Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url: http://flickr.com/photos/35090117@N05/collections/
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
He now totally gets the idea of deals – “Eat all your food and you can have chocolate pie” - and we thought we had entered a golden age. Not so. It seems that our two year old is as adept at deal-making as we are.
“Come on, Leo, get your shoes, we have to go into the village.”
“No. No car.”
“Yes. We have to.”
“Car, then swim.”
“We'll see how it goes.”
“Leo swim, Papa swim, Mama swim, Dogs swim.”
“Okay we'll all go swimming when we get back.”
So Leo then gets his shoes and proceeds happily to the car. He falls asleep on the ride into the village and doesn't wake up until we get home. And we figure we are off the hook, but then his eyes flicker open, look around and he says “Swim”.
We have started swimming every day in our pond. We have put our name down for a machine that is in the area. When he gets around to us (the list is fairly long), we will be able to fix the pond, allowing 2 more meters (or 6 more feet) of depth, as well as making it wider. But even in its broken and depleted state, it is still over my head in the center. Leo loves it. He begs to go swimming all day, every day. He's not yet swimming, or even close, but he is making a lot of progress and his confidence grows each time we go down there.
His language skills are also improving rapidly. He learns new words every day, even if he doesn't pronounce them all very well. For example, he loves to play with the numerous amount of frogs that are around our place, but he pronounces them “Cocks”. Always makes me giggle when I hear him shout “Cocks. More cocks for Leo. Where more cocks?” Oh well, I still have time to mature, I guess. We are also in the “watch what you say” phase: one of his favorite sayings right now is “Oh shit!”.
We have a bunch of fridge magnet letters and numbers, which he increasingly likes to play with. He brings us letters and tells what they are (B, bear. C, car. He knows more than half of them now). He also says numbers up to five easily, though he doesn't always use them in the right place. He gets two consistently right, but then we'll add another item and he repeats two. When we say three, he'll repeat it.
He's still very helpful. He tidies his toys away well. Loves to get your slippers, put things in the trash, etc. He especially likes to help mama make chocolate cheesecake, which makes for a great photo if nothing else.
I have started telling him stories whenever he gets a little upset and looks like a meltdown might be coming. They always start “once upon a time there was a little boy named Leo and he had two dogs, Salsa and Gracie. One day...”. It almost always settles him and he starts to tell me what story to tell – that they meet a bird, or cow, or fish, that it gets dark and they see the moon and stars, that a car comes and his grandparents, Momo and Popo are here, etc. It's kind of fun, as he gets so excited when I incorporate what he wants into the story – he will often cuddle me and say “Good girl, mama.”.
I think I probably portray Leo in an overly wonderful light. For the most part, he is a great kid, but he is a two year old and he does have his moments – refusing to do what you want, whining, crying, etc. In this we are sometimes (though not always) able to employ the help of a little friend – Alfie. Alfie is a hand puppet that Abe had when he was a kid (you know, from ALF the TV show), and Leo adores him. Alfie can tell Leo to do anything and he'll do it. Alfie wants an elephant, a circle, a blue cup, etc. Leo will go get it. Alfie wants to put Leo's shoes on (a battle at times, as Leo still prefers to go barefoot), he'll go get them. Leo even puts Alfie on the toilet each day. Alfie is a master tool of manipulation, working for the parental units!
Leo has developed a cute-ish habit. He'll poop in the toilet in the morning, but for his evening poop, he much prefers to strip down naked and go outside. At first we thought this was hilarious and humored him. However, it has started to dawn on us that this is perhaps not socially acceptable behavior for all places – somehow city folk are fine with you pooper-scooping a dog's shit, but the same does not apply to children! Oh well. I'm sure this will not be the only obstacle we face with him entering the real world (he already finds it funny and delightful that there is water in other people's toilet). I sometimes wonder how he will view his upbringing when he grows up and sees a little more of what the world has to offer. I guess we'll find out soon enough at the rate that time is passing.
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