Well friends, it’s been quite a while since my last life-related post. I decided to take a break for a little while and focus on my car reviews, which have certainly kept me busy. In the meantime, life continues puttering on and I thought I’d drop a few words about where things are at with the Wildsau family.
I’m still married to the most amazing woman in the world, who continues to put up with my antics and my flaws in a most gracious manner. I’m still a father. Abigail is turning 10(!) in February, Amalie is turning 6 in a couple of weeks and Andon (yes, his hair is still a complete nightmare) is a 3 year-old boy now! Crazy stuff!
Nothing much new with Aimie and me – we still cook together every day, although we now get help from the girls almost every day. They are very interested in cooking and trying out new things in the kitchen, so we’re glad they’re following out footsteps this way. Andon does his part by stealing food from the counter whenever possible. The amount of food that kid can eat (when it’s something he likes) is frightening. Aimie is still teaching, and I’m still loving my 9-5 job. I’ve continued reviewing cars, writing for my blog and a couple of media outlets. It’s always an adventure, as there’s something new in the garage every week.
It’s our kids that have changed the most since I last wrote something. And it’s our kids that most of you have asked about, so here are a few new things they’re up to. I still don’t understand my kids – I wrote about this previously here – but every day there are new things to not understand.
Yep, it has continued. Some days, they get along fine and I don’t trust them at all, because it feels like something is wrong. But most days, we have fights. Little scraps all the way to screaming matches that I’m certain will result in a fatality. It’s usually the girls, and Andon (who is playing with his wiener a lot less these days) joins in for fun. Is it still about the stupidest stuff? Of course! Are they still applying the same logic (which is no logic whatsoever) to the arguments? Of course!
Abigail: “Stop singing, Amalie.”
Amalie: “You were just singing. Why can’t I sing?”
Abigail: “I wasn’t singing. Be quiet. I can’t stand when you sing.”
Amalie: “You WERE singing. Don’t lie, Abigail. I’m telling Dad.”
Abigail: “Well, when I was singing, I sounded good. You get on my nerves when you sing.”
Amalie: “I’m not getting on your nerves. I didn’t even leave my room. I didn’t get on anything. Don’t lie, Abigail. I’m telling Dad.”
Abigail: “Arrrghhh. Getting on my nerves doesn’t mean you’re actually getting on something. It’s just a saying for adults like me to use.”
Amalie: “You’re not an adult, Abby. Mom and Dad are. I’m telling that you said you’re an adult.”
Abigail: “Go ahead. Hopefully you’ll stop singing when you’re tattling like a little baby. At least I don’t ever go tattle to Dad.”
Amalie: “ABBY! I’m not a baby. I’m a princess. And I sing like a princess.”
Abigail: “Haha. Not you don’t. You sound awful.”
Amalie: “I SOUND BEAUTIFUL LIKE A PRINCESS. I’M A BEAUTIFUL SINGING PRINCESS. YOU SOUND LIKE A PIECE OF POO!”
Andon: “Abby’s a piece of pooooooooooooooooooooo! Abby’s a piece of pooooooooooooooooo!”
Speaking of singing, it’s a really big deal in our house. To be clear, my son has never sung a word in his life, but his sisters make up for it. Especially Amalie, the beautiful singing princess. She would sing all day long if we (or her sister) would let her.
It’s adorable, yes. But there is something about it that makes it become unbearable. She often latches onto a new song – something from a movie that she just watched, or perhaps a song she heard on the radio.
First of all, she will only remember the chorus. A current example would be “Let It Go” from the new Frozen movie. Cute song. Guess which line she knows? This is what we hear.
“LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO!”
Not only does she only know that one line, but she voices over the rest of the song with “Let it go”. It’s cute the first time. But Amalie happily listens to the same song for about 43 days straight. She will crank up her iPad, get out the fake microphone and belt out the tunes at the top of her voice. And by “the tunes”, I mean “Let it go”. Over and over. And over. The repetition is enough to bring me to tears. We finally had to threaten the demise of this beloved song on her iPad if she didn’t start listening to other songs. So she found another version of Let It Go on her playlist. Smart kid.
We’ve seen it in the past, but Abigail being nearly 10 seems like she’s going on mid-teens some days. She’s a good kid for the most part, but some times she gets something into her head and that’s that.
The whole hands on the hips thing is enough to drive me crazy, but of course, as with everything, Aimie and I try to choose out battles carefully. Some aren’t worth fighting. Abigail has also developed an insanely violent way of crossing her arms, such that I think she’ll turn into a pretzel if she does it any harder. But it sure shows us how much she disagrees with us at that moment. There’s also some stomping away that’s happened lately, but so far my threats of leg amputation have put an end to that.
Amalie doesn’t have a real attitude around the house yet. But we’ve certainly seen it when she plays with her friends. She won’t let herself get pushed around, and that’s the kind of attitude I am just fine with. She will be a very strong woman some day and I’m proud to see her standing up for herself, even at 5 years old.
Andon has no attitude at all, except for when it comes to going to bed. He was the best sleeper of all time, telling us when he got tired and that he wanted to go to bed. Suddenly, when he turned 3, everything changed. It’s so brutal now!
Andon: “Dad, I can’t go to bed.”
Me: “Yes, you can. And you have to, son. It’s 8 o’clock and you know that means it’s bed time.”
Andon: “Are you sure it’s 8 o’clock. I don’t think so. The clock says 12.”
Me: “That’s the minutes hand. But even if it WAS 12, that would mean… ah, never mind. IT’S BED TIME!”
Andon: “You have to help me brush my teeth.”
Me: “Of course! Where is your toothpaste?”
Andon: “I put it away so that I wouldn’t have to go to bed. You said I can’t go to bed without brushing my teeth.”
