Thank you for all of your great notes after my last lame post, guys.  It is very nice to know that I still have friends. I try to keep this site positive, mostly because I want to remember everything that way.  That said, I also think it’s important to be honest about things too.  And, honestly? All three of my kids have been fighting and tantruming like two-year-olds for about four months now. I thought that, with household help and the kids in school all day, I would have all of this great time to do things, but really I am completely worn out from the 3:15 pm – 7:15 am battle that is our life together. I have been reading parenting tips online and trying all sorts of counting-to-ten-before-you-react techniques and I think we are coming out of it.  E even admitted that she thinks they are so tired from working and ‘performing’ at school all day that home is the only place they can be angry.  S said basically the same thing and then asked me, “if I can’t yell at my family, who am I supposed to yell at?”.  Ahhhh…. happiness, babies. Only happiness!

So. My kids are tired and need to let off steam and I have to find a way for them to do it. Any ideas?  I have  been digging around for funny videos on youtube (anything with a cat or hamster works for me). Humour, it seems, is the best medicine (and because lightening-up is something I am not naturally very good at, I need help from the internet).  I have been using the distraction technique we were all supposed to use with our toddlers, launching into a good story before the bickering reaches the loud stage.  Tiring, but I think they will settle-in and at least I won’t spend my days tied up in knots about having a negative home life. I think in Vancouver, I could always count on a funny neighbour to lighten the mood. Here? For now? It’s just me. I have to be the funny neighbour, the crazy aunt and chatty cousin all rolled-into-one.

My father-in-law said the greatest thing, “Remember, this is supposed to be fun!” Yes!!! That is the whole reason we are here. Right?  And, in Colombia, they have the greatest word, “tranquilo”, which basically means, “relax, it’s all good”. I have to remember this, always.  There is this kid we know, who rides the bus for an hour (each way) to get to soccer. He is adorable and smiles at everything. I can’t help but grin every time I see him, missing the ball, falling over, sort of skip-running with pointed fingers and toes… attitude is everything. His grandfather hasn’t missed a practice and giggles at everything the kids do. I love it. So. There it is. We are working on it.

I know this isn’t how I am supposed to be thinking, but I saw this comic yesterday and I thought it suited my mood perfectly:

Keeping it light. It’s all good.


2 Responses to “tranquilo”

  1. 1 Diego

    I´m glad you are feeling better. I dont have any kids so I can only imagine how difficult it must be sometimes. I do have a couple of students, private tuition, one is 14, she behaves like an adult, and the another one is 11, she is not easy, only with 3 hours a week I end up exhausted after class. So, imagine how it must be everyday for their parents. However, Cali has a lot of things you can do with kids, simple and wholesome things, elevar cometas, patinar in Los Cámbulos, etc., but i think that what most parents do with kids is make them socialize, it is a very important part of being in Valle. TRanquilita, it´ll get better! :)

  2. 2 Sarah

    This is not on the “let off steam” theme, but do the kids have penpals? For S. it helped him remember the “exciting adventure” part of living far from home to send a package home — of local treasures, or African animal art, etc. And then the surprise of getting mail is awesome too. Also any time I’ve lived somewhere for an extended time, it seems like, by the end, you finally have friends/community. I feel like it’s worth speeding up the process by randomly and awkwardly inviting people over. Good luck!

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