Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sleep again, blind drivers, invasive information gathering and jobs.

The little one is one of those kids who MUST sleep or everything falls apart and she is a whining mess. There are stages to this. Get her to bed early enough and she is completely happy, comfy, cosy and beds down and crashes within minutes. If you are a little too late, she gets weepy for basically no reason, but is cogent enough to recognize that she is just overtired, and with a hug and a cuddle, will just go to sleep. If you go past that, she turns into an unreasonable yelling screaming weeping nightmare beyond the reach of reason or thought. We went there last night. Poor thing. Finally got her calm enough that she COULD go to sleep. She popped out of bed this morning happy as a clam, and in the middle of breakfast turned to me, "Mommy, you know, after all that, I just went to sleep in an instant last night." We had a little conversation about how she had been way overtired, and she was kind of amazed at her own behaviour.

It is so fantastic watching the insides of their heads turn something over.

In reality the other problem last night, which I am not sure she recognizes or can articulate is that she has no free time anymore. Between getting up and to school, and then lunch and English homework, and then Catalan homework, and then dinner and bed, none. What we have to address is the fact that she is taking FOREVER to do these chores, and if she were a little quicker she would have some free time. She made some time this morning, getting out of bed early to draw...

The thing that I find hard about this, is that I think it is so important, it is a vital part of them as developing humans for them to have time to draw and read and play....we just have to carve it out. And help her to do that too. I think she is getting a fair amount of play time at the school, but the drawing and reading.....
...later, we were fairly successful at this today. We were all much happier for it. She is also just plain old worn out from the hours, which are long, she goes BACK to school at 3 till 5, when in Canada she got OUT at 3:30. Also the strain of learning the Catalan must have an impact as well. Plum tuckered out.

Here is something that impresses me, these kids at this school have been brought up right. Some older boy started to bug my eldest child on the playground yesterday. Nagging her and following her around asking her the same question over and over again. Now if this had happened in North America, most of the kids would have stood around and watched. Maybe the child's best friend would have stood by, but probably wouldn't have said anything. A few kids might have talked back. Here, once the others realized what was happening, about half of her class, boys and girls came over and started yelling at the bigger one, and calling him names and pushing him away. They didn't let it happened, but instead sent him packing. I have got to stay here long enough to see what they are doing so right.

This also brings up the question of why we are so afraid to step in? Even as adults we are hesitant to step in, not just with kids.

Found this article in the Barcelona Reporter, an on-line English language rehash of the local news.File this under WTF? Catalan court finds blind man not guilty for driving BMW at 154km. Maybe I don't need to bother getting that Spanish drivers license after all..I can see anyway.

I was watching Catalan TV on line in a hopeless attempt to learn more Catalan (the internet is AMAZING!) and there was a long show about books, which is great, it's about an hour and a half long. One of the men being interviewed is drinking a beer! On TV! Knocking back a long neck on air! Wow. Then they switched over to a man on a bench reciting a poem, and low and behold I am understanding much better. At first I think it is because it is slower, but then I realise no, the poem is in French. Ah well. This show was amazing. Later I look in and they are dunking a book into a bucket of water...I have no idea why...maybe this is the two thumbs down rating. Then at the end he is talking about future shows, he walks over to the fridge in the back of the set (for storing the beer?) and low and behold, it has yellow post-it notes on it. The camera closes in, and there are the listing of upcoming shows he's talking about! Hilarious.

Between book dunkings, I was looking at stat counters for blogs and websites, and I found things out that are kind of creepy. We are leaving footprints, well I suppose cookie crumbs everywhere we go. I suppose I am naive about this, but really, I am rather horrified. About 10am my time I put an invisible stat counter on this site...suppose I should have told people, but I honestly did not realize how invasive the thing is till I checked it out later. Here is the link to that stat counter. I was going to give out the username and password so you could all find yourselves, but that actually seemed to be a bit of an invasion of privacy, possibly more than the actual tally, and it somehow didn't seem wise. But if you go to that link, and click on the stat-counter logo, it will get you to the free demo, that may well alarm you about how much info is gathered on us as we travel the web. Slight revision of the internet is amazing comments. That said, I imagine I am one of the few who didn't know this so clearly, and also quite possibly one of the few to be offended. I don't mind site counters as such, it is simply the sheer level of detail people get. Kind of makes me shudder. Oh and I removed it from my site.

