Stick It

I usually get along with my MIL, but that doesn’t make for very interesting blogging, so let me just enlighten the world in regards to a weird thing she said the other day. I’m still trying to figure it out.

For the past month or so, both of my children have been absolutely obsessed with Lego Hero Factory. I have no opinion on this matter, apart from being thankful that they are fighting less over the TV, and getting sick of hearing millions of tiny little tidbits abut the various heroes for hours and hours every day.

In true Tiger Mom fashion, I bought the children several books about the heroes. The chapter books are actually pretty interesting, though they are a little too difficult for the kids so I have to go back and summarize everything that happened. Multiple times. When I really wish they would just go to sleep already.

I also bought them a sticker book. It’s one of those kinds where the pages of silhouettes of the item and you find the correct sticker and add it on. This is, of course, quite easy for Me First, who is nine, and not difficult for Me Too, either. Me First has been filling in the stickers, and then going back and reading the descriptions. These are well written, with vivid descriptions and full of vocabulary he doesn’t usually come across. It’s been a great exercise for him (and a good reminder to me to try to use different kinds of words to give my kids more exposure to the richness of the English language beyond “clean your room” and “because I said so, that’s why.”)

He took this obsession book with him when we went to the in-laws over the weekend, and MIL just went on and on about how it was too easy for him, and why would I waste money on something like that, isn’t it boring, etc.

I just cannot fathom why she would say those things. The sticker bit may have been easy, but she had no way of knowing how difficult the reading was, being unable to read English herself. And he was obviously enjoying himself, rearranging the stickers and making up stories as he went along. He was even more or less quiet, which is always a plus.

I just don’t get it.

She (and HRH) have made several comments in the past when one of the children did something they thought was “too childish.” So what? If it’s fun, and not bothering anyone, why does it matter? What’s with the push to do things they deem age-appropriate? And who gave them the power to decide that, anyway?

Recently, Me Too doesn’t want to go to the park with HRH because he makes her play baseball, or soccer, or some other organized game when she just really wants to collect acorns and then perhaps roll in the mud.

We went to the beach last week to dig clams, and HRH insisted they go straight to the water and get to work when both children were more interested in trying to run across the sand and throwing seaweed at each other. Why battle with them over that?

The funniest part of the beach adventure was that, after about an hour of clam digging, he said they could each take three clams home. How arbitrary is that? Why three? And then he thought I was actually going to prepare them for consumption. 24 hours of soaking and sand spitting, then steaming them, all for six clams total?

“This is Houston. Come back to Earth.”

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Jun 05, 2014 @ 15:33:27

    Those lego sticker books are just excellent, and I think your MiL is a bit…. jealous, or anxious, that it’s not something she can bond with her grandson over, because *she* doesn’t get it. I get similar stuff from my MiL, and I really think that’s what it’s all about. Actually, my friend was tellling me her MiL was having words with her because her boys were “too much” into Thomas the Tank Engine. Get over it, Grandmas!!! It’s *their* play time, not yours!!!

    Reply

    • hamakkomommy
      Jun 05, 2014 @ 15:52:10

      Maybe, I don’t know what the deal is. She and HRH tried to tell me that Y was too old to go to a birthday party a couple of months ago. Then she told me last week she expected us to be at her uncle’s 88th later in the month. Surely he is like ten times too old for a party by now? In all honesty, it’s probably resistance to English or American culture. Cause that’s the one you have to worry about taking over when you live in Japan and go to school in Japan, etc. (?)

      >

      Reply

      • Kym
        Jun 05, 2014 @ 20:51:30

        Oh, that’s so old school Japanese – let’s celebrate an old person’s birthday, but not a kid’s. Pfft.

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