Monday, August 3, 2009

Quiet as a mouse

Amongst other delights this weekend, we took Eve to the library. I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of our library, mainly because I don't have to read the same books over and over, but also because Eve can happily run riot in all the space and come to relatively little harm. As always, however, I am left wondering why Eve seems so different from other children.

When we got to the library we had a quick stop first in the cafe. The Boy had not eaten since our vast breakfast, it was early evening, so I needed to fortify him with cheesecake. As we were sitting down, I jealously looked at the other Chinese children. They were sitting quietly, reading their books or just, well, sitting quietly. Eve decided to run around like a loon, eating pieces of lemon I had given her, climbing onto chairs, chatting to other people, climbing onto a concrete plinth and shouting at the top of her voice. All the while the nice quiet Chinese children were being very well behaved while their parents looked upon my little show with horror.

A similar thing happened on Sunday in the playground where the Boy and I had taken Eve. The little chinese girl, who is the same age as Eve, was playing nice and quietly while Eve was swinging from the bars, stealing toys from other children and generally being, well, Eve. I found myself apologising more than once as she pushed past another, quieter, child on the way to the slide. I reprimanded her when she snatched or pushed, but she is a toddler and doesn't quite understand the concept of sharing yet.

I can't figure out why Eve never sits still and is always climbing or chatting or making mischief while all the other children just sit demurely and do as they are told. I am clearly doing something very, very wrong in this respect. Maybe she lacks discipline, although we hardly let her run riot at home. Much as I tell myself I am raising a confident, inquisitive little girl, I would also like to occasionally have a nice little girl who sits still and doesn't throw her food or herself on the floor.


Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

If you find out how they do it will you let me know? I don't have quiet ones either.

Mummy said...


London City mum said...

Possibly the fact that when at home/school/nursery/holiday club they have to behave, to a certain extent, and hence have a propsensity to let off steam when away from the afore-mentioned places? Think this is often mistaken for a 'second wind' in our household, as you think that after a 10 hour day spent playing/learning/spending time with their peers while we are at work, they could not POSSIBLY still have energy left? Alas, not so.

Just take heart that the nice quiet Chinese children are probably the most ill-behaved, terrifying little minxes in their own environment and their parents' living rooms are covered in food/paint/playdough/sticky handprints/etc.

Either that or they access to their mummy's valium cupboard behind her back.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

LCM - you are definitely right on the letting off steam. The boys nursery teachers talk about how well they listen (listen? listen? I keep thinking I need to take them to the Doctor as their ears blatantly don't work) and they are not even listening in a language they can speak! When I pick them up they are like champagne corks coming out of a bottle. Quiet time? As likely as bath time without water all over the floor.

Drugs might be the way forward... for them and me!