I'd just like to start out with this little visual. A month ago I was at the WBYC with N. (wishing you were there T!) at the pool looking out over a lake, yesterday I was at a pool (with children) looking out over a lake. And downtown Zürich. And the Alps. I couldn't help but laugh at how [some] things never change.
I actually used my American heritage to my benefit twice in the past week.
1). The great American pastime: Baseball. Since the discipline of young children is difficult (and more difficult when conversations with their parents go something like: "Mom, can I play my DS?" "No, you're listening to the story you wanted." "Moooooooom.... Ugh." "No you still cannot play." "Mom, please please please can I play it?" "No you may not." "Mooooom." "Fine, play." or "Stephanie, pick up your shoes." "You do it!"--when that happens to me I usually go "Say what?!"), I decided that something needed to be done. Here's where baseball comes in, say I have to ask them to do something three times, well that's a strike. Three strikes and you are in time-out (of a fun activity). You also get to first, second, third, or home for doing nice things, like sharing without being told to, helping your sibling or me, or asking the polite way before being told. It's actually helping. Thank you baseball!
2). Last week I was babystting and Stepahnie asked me to sing her a song at bedtime. She said her mom always sings her French lullabyes, and her dad even sings to her too. For the life of me I couldn't remember Twinkle Twinkle, or Rock-a-Bye-Baby--anything. I didn't know any lullabyes so I sang Stephanie the national anthem and "Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies"--she hasn't asked me to sing since!
Lastly, while we were at the pool yesterday Stephanie was chatting with one of her friends (they are 5) about marriage. She said, "When two girls get married they can have two babies, but when two boys get married they can have zero babies, but I think they can buy them."