Small children entente


We stayed overnight with friends in Wolfville, who have a child a year older than La Serpiente Aquatica Negra. Since our child is built, comparative to her contemporaries in Singapore, like a dump truck, it was interesting to see her interact with a girl who was much bigger than her. No longer could she barge past to get the things she wanted.

Children at that age don’t share well, it seems. There’s a constant drive to get all available resources, hold on to all toys possible, even if it means tearing them from the grip of others. For a change, our daughter was at the disadvantaged end of the power imbalance, and seemed upset and confused to have small plastic facsimiles of toast taken away from her. She ended up pushing around a miniature baby stroller, which is a toy I don’t want her to have; there’s enough time for her to push a real baby around in the future, rather than a fake one now. She’s getting a socket seat and a torque wrench before she gets a Barbie doll, if I’ve got anything to do with it.

Mostly, however, there was some fragile entente between the two kids and they didn’t constantly melt down. Outs can only complain for short periods anyway, without much variety of expression, so she realizes the futility of this. Once she gains the ability to speak and tries to tie us up in never-ending chains of “why” questions, then that will be a different matter entirely. Although I am planning to combat constant why-ing by only responding with questions of my own: whose patience will break first?

This morning we drove back to Dartmouth and spent the day pleasantly doing nothing. I ate empanadas (something that should be done infrequently, lest I inflate to twice my normal size) before trying to negotiate the innards of Nova Scotian government bureaucracy, and then going shopping.

Or, more accurately, going to MEC, the wondrous outdoor gear shop that blesses every Canadian town with its presence. They have a very cute line in personal flotation devices (life jackets to you and me) for babies, and I almost bought one for La Serpiente, before thinking better of such an impractical purchase. After all, it’s not like Singapore is anywhere near the sea.

In the evening, we went for a run in the Public Gardens, or rather, we ran after our daughter as she tried to chase ducks, throw herself on gravel paths and generally get into trouble. I’ve found a new way to distract her: I pick her up and run as fast as I possibly can. She enjoys this, although I can see it’s not without possible risks. And thence to a Mexican restaurant, and now I’m so full of refried beans I can hardly move. Ah, another day well spent.


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