Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mostly, it's just life

Today I had a day that could've taken place almost anywhere. The kids and I spent the day at home, waiting for two different deliveries. We had groceries coming between 430-7pm, and water coming at some point during the day. Hopefully. The water delivery situation here is sketchy at best, unfortunately. We were told to notify the woman at the front desk the day before we needed a new jug delivered, and for a couple weeks that worked well. Lately though the water delivery guys seem to be coming more sporadically, and it's sometimes taken up to 3 days to get our water. It sucks when that happens, because although the UV purifying pen we brought makes the tap water safe to drink, it doesn't change the taste. And let me tell you, the tap water here tastes pretty damn awful- like it rolled off of Satan's boots, you might say. I hold my breath while I drink it! But sometimes the water really does come the next day, so all we can do is order our water and hope. At any rate, here's how I spent my day while we waited.

I woke up, called the kids in, and read them a couple chapters of Harry Potter while we snuggled in bed. Then I made tea, checked my email, and listened to Robert and Zion work on fractions. It was hard not to listen, because Zion was shouting and carrying on about them.

After Robert left for work I finished the fraction assignment with Zion, and Liel worked on the crochet skirt she's making for Fluffy. I saw that my friend Julie was online, so I chatted with her a bit. She's an amazing woman and a homeschooling mom, the only among my close friends. We had a great talk and she made some excellent suggestions for helping the kids to develop more "stick-to-it-iveness". Both Zion and Liel are perfectionists, and tend to give up very quickly if they can't do something perfectly the first time they try, asserting that they'll "never get it". I'm not sure where they got this idea, as Robert and I have certainly never disparaged any of their efforts, and always encouraged them to try, to practice, and to try again. Julie tells me this attitude is particularly common among the kids of high achieving adults, since the kids see people in their daily lives who can do many things with ease, and even if their parents tell them this competence is the product of years of work they have a difficult time grasping that concept, since they didn't witness it. And of course my kids spend more time around adults than other kids do, so they spend more time around people who appear more competent than they are. We'd already been working on praising the effort and work the kids put in rather than the end result, but after my chat with Julie I talked to Zion about what we'd discussed while I made lunch (green beans sauteed with garlic and ginger, to go along with the leftover chicken and rice from last night's dinner). He was pretending to be a little French Bulldog, and helping me snap the green beans, but he listened attentively. We talked about the work and practice that had gone into his math that morning, and how the math had become easier as he'd practiced it. We talked about the value of work and practice, and about how he didn't see the years of work that we and other adults had put in to become good at the things we're good at. He definitely got what I was saying...hopefully he'll remember! But if not, I'll be there to remind him.

After lunch, which was delicious I must say, Liel did some math of her own, and then the kids started playing a game with their stuffed gibbons. That quickly devolved into a fight, which led to them both writing lines (a favorite form of discipline for me- they dislike it enough to try to avoid it, but if they do end up writing lines they practice their handwriting!). While they were still writing those lines they started a new fight, so they got more lines. Then my "convenient dog" as Zion is calling himself, sang a song about the dosa that daddy is bringing home for dinner, and asked if they could each play a game of Archon. Since they had done some work, and since I wanted to write a blog post, I quickly agreed.

While they were playing I typed, checked the laundry drying on the deck, and weighed and measured a full vitamin D bottle so that I could calculate postage on the package I want my mom to send me. I looked at pictures of my cousin's new chickens, and looked into digital cameras, since we need to replace ours that was lost en route to Germany.

After that we all did some reading. I'm reading The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, Liel is reading Through the Looking Glass, and Zion is reading The Fellowship of the Rings. I miss real books, but I also love our kindles so, so much. The ability to store so many books on one little device?? Invaluable for us on this adventure.

Did I say adventure? Because mostly our adventures are of the every day sort. Right now we're living our lives in India, and that comes with it's own set of charms, discoveries and frustrations. But India (and more specifically, Bangalore) is our daily reality, and consequently, our adventures tend towards the mundane, like the titillating suspense of wondering if the water will arrive today, or buying bathmats at an open air shack on the main road in our neighborhood. The guy there sells linens by weight, and we walked around what was essentially a small warehouse with dirt floors and a tin roof, picked out what we wanted had the weighed, and paid. Not something I've ever done in New York!  But I like that India is becoming our new normal, that our life here is settling into a routine. I don't for a minute think that I've got the hang of India yet, but I feel like I'm making progress, and that pleases me.

1 comment:

Katey said...

I think that this is my favorite post on your blog, it shows that you're past the bit at the beginning that was so so difficult and that you're settling into a routine (that is anything but normal).

I'm so proud to call you my friend.