Me: “GET YOUR TOOTHPASTE OUT NOW!”
Andon: “Sorry, Dad. Here it is.” We brush his teeth. “Can I have my music on and my light on?”
Me: “No. The music, yes. The light, no.”
Andon: “Then I might trip over something and fall, Dad.”
Me: “You will be in bed. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, OK?”
Andon: “But Dad, I always play in my room after you put me to bed.”
I confirmed this with the girls. After we put all three of them to bed, Andon quietly gets up every evening and plays, sometimes for HOURS! What a crazy kid. He gets that from his mom, by the way.
Oh and speaking of playing, I’m not sure where he gets this from, but Andon is an absolute vehicle freak. He plays with them all day, every day. His real obsession is construction, and he makes massive scenarios in his room, surrounded by his excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks and the like. It’s adorable to watch how carefully he places everything. Every vehicle, every building, every piece has to be in its place and only then will he actually start playing. A bit of OCD coming through there, but with that German blood in his veins, what else could we expect?
We’ve also noticed that our kids change their minds. A lot. With the girls, it happens to revolve around clothing. It’s such a weird thing.
Their Oma told us to buy their Christmas presents, because she didn’t know exactly what they want. So we took the girls to Ivviva, or however you spell that. They both love that place. We let them go on a mini shopping spree, allowing them to pick their own stuff, but advising them that they’ll need to wait until Christmas. They understood that.
Fast forward to the gift opening. Abigail tears into her present from Oma. It’s all a bit anti-climatic because we know that she knows what she’s getting. The gift wrap flying, she rips open the box. An look of horror crossed with unadulterated disappointment covers her face instantly. She closes the box lid and sets it down. And violently crosses her arms.
Me, praying my mom didn’t see the reaction: “Um, Abby, is something wrong?”
Abigail: “Those pants are awful. I won’t wear them. Did you SEE them?”
Me: “Well not just right now, I didn’t. But I do remember seeing them in the store.”
Abigail: “Well, if you saw them, you wouldn’t have bought them. Because they’re so ugly. I won’t wear them.”
Me: “OK. That’s, like, super-interesting and even a tad surprising, since you’re the one who picked them out. Remember we went shopping at Ivviva? And you guys picked stuff out to be Oma’s presents for you for Christmas?”
Abigail: “Pfffft. I would NEVER choose those pants. They’re awful. I won’t wear them.”
Me: “Oh, man, that’s really too bad. OK, you know what, that’s really not a problem. We’ll give them to your sister then – she’d love to get two pairs of Ivviva pants for Christmas.”
Abigail, ripping the box open and pulling the pants on in the biggest hurry: “OMA! I LOVE THESE PANTS! THEY’RE THE BEST! THANK YOU!”
Me: “I have no words.”
School and other stuff
Not much new in school. Abigail is in Grade 5 – she loves choir and dance and is an AMA street crossing guard; Amalie is in Grade 1 – her forte is art and she is such a great little artist, never ceasing to amaze us with new methods, mediums and colours she is working with. Andon tells everyone he’s in kindergarten, which is an out-and-out lie – he still hangs out with Aimie’s parents and my parents during the day and we’re told on a daily basis – “He’s such a perfect boy. What a well-behaved kid!” I guess so – when he’s asleep.
We are going to Europe for a month next summer. The trip will start with 8 days in Paris because it’s been too long that my wife hasn’t been there. And she deserves it. We’re also heading back to Bruges (one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been) in Belgium and spending 3 or 4 days each in rural France, Switzerland and Austria. But the end of the trip will, of course, be in our beloved Germany where most of my extended family is.
Though we are German, and Aimie and I speak, read and write it fluently, we have dropped the ball somewhat when it comes to passing that on to our kids. Therefore, to make up for our shortcomings as parents and to prepare them for the trip, we’ve enrolled them in German school this year. Since September, they’ve been going to German school each Saturday for 3 hours.
Here’s the irony. I attended German school for 3 hours each Saturday when I was a kid and I swore to my parents that I would never, on pain of death, submit my children to such horrors. And look where we are today. Thankfully my girls are still enjoying it each week. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the teachers today aren’t smacking the kids on the hand with a metre stick when you speak out of turn. Who knows? If you attended the German Church Saturday School, I’m sure the ghost of Frau Jon still haunts you as it does me: “DU SCHREIBST!” followed by a deft ear-flick. Good times.
On December 27th, we all had a big family dental appointment. Everything went pretty well, including Andon’s first real check-up. He was relaxed as all get out. Also, we’re taking out a second mortgage so we can pay for the dental work he’ll likely need.
At the end of the day, we are having a blast as a family. We get through each day, trying to be thankful for the endless blessings we receive from the moment we wake till the moment we close our eyes again. Our tradition of eating at the table remains solidly in place. We refuse to eat at the TV. We give each kid (and each parent!) a turn to recount the best and the worst part of their day. We laugh together. We cry together. We go for walks. We listen to each other. We go tobogganing. We go shopping. The common thread is this – we do it together. We’re trying to spend as much time as a family unit.
There will be plenty of time to watch movies and TV and to do our own thing when the kids don’t want to spend time with us anymore. Until then, we’re getting as much of them as we can and loving (almost) every minute of it. Right now, any one of these three crazy kids will happily run into my arms and let me hold them and kiss them. And that makes all the other stuff seem minor. I never know exactly what happened to them that day, and I never know exactly what they need from their daddy, so I make sure I’m never the first one to let go when I’m hugging them, because I don’t want to give them less than they need from me right then. Did I mention I’m crazy about my babies? They make my world go ’round.
Hoping your year has started off well, and wishing you all a blessed, happy, healthy 2014 from us – the Sedens family.
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