Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 2: Sibling Co-operation

There were no outbreaks of sibling rivalry today. They played well together. Here is an example (I was lurking waiting for discord but none happened!)

The Boys play Destroying and CRUNCHING toy soldiers

Wren: Those are my guys.

Frost: No, none of them are your guys but you can play with them.

Wren: Vroom. Here comes my army helicopter.

Frost: Here is MArio, he is going to knock them over.

Wren: Can my helicopter help?

Frost: Help knock them over or help the guys?

Wren: Are you going to STROY the TANKS?

Frost: Yes.

Wren: See, I put them here and kaboom, boom, and are we going to story. Oh, see, he's not standing up.

Frost: Hmm mmmm mm (singing). Agh.

Wren: [watching] Why did he get dead? [indicating soldier who has fallen down]

Frost: Because he doesn't have a leg. [the soldier one that came from the thrift store broken]

Wren: Ah, Mario fall down.

Frost: It doesn't matter. Come on Wren, lets go. Lets get this party started. That means lets… well, I don't know what it means, it doesn't matter. It only matters HOW AWESOME YOU ARE. Mum, Mario is possessed by an evil spirit. Look, what is making him move.

A small remote controller mario kart is jerking along the floor every few seconds.

Wren: Maybe the button is on?

Me: No, he just jolts when the power is on even if you aren't driving him.

Wren: I'll hold him.

Frost: Oh, the giant is coming to our rescue. Will you destroy them or help them? Come on Wren, I need Mario. Okay, come and help.

Wren: I will watch you, I am an expert. Boom, bang.

Frost: That tank SPLODED.

Wren: Now, that tank is broken into pieces. RUN, BUUM.

Frost: RARAG DJI DJI DJI OK WRen, set up the guys again. I want them setup by the time I get back. [Frost goes to pee]

Wren sings to himself and the guys:

Wren: Hes an expert. hes an expert. he loves to crunch guys over. he loves to crunch guys over so many of them are violent because Frost says knock them over.

Frost returns.

Wren: No, I am not ready to crunch and boom them. I am making them.

Frost: Ok, tell me when you are ready.

Today was a bit of a fun but sad day. I am overshadowed by the terrible suffering occurring in Haiti. I feel sad all day. Ever since I became a parent I have felt far more connected to people in crisis and having Wren need life saving surgery just makes me feel the dread that parents must feel knowing their injured children could still die due to lack of medical care. We've donated to Doctors without Borders but I hear that their 3 planes have been unable to land in Haiti today due to chaos at the airport. I don't think there is much more we can do from here other than donate funds to organizations with the infrastructure to do the work but it casts a long shadow over an already wet day. We've had a few hiccups in the bathroom's final stage. A faucet sticks, there's an extra hole in the tile. Still, nothing that feels more than a minor irritation. I'd love to hear how others are feeling and responding to the tragedy. Who are you donating to?

I have told Frost that there was a terrible earthquake and he walked in when I had BBC News on. He saw injured people walking holding a crying child and burst into tears. He said it was INAPPROPRIATE and asked why I watched such HORRIBLE things that SUCK! I told him I would watch it later but I was trying to find out what was going on. However I think his response was very tender and appropriate and makes me wonder when it is appropriate to expose children to the reality of the suffering going on in the world, both close and far from home.


Linda said...

The Haiti thing is so horrible. Earthquakes are bad enough in themselves but when it happens in a country with so much poverty and little infrastructure, it is just devastating. Frost's reaction was so real and appropriate for a child. To him, why would we even want to know these things? I think small doses of real life suffering can be a great empathy and character building thing, though. I still remember as a child seeing starving babies in Ethiopia.

We are still deciding how and where to give.

tamusana said...

Hey Shannon, I'm catching up on your blog once again.

On the issue of exposing kids to the horrors of the world.... when Luca and Kenji were younger, I avoided having them see the evening news on TV (we don't have TV at home, but when we were living with my parents, I would ask my dad to be careful about what they saw), as TV news coverage tends to be so in-your-face horrible. On the other hand, I don't think it's necessary or appropriate to "protect" kids entirely from the news, particularly as they can tell, from our moods, when something terrible is going on, and they're entitled to honest explanations. They just need information in small doses, with the ability to have their questions answered as honestly as possible. And they should know that it's normal for kids and grown-ups to cry about others' suffering, because it is all very sad. Maybe Frost would like to raise some money, any amount, to donate towards the relief effort.

Regarding Haiti, we told the boys that there had been a devastating earthquake in the Caribbean island of Haiti, and that many people had died or been hurt because their buildings were very fragile and collapsed easily. They wanted to know if the same thing can happen in Geneva. We said no (although I did feel an earth tremor here about 6 years ago!). Thy wanted to know whether our house would collapse if there were an earthquake. We had to be honest, and said it probably would (I'm quite positive it is not build to withstand an earthquake), but that Geneva is not at risk, on a fault-line, the way Haiti was. I think that put them slightly as ease!

Some days later, we looked at a slide show about Haiti on the web (The Big Picture) and talked about the images.

I'm donating to Architecture for Humanity (the group that published that book I sent you, Design Like You Give a Damn). They will be extensively involved in the rebuilding process, providing expertise to ensure that future structures will be build according to hurricane and earthquake safety standards, using sustainable, appropriate materials, etc. See:

Hope all's well at home.