Doing boy stuff

I like playing outside. Especially in the summer, when the weather is nice and warm. I like riding my BMX bike, shooting paper arrows and climbing in trees. Sometimes the boys who live down the street and I go look for frogs behind the dike or we play with plastic boats in the ditch.

I like the ditch, in winter its good for ice skating, and in summer you can play near the water and you can see the fish. We often try to climb over the bridge from the outside. It’s a little scary, but so far I’ve never fallen into the water. You can also try to catch some fish, I thought I wanted to fish for a while, but it turned out it is not as much fun as it looks.

Another thing I like to do is build huts with the boys from school. It’s especially fun to build traps and climb the lookout tower, but it’s hard not to fall into the traps or out of the trees. At least it is for me. Sometimes we all hang out at the playground and try to climb on top of all the attractions. I’m better at that than the building huts stuff.

When the weather is bad there’s still lost of fun things to do inside. I love playing with lego and with cars, especially on a race track. Building things is always a lot of fun. A while back me and the boy next door built our own robot. It looked really good. He has boxes full of cars and other cool toys in his room. I think he has every cool toy there is. I’m a little jealous.

I do have some girl friends from school, but they never want to do anything fun. They want to play with their barbies or play make believe. Some like boardgames or to hop, which is cool, but I usually like it better to play with the boys. The girls do not understand and I cannot explain it to them, because I don’t think they would like it if I told them how most girls play is boring.

Mum tells me that when I get older I won’t feel like playing all the time anymore. I hope she’s wrong, because I want to keep playing forever.

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This little girl likes to play with fire

I like playing with fire, with matches to be more precise. I love how simple it is to make a flame, to watch it, to wave my finger through it without getting burned. It’s even more fun when you light many matches at once, and build a little bonfire. Just a tiny one though, tiny fires are fun. Ok maybe not only tiny fires are fun, but I would not make those up in my bedroom.

I don’t think my mom and dad suspect anything. A few times mom has asked about the smell, but I think I convinced her it was just her smoking. She’s smoking everywhere, all the time, so she bought that explanation. I think. I have to be more careful though, once they find out I have matches in my bedroom they’ll surely take them away.

The other day I was playing outside with a friend who lives on my street. I had brought my matches and we were playing with them. We were trying to set a fire with a heap of dry leaves. We decided to pile up all the dry leaves in a little section of trees, so no one could see what we were up to.

After a few tries, we got the pile of leaves to burn really well. We decided to also throw some branches and other stuff on to it. Before you knew it, we had a great big fire. We were standing there, looking at it, enjoying our fire, when all of a sudden the three next to it caught fire and went up into flames. That wasn’t exactly what we had planned.

We weren’t sure what to do, so we decided to run away. I think that was a good decision, because when we came back the next day there was no more fire, and no real damage had been done to the trees. You could still see where our fire had been, but from the outside it looked like nothing had happened. I guess from now on, I should be a little more careful with making fires. It’s a shame, because it is so much fun.

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Moms know everything (?)

1982 (6 years old)

I always have many questions. I constantly wonder why something is the way it is, how it became the way it is and what exactly it is. Sometimes my questions are more practical, about how to do something or how to solve a particular problem. Whenever I have questions I ask my mom, and she always has an answer.

I am pretty sure that moms know everything, or at least my mom does. I am not sure why this is, it could be because mom is much older and wiser than me, or it could simply be because mom is awesome. I hope that one day I will know everything too, just like mom.

1986 (10 years old)

It’s hard to believe I used to think mom knew everything, almost as hard as it is to believe that she does not know everything. I am slowly starting to realize that mom is not all knowing, and she does not have all the answers. She’s just making it up.

Sometimes she even lies, like when she tells me not to do something because it will kill me. Like eating the berries from the bush down the street. I accidentally swallowed one a few days ago, and for nights I lay awake wondering if I would die. Nothing happened.

Mom doesn’t know everything, mom sometimes lies, mom isn’t perfect. Nothing will ever be the same again.

1994 (18 years old)

I have just moved out of my parents house, which is great, but I keep being confronted by stuff I am not sure how to do or have simply never done before. It seems like almost every week something comes up that I’m not sure about, and I phone my mom to ask for advice.

Regardless what it is, whether I have questions about cooking, washing or getting insurance, she always has an answer. She always has great advice or suggestions, and most of the time I am able to get everything done exactly the way it should be done.

It’s pretty impressive the way my mom seems to know everything.

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Too shy to play?

Yesterday mom and I were outside our apartment building, walking. Or I think we were there for a walk. We came across the big sandbox in front of the apartment building, that was filled with kids from the flat playing in it. Mom stopped to talk to one of the kids’ mothers, and I just stood there at her side, clutching it, looking at all the kids playing.

