Coddling

Last night Rubi came down with a fever and we put her to bed on an empty stomach (her choose) and a dose of baby tylenol (little 9 year old only weighs 60 pounds). Jai declared that he would not go to school without Rubi.

Better together

Better together

 

The night before, Jai had a great time cruising around Mindo with his local friends. At one point he sprinted into the house, declared “can’t talk, can’t listen”, and ran upstairs. His face was red, his hair damp with sweat. He had paused long enough only to slip his blue crocs off his socked feet. By the time he descended the stairs, we had extracted from him that the snack bar at the soccer field was open and his friends were buying snacks and he had every intent of buying one also.

Don't forget to grab your TP BEFORE you go into the toilet room, or you'll regret it.

Don’t forget to grab your TP BEFORE you go into the toilet room, or you’ll regret it.

This morning he was a different person. Tears. Refusal to eat. Moving at glacial speeds when it was time to brush his teeth. He insisted that he could not go to school without Rubi. My heart was torn. Part of me wants to tell him, “it’s okay, you don’t have to go.” Part of me wants to tell him, you have to do it, you must learn to do those things that you think you can’t. Part of me just wants to say, “forget it, everyone can quit school.” The part of me that focuses on responsibility and “doing the right thing” wins and we strong arm him into going to school. He goes on an empty stomach (his choose).

Jai showing his tough guy side. A real tough guy sits behind him. I see this (very old) man walking around Mindo in his fatigues. This evening he was also wearing a plastic cape.

Jai showing his tough guy side. A real tough guy sits behind him. I see this (very old) man walking around Mindo in his fatigues. This evening he was also wearing a plastic cape.

Jai has been spreading his money around Mindo quite consistently. He’s declared how happy he is that he’s “old enough to go shopping alone.” The town of Mindo is ran by the children. The children serve pizzas to tourists in their grandparents’ restaurants. The children lead their younger siblings around town, unaccompanied by an adult, even as the younger sibling is just learning to walk. The children ride bikes down the middle of the street and buy candy unencumbered. When the community boxing ring is not occupied by muscular men bouncing around in sweats, the children hang from the ropes and wrestle in the ring.

More creative architecture. A house on the river!

More creative architecture. A house on the river!

Last night, I saw a boy, barely 3, playing in the dark street, alone. He had what looked like a bone…. a round bone with the center hollowed out. He was pressing it into the dirt, trying to see what shapes he formed, then wiping them clean with a large brown leaf. His play was like my children’s play. We bought plastic shapes and pre-made play-doh dyed into different colors. We set them up at our kitchen table and videotaped their play as they pressed shapes and used a variety of little purchased tools to create. When they were done, I’d clean up their mess.

I love what the people do with wood and windows

I love what the people do with wood and windows

Are my children coddled? Are they made to do what is hard? Have we reached a middle ground? I cannot decide.

Insert photo of interesting architecture

Alas, it is Friday. This weekend marks our second week here. Tomorrow Brennan and I will travel by bus into Quito to do a bit of Christmas shopping and learn the bus system in a low pressure situation. Then Saturday night we will attend a community event to raise funds and show support to a local woman whose son was diagnosed with leukemia. I imagine his mom would like to coddle him.

Insert photo of river

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2 Responses to “Coddling”

  1. Daisy says:

    Hi Rubi! hope you feel better and i hope you will have a merry christmas!!!

  2. Sofia says:

    Hi Rubi and Jai! i hope you get better soon Rubi:)

    It looks super fun!!!

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