LOVE FIRST, STORYTELLING

Do I WANT to Know?!

Musical Desks

It took us a while to figure this out at the beginning of the pandemic, because A2 was increasingly getting annoyed by A1’s loud (or as we call it, bullhorn) voice as their work desks were side by side in their bedroom. Simultaneously, I was constantly having to move my laptop on and off the breakfast/lunch/dinner table, sitting WAY TOO close to the refrigerator where leftover food often called out my name, and always dealing with the nearby doorbell. A1 was begging for us to extend the wired internet connection to their room upstairs, and I was desperate for a space to call my own.

After much contemplation on my part and consent from everyone else, I moved upstairs into the master bedroom and shifted A1 to a desk downstairs. A1 was extremely happy because it became WAY faster to play Rainbow Six Siege (not to mention he can eat at his desk, which is not allowed upstairs), A2 was relieved because he essentially became the master of their shared bedroom, I was ecstatic because I had my own permanent quiet space for a laptop and Zoom meetings, and my husband, who has his own office, was quite content that he didn’t have to play musical desks, at least this round.

Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want to Know

A1 built his own computer with his Dad’s help one summer and it runs a lot faster than the hand-me-down laptop I inherited. So when he’s not on his computer and I want to be downstairs to (hey, no, not to snack!) make myself a tea or something, I will sometimes use A1’s computer as a terminal.

The last time I asked if I could borrow it, this is how our conversation went:

Our game of Musical Desks has suddenly gotten a little more complicated than I was expecting! 

Would you want a more direct answer from your child to this question?

STORYTELLING

Mommy, I’m Glad You Don’t Spoil Us

Why?

Well, my 9-year old heard a story about a spoiled rich kid. His father bought a TV and wanted to test it using the kid’s X-Box, which A2 pointed out, was probably paid for by the dad. The kid got so upset that he had a temper tantrum and threw a something at the TV, breaking the brand new expensive purchase, that, as A2 also pointed out, was for the whole family. Flabbergasted at this behaviour, he declared that he did not ever want to be so spoiled that he couldn’t see the bigger picture due to being selfish and small-minded.

He told me that even though he didn’t always like my answers, he appreciated how hard I worked to ensure he does not turn out to be a ‘J~ A~’. We had a long conversation about values and respect.

LOVE FIRST

Don’t Grow Up, My Little Tweens!

The parents of teenagers scare the bloody heck out of me with their stories of moody gangly monsters who no longer think their parents have any valuable advice to give, boys who outright ignore or rebel against their wishes, girls who break rules and drive cars without a license…! They share what their kids say, like “Mom, YOU want me to do well in school, so I’m not going to.” They tell me that their 17-year old is feeling depressed and has no motivation. They tell me that their son stopped hanging out with a group of friends who had a good influence over him and they don’t know why. I read about kids who do nothing but play video games and get slightly panicked because both my boys game, with their dad, their friends and sometimes by themselves.

Kids, no… people in general, the world over are suffering from anxiety, depression and overall malaise. It’s an epidemic and it hits teens especially hard.

Mine are still pre-tweens, somewhat naive, very excitable, super loving and under MY influence (aka bribable with chocolate ice cream or screen time). But for how long…?! They are starting to talk back, resist my decisions, disagree with my assessment (but Mommy, you just don’t understand!), and have their own crazy (sometimes super insightful) opinions. They recognize my limitations (Mommy, you don’t know the half of it, you aren’t always around). It’s at once super annoying and yet slightly exhilarating. It’s a milestone in their development into big people, as they figure out how to navigate the world on their own, as they learn that their parents are fallible and don’t know everything… as my husband and I get old, stubborn and crotchety!

They are learning how to get along after heated disagreements, how not to insult people when their opinions are crazy, how to hide what they don’t want me to know and get angry about, how to discern a good friend from a not so great one, how to suck it up when things aren’t going their way, when and how to stand up for themselves even if the person they need to stand up against is me…!

One of these days, what their friends think will trump what I think. May that day take its sweet time to get here. One of these days, they will grow up to be pretty cool members of society. Looking forward to engaging them in intellectually stimulating dialogue then as equals.