Friday, 22 October 2010
Looking for trouble.
Romy and Ruy stay for lunch at school and eat a 3 course meal everyday. As parents, we are given a list of each day's menus. 'Comedor' (or dining room) as it is called is staffed by dinner ladies whose job it is is to train children from an early age to eat beans, lentils, vegetables, chickpeas and other things that parents sometimes find difficult to get their children to eat at home. I have heard parents anxiously asking whether their child had eaten their lunch that day and sometimes, it is clear that the poor thing has had no choice at all! These women are not to be argued with. On the whole, I approve of the attempt to widen or awaken their taste buds though at the same time, I feel a bit guilty that I allow my children to 'refuse' these things at home and that I have opted for the Comedor service, where I know the children are given many things they don't like. (I have to add that I make a delicious lentil soup and the children do eat vegetables every day!)
Guilt aside, on the whole, they do eat well at school and very often say how much they have enjoyed their lunch. Mateo has no such luxury and has to come home to eat - but at least he loves chickpeas!
Last