Saturday, October 16, 2010

Curiosity Killed...

Life is not easy when you are the third boy in the family. Everything you wear and play with has usuallly been worn or played with by someone else; no matter what you do you are very rarely the first in the family to do it and everytime you ask a question, one of your older brothers calls you dumb for asking.

P-lal asks some really interesting questions. We have been spending some time alone together recently, sans older brothers, and I have come to appreciate P-lal's curious nature, while also being somewhat concerned by the nature of many of his many queries. Here are some of the questions that he has asked me in the last week or so...

Is there such thing as a bug that can kill a human?
How does snake venom kill you?
How did Hitler die?
Why did he commit suicide?
Who started World War Two?
Who started World War One?
Who would win if a bear and a lion fought?
Is it possible to hold your breath for a whole hour without dying?
Would I die if I jumped off the fourth diving tower and did a belly flop?
What would happen if there was a World War Three?

Are all 8 year old boys this violently morbid? He looks normal enough...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Proud Parenting Moment

Today as I was reading a blog post by another of my favourite bloggers I felt a bit sheepish. Then sheepishness turned to chagrin, which in turn led to good old guilt. You see, I was reading about how much Melissa would like to be able to give her daughter, who happens to be A-lal's age, more freedom. She mentioned free-range parenting, a concept that I have embraced whole-heartedly in the last year or so.

In fact, I think I might be embracing free-range parenting a little bit too tightly recently. On Saturday night Y-lal and I went out for dinner with our good friends to celebrate Y-lal's birthday which was on Sunday. I decided that it would be a good opportunity to see how A-lal would do looking after his brothers at night. Really though, I was being lazy and cheap, not bothering to find a sitter for them or wanting to add the cost of a sitter to what was likely to be an expensive evening. First though, I did a thorough google search to ensure that there was no law regarding the age of babysitters. I'm feeling a bit sheepish about this now.

A-lal is a very physically mature kid and he is probably more psychologically mature than most boys his age as well. He has also been left in charge of getting his brothers on the bus in the morning for almost a year now. I sometimes forget that he is still just 11, and there are days when I'm not sure that I can handle being left home alone with P-lal and M-lal, who have an "on-again, off-again relationship at best. Apparently on Saturday night they were not "on again". Chagrin.

It also didn't help that the bear that has visited our deck in the middle of the night recently, decided to make a late evening visit on this particular night. When we returned home from dinner that evening, Y-lal found A-lal lying in our bed with an upset stomach. When Y-lal took him to his own bed he headed for the bathroom where he spent some time sitting in front of the toilet. Guilt.

A-lal was fine the next day, but I'm not so sure that I will be repeating this experiment anytime soon. Maybe I'll enroll A-lal in a "wildlife" management course first.

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