Thursday, December 4, 2008

Those TCK's say the darndest things!

I may have explained the concept of TCK here before, but it's basically a person who has spent a significant amount of his/her formative years in a culture other than that of either of his/her parents. They have their own "third culture," not their "passport culture" (that of either/both of their parents) and not the culture(s) in which they're living. This includes MK's, business kids, oil kids, military brats, and diplomat kids (no offense to the military kids; it's just the term). And, obviously, our kids.

There's a whole book on the subject (more than one, actually; the one I linked is just the place I would suggest as a start), and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of research has gone into the uniqueness that is this group. Because, you see, the interesting thing is that, no matter what culture they've grown up in, they have similar characteristics. And they relate to each other, even if they grew up in opposite corners of the world.

I could go on. And I might some day. But the point of this post is to share some funny stories that have resulted from the experiences of my own little TCK's (and one from my own big TCK :-). Mama in the City on SL started a thread asking for TCK stories a while back, and here are a few I contributed.

MA was getting ready for the staff Christmas party at ML's work. I told ML that we needed to make sure to get a picture of her in her dress that day, because my mom bought it for her (and she got sick before we got a picture on Thanksgiving). MA's response, "I know what we can do, we just have to find some people who don't know me, and they'll take a picture of me with their cell phone!" Can you tell this is a blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl who has spent her entire life in a culture that values those traits (too) highly?

Then, there was the time that we were going to a dr's appointment in an upper-class neighborhood in the capital and MS asked what a sound he heard was. ML and I laughed and said, "Honey, that's a lawn mower." Houses here do not have grass, except in that one area of the capital where everyone tries to be as western as possible.

ML's sister and her family were here visiting, and we passed camels on the side of the road. I pointed them out, and our niece got very excited, "A camel! I've never seen a camel before!" MS, in a very bored voice, with a very dead-pan face replied, "Well, I have."

MS has now learned to peruse menus, etc., for English mistakes...just like Mommy and Daddy.

MS was reading a social studies lesson (from his token how-to-learn-from-a-textbook Rod & Staff book) on airplanes (like he needed that lesson). He was thinking out loud a bit as he worked, and then he turned to me and said, "You know, when we fly, I don't really worry about something happening to the airplane. I know that they have lots of high tech things to keep that from happening. I worry about them losing our luggage, because there are so many important things in there." (I promise I have never said a word to him about anything like this. He came up with it all on his own.)

MA came into the kitchen all excited saying, "Mommy, guess what? I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I turned the handle, and water came out!!!" (We'd been out of water for 24 hours or so.)

And one on the big TCK in the house (ML grew up in Africa, for those that don't know): When they were little, ML was (as usual) aggravating his sister in some way, and she had had it. She told him, very sternly, "M, if you don't start acting better, you're not going to go to Heaven *or* America." Apparently, they were approaching a time stateside and the anticipation had been building.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things that go verbose in the night.

Several nights ago, I got up to see why ZL was chattering and wide awake. At 3 AM. Never did figure out exactly, but we're guessing it was a tummy ache from the copious amounts of stuffed grape leaves he ate at a birthday party the previous evening (which he chose over the cookies and cake available).

Anyway, I came back to bed, and it looked suspiciously like ML had rolled over and taken most of my 1/2 of the covers with him in the process (it turns out he had not, but the accusation was not without precedence). When I grumbled/griped about what I thought had happened, his reply was to huff and say, "I have done nothing but show you extravagant kindness!"

Um, I'm used to him saying funny things to me in the middle of the night, but waxing literary is new. I laughed at him and went to sleep. And he laughed at himself the next day when I told him what he'd said.

Turns out it's an epidemic.

Last night at around 2 AM, a short shadow appeared on my side of the bed. I asked JW what the problem was. He started with, "As you can see..." (which I couldn't, but that's kind of beside the point) and proceeded to try to describe his predicament. He then followed me to the bathroom as I heard, "yet I was not aware of how it happened" and "the worst part of the situation was." At 2 AM. Think this seven-year-old reads a bit?

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I just discovered that Blogger has not been e-mailing me comments from my posts for the past week or so (and I just thought everyone was extra busy with Thanksgiving :-), so I'm just now seeing several. I promise I wasn't ignoring you all.

Off to check my settings...

The Miniature Earth - a global village, if you will

I promise not to go video happy on my blog. As I said, I don't often even watch videos on others' blogs, because of download issues/the way it streams.

However (and you knew that was coming, didn't you? [especially since you can see the video below]), I thought some of my readers might find this video interesting. I subscribe to a podcast called "Best of YouTube" (thanks to our friend MV, who came to visit a couple of years ago and introduced us to it, straight from the deserts of N. Africa). Usually, it's stupid pet tricks and stupid human tricks. Often amusing. Every now and then, though, it's something deep and remarkable, like the autistic man who can be flown over a city skyline that he's never seen before, and then reproduce it in detail by hand.

Or a video describing the composition of the world population, if it were represented by a village of 100 people. It's not a new video. The research is from 2000, the video from 2001. I think I remember seeing it way back when. It's still fascinating. And touching. And challenging.

(It was also obviously done by someone with an amazing command of English...for a second language. There are (at least) two errors. Homeschool moms will want to have their children not only watch the video but look for the mistakes. :-P)

Consider this my bonus post for the month of November. I have one/day. Plus one.

Thank you, Lord, that I feel sick right now.

I remember reading somewhere that morning sickness (always a misnomer in my case) could be viewed as a sign that the pregnancy is progressing healthily, that the hormones are present in the right quantities, that all is actually well. Now, just because you don't experience morning sickness doesn't mean that your pregnancy isn't healthy, just that, if you do, it most likely is.

I've been trying to remind myself that lately. I experienced two days of all-day nausea a few days after we found out we were pregnant, and then several days without any at all. I admit, I worried a bit those healthy-feeling days. As I mentioned, we've never suffered a miscarriage, but we know that that's always a possibility, especially as we get older.

Not to worry, the nausea has returned. :-l I'm trying to say a prayer thanking the Lord for the assurance that everything is progressing as it should. At least at the onset of each wave.

On a related note, I fed my kids Ramen noodles (Del Monte, actually; who knew they made noodles?) today for lunch. I very carefully explained all of the health hazards and that it was only an occasional option, but that we were going to have to resort to those a little more often while Mommy's not feeling well (all the while carefully instructing MS as to how to do each step).

Tomorrow, I will make peanut butter to replenish our stock, and we will be back to the homemade peanut butter/apple butter sandwiches that have been their standard fare recently.

Why tomorrow? Because my housekeeper comes tomorrow, and she will clean the food processor for me after I make the peanut butter. Come on, you know, if you had someone to wash your dishes, you'd schedule things like that around it, too.

The good news is that my energy levels do not seemed to have waned like they did last pregnancy so that, when I'm not feeling sick, I'm able to get things done around the house. I would appreciate all possible prayer that that continue.

And I've not yet closed the door on the possibility of having my housekeeper come an extra morning for a couple of hours to keep things moving along, either.