The magic behind 1-2-3

On Friday I accompanied Arya to the Science Museum – this was a trip organised by her nursery and all the children who went were there with either of their parents. It is always a great experience for a few reasons, namely:

• it’s reassuring to know that teachers do a bloody good job facing a bunch of screaming, crying, temper throwing kids every day with calm, strict and loving manner; kudos to them because I barely stand a full day with two girls

• it’s reassuring to know that other parents more or less do the same as you do while raising the future conscious citizens of the world by giving them carrots and a snack, shouting to them to always walk nearby, explaining to them with a blushing on their cheeks that you shouldn’t point at a woman standing right next to them and say:” Look, she’s got red hair”

• you always find out something new about your child like that she has a best friend at school that she absolutely adore (and the feeling is mutual) and it’s not a girl but why you never noticed, guessed or found out earlier. We see what we want to see

• it’s always great to use these crowded places to teach your kids a lesson and give them a dose of fear of being lost (in a controlled environment)

The list is long but one small thing that fascinates me is the power of 1-2-3?.

It worked on me when I was little and I dealt with it same way as it is managed by kids nowadays, probably around the world. Funnily enough I never practice it on Arya. I think perhaps I don’t feel like counting and waiting patiently for the miracle of “three”. When I say now, it means now or the corner.

My sister uses the technique very often and the highest number varies depending on how pissed off she is and how much of lee way she’s giving her boys. If for example, she asks her son to clean his room NOW but they are still playing she would count to 10 and very often slowing down while getting closer to the 10 but the voice is getting louder and the pronunciation more through the clenched teeth.

If she however expects them to get ready to school but the are messing around it will be a quick 1-2-3.

And the magic is – by the time the counting is over, by the time the highest number is spelled (which is communicated prior to the counting) the receiver of the counting obediently actions what’s been requested of them before the counting started.

It’s like the kids never want to find out what happens after the counting is completed. They stretch their luck within the permitted limit but hardly ever abuse this privilege.

What happens after the “three” know one knows because no one dares to find out.

Advertisements

Conversations with Daughter

Arya: Mummy, I don’t want to watch this pwogwamme

Me: What do you want to watch then

Arya: I want to watch a pwogwamme about me.

*********************************************

Maths lesson:

Sanj to Arya: I’ve got two sweeties in my pocket and mummy gives me two sweeties. How many sweeties do I have now?

Arya to Sanj: Show me your pocket, dad.

Why strain your brain if you can gain

*********************************************

Face painting lady: Do you want to be a princess?

Arya: I want to be a bat.

My daughter… real bat-ass!

What We Don’t Need in Life

Arya going out to the garden:

-Mum, I’m scared there’s a spider in the garden.

Me, after analysing the situation and concluding, pointing at a little squiggle hanging off the invisible thread stuck somewhere to a tree: This is not a spider Arya, I think, it’s a wriggly worm. 

Arya: Mum, can you take it away? I don’t need wriggly worms in my life.

Do You Consider This Annoying? 

Is it normal to be annoyed with your husbands so much that the punishment ideas just queue in your head. And not because or when your period is coming.

My mother used to put laxatives in his dinner the next day he came home too late (and basically had more fun out than her in stuck, with two hormonal teenage girls).

I literally had to use all my self-control powers today to not wipe my husband’s mug with Arya’s soiled wipe. And not for any particular reason. Basically for the whole 10 years of annoyance.

I’m a horrible wife but I promised nothing.

These Oh So Familiar Conversations with Toddler

If you’re ever near Lisbon – make sure you don’t miss Sinatra. I never knew a place like this exists, soaking in romanticism, rich history (and rich on many levels), mysticism and fairy tale spirit. 

This is however not a post about travelling. The beauty of the place is just a bonus. It’s about the conversations between a parent and a 2 (and almost) half years old child.

So – pay attention to the first part when Sanj briefs me on what he’s taking with us and what not. Can you hear that the word “milk” is pronounced in spelling rather than a “human” word. It’s because in our family Arya’s desired objects, no matter how quietly and at what times are pronounced , Our daughter will pick on and will take advantage of to such an extent that we might regret even thinking them. “Milk”, “chocolate”, “ice-cream”, “tubby” (Teletubby) have this power of being needed right after they are called upon. They therefore simply have to be spelled and we are safe until the girl learns how to read (I’m very much in Catch 22 here when answering the question: “Do I want Arya to learn to read?”).

Secondly, there’s always the aspect of making decisions. They take long but if not respected irrespective of the outcome, we are screwed.

Thirdly, there are daddy’s lectures. Painful to hear for mummy, ignored completely by the daughter.

And most importantly – “Mummy! Put the phone down”.

​​​​​​​​​​

On Bilingual Mothers who Are Not Really Bilingual

I’m Polish. Bred and raised. Yet my daughter (now almost 2.5 years old, as she says: she’s “two o’s”) wields only her own mother tongue (aka English) , except a few occasional: “kocham”, “czesc” or “dzieki”.

