Threats v.s. Bribery & “You Eat Too Much!”

Posted on July 19, 2011


Dear Regalo,

Gift! More gifts for me! The other nonna, nonna G, she always has gifts for everyone and she truly knows what I like! I have been wanting a new tank top with buttons and when I arrived Sunday she presented a hot pink tank top just for me! Wrapped up in a cute little bag and everything. And then today when we went to the Bar for a coffee and Pokemon cards she got me another present! I opened as tiny red bag and found the cutest most simply adorable bracelet. It has black beads with one solid white large rose bead! Seriously how does she know what I like so well!? She is such a sweet nonna. Makes me miss my grandparents hanging with them. They go to bed late and wake up late so this morning I was on my own with the kids but it was easy. I put on morning cartoons to keep them calm and quite since I assumed they were still asleep since it was before 8am. I woke up at 6:57 and couldn’t get back to sleep knowing that Matteo would wake any minute. I worried he would think everyone was sleeping and might not get out of bed to use the bathroom alone so I must have peaked in their room about 6 times before I actually heard Tommaso stir about 7:45 and speak to his brother in a hushed whisper. I made them use the bathroom and then led them down the hall to the kitchen. Matteo was ready for his bottle so I made him his milk and cookies and handed it over. I try to tell him that he is much too old for a “baby bottle” but he tells me that is how he likes it! I convinced him otherwise this evening thank you very much!

Nonno likes to drink wine and he opened a new bottle for lunch. He picked up two special bottles while we were out today and he has a serious skill in picking the good stuff! Him and I are the only ones that drink so we drank about half of it during our hour-long lunch at home. It is nice to feel not only as an equal with them (not so much like a child) but also it is nice to have a drinking partner! I understand them pretty well but I think it is because they speak a lot slower and they make sure that I understand what they are saying. My Italian is not that bad because I have not heard them utter, “uhh no capito!” (I don’t understand! Not once!) Matteo and Tommaso finished eating before we did so I enjoyed my long lunch with nonno and nonna. Matteo told me that “Si mangia troppo! Si ingrassa…” (you eat too much! You will get fat!) and we laughed and I assured him that I could eat that much and stay skinny. “Sono magro!” (I am skinny!) I told him that since I exercise that I can eat however much I want. He said ok and poked my stomach but then shrugged and said, “you strong!” This kid kills me! Nonna G told me that I was NOT fat either and not to worry since I eat well…”non ti preoccupare. Si mangia bene e non sei grasso!”  I know that she has my back…This is NOT the first time that I have heard this..”you eat too much!” Every single restaurant that I have worked all the cooks told me this too BUT then asked how I stay thin. So there!

During lunch they asked about my stay and then had the boyfriend conversation with me…I got nervous but I told them that I kind of have a boyfriend in Rome. They asked me about his name, if he was Italian, where he worked, and then Matteo became gelosia (jealous!) and got my attention back through a Snow White book! Nonno laughed and told me that Matteo really liked me and didn’t like the fact that I have another boy in my life. Matteo accused me of “innamorato” (to be in LOVE!) and I became very embarrassed and blushed! They all then pointed at my cheeks and said, “awww rosa!” (pink!!) “Noooo…” I argued and he countered an extra long, “siiiiiiiiiii…!” I told them that I didn’t know for sure but I liked him a lot…! Solo il mio fidanzato…he is just my boyfriend..non lo so..I don’t know…ma mi piace tanto…I really like him! They learned the English word “blush” during lunch thanks to my rosy cheeks. Leave it to a five-year-old to get to me…

The kids have a friend that lives across the way so that frees up some time for me to relax. I miss the sea already but it is still indeed a vacation out here away from the hustle and bustle of Roma. It is so very quite and calm. The weather sure is different for only being an hour outside Rome. Less humid and sprinkles of rain mixed with the heat. We got a short bike ride in but there was a small crash! It was just me and Tommaso but he wasn’t watching where he was going and side-swiped a parked car and fell to the pavement. It wasn’t that hard but it shocked him! Whatever he did locked his brakes up in his tiny yellow bike so he couldn’t ride home but luckily nonno and nonna G were close behind in the car so we put his bike in the trunk and he showed off his skinned knees. No blood but his bike took quite the spill…I am no mechanic but I might have to have a look tomorrow and see what I can do to help. I don’t mind to walk but I am unsure if the children feel the same way…Hmmmm how to fix brakes on a kid bike?

I took a short nap when the kids went across the street and had wild dreams about yelling at the kids NOT to climb through my window! I woke up laughing and heard the boys in the backyard near my window…Last week Matteo and I argued about him having to pee and he refused to go inside so I opened the bathroom window from outside and lifted him up and pushed him through the window. He peed and I helped lift him back outside. Better to make him go somehow then risk pee in the damn pants! He couldn’t actually attempt this climb solo but it probably wasn’t the best idea of last week….

I learned another new word in Italian this evening, “Suocera/o” which is mother-in-law and father-in-law. Nana G and I had a long conversation about the tasty filet she had made for us a few days prior. She explained the process and I think that I actually understood it pretty well! Then after she asked about my family, the ages of my parents and siblings, who is married, a little about my nephew and when my sister is coming to Rome she got into it about being a suocera and how family becomes jealous of new relationships. I do more listening than speaking but I have already learned so much from these elders I feel so very fortunate to spend some time alone with them! She assured me that when I become married that I must focus on him and me and that is what matters the most in this life. It comes down to “between you and him” (tra voi e lui!) I understood what she meant completely. Families are the same everywhere in this world and everyone encounters the same problems when families are brought together. Everyone also experiences newfound love and joy but there is a challenging balance that must be maintained. Life lessons and reminders from this wonderful “nonno e nonna!”

At dinner nonno and I finished the bottle and they asked me a little more about Mickey. I explained how much that he works and they nodded in approval assuring me that it is “normale” to work so much in Rome with only one day off a week. Nonno even guessed which day he has off…I suppose it is normal. Soon it was time for the kids to have their milk and cookies after dinner. I offered Matteo his milk in a cup like his big brother and he actually agreed!!! This is the first time that I have tried to serve it to him like this but I think it is time to wean him off the plastic nipple already..he is five! He was happy to sit next to his brother and put the chocolate powder in his warmed milk. Tomorrow morning I will try again to offer it to him this way and if he agrees then I will be so excited to report back to his parents that I have helped transform their youngest! He is a big boy… he should be proud to sit at the table…if he can feed himself pasta and pour his own water; he can stop using a bottle.

After I helped change the two of them into pajamas, brush their teeth, wash their feet and try to get them to settle down I was not successful getting them into bed. I had them cornered in their room but Tommaso was super hyper and wouldn’t stop jumping on the beds so nonna G came to the rescue once she heard me raise my voice at them. She told Tommaso that if he didn’t settle down and get to bed or read in her room that he could not play with his friend across the street AT ALL tomorrow! Bravo nonna!! I knew that I really liked her..threats are always best. Better than bribery…this I have learned.


Posted in: When in Rome