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Friday, July 24, 2009

monster, you drove me crazy today. acting out - behaving badly - whatever it's called, not because you wanted to do things that i didn't want you to do, but just to provoke me and see what would happen. to get in trouble. to force things. so me, knowing this means you need more attention and patience and not less, try and try to be good-humoured, patient, forgiving. i do it all unsuccessfully, partly because i'm terrible at it, partly because i'm way too tired. hopefully it was just a day. a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. it wasn't even thaaat bad. but i hope it's not the start of another bad bunch of days/weeks. please no!

class issues in macondo

Saturday, July 18, 2009

cut and pasted from a recent email to a dear friend:

i've been asked to submit an estimate to translate a book (530 pages) by the vice-pres of Bolivia, a marxist sociologist. very dense and intimidating, but it would be cool. i have no idea if it will happen, but if it does we'll need to hire someone in the mornings to help me with the baby and the house. i would work at home and be here to nurse him and for little breaks, but would be able to hide away and work too. i think it's the only way to make it work (until now i've been doing all my work in naptime or after bedtime, which is just TOO MUCH), but it's not issue-free. obviously there's the problem of finding the right person. but it's also loaded with so many class issues here. it's a perfectly normal kind of arrangement here, but the perfectly normal thing would be to pay total crap and basically have a servant that i could choose to 'treat like a member of the family' or not. ick. i don't know how to get around it. we want to pay well and respect the important work they'd be doing and provide job security and the rest - but apparently this comes across as if we have so much money that we don't care how much we spend and it doesn't matter to us and it sets us apart in ways that people don't respect. it widens the class difference even more and shoves us into an extreme elite category, or something like that.

i've come up against all these class issues in another way. down the street there are a bunch of kids the monster's age. but he has never once spoken with them. so far, it just hasn't happened. he's made friends with some of the other neighbourhood kids that are 'weekenders' - they come to a house here on weekends (it's kind of like cottage country). but the locals, that live here all week long, have different customs, education, housing environments, etc. f.'s example: their kids play with cow poo in dirty puddles in front of their houses, with no adult supervision. my way more first world example: everyone in the house probably smokes, there could be loaded guns in there for all i know (this may even be true in the weekenders' houses, actually). BUT, they're our neighbours, and the monster could use some playmates, and this is where we live. i don't know where to go with it...

a list i like: how to be a good friend to a parent

procrastinate-y blog-reading led me to this great list, from here:

Concrete things you can do to support parents/or childcare givers and children in your community.

  • Give children attention; talk to them, not about them, in a regular voice.
  • Don’t get upset if they don’t want to talk to you when you do.
  • Develop a consistent relationship with the children in your life. Set up a weekly or monthly date with a child.
  • Speak up for childcare issues in all areas of what you do. Don’t let it fall to the parent to have to ask about childcare, or if it is a child friendly event.
  • In general, feel free to ask a parent or childcare giver if you can help out when you see them “multi-tasking” (code word for overwhelmed, freaking out, having a melt down), and of course be gracious if they say no thank you.
  • Smile at parents.
  • Remember parenting doesn’t equal mothering; ask fathers how they are feeling as well.
  • If you are throwing a party, hosting a meeting, planning a running street protest, announce that it is or is not a child friendly event. And if for some reason the event is not, make sure you are prepared to help parents stay involved: child care, classes for older kids.
  • Create a space for children in your home: have some books to read and a toy or two to share when some little one (or not so little) comes over.
  • Look at the world from child’s height
  • Know how to change a diaper
  • If you’re dating a parent offer to chip in on childcare costs while on a date
  • Call your own parents regularly: remember you were a child
  • Take the initiative to invite parents to events or to just hang out, even if they decline…parents often feel isolated.
  • Remember parenting doesn’t end with infancy; parents of older children need allies too.
  • And of course buy yourself and parents alternative books and zines about parenting…yes shameless plug


Monday, July 13, 2009

i asked the señora around the corner for some eggs.

- oh, eggs no, not until tomorrow.

- oh, that's too bad. oh well.

- blah blah (inentendible, she speaks too fast for me) blancos, blah blah.

- qué

- i don't have any eggs. but i can give you some white ones.

- ah, okay, that would be great.

- we go to the city to get the red ones.

- oohhhh.

a great day

Thursday, July 2, 2009

unfortunately no time for the long, rambling entry that i feel like writing. i also feel like getting into bed while f. is still awake. all the schools have been cancelled until after winter vacation - 4 weeks - because of swine flu. this instilled a great deal of panic in me and led to a few terrible days of me feeling like a terrible parent, the monster being bored and restless, and my rhythm with the monkey and the house and writing and emailing and exercising going way downhill. not that it was all sorted out, but it was going somewhere.

anyways, today was awesome, the monster did an adorable trabajito with me in the morning, then for a walk with his papi and saw a toucan and collected leaves and branches and things. i played with the monkey in the sun, went walking (all he wants to do), and cleaned up a bit. during naptime i went for a run! the first time since i've been here! it felt so good, and i want to do it as much as i can. just me on the beach in the sun, running, stretching, 45 minutes alone! wow. then i took the monster for a walk, we went to the librería and bought some materials (they didn't have half of what i wanted) to start a School is Cancelled scrapbook with the monster, documenting his activities.

i want to write about the past few days, what's been getting me down, hard to put my finger on but writing would help i'm sure. but the big picture: 2 awesome kids, f. is awesome, this place is beautiful. i keep coming back to that, even though i sometimes find the day to day challenging/difficult.

okay, it'll have to wait.
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