Partially Lost in Translation

So many things have happened since my last post. Writer’s block, mostly. But, also, the boys started school, soccer restarted, we hired a new nanny (a manny, in fact), I travelled a ridiculous amount for work and I have started writing about the Middle East for a media outlet.

School is a whole new adventure. C is now in second grade and seems to be loving it. The homework is more intense as we now have more than one subject a night to do. Spelling, math and reading are required each night. C loves the math, tolerates the reading, and could live without the spelling, but is doing better in each. I don’t remember ever having homework in second grade, but there you go. C was out sick for two days in September and the make-up work took us several nights. Ominous, but so it goes.

M is now officially in kindergarden (the school has a K1 and K2 program, and we’re now in K2) and is not happy with the recent turn of events. He no longer gets to wear his sweatshirt/pants ensemble and instead has to wear the “big boy” uniform, shirt, pants and tie. We were pretty proud of our outfit on day 1, somewhat tolerant on day 2 and ready to quit on day 3. He has a different teacher than C had, and she is far less… lighthearted, shall we say. We thought she might be good for him though and so far, he really likes her.

I am finding myself at a loss on some things we picked up over the summer which seem to have carried over into the school year. Jokes, mostly. Such as, why is the word ‘ballerina’ so funny? If either boys says it, they both fall into peals of laughter. Ballerina is a noun, verb (e.g. doing ballerina) and sometimes an adjective. I’ve tried to decipher the joke, but alas, the humor is lost on me. Farts are still funny, of course. Girls officially have cooties now (though I think C may be withholding from his brother that he still has a girlfriend).

Pokemon, Beyblade and Bakugan are now part of our household lingo. I get the Beyblades, though I think battle tops was a better name. I am at a complete loss on understanding the other two.

Thankfully, we have one steadfast connection to keep us in synch. The cardboard box.

Oh, yes. Empty the box, do some decorating, maybe cut a few windows and we’re off. Sometimes it’s a rocket, recently it was the TARDIS (I may have turned the boys into Whovians), and it is also a “flipper.” What is a flipper, you ask? Well, one boy climbs inside while his brother closes the flaps. The external brother then rolls the box 90 degrees onto its side. The internal brother rolls out of the box and both explode into laughter. Repeat. I came home from work one night and watched them do this for almost 30 minutes. I was mesmerized.

I remember the power of the cardboard box. They could be anything. Spaceship, castle, you name it. One perk of being in a military family was that we often moved and often either we, or a neighbor, had to buy a new refrigerator. Those boxes were the best. Now that I think about it, my friends and I played something similar to the flipper when we’d climb inside a refrigerator box and have someone (usually the short straw) help you stand it up. Hours could be spent in there (occasionally because you were stuck inside).

We must be doing something right though. The other night I overheard the boys bartering. The trade? Time on the iPad in exchange for time in the cardboard box. If those two are on the same playing field, I’m a proud daddy.

Here’s hoping that the cardboard box never loses its appeal.

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