They looked like they were having so much fun, with their little shovels and buckets, digging holes in the sand, trying to reach the other side. Some had toy cars with them that they let ride along the sand and through the caves they had created. Others filled their buckets with sand and were making a sand bucket hill.

There was nothing I wanted to do more than to join them. But I just stood there, next to mom, clutching her side.

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Some kids yelled my name, asking me to join them in the sandbox. Such an enthusiastic and sincere invitation, and it would have been so easy for any other kid to accept and jump into the sandbox. Any other kid but me.

I just couldn’t. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. Everyone was looking at me, expectedly. All these little eyes in my direction, making me feel like I wanted to disappear, so I would no longer be the centre of attention. Or I wished I was already in the sandbox, playing, and everyone was ignoring me.

The other kids yelled at me a second time to come join them. They asked me again and I just stood there. I couldn’t move, I was too afraid. I have no idea why I was scared, but the thought of moving just seemed very scary for some reason. I thought to myself, if they ask a third time, I will join them. But they never did.

So I just stood there, until mom was done talking and we went home. At home I found some toys to play with, but all I could think of was that I could’ve spend the afternoon in the sandbox. I could have, if only I was just like all the other kids.

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Strange toilets are scary

I think I like pre-school. I like all the toys they have here, and the games that we play. There are a lot of other kids here as well, most of whom I don’t know very well. The teachers are really nice, but mom isn’t here. Mom always assures me it’s just for a few hours and then she’ll be back to fetch me. But sometimes a few hours can be a very long time.

I’m sitting at the high table doing a puzzle. It’s a fun puzzle, and I feel like a big girl sitting at the high table. Although I am really not big enough, as my feet are dangling somewhere mid air. I am wearing my yellow rubber boots, which I love.

I’ve been sitting here for a while now. I have already finished the puzzle twice, and I have this weird tingly feeling in my feet. It must be because of my yellow boots. I really need to pee, but we haven’t even had our milk boxes yet, so it will still be a very long time until mom comes to pick me up and take me home.

Mom keeps telling me I should pee at pre-school, I think she even talked to one of my teachers about it, because she keeps on asking me if I don’t need to pee. Or at least she does when it’s time to go to the toilets together. All the kids line up, and together with the teachers we go hand in hand to the toilets area. The teacher then asks who needs to go and the kids take turns going into the little stalls to pee.

I’ve never peed on a toilet at pre-school. They are not like the toilet at home. They are special kids toilets, and everyone is standing around, watching you. I especially don’t like it when the teacher asks me if I have to go, while everyone’s attention is on me. I used to just shake my head quickly, to get it over with, but these days she asks me at least twice, asking if I’m really sure.

That’s what the teacher did this morning. I already had to pee, but of course I kept shaking my head as long and often as needed, until she left me alone and put the attention on another kid. That seems like a very long time ago, I better not think about it and try and do this puzzle a third time.

[…]

I feel that the chair I am sitting in is getting really warm and wet. I better sit here real quietly, and hope that no one notices.

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Lost Christmas cookie

Tonight was Christmas dinner at kindergarten. Not only did we get to eat lots of yummy food, like rolls with raisins and ladyfingers, we also got to take a Christmas cookie home. The cookie was really big, it only just fitted in my hand. It was round, chocolaty, and covered in sprinkles. It had a hole in the middle and a pretty red ribbon tied to it. It was a great Christmas cookie and I was very excited, especially about the prospect of eating it later.

Mom had picked me up from kindergarten and we were walking the 5 minutes it took to get home. It was the night that Pinocchio aired on television and I loved Pinocchio, it was one of my favorite programs. We were running a little late and mom said she wasn’t sure we would be in time for the start of Pinocchio. Of course, this was unacceptable to me and I started running, hoping to make it home a little faster, so I could see the entire show and eat my lovely Christmas cookie.

It never occurred to me that me running while my mom kept walking in her same slow pace, wouldn’t actually get me into the house sooner. Nor was I thinking about the fact that running clasping a huge Christmas cookie in your hands might not be the smartest move. I am only 4 after all, I can’t be expected to make these kind of calculations. However, seeing as you who are reading this are much older, you can probably guess where this is going.

I was running and running, as if my life depended on it, my breathing becoming faster, all along holding onto my lovely Christmas cookie. I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention where I was going, or perhaps I was simply running too fast, but before I knew it I was lying on the ground. I was lying on the ground and my knees hurt. A lot.

I started crying and mom came over to pick me up and comfort me. That’s when I noticed my big, chocolaty Christmas cookie with sprinkles and red ribbon lying on the ground. It was broken into a million pieces and there was no way I would still be allowed to eat it. I was devastated. What started out as a great evening, had turned into a disaster.

I was inconsolable. I had lost my lovely Christmas cookie and now we would definitely be late for Pinocchio as well.

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