The playground. Full of fun, energy and politics.
There are a couple of little boys who come around who are just plain mean. They call other kids names, they say they’re stupid. It all really gives my girls problems on how to handle it. Katherine has been bold enough to go up to their yaya and tell her that they’re being mean, but the yaya just said there was nothing she can do. Alrighty then. On the one hand, these boys are smaller than them. On the other hand, the girls are being ridiculed, laughed at, and generally annoyed. I’ve given my suggestion of just ignoring them, pretend they don’t exist. They’ll stop irritating you if you quit giving them the feedback they expect. Of course, then Katherine starts using her loudest voice to warn other kids away by saying how mean they are. If it’s not one extreme it’s another! Yesterday didn’t go so well, hopefully today will be better. Everyone brings toys and invariably they get left around and other kids pick them up and play with them. No big deal, it’s commonplace and we don’t have a problem with others playing with our balls or trikes. But one of these boys will come up and argue, not only with kids but with adults as well, about how no one asked him to play with something. One time I explained that Katherine had asked another child who’d been playing with his ball if she could use it and had been allowed. He argued! I explained that all he needed to say was that it was his, and then ask politely to have it back. He argued more! I repeated that all he needed was to ask for it back nicely. After waging a small battle in his brain, he asked Katherine, got his ball, and went on his merry way. Did he play with the ball? No.
The playground rejuvenation continues with new plants around the trees, white pebbles within a rock border around the play equipment and the completed trellis. It’ll look gorgeous once it’s all done. Now, if there was only a playground fairy to deliver new Little Tykes park benches for the kids. Hmmmmm.
I’ve met several moms at the playground. It’s unusual enough to see them there, so when they show up we try to say hello. One is an Australian mom with 3 girls from 8 years old on down. The first time I met her she had walked her dog to the playground as well and he was tied to the fence by the play equipment. A local breed, he was a lovely medium sized long-hair. He had apparently been by their house so much and was so friendly that they took him in, had him checked out, and adopted him. He’s been with them for a year, but unfortunately their tour here was cut short as her husband was transferred to India and they’re going to be moving in July. Well, that’s part of this life, people come and go all the time. So, they’re moving to India and she’s been there before and isn’t thrilled with it. There are no school choices, seems the American school is it. And the housing is limited with no yards. Not a good place to own a dog. One of her first questions to me was if we wanted a dog. I had to chuckle and pass, I’m not ready for a pet yet, maybe some day. He did seem very sweet though.
That was, until a big black lab came by and the little fluff ball tore himself off his lead and attacked him. Goodness, he got ahold of the lab’s shoulder and hung on. He tore into his flank. The lab just wanted to get away while the doggie yaya walking him was pulling and shouting and the little mutt just kept lunging. Everyone was yelling, leads were flying and after 5 minutes of serious tussling, Jody was finally able to grab her dog and restrain him enough until the lab could get a little distance.
You were saying something about adopting your dog?
You know, that was the same day that 3 different yayas had their charges pee at the playground. One went off to the wall and peed in the bushes and you know, when you’re little and you’ve got to go, well, you’ve got to go. But it was the other two who had their kids pull down and pee Right Next to the Equipment I didn’t understand. Yes, I know there are those who believe that since it’s a sterile substance folks should be free to urinate where ever they please. I’m of the camp that says that I wouldn’t pee right next to the slides as much as I wouldn’t dump my orange rinds or soda right next to the slide. I don’t want to stick my hands in it and I don’t feel like attracting flies, ants and other bugs right to where my kids are playing. Honestly, would it have killed them to move the kids off to a part of the grass, bushes or wall where there weren’t 20 other kids playing? Arg.
Oh, I met another mom at the playground too, a Pakistani woman who has her oldest daughter in K at ISM. The first time I met her, she was in her traditional clothing and the girls insisted that she was a priest. Ah, the things they learn. The next time we saw her, she was in a t-shirt and jeans and I didn’t recognize her. They live right across the street from the playground, next to the Trotts house and the girls all play together, so she invited us to their house one afternoon. It was really nice, but then it’s always nice to see the insides of some of these homes. I must say that of the ones we’ve seen, ours is the plainest. Says a lot, doesn’t it! They had a lovely home and had turned the attic into a playroom. The attic window has a gorgeous view of Makati, they have a pool, and dangerous glass furniture. I don’t know how she manages to keep glass tables with small ornaments and such around, seeing as she has a 5 year old, nearly 2 year old and 7 month old. But she does! Maybe it has something to do with also having live-in housekeeper and 2 yayas.
Back to the playground. We do bring snacks and plenty to drink when we go. A pack of Yakult every day! The kids love yogurt drinks and while I haven’t been bold enough to try one yet, Nicholas doesn’t let a day go by without having a couple. I bring some cereal or chips to munch as well. Early on, I’d bought a case of chips labeled salt and vinegar cracklins. Well, teach me to read the actual label, there’s not a smidgen of potato in them and are in fact puffy tapioca squares doused in vinegar. An acquired taste, for sure, but even Jonathon ate them readily. They had a stamp on the label saying they’re a perfect food to go with beer. OK, yes, I really do need to actually read what I’m buying.