Since Arya’s day one, I have been feeling guilty about this fact although I consciously made a choice not to speak to her in Polish mostly out of of convenience (I don’t have Polish speakers around me to converse on a daily basis). The guilt is coming from the societal (and sociolinguistic) view on raising children in a bilingual family. I’ve heard million times: “You should speak to Arya in your language, it’s really bad you don’t”.

And for the whole list of the reasons I have learnt when studied linguistics I do know they are right. Yes, Bilingual children are smarter, geniuses and they know a second language by default.

For years now I t has been hard for me to speak Polish. I don’t speak Polish daily. My family doesn’t call me regularly for chats in my native tongue, I don’t work with Polish people, I don’t have many Polish friends who I meet often. I breathe, think and speak English (far from RP, but I still do). I have been for over 12 years now (even in the Uni before than we spoke English all the time because we studied in English). How am I supposed to suddenly switch? 

And yes the dark cloud of guilt follows me every day and I don’t need gurus on trains and occasional encounters telling me “YOU SHOULD” like I’m depriving my daughter of her basic rights. Go back to your lives and let me live with my guilt in my own world. I promise, Arya will speak Polish before I die.

 

Philosophical Conversations – Moodleys Talk

Me: I’m scared that I don’t speak to Arya in Polish because I don’t want to connect with my past me.

Sanj: I’m scared that because I don’t have any connection to my culture Arya will not have any, she will be like a floating child. That’s why I’m happy you speak to her in Polish sometimes

Me: What do you mean “floating child”.

Sanj: Speaking about floating child, wears running out of toilet paper

Moodleys Talk – Coffee

Me to Sanj: “Do you know what Pret calls Americano?”

– Amo?

I’m upset because recently whatever I start with “Do you know.. ” he knows all ready.

So I say: “I can’t even have a conversation with you because you know everything”

Sanj: “No, Agusia you can tell me stuff about SQL but I know about coffee because I was a coffeetician”

I can’t even (and if you know me, you know that I have a face for it). Sanj knows this face so he develops confidently: “Yes. Coffeetician. It might not be a word yet but it will catch on”.

Life is Not what You See

Does whatever people observe relates to us: 

• follow us like a curse or a magic spell once spoken and 

– although we realise it has been true we will never be able to turn it around because it’s inflicted upon us with the power of always powerful words

– Or, brought up in a “don’t say it or you jinx it” culture we think we are doomed and we “decide” that from now on we will be what we were “doomed ” to be, JUST TO FOLLOW

• is just a reinforcement of who we are and what happens around us happens irrespective of what they say because they just observe a fact about us

• gets imprinted in our minds and from the moment the spell was cast on we are programmed to do as it was said.

Irrespective of how many algorithms your mind create you must realise that

 life is what happens in your mind and soul it is…  
Life is not what you see and since it’s not, and I’m a very visual person and take pleasure from what I see, I therefore dream and it’s amazing…

Number One Rule in Gym

Sanj trying on his new gym clothes (he’s starting his regime this month): “You can’t look like an idiot in a gym, you know. That’s like number one faux pax”.

After approximately 30 seconds I can hear Sanj speaking to himself while taking of the trousers he just put on: “I guess it would help if I was putting them right side on”.

Number one…

Rollercoaster 

It’s been a rather hectic roller coaster. Lots have been happening and fast. I managed to get flu twice, Sanj became a Brit
  Arya acclimatised perfectly in her new super nursery.  
Yes, she cries here and there but it’s a type of a
cry I’m familiar with (stubborn, moaning type) so not a big deal. 
Our lives are a little bit crazy at the moment. When I work in the office I take Arya to the nursery for a full day, running fast at 16:30 to collect her and get home just to get ready for my meeting with a client, intern, collaborator or whoever is in the schedule. The days when Arya is with me are tricky as in order to do some work I rely on her sleep which doesn’t happen as often and doesn’t last as long as a few months ago. But I put the mobile devices away when she’s awake in order to spend quality time with her. 
I got a fold-up sofa for her to sleep on. It’s time for her to let her snoring and wriggling disturb no one… but am I ready? ??

Of course I’m not!
We keep defending our decisions by saying that the baby is not ready for this or that, but in reality – it’s us who have more difficulty facing the cruelty of time. So when last night, the first time we put Arya in her new bed in another bedroom, I eventually landed sleeping next to her. For no other reason than that I was missing her. I fell asleep holding her hand only to get kicks in my face next morning.
The styling business is literally rolling on adrenaline and the hits I keep getting while organising the events are incredible. They feel like punches in the face but at the same time they make me stronger. They show me how professional and how ambitious I am. Or at least I’m striving to be. They teach me a lot. But at the same time they hurt. 
Intense period. Ups and downs. More ups please!