Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Parenting Technique Etc.

There are three kinds of parents The kind that can't stand to hear their baby cry/scream out of sympathy, the kind who can't stand to hear it out of annoyance and the kind who don't hear it, or at least don't let it affect them too much either way.

I'm a little of each, but Greg is almost always the second one. He doesn't like it. He likes to be far away from it. But when you're driving in a car with the child, it's hard to get away.

This weekend when we were driving to Łódż to visit his parents, Aaron did really well. Almost the whole 5 hour drive (with no stops). But he whined a little. And at some point the whining turned into crying. And after about a minute of that Greg shouted, "Aaron! No no! All done crying!" Shouting in a car is a little different than shouting in a house or outside. Sort of like a baby crying in a car is different than in a house or outside. As soon as Greg's short but loud shout was done, the crying stopped. And didn't return for rest of the drive (about an hour).

As we were pulling into the parking lot below his parent's apartment building I said, "I know any amount of crying seems to go on forever, but Aaron actually did really well and only complained for maybe 10 minutes total on the whole drive!" To which Greg replied, "Yeah, because I screamed at him." To which I replied, "Yes, because you believe in anger management." About which we laughed and made lots of clever comments then Greg started coming up with other situations in which to use this philosophy: "Someone does something wrong at work: (in a pretend scream) 'YOU IDIOT! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?!" and when someone asks what's the matter I tell them it's my new management technique: Anger Management. I works for my kids!" Greg is a very impressive manager, but I can't wait to see how they like his new style!

Also, while we were driving there we got snow! And it stuck!! And I love it.

Also, every evening when we are visiting Greg's parents and we say family prayer together Greg's father chooses one of us to pray. Usually he chooses Evie or David, but occasionally it's me or Greg. One evening he called on me. I started it out in English on accident and had to backtrack (reminding me of the days I sometimes started my (silent) personal prayers: We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us--Whoops! And the one time when I was a kid and started our family prayer: I pledge allegiance to the---whoops! I think those are good indications your prayers might be a bit rote.)

Greg's parents live in an itty bitty apartment. Tiny. 38 square meters, if that means anything to you. And in a building of maybe 75 apartments surrounded by many other buildings full of apartments in the second largest city in Poland. Squished. Which made it all the stranger when, during my prayer I thanked God for Greg's parent's farm. They don't have a farm. They've never had a farm. They don't even want a farm, I don't think. His dad laughed. During the prayer. So I opened one eye and gave Greg the word "hospitality?" and he gave me a very different word than the one I'd said. Whoops! But then I fixed it so now we all know that I'm really not thankful for their farm so much as for their kindness in having us in their home.

And I didn't find out what I'd actually said until after the prayer when Greg told me what gospodarstwo means (which I actually knew but forgot). If you speak Polish, hopefully you can see the connection between that and gospodarz, which can mean "host" so I was thinking in terms of their "hosting" us. Apparently you can't say that. And I even know the right word for hospitality, but forgot again! Sheesh! I can't even get my own kids names right half the time, please don't ask me to speak a foreign language!

21 comments:

Kaylynn said...

I love your blog, it puts everyday gafaws on a whole new level. Car travel is definitely interesting.

Kazzy said...

I never seemed to have problems with my own kids' crying, but I admit that I am a bit more crotchety now and get impatient when other people seem to let their kids cry and cry before helping them to stop.

Once when I was dating my future husband we were at his parents' house and his father offered the prayer. He accidentally meshed my name and the previous girlfriend's together. It was hilarious and I still tease him about it!

Thanks for helping us to get the feel of your experience there. You do a great job!

Heidi Ashworth said...

I'm impressed with the baby! My two oldest were champion car travelers and they got lots of practice as we often drove six to seven hours straight to and from San Deigo and San Jose. However, my youngest started howling as soon as you strapped him in and he could keep it up for hours. Talk about torture! It was awful. Especially when you are driving and trying to concentrate and the sound is just bouncing around and around in that small but acoustically sound interior. Fun post! (I'm glad that you are going to try to submit something to the annex!)

