A little tough love.

This afternoon Greg and Adeline went for a hot air balloon ride so it was just me and the boys. Bastien was watching a movie (Rio) and Sylvain was still napping. When the movie finished (Sylvain was already awake at this point) Bastien went to the washroom and then started crying. And I mean really crying. He wanted to go with Mom and Dad. Of course he couldn’t for many reasons and he was so sad. He said he wanted to go lay down. So I let him go upstairs. The crying soon stopped, but he wasn’t sleeping; he was talking/singing to himself. So I spent that time playing with Sylvain, who will climb up the stairs if you’re not watching him. That’s right; he can climb the stairs now!

He’ll only climb up to the first landing and then stops. I don’t know why, but it’s what he does. He can’t come down solo yet. He keeps trying to go headfirst, he doesn’t get the concept of feet first. Now it’s not just worrying about him falling down the stairs it’s worrying about him going up…

Supper was, well, supper. Bastien didn’t want to eat. Then he wanted help. I told him he could eat himself. Mean? Maybe, but he’s 3 and he really doesn’t need any help, he’s perfectly capable. A little tough love goes a long way. I did give him a little help. I asked him if he was being like this (wanting help to eat, being impolite, acting out – it’s worse than when I got here, but getting better) because of Sylvain, or if it was because of me or something. I think I asked if he wanted to be a baby like Sylvain and he said yes. It was something like that. I asked him if he didn’t like me, didn’t want me here, and if he wanted me to go home to Canada. Thankfully he said no. I told him that after Christmas I was leaving and he asked why. I told him I live in Canada, and he said I live here. At least I think he’ll miss me for a little while, lol. Pj’s and story time were actually fairly easy and tonight he stayed in bed. Sometimes he likes to come down after he’s been tucked in.

Bah, I’m not very inspired. Ta ta for now.

                                                                                                                    

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On stranger tides….

Yes. I totally ripped that off. Thank you Walt Disney and your Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (which I think needed to stop at 3 and that might have even gone too far). We just watched the 4th instalment tonight and while I was entertained I wasn’t as enthralled as I was the first time around with Captain Jack. He gets less interesting each film…I still love that character, just, you can really have too much of a good thing*.

This morning I had a total fail. Alarm was set to go for my walk. I woke up, then hit the snooze, this time with the alarm right next to me. I really have to stop it with the snooze button. Next thing I know it’s 8am and no one was knocking on my door! I was all panicked. Greg had to leave early this morning and since I didn’t come upstairs Adeline decided to do a ‘test’ run to see how it would work when I’m not here, when Greg has to leave early, and she has to get the boys ready herself. It worked out fine of course, but I still felt bad. I’ve slept in far too much this year. After breakfast and all was in readiness I drove Sylvain to Catherine’s (babysitter).

The morning flew by, spent, once again, at my computer. There are things in the works. Exciting things. Somewhat stress causing things. Things that will cause me to actively do something things. Those kind of things. Have I said the word things enough yet? I say stress causing because I’m a big wuss when it comes to stepping out of my ‘comfort zone’. How did you manage to get on a plane to Europe then?’ one may ask. If I hadn’t known my host family before coming here I honestly don’t think I could have done it. Once I’m in a situation and am either used to it, or just forced to adapt and push through, I’m ok. It’s the worry, wonder, and anxiety leading up to said situation that causes me stress. I really hope that I’m not building this up only to let you down. I won’t say anything for certain until the important details are finalized, but for me, it’s exciting.

This afternoon Adeline had to stay at the house to meet someone so I took Bastien to Little Gym. He’s old enough now (thank goodness, I would have been lost) that the parents don’t have to be in with his group. So I dropped him off, went to the grocery store to pick up some shower gel, then went back to watch him in action. I also think I have the 2 songs picked that I’m going to focus on in my small presentation on Monday. I’m probably over thinking it and making it into a bigger deal than it actually is, but I don’t have much to go on. Bastien fell asleep on the way to Namur. I wanted him to be awake enough to walk himself inside so I tried waking him up before we got there. The windows were all open a bit – did I forget to mention that it was 27° (C) today! – and he didn’t hear me. Even when I yelled. I ended up whistling (thanks Mom for teaching me that; now if only I could do it without my fingers…) and he woke up with a start. I kind of felt bad. Then he nodded off again. Again, he only woke with the piercing whistle. I had to whistle 3 times to get him to stay awake. Poor kid. He’s used to taking his nap around that time. That reminds me…the back windows in my car are open.

When we got home Bastien still had all kinds of energy and wanted to play outside. Good idea. We have to take advantage of this beautiful weather while we can! While I was helping him get all ready Adeline brought this boy out back. I’m really bad with ages, but he might have been about 12, 13? Bah, I don’t know. He’s a Scout and I guess he’s trying to make money for something to do with Scouting so he asked if there was anything he could do. Fortunately the grass needed cutting so he did that. I remember those days. Cutting my elderly neighbour’s yard for money. Mind you, her yard was a lot bigger than here…and so was our yard! I think it used to take 5 or so hours with a push mower to mow all our grass. I might be exaggerating, but it took a long time. Of our 12.5 acres, most of that is field, but we had a lot of grass. We have a little less now because of the new garage, big flower beds, ‘pool house’ (we used to have a pool). It’s still a lot of grass. Now we have a riding lawn mower and my Mom does it most of the time. I think I’ve used that thing once or twice… They say nothing runs like a Deere, but I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of that thing. Give me a push mower any day.

