Validation – thank you Nonna

I begin to think that I may be an American afterall. [translation = able to use and understand the psychobabble language without effort] It came to me earlier today.

At the moment we are lucky to have Nonna, the children's Italian grandmother staying with us for a few weeks. One of the advantages of having another adult at home all day, every day, is that teeny tiny things are confirmed, such as my own sanity.

For instance, I have been known to complain that they boys are my shadows. If I leave the room, or am otherwise out of visual contact, a hue and cry ensues. I appreciate, that when I explain this, that most people, not unreasonably, believe that I am exaggerating.

A simple task such as taking the recycling from the kitchen to the outside bin, a distance of some 25 paces, involves careful planning. Over the years, I have tried any number of different approaches to this tiny task. I can run outside and back again, having deposited the recycling in the bin of course, in approximately 44 seconds. Yes, I have timed it, and that's my all time record to date. However, this option has a number of disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that when I return, breathless with empty bin in hand, there are two small boys flapping around on the floor like landed salmon. [translation = but much louder] Apart from the distress and trauma caused to my boys' by my fleeting absence, in addition, I will then spend upwards of 30 minutes trying to calm them down again. [translation = thus reducing my efficiency quotient for the day]

Now, I know what you're thinking! 'My, my Madeline, you are missing the perfect opportunity to therapize those little chaps!' As always dear pal, you are completely correct. Sometimes, we do take the therapy option, afterall, any chance to lure them outside would always get my vote. [translation = both are 'allergic' to outside] There again, if someone hates to go outside, it might be better to make the 'outside' experience, a little more positive and enjoyable, and sadly, recycling doesn't fall into that category, outside or otherwise.

Sometimes when I'm feeling brave, we will attempt this feat; negotiation of the step, carry 'horrible' thing in your hand at the same time, [translation = tactile defensiveness at the very least] pass through the door jam without making contact,[translation = motor planning] or at least avoiding painful contact, [translation = insufficient sensory input for one, as well as the challenge to depth perception ] step into the sunshine, where are the sunglasses[!], walk the seven steps to the big bin, avoid looking at the plants and or bees, wait, [always a tricky one] whilst the bin lid is opened for you, attempt to hurl horrible thing in your hand into the open bin, cover your ears to protect you from the noise of the horrible thing falling into the bin, then sequence your way back into the house to wash your hands. [translation = times two] And of course those are only the edited highlights.

Personally, I cheat and go for the easy option, due to my cowardly nature. [translation = do everything at night whilst they are asleep]

So now, with Nonna here, I believe that I might just have a chance of nipping out to dump the recycling, whilst the children are present and awake, without the usual fall out.

I make my 50 yard dash, with bin, U-turn and return in 33 seconds flat, [translation = a new world record!] to the kitchen, where Nonna stands on the middle of the floorboards with two small boys flailing at her feet. Her hands flap at me to help make herself understood over the din, “but you were only gone for a moment! It's like dey think you are dead or something!” Her eyes widen in disbelief as the word 'dead' penetrates her grandson's ears. [translation = increase in volume of at least twenty decibels] Nonna's hands fly to her head to rip out the hearing aides, whilst I grovel on the ground with my grief stricken guys.

And that my good pal, is the story of how I lost my efficiency but regained my sanity. [translation = a sprinter not a marathon runner]


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Don't try this at home


Your mission, should you care to take it………is to herd three children from the school yard [translation = playground] to the car parked by the curbside at a distance of a mere 50 yards from where you currently stand?

Recipe – take two people, one adult and one child. Ready? Stand together so that as much of your body is in physical contact with the other. [translation = it doesn't matter whether you're front to back, back to back etc.] This is your starting position. Set? [translation = get ready] It is now the smaller person's duty to rotate around the larger body, whilst remaining in physical contact at high speed. Go! The bigger person must now walk towards the car whilst the other continues to rotate.

The smaller person must move their feet with greater agility to avoid entanglement. [translation = a bit like French skipping] Additionally the smaller person should repeat a phrase of three words continuously, preferably rhyming, at just the right pitch and at 50 decibels in order to ensure that the adult brain is incapable of functioning.

Now, would be the ideal time for the small person to stick their head under the upper garment of the adult such that flabby female flesh is exposed to those who look on bewildered. It will not help to yell 'proprioceptive input' at the aforementioned audience at this time. [translation = or any other time come to think of it]
Continue thusly in the general direction of the car.

Additional garnish – choose from the following [wisely] –
Hold the hand of the child that falls down a lot.
Ensure that you haven't left the third one behind.
Be aware of personal belongings, yours and theirs.
Add crowd.
One pinch of noise [wide choice available to tune into or out of]
A smattering of well wishing comments from friends.
Traffic safety persons [with whistles]

Yes, it is 'oh so cute' when they are two, maybe three, but at six and a half, the general public do not vote this way. They register deviant and give a wide berth to the spectacle.


Repeat as necessary, [translation = daily] until phase passes or a suitable 'intervention' can be manufactured.

It would probably be wrong for the adult to break free at this point and run away, right?
[translation = where is a trampoline when you need one?
Why isn't there a swimming pool there instead of a storm drain?
Why didn't I bring his weighted vest?
Don't you dare carry him!]

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