Not Usually the Jealous Type

Posted on May 16, 2011

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Dear Jealousy,

I not only felt this today but witnessed plenty of it as well. After school today the kids had their friends over. A sister and brother called Flaminia and Tommaso. The little girl is a younger than Matteo but they get along just fine having grown up together. The two Tommaso boys are quite the characters together. It was decided that us three would play Monopoly while the two moms went downstairs to the Gym to find out some information about the kids pool opening for this summer. We played together and everything was fun until my Tommaso got bored (which he can pretty easily since his attention span is the length of a commercial at times) and turned on the TV in the middle of our game. His friend wanted to continue to play so he and I did until Matteo became aggressively jealous and took the dice from us. T could barely get him to give them back! Then he would take our figures so we would forget where we were on the board. Then he took all the chance and community chest cards and threw them all about. Then I tried to persuade him into playing with us instead of against us and he was still mad at me! It was decided that he was jealous that the new Tommaso had all of my attention. I am unsure how long children are capable of holding grudges but I thought he was still mad at me for pouring the cake batter without him while we made a tort before the guests arrived. Together we made a cake and when he left the kitchen I honestly didn’t think that he was coming back. He announced that he was using the bathroom and that is why he left. Whoops. He demanded that he helped me place the wobbly rubber mold into the piping hot oven…I thought it was the most dangerous idea today but T let him carefully help me place it in the oven over his head. He placed his chair in front of the oven and I tried my best to tell him what 40 minutes meant. He stared and pushed buttons on the stove adjusting the temperature and timer. I told him to stop but he just growled at me and refused to get down from the chair. I sat in the kitchen and had some cereal with Tommaso while Matteo stared at the cake in the oven growing every few minutes. In which every minute he would make me get up to check it out. Up and then down. Up and then down. When it was close to being finished he rushed me to take it out but it wasn’t quite done in the center. I poked it with a toothpick and it came out still sticky and wet. I may not be a “baker” but I know a few tricks that are important with cakes. I did have my practice making cupcakes for that boy demonstrating my domestic feminine side. Soon as that failed I decided NOT to bake anymore for anyone in particular but bake for fun with the kids once in a while.

Later, when the cake cooled Matteo joined me in the kitchen to dust the torta with powdered sugar. He is quite the little helper in the kitchen I must say. I cut him a corner and tried to offer some to Flaminia but she didn’t want any and stuck to the piece of pizza bianca in her bright green napkin. She has the most beautiful brownish hair and deep blue eyes; she is sure to break some hearts probably starting with Matteo! Same with her brother with the brown hair and blue eyes. Before our Monopoly game was terminated by the “boss” Matteo it was fun to practice my Italian and make the kids practice their English. Both boys practice English at school and are good at counting and know all their colors. Handling and counting money is great for kids even at a young age. My reading level is not quite there so sometimes we need help reading the cards but both of the boys read really well for only 7 years old! If I was unsure we would hand the card up the table to one of the mothers to interpret for us. Seeing Matteo so jealous for my attention was a little excessive, but I was happy that someone was fighting for my attention! Even if he is only 5 still feels better to know that someone wants me around enough to start fights. Everyday it gets harder for me to know that I will be leaving them in the end. I will miss them and know that I will think of them often! I know that T and I will stay in touch and I hope to return and visit in the future. We have some great adventures to look forward to starting with summer letting out at the end of next month, summer camp, swimming and long vacations! I am ready for sunshine but I am not ready for humidity that feels like you constantly “just got out the shower!” It is nice that rain still surprises us between the heat.

Nancie

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Posted in: When in Rome