I keep forgetting to mention something! Bastien goes through times when he wants nothing to do with me and he won’t say hello or goodbye. But when pressed (because it’s the polite thing to do) he would eventually cave and give me a cheek peck goodbye. Lately he hasn’t been doing that. Instead he sends me ‘flying kisses’. This isn’t that new, but it’s a little more consistent right now. In some ways I feel like it’s our little ‘thing’, but I know it’s not. He’ll blow me a kiss and immediately place his hand on his cheek to ‘catch’ mine. So I have to make sure I send him one at the same time his comes my way, and then remember to ‘catch’ it. It’s adorable to watch. Also today before gym he said he had a sore stomach. Well, since magic kisses are the best cure-all he kissed his hand, lifted up his shirt, and touched his stomach! This isn’t the first time he’s done it, but it’s the first time I saw it and I couldn’t help the little chuckle that escaped.

I received another wonderful surprise today. I will act on it, but not today, and most likely not tomorrow. I want to take the time to do it right. I feel like I rushed it before, but I don’t regret it. If you’re curious and haven’t figured out what I’m talking about you can go visit Lafemmeroar to find out what it is. If I say any more it’s going to get really mushy around here :P.

*The blog Bound By Books and her post on how too much of your favourite thing can make it not your favourite thing.

                                                                                                                    

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The Importance of Being Oscar Wilde.

So I have this bookshelf app. (or something like that) for my iPod. I think it’s meant more for the iPad because, while not impossible, it’s a little impractical to try to read on such a small screen as has the iPod touch. All the same, it works. There are a lot of free books available, most being classics. One book that I downloaded today was The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I first came across this play when I saw the movie by the same name. Colin Firth and Rupert Everett play the main two men (Jack and Algernon) who at one point or another both claim to be called Ernest. There are two women (Gwendolen – Frances O’Conner and Cecily – Reese Witherspoon) who are obsessed with the name Ernest and swear they can only love someone with that name. Eventually they find out the men really aren’t called Ernest and have to decide if they can still marry them. Of course they are all connected – Jack and Algy are friends, Gwendolen is Algy’s cousin, and Cecily is Jack’s ward – and in the hub-bub Gwendolen and Cecily think they are both engaged to the same man. If you’ve never heard of the play, seen the movie, or seen the play (I’ve been fortunate enough to have done all 3) I enthusiastically suggest you check it out. It’s not that long of a read and the movie (2002) is very well done (in my humble opinion). I think Rupert Everett and Colin Firth play off each other very well and are able to capture the essence of the characters they portray. Hilarity ensues! And the wonderful Judi Dench is not to be left out. She plays Lady Bracknell (Gwendolen’s mother). So please, if you value humour at all, consider checking out the movie, you won’t be disappointed! Well, you might be if you don’t like British humour, British accents, or Oscar Wilde, but I’m confident that most people will be able to find something funny about it.

Now I want to go watch it. I honestly found it funnier after reading the play because of course I missed some of the nuances in the dialogue while watching the movie. That happens sometimes even when there’s no ‘foreign accent’ to contend with.

Some updates with the kiddies; Sylvain has learned how to clap. It’s so cute watching him wave and applaud. He does so at the most random times and that’s what makes it so special. Also, at some point today Bastien commented to Adeline that he has 3 parents; Maman, Papa, and Holly. She had to correct him of course, but can you blame him? I know I haven’t always been here, but I’ve been here for a while, especially to a 3-year-old. Although I doubt he’s going to be overly broken heart-ed when I leave – he might not even understand completely that I won’t be coming back.

After I’ve finished re-reading The Importance of Being Earnest I’m going to check out another of Oscar Wilde’s books: An Ideal Husband. Mostly I’m curious. I have a copy of one of his other books at home and I started reading it, but I didn’t get very far before something got in the way and I put it away with all of my other books. I’m pretty sure I was enjoying it so far. I figure if I liked one thing of his I’m bound to enjoy more!

Really. If you have a chance. Go check out the movie! I will now leave you with an excerpt from the play:

Act 1: Just after Jack enters the scene:

Algernon: How are you, my dear Ernest? What brings you up to town?

Jack: Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy! (He’s eating all the cucumber sandwiches that were made for his aunt.)

A: I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight refreshment at five o’clock. Where have you been since last Thursday?

J: In the country.

A: What on earth do you do there?

J: When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.

A: And who are the people who amuse?

J: Oh, neighbours, neighbours.

A: Got nice neighbours in your part of Shropshire?

J: Perfectly horrid! Never speak to one of them.

