Thursday, August 25, 2011

Contradiction’s and comparison’s…and gabbys first taste of italian gluten :-(

Ok, I lied, I said I would not compare… an ideal world that would be the case …. But alas, I am imperfect and I have sucombe to the temptation of comparing cross culturally!!!! Eeeek!!! I know not glamorous, but unavoidable sorry…..
I am not completely to blame though…. I like to think I have been culturally pressured into contemplating the differences…. Especially when it comes to the children’s local park….
Yes… the park … of all places… this is where I am having to dig deep for blending in purposes….by profession I research in childhood injury prevention and am well aware of the many dangers that threaten our youngsters…. BUT I have always let my children run free in the park – unless they are strangling each other – it is a chance for them to explore and mingle without there mother looming over there shoulder, and in my opinion of my children, they are more than physically capable….The benefits of growth this has on the children are fantastic: there confidence to do things independently both physically and socially (they socialize much better without me around) is far too great to be wasted on being “precious in the park”…. So as you may have guessed, my three rambunctious little aussies are causing a bit of a stir at the park, as I take a blissful opportunity to relax on a park bench and watch my children play.  Here at least the local Italian mamma’s and nonna’s are close beside there children (as old as Gabby) for there duration at the park….. and if the inevitable spill occurs, it is such a drama!!! Here comes the comparison….eek… “with my children…” a simple spill does get acknowledgement, I just say “dust it off – you’ll be right!” and they generally carry on… In Australia this form of acknowledgement is acceptable – but not on your nelly, here in the lucca parks,  a simple spill gets almost park shut down…..

The contradiction:
This may sit more comfortably with me if for instance, these families attending the park rode off wearing helmets. It is a rare sight to spot a bicycle helmet in this town and formal bike restaints even less.
If we take it futher afield… a complete ignorance to safety of the road and with driving…. Children are seemingly treated like precious crystals at the park but everybody drives like lunatics on the road – again often improperly restraining children….I know this is just a small sample size but I am getting over the evil eyes and gasps of exasperation at the park…. Next Tuesday I am meeting up with a new crowd at a new park and hopefully we fit in better….

New friends…
On a brighter note we met up with a family from Gabby’s school whom we did not know previously until we decided to come to Lucca.  Jane and Laurie had 3 kids in Gabby’s school and have been here in Lucca for 12 months… all three of there children are now fluently speaking in Italian. We spent a lovely afternoon and evening with our new friends and with twin 9 year old boys Jane didn’t blink twice at the style of my children playing…. Jane had an abundance of local tips and tricks, and Laurie had some great bargain tips….. We ended up staying for dinner the took a stroll with gelati, we inherited a few old hand-me-down bikes and we finally arrived home at 11.30 pm for bedtime….
Gabby’s first Gluten run-in
Yesterday Gabby accidentally consumed one of the boys slices of pizza at lunch time and as per usual she started throwing up. I mentioned this to my landlady and she insisted to take us to their third generation pediatric homeopathic dr. Only catch was she could only meet us outside the city walls…Gabby was still throwing up ferociously…and the boys were in the middle of their afternoon nap!! So against the grain again, I shook the boys up told them it was an emergency, and carried a vomiting Gabby downstairs… The boys lept to attention and were on a mission, with scooters under foot they were off… With Gabby flopping around on the back of my bike …. Vomiting all the way…. You can imagine the spectacle we caused on our way out of town….
In the end we saw the lovely Dr and he prescribed a plethora of homeopathic remedies…. We usually can do nothing in these gluten-crises moments so it felt good to think we were doing something…. But I have to say, Gabby has recovered very quickly today much faster than usual! So we will keep this remedy close to us at all times…
In fact she has recovered so well that this afternoon we are off to see our friend Flavio at the horse riding school for lessons right now!!!

Ciao amici!! 
a late night stroll and gelati with new amici :-)

.... and speaking of comparisons... park attire.... my birkenstocks are a world away from platform wedges an a mini ruffle skirt :-)

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