Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It is a dreary wet day here in Galway. The kids have settled into summer holidays nicely and for the most part there are no broken bones or black eyes (yet). Things have shifted again in the household as the routine (or lack of) is hard enough to adjust to for the new kids. The littlest one has been used to getting all the attention whilst the others are at school all day and the realisation has just hit her that she is no longer a 'lonely only' at home all day with all the toys to herself and now she has to learn how to play well with others and - dare I mention it - SHARE. 

Aside from begging and pleading their ever accommodating Dad for a pony, my trusty two are great ambassadors for teaching the importance of playing nicely together. Overheard in the back garden yesterday from Jack: 'if no one gets into the 'time-out' chair today maybe Mommy will give us some chocolate cake as a treat'. OKAY - so sometimes I cave in to their goodness and give them some crap. 

These days I have been asking (and expecting) a lot of my kids so maybe I am overcompensating my guilt and giving them a little extra sugar love. Shoot me now. The thing is, even though I feel the guilt over asking them to share their stuff (and Mom/Dad) with the newbies, they are quite happy to do so. 

I am overwhelmed at how much they are teaching me. I thought I had a good handle on this 'Mom' business, but as it turns out, I know nothing, and they - well, they know it all. It is easy to sit back and assume that taking on a few extra kids might not be too difficult. I mean aside from a load of extra laundry and plates at the dinner table, how hard could it be?

Pretty darn hard if you want the truth. Especially since we are talking about kids that have come from a traumatic or disadvantaged background. A house full of rules and regulations and contented kiddies goes out the window and a summer full of teaching and learning comes in. Things I never noticed before have started to become glaringly obvious annoyances. 

Take for instance table manners. I never had to teach Rory and Jack 'how' to use a knife and fork. At least, I do not remember having to 'teach' them. They just 'learned by doing' I guess? They do not speak whilst chewing their food and for the most part will wipe their face on their sleeve napkin. 

Next on the list of things that I have little tolerance for is whining or crying to 'get ones way or a toy'. Again, I cannot remember ever having to listen to mine whining or crying quite simply because I would not 'listen' to it. 

I can see (and hear) all to well how the little kiddies we are fostering right now have come from a totally different life. I can decipher the way their parents spoke to them, or about them, just by listening to the way they speak to us, or each other. Up until today I was waaay to busy catering to everyones needs and getting annoyed with their (absentee) parents for the lack of love and parenting  these kids have received to date, to even think about how they might feel being thrust into a house and home like ours. And before you go all 'lucky kids, of course they like it at your house and shur why wouldn't they, what with all the nice food, and fun with the animals etc' let's just think about it for a minute - from their point of view.

Home-life for them may not have been ideal hence them being removed by the powers at be and placed in our care. However, daily life probably did not suck either. It is apparent that these little lassies had a heck of a lot of freedom. So much freedom (like to go to the shops to buys sweets daily) that not having any freedom is downright impossible for them to comprehend. "Why does yer Mam not let ye go to the shops evah? If ya had 2 euros you could buy a can a coke and some bars of chocolate'. Grumblings and rumblings at pillow talk-time from the 'WiseTwins' give me reason to explain the 'price of freedom' to my little ones in as delicate a fashion as possible.

And going back to the food thing. Yes, I think it is great that we have a lovely food-culture lifestyle and love that we can offer yummy food options all day and all night, but when you are a 'Chicken-Nugget/French Fry' generation kid, then all you want to eat is, well, Chicken Nuggets. "My Mam leh me eat chicken nuggets every day, and we neveh eveh eated vegetahbelles er fish er sallid". Expecting more rumblings at pillow talk-time I almost fell of the chair when Rory (my eldest) piped up 'yeah, well did ye even have a poly-tunnel or garden to grow your own vegetables? Or did you ever go fishing with your Dad to catch and eat your own fish?'....ZaaZaaZiiing! 

Kids are so mean sometime. 

I am doing my best to take the high road and give them as much time, love and patience as I can to make up for lost time.  We hope to see their innocence return and a lot of laughter return to their faces before the summer has come to a close.

Although a rainy day today, they spent a lot of their time 'weeding' the garden for Ron. I am not sure if he appreciated the sentiment (based on the huffing and puffing he was doing as he re-planted some non-weeds) but the newbies now know the difference between 'Daddy's Basil' for the pasta sauces and 'Mommys Mint' for Móna's Mojitos!  

With a friend of the family getting married this weekend and another big surprise event happening on Sunday, the house will soon be overrun with even more children. My eldest sister Tracy and her hubby Tom with their brood of four, and my brother Shane, his lovely wife and their two kiddies will all descend upon us later this week. 

Come on over, the bar is open!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for this rather damp evening, as we sit fireside watching the World Cup semi-final (Netherlands v's Uruguay).



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