Becky said...

Millie went through a phase where she screamed every single time she was in her car seat. It didn't matter if the trip was 3 minutes or half an hour - she did not like it. I learned how to tune it out (what other choice did I have, though, really?) but it drove my husband crazy. Thirty seconds in and his whole day was shot.

So there I am, having what I think is a normal conversation with him, and he's getting more and more agitated with every screech. He'd finally lose it and snap at me, Millie, and Riley, who hadn't even done anything wrong.

Good times.

Melanie J said...

This reminds me of the SNL skit where Will Ferrell does an infomercial where he peddles a new approach to dog-training: humiliation via sarcasm. It's pretty funny but I think I won't try it on my kids or other actual humans anytime soon.

MelancholySmile said...

Once, when I was 11, I started humming while my mom was saying the prayer. I just completely spaced out for a moment {her prayers were always SO LONG} but I was VERY embarrassed about it.

"Was that the theme to The Little Mermaid?!" My mother queried in disbelief.

"Um, no. I just had to sneeze." I lied.

My face still burns at the thought.

Anne said...

I could picture that incident so clearly (except instead of a tiny apt. I always picture their kitchen/dining area like Matt's mom's, which is rather large!)

Annette Lyon said...

It's SO easy to make that kind of slip-up in another language. My dad tells of a time he gave a talk on his mission in Finland and inadvertently said that you cannot be saved w/out gravy (instead of baptism--the two words are similar).

Erin said...

What a great story. I love reading stories about foreign languages. One day I was speaking in french to a foreign exchange student. I was talking about jam, or so I thought. The word "preservatif" in French isn't actually jam, it's condom. Oops.

Moody said...

I'm the first type of parent, by the way. I can't stand to hear anyone's kids crying. When I was nursing I would have to leave the area because the urge to pick up some stranger's crying baby and nurse it to calm it down was so strong!

How funny about the farm! Thanks for the chuckle.

Heather said...

Funny. Russian has that same word, but it means government. The word for hospitality is similar too like gostopriemstvo. On my mission I always messed up with pisat-write and pisat-pee. Just a stress on a different syllable. Another funny one is when I said that I was never very cold in the winter because I always had a warm muschina-man instead of mashina-car.

Heather said...

Sorry, gosudarstvo is government in Russian. In Russian gospod is lord or master, so farm makes sense. I think I could totally get by in Poland.

Heather of the EO said...

STOP SAYING THE WRONG WORDS!!!!

There. Did it work? I'm anger managing your language skills. :)

JustRandi said...

Lol Heather!
I was just going to say that if you think your Polish is lacking, you should hear mine.
I'm so impressed that you can and that you try!

Alison Wonderland said...

I can listen to the kids cry in the car without too much trouble but Sean can't handle it. But yelling at the kids has never helped.

Nancy said...

We're embarking on our 4 hour car ride tomorrow that my kids are super excited about. But I know as soon as we get to the other side of our town (about 10-15 minutes) they will start asking if we are there yet, or they amended, "what town are we in?" As soon as we hit Missouri they are ecstatic. The problem is we live just on this side of Missouri and the grandparents live on the exact other side of Missouri. It's going to be a long day. :)

Sue Q said...

Le oops!

Thankfully, I can't even speak pig latin well enough to flub it, so I will never have this problem. Funny post, though. I'm so glad you can laugh at yourself!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Sounds just like my husband. Too funny. I'm going to go use anger management to get ready for thanksgiving: EVERYONE GET OUT OF MY WAY, I'M MAKING PIE. DON'T BOTHER ME!

Have a great Thanksgiving (poland style)

Erin said...

I am amazed the shouting worked in the car. It must be because he does it so rarely that it was surprising enough to stop him. When people shout all the time you don't even pay attention.

That is such a funny story about the farm!

Sheri said...

That is soo funny Lisa. Thanks for sharing it! Maybe they will acquire a farm now.

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