kids here in Peru are multi-lingual Quechua – Spanish but for some reason nobody talks much about that. But when a child is multi-lingual with one of those so called “first world” languages it’s a big deal? What’s up with that anyway?

multi lingual kids

Our beautiful girls