Local Heart, Global Soul

October 21, 2013

The Weather Is Glorious, But Kiwi Daughter Is Thunderous…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This page of my diary finds me in Bruges, Belgium and is a journal of our travels last summer.

We now walk for lunch and a well earned rest  to the Bruges  market square and Gementehuis  (City Hall). Again the area is thronged with tourists, horses and carriages plod by  regularly, but we are pleased to be here on a market day, so browse the stall under the deep shade canopies.

We find some steps to sit on in the shade with a bag of fresh cherries and strawberries and sit people watching as we eat.

Himself and Little Mr  went off earlier to do some other things and to catch an extra dip in the pool, Kiwi Daughter isn’t in a good mood after opting to stay with Velvetine and I at The Chocolate Line shop and then later wishing she’d opted for the pool option instead.

She’s got her nose out of joint that we won’t now take time out to walk to the other side of the central city to deliver her back to the hotel, and I’m annoyed because I want her to realise that once you make a decision you should live with the consequences and not expect everyone else to change their plans to accommodate your  change of heart. I also want her to accept that then turning on a tantrum and trying to ruin my day definitely isn’t the way to get me to change my mind either. Velveteen tries to talk sense to her and also fails, we try phoning Himself but he’s not at all pleased at the prospect of  dragging Little Mr away from his swim just to please Kiwi Daughter so he declines to come to us (and fair enough too, I totally agree with him).

It’s a physical impossibility for me to manage a back-and-forth to the hotel and back so Kiwi  Daughter will just have to suck it up on this occasion. She’s not doing that particularly well so this day is turning out to be not such an easy one. As a consequence the photos we took around the Bruges market square and Gementehuis  were a bit rushed. We were distracted and a little too tired and hungry. A rest was certainly in order and after some stern words, a few tears (mine and hers) and a good sit down, she and I calmed down and got ready to go where Velvetine and I wanted to go next.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 22, 2010

Sometime as a Parent you actually get to SEE the “Eureka” Moment…

Filed under: THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

About a year ago Kiwi Daughter was throwing a ball inside the living room, my laptop and camera and our engraved wedding wine glasses were on the table. I asked her to stop or things could get broken. Her flippant reply “ but I want to throw the ball, if something breaks  then just go buy new ones!”

Needless to say we had a  BIG chat about  money not being endless,  willful waste and about the environmental cost of making the things that we are privileged to own.

Last week, Kiwi Daughter bought her first camera. She’s nine, and it’s been saved from Christmas and Birthday money for two years plus money earned from doing extra chores around the house. She could have actually had it last year, but her general level of laziness back then made it clear that she wasn’t quite ready for the responsibility and I wanted her to expend a decent level of effort to prove to me that she was ready for her first serious purchase.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Walking to the shop, we had a heart to heart chat.  I started it like this: If Mama dropped her laptop would it be OK  if I took daughters money from her money-box to help fund the replacement?  Daughter looked horrified “ noooo, the laptop is yours and you can’t take my money to replace it!”

Ok then, if Little Mr. Broke my laptop could I take your money to replace it?  Daughter: “Noooo!  if he breaks it then he pays from his money-box!”

Me: What if he doesn’t have the money to cover it?  Daughter: “bad luck for you?!”

Ok, If I lend the laptop to Oma (Grandma) and she doesn’t know how to use it or carry it properly and she breaks it, is it ok if I take the money from your money-box to replace it? Daughter replies ” that would be silly, of course not it’s not MY problem who you give your laptop to, if they break it it’s not my fault“.

I carry on, “If we go on a train and I accidentally leave it on the train and no-0ne hands it in”… etc.. Daughter’s answer is of course rather predictable.

Me:  So let’s get this straight:  If I am not careful, if I let other people use it and they break it, if I leave it behind somewhere then I can’t ask you for your savings money to replace it?  I receive an emphatic “No!” for an answer.

Me: “Ok, now the boot is on the other foot… You are getting a new camera, if you loose it, if you give to Little Mr. to use and he accidentally drops it, if you give it to a friend and they break it, if you leave it somewhere where a friend of Little Mr. can get at it etc. Should Mama and Papa then be expected to pay for a new one?”

There’s a stunned silence as the penny drops…  she stopped walking,  looked me straight in the eye and said “ wow, I better be very careful before I say “yes” to someone else asking to use it shouldn’t I“?  Then a big sigh as she thought that through a little more, …” actually that means none of my friends or Little Mr. and I will have to be responsible won’t I?”

Me: ” Yes you will….Are you sure you are ready for this responsibility? We can wait if you want?”

She considers for a moment more:  “Nope, I’ll be ok.”

There are a few beautiful moments in your children’s lives where you can visibly see them climbing  up another rung of the “growing up” ladder. This was definitely one of these moments.

So we have a new Camera contract, If Daughter breaks her camera, looses it, lends etc etc and it gets lost or broken, then she will have learned a very hard life lesson, and she will have to wait and save and work for a new one herself.

She completely agrees that this is fair and I’m very proud of her.

Of course for circumstances out of her control there is the Insurance, but  time will tell how good the lesson in  ” being responsible ” has been learned.

It’s a point-and-shoot from the cheaper end of the market, by the time she outgrows it photographically she will be more than ready for the bigger responsibility of an upgrade, …earned herself of course.

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