“I’m telling!” & Two Places at Once

Posted on June 21, 2011

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Dear Table Soccer,

Not Foos-ball. I am talking about a soccer game for the table. There is a large green felt cloth about 3 feet by 4 feet that covers a table in the living room. There are teeny-tiny players, tiny goals with nets and a small soccer ball smaller than a Foos-ball. This game is silly and competitive. You are supposed to flick the players towards the ball and attempt to pass the ball to your other players. I would rather watch this game than participate since I don’t tolerate cheating well and that is all that Tommaso does. His brother is helpless when it comes to arguing with his older brother so I just stand back. When I made a goal it “doesn’t count” and when Tommaso makes a goal it is always his turn again. I know that he knows the rules of soccer since it is his favorite sport but in the privacy of his own home he is his own referee. Like I said it is not fun so I wanted to move on. There are plenty of other games to play and I figured out the only game that he doesn’t cheat is Monopoly or the game Guess Who. I take that back! He does wander over to the opponent and attempt to “help” his brother but peeks while doing so. Monopoly is the only game that I like to play since no one really “wins” we just play. Although at the end of the game Tommaso always announces that he is the winner. Va bene.

Around 11am the kids were getting “cabin-fever” and began fighting. I don’t know where Tommaso learned his new moves but he was throwing punches at him and made connection with his jaw and then his eye! I don’t think he was actually hitting him that hard but when the kids are sick everything is intensified. Nana yelled at them and I helped to separate them but I knew it was going to be a long, long, long day inside the house. After Tommaso came running into the kitchen to sock his brother in the stomach we had to separate them until lunch. Matteo kept telling me that he was going to “tell papa” and I didn’t tell him but in my head I agreed that he should. As a younger sibling I understand about wanting to tell on the older one. Even if we “started” it.

We ate lunch in the kitchen at the 4-top since the other table(s) were covered with games or toys. We had pasta with ragu but both boys were not really into since underneath all their hostility towards each other they truly just don’t feel that well! They mad-dogged each other all through lunch. Once again nana made too much pasta and insisted that I finish it. I hate to argue with her plus I was hungry so I took the second helping of pasta. I sat alone in the kitchen and finished eating while trying to plan what to do next with them. I could tell that Matteo could use a nap but it would be a battle to get Tommaso to relax enough for a short sleep break. I wanted a nap! These kids are exhausting…I hope that it becomes easier when we have things to do and play outside in the next few weeks! And then months. I hope that we stay at the beach all day long and find a park next week when we go to Tarquinia. What they need to do is get better faster so they can finish out their last week of school! I just want to be outside…even if it is over 85 degrees with too much humidity…

Matteo relaxed (I don’t think he ever fell asleep) in his dark room for about twenty-minutes. Tommaso and I lounged on the couch. I looked at magazine and tried to interpret some Italian while he played his DS. Nana wanted to run across the street to her house to not only take a break but she wanted to eat lunch at home. She hardly eats much with us ever so she excused herself. Matteo came out to the living room soon after nana left and he still had that look. Like he was fighting his tiredness. I told him that he could lay down on the couch and watch something. I got his pillow, his bear and his bottle of water and settled him on the couch to watch some Italian cartoons. Tommaso and I did some of his “homework” and I had a great time! He read to me and we did small activities. I learned more Italian words and I think he picked up some more English. I have been trying to organize some ideas for “English Lessons” that I have to create for the weeks in the summer. T has told them that everyday (M-F) that they will have to participate for at least one hour with me to practice their English.

I organized an outline for the lesson plans and decided that the most important thing for both is understanding the sounds of each letter in English. Knowing the ABC’s is number one. Then we can make a collection of words that we know with each letter. I also picked out a handful of the Magic English DVDs that I think are the most important for them to organize their thoughts and make the connections. Once school is officially out I will finally be their “teacher” so if anyone has more ideas please feel free to point me in the direction most useful. I also think that knowing the days of the week, months and seasons is important. They know their numbers pretty well from all the counting and handling money during Monopoly but it never hurts to be able to count to 100 without help. Memorizing all the parts of the body is also an important part of this language. Also terms for directions (left, right, straight, back, etc)  Knowing things and objects around the house, kitchen and bedroom is also something that they picked up on from the start but I think that placing the words they know along the alphabet will be a good visual aide.

Once T came home after 4 I retired to my room to lay down just for ten minutes. I guess I fell asleep because I woke up hearing nana asking where I was! I came out and drank some water and then joined the 4 of them for a game of Guess who. That didn’t last long since Tommaso tried to cheat and Matteo started to cry. We played one last round and then Tommaso did a book report and Matteo and I played with some Pirate Legos. Soon it was time for dinner and just to get them to quit the Lego game and sit in their chairs was a struggle. They had the giggles and were getting on T’s last nerve. I could tell things were progressing but I just sat there and ate quietly. It tried to compose myself when T was threatening to “tell Papa” by sending a text! Times have changed! It used to be, “that’s it! I am calling your father (mother!)” but now? “I am texting him (her) right NOW!” She wrote out the message on her Blackberry then handed the phone to Tommaso to read what she was about to send. He just shook his head and continued to make his brother laugh uncontrollably so she pushed send. Soon as he wrote back she handed him the phone to read it. I am unsure what the message said but it didn’t seem to phase him since he continued to run around like a chicken with his head cut off. I wonder what it will be like for me in a few years when I have to “tell” on my kids to their father…? “That’s it! I am Skyping your father!” or more in the future “That’s it! I will hologram your father!” ….So people can be in two places at once. Who knows what it will be like…Maybe I just want to be in two places at once right now!

Nancie

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Posted in: When in Rome