Tuesday 29 May 2007

Chatter, chatter, chatter.....

Over the last few weeks I have realised a disturbing personality trait, which I dislike. It has also, without me realising it, set up at pattern in my relationships which needs to be broken. It’s Chatter.

I hate silence. I feel it needs to be filled with talk or I am somehow failing the other person or not showing enough interest in them or the conversation. I find this trait also translates over into the written word. Instead of saying something in one sentence I find I do it in ten sentences. In my mind this somehow makes me seem or appear intelligent enough to carry on a conversation. Instead of talking to a person I am talking at the person.

My mind is so busy thinking of the next thing to say that I am not listening fully to what the other person has to say. Interrupting them or finishing their sentences is very irritating. Also the other person doesn’t get a word in edge wise. Master2Bar doesn’t say much in our conversations, which has been a real concern to me as I want to hear what his thoughts are as well. He is very interesting and full of great ideas. What I didn’t realise is that I am so busy filling the silence (which is when Master2Bar is thinking) that he doesn’t get a chance to say anything. This is fine for him because he enjoys me talking and it’s easy to let me go on without him having to say much at all.

Another fear is the pattern I’ve set up for the Princess. She also chatters from morning to noon to night. This is partly her age and also I am her primary role model. We have noticed that she has trouble stringing together a sequence of events, even it if it just happened. You can see her brain working but her mouth is already moving. I see a lot of myself in Princess and I fear she is going to have trouble later with her social and language skills at school. We have to train her to focus and organise her thoughts before she speaks.

So my challenge for the next few weeks is to stop chattering, give Master2Bar a chance to express himself and help Princess all I can. This is not going to be easy but my relationships with my family are more important then some inane chatter

My tummy hurts

Dealing with sick kids was never really a problem until school started. If they had a temperature, or were just whingy it was a matter of keeping them wrapped up, calm and attempting to rearrange the day accordingly (Thank goodness for Grandmothers on call!).

But now, with the onset of school, it's developed into more of a guessing game.

I've learned that my gut instinct is usually the wrong one. When I think they are faking, they usually aren't and when I think they are sick, I find out 10 minutes later that they are quite fine thankyouverymuch.

My best(worst) experience of this was a couple of years ago. I had a week off between finishing one job and starting another and so my wife and I organised for her to go away for that week with her mum and I would stay home and look after the kids.

She left at 3.00 am on Sunday morning to catch the plane to Sydney. 40 minutes later, the youngest started vomiting.

OK, so that was crap but I was able to deal with it. Got the Princess to pre-primary that morning and spent quality time cleaning up vomit most of that day and night and it ended up looking like one of those 24 hour things.

Cue the next morning and the Princess was acting sick. No way, says I - I am onto you so off to school you go. She lasted about 10 minutes in class until the teacher recommended she go home as she was looking a little off colour. Alright, no problems, we can sit around watching Barbie DVDs for a day, so back home we went. And that would have been cool except, pulling into our driveway, she managed to vomit on just about every surface available in the back of the car.

My mother had a simpler system. Unless we were projectile vomiting on an 'Exorcist' scale, bleeding buckets from an ear or had lost a limb, then we would be bundled onto our bikes and sent off to school. I cannot recall a single time I was half crook and got to stay home. Mercy, benefit of the doubt, some would say compassion, were foreign concepts.

But those were simpler times and I was a simple child. I did not have the capacity to run a Psy-Ops program like the Princess can. For instance, a conversation from this Monday morning:
Her: "Dad, you know those eggs Mum found in my hair yesterday?"

Me: "Yes, but she only found eggs and no lice"

Her: "My head is itchy again"

Me: "I'm sure it's just itchy. There's nothing there"

Her: "But I really think I should stay home"

Me: "No, you are fine - if you stay home you'll miss out playing with your friends"

Her: "OK, I can tell them about my nits. I'll tell Mrs XXXXX as well!"

That kind of scheming shows a level of sophistication that, quite frankly, scares me. She knows that the mere mention of nits means a phone call home and Mummy coming to pick her up. She was, effectively, trying to blackmail us for a day home. What cheek!

So how do you win these battles?

Saturday 26 May 2007


Testing, testing, 1,2,3

Hello world.

yada yada yada

The eagle has landed.

2BarRiff says:

What a stupid way to begin a blog.