Thursday, 24 February 2011

February 24th

Ernest is now clever as a monkey!

This morning I was prepping breakfast, a jug of water was already on the table but the glasses were still on their way when I noticed that Ernest couldn’t wait and using a stick (a pencil) he managed to extract water from the narrow ‘waterhole’. A scene from nature movies.

Otherwise we do civilised – in the contemporary modernist sense – activities with the children as well. For instance Jen helped Liliom learn crocheting yesterday amidst some frustration. It seems at times Lili while no fuss no trouble learns anything at school without much questioning at home she exercises the critical thinking we so keenly teach her to. She does it without critically thinking of her critical approach however so even when comes to copying a mechanical process she will insist that something is wrong with it and do it some other creatively invented way. Usually a more complicated and not quite workable way.

On this topic some more; the other day she practically ripped my heart out. It hurt.
They were given the recorders finally and learnt a song on it straight away. On the way home she let me know about this fantastic development. I had a suspicion and whistled the song I thought it may be when she told me it wasn’t that song. I wondered because it is the simplest song – of Hungarian origin – I know and this is the one I taught her on our recorder.

At home she showed us the new treasure, which is a simpler instrument than ours, a recorder nevertheless. Then she played the song I whistled and we learnt to play years ago.

Later she excitedly telling me about the day, she told me about a classmate who ‘imagine’ was the only one who already knew the song and could play it. This was the point where it particularly hurt for I realised this is not merely a conflict between school and home, which is one to be expected with parents like Jen and I. It runs deeper. It may be that without explanation one is already able to see it, I cannot articulate the issue now, too much is running through my head.

The morning with Ernest was more relaxing than contemplating issues of identity, social and self created or perceived pressures to assimilate and value based conflicts and shaping of multiple identities while attempting to integrate in a host society.

While I ran through the news, which is Al Jazeera now, for they are the only ones not only reporting from places where the most people died yesterday but actually trying to report from everywhere in the middle east, Ernest spent some time playing with the wooden trains lining the cars next to each other than pushing them across the room. After getting across, turning back.

Fortunately we didn’t pick up playing with the beads: from one container to another than back to the first one. Those beads by the way came from a set of bangles (wrist bands) about which Lili was right. They would snap.

When I finished with the news it was time for me to get on the ground and involved with those trains. I think the wooden train set is another set of toys that is recommended only to people who are at least smart as an average ape when obviously a monkey can play with them too. At times I wonder what do I make of it all, Ernest and trains. I tried to be neutral about them and encourage only his interest and actions but at which stage one has to admit that there are other people who participate in socialising our children and his ‘natural’ affection for objects with wheels attached is not necessarily so natural while some continuously would argue at me that they are.

Eventually we moved on to trying to find a clean pair of tights which took some time but we returned to the trains a little longer before leaving for the... mall. A chance to run, do some shopping, grab some lunch and generally be somewhere else than home but not the street. This kind of place used to be the uni at Oulu but Szeged lacks a similar... hm, place just sounds so simple and degrading but I guess it should do, place.

He got stuck by a lawn mower on display. It had wheels you see. I had to bribe with satsumas. You remember them, the cause of collapse of global ethics and international agreements.

Back to Lili, yesterday I noticed some difference in her behaviour at different times. Last week when it was ski break she spent a lot of times with books, especially after our visit to the library on Tuesday. Now that she is back to school she spends an incredible amount of time knitting or crocheting. We certainly have an issue here described in detail earlier but just recently posted

And a week ago on our way to the capital city (where we got into a car and drove off to my mums place which is ironically is where the definition of periphery was first contemplated)

I bought Ernest a cleaning set.

It’s been snowing all day. four months ago I prophesised daffodils for the end of February. I begin to wonder if an old friend was wrong about me... or my field perhaps isn’t weather planning and forecast.

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