NOW, the t-shirt drying race. Some surprises in store for us. The two 100% cotton t-shirts dried far faster than the poly-cotton!?! My hypothesis here is that the darker colours soaked up more sunlight, which has real heat in it here, and therefore dried faster. The two t-shirts, wrung and unwrung dried at the same rate. Well, in the interest of scientific truth, I didn't go up and check them during the night, but this morning, there was no significant difference. It was not a day for fast drying though...would there have been more difference if the t-shirts had dried faster? The time lag may have given the unwrung t-shirt time to drip out without significantly reducing it's distance behind the wrung out t-shirt.

Here is the other big surprise to me. In the 50/50 t-shirts, the unwrung one dried FIRST! (Crap...he may be right AGAIN) I am mystified as to why. They are hung next to each other and should have gotten equal time in the sun and wind.

Well, there you have it. We don't have enough t-shirts for me to re-run the experiment with all light or dark in the interest of the pursuit of true scientific proof, I will submit my work for peer review, and declare my findings robust if there is successful duplication of the results. We will have to call Nature magazine.

I may try this again another day.

The husband appears to have received a permanent contract. YIPEEEEEE! This is good news, it is not the most brilliant job in the world, but it is almost impossible to fire someone here, so that lends us a great deal more security, and I am frankly relieved. I am going to take it to the really nice lady in the bank and get her to look it over and make sure that I understood the Catalan properly. Then we are really sure. On this front, I also have a job interview tomorrow with the local language school. I don't have much hope of great wages, or lots of work, but I would like to have some. We'll see what happens with that. Tomorrow looks like errand day...groceries, bank, job interview, then I have to go to the library for this weeks film for movie night. Lets see what I find.

Oh, one more thing...if you haven't noticed this link on my list of blogs I like, this fellow is a Dane living in India, and he is taking some amazing pictures. Very different from the Antarctic ones needless to say.


Beth said...

Weird about the shirt drying results. So much for our assumptions. (And I get it when you say, "Crap...he may be right again." Hate it when that happens.)
Re: stat counters. I have one. Somebody (who??) told me I should have one so I put one on. (Stupid me - asked no questions.) It just lets me know how many people visit my blog. I can't figure out who they are. Maybe the one you used gives more detail?? I figure I leave "clues" on whatever site I visit. I don't like it but what choice is there? Not use the Internet?

Great news about your husband's job (are you there for good?) and best of luck with your job interview.

And make sure that little one gets her playtime!

traveller one said...

Love your observations about your daughter... she seems like a sweetie.

A blind man driving and he gets NO FINE?? Bizaare!

My laundry is just not drying this week AT ALL. Pooooo.

Good luck with both your job opportunities- hope they work out for the two of you!

And I'm glad you linked to Esben- he's such a sweetheart and I love his travelogues and photos so much!

oreneta said...

Beth: I sort of knew that we left cookies, but that they can be followed back by someone as ignorant as me wtruck me. The little map counter I have just tells me how many and where...I like that. It shows that I have it too...the hidden ones though, anyway.

Traveller one: Know what you mean about the laundry...some times it just hangs there and hangs there and you wonder if you'll ever get it back.
Esben does take fantastic photos, thanks for leading the way on that one.

Trish said...

That's cute when little ones make connections about their behaviour and influences like too tired/hungry. When my guys were in the throes of a tantrum I would tell them to take a deep breath to feel a little better. They were amazed when it actually did help to calm them down.

oreneta said...

Trish: That one has never worked well enough with them for them to beleive me...I always got a baleful glare and continued screaming....ah well.