*I cut out a few lines here*

A: Oh! Merely Aunt August and Gwendolen. (on who is coming to visit)

J: How perfectly delightful! 

A: Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won’t quite approve of your being here. 

J: May I ask why?

A: My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.

J: I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her.

A: I thought you had come up for pleasure?… I call that business.

J: How utterly unromantic you are! 

A: I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact. 

J: I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was specifically invented for people whose memories are so curiously constituted. 

A: Oh! there is no use speculating on that subject. Divorces are made in Heaven. Please don’t touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [takes one and eats it]

J: Well, you have been eating them all the time.

A: That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter. 

Of course I’d love to just include the whole play, but that is entirely out of the question. And I’m always going to think of something I’d like to include, but one liners won’t always make sense without a bit of surrounding dialogue and we’d be here forever. This gives you a little taste of what it’s like though.

                                                                                                                      

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I’m here Sylvain, it’s okay.

 

The past few days it’s become clear to me just how much Sylvain likes being with his older brother. He’s okay playing alone, but if he knows Bastien is near by he’ll cry until Bastien comes into the room. Sometime when he’s crying Bastien will come running in and say ‘I’m here Sylvain” or “You okay Sylvain?”. For the most part I think Bastien likes being with Sylvain, but of course there are times when Bastien will want to play with a certain toy but can’t because little brother will put it in his mouth, or when he gets a little rough with Sylvain; pulling arms and legs, pushing him. It hasn’t gotten to the point where he’s done anything hard enough to make Sylvain cry or to hurt him, we just need Bastien to know that it’s not okay to do that stuff before Sylvain actually gets hurt. Boys will be boys. More importantly, kids will be kids. Talk about hypocrisy; I used to try to wail on my sister and I would yell at her to “stop kicking me so I can hit you”. Lisa was – and still is – a fighter and won’t take anything lying down. Despite my being the tough “I want to hit something and look your here” older sister, I’m a door mat compared to Lisa. And she’s not just tough because I was rough with her, she’s always been strong like that. Really, we were both pretty rough at times when we were kids.

 

This morning – of course – Bastien asked for a movie. I made it very clear (or as clear as possible) that if he watched one in the morning he could not have one after his nap. He agreed, said okay… Yeah right. Of course I knew that even after stressing this multiple times he would still ask. I told him, ‘you always say you won’t ask Bastien, and then you always do’. Basically I made it clear that if he asked for a movie after his nap he was going to be ‘punished’ right away. So he watchedPeter Pan and for the rest of the morning and even after eating lunch he didn’t ask for another one. I thought maybe I got through to him a little. They go down for their naps. Two and a half hours later I go upstairs because Sylvain was awake. I go into the room, open the curtains say hello to the boys, and am about to ask Bastien how his nap was and what he wants for snack and what’s the first thing out of his mouth? Oh, you guessed it. “Can I have a movie?” I gave a short bark of a laugh and said “no, but you can go in the corner”. He was only in there for 1, maybe 2 minutes while I was changing Sylvain, but he didn’t ask again. Sometimes he’ll ask upwards of 10 times in a day, even after you’ve said no and explained why. I felt that we did good today because he might have only asked about 3 times or so.

 

We couldn’t even go for a walk or play outside because it was raining off and on. It’s supposed to rain for the next few days I think. At least next week he should be back in school, his spots are clearing up. I believe Sylvain goes back to the babysitter’s next Thursday. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing something wrong/extremely different because Sylvain was up early and a lot again last night/this morning. One thing to note is that the 12 month pj’s are too short of Sylvain now. He’ll be 10 months tomorrow. His feet are longer than the feet sections of the one piece pj’s and they’re just all around a little too short. Adeline bought 3 or 4 sets of two piece pj’s that are two big now, but I’m sure won’t be for long, but they’re all dirty! So she said we’ll have to get out the 18 month stuff. He’s been wearing 12 month clothes for at least a month and a half now, if not 2 months.

 

 

                                                                                                                       

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Movie Night

This morning I was woken up because a policeman was here to see me. Haha, no, I haven’t done anything wrong, he was just coming to see me because I’m living here. They do that with anyone who moves into the area. He asked Adeline a few questions, looked at my passport, and was done!

Also, tonight was the first night that I was by myself with both Bastien and Sylvain. Adeline and Greg went out to see a movie. They haven’t really done that since Bastien was born I believe, so they really appreciated being able to go. Bastien ate all his dinner and was quite good considering. I read him two stories and put him to bed. He wanted a third, but Sylvain had been crying for quite some time and I needed to check on him. I got Bastien in bed with relatively minimal crying and all was well.

The I fed Sylvain again and tried to get him to go to sleep. I tried sitting upstairs with him and rocking, but he was just in a conversational mood and didn’t want to go to sleep. He was still awake around 11 when they got home. Still awake and still ‘talking’. It’s cute, but not really when you want him to sleep ;).

All in all it was a good night. I’m learning more and more and understanding more and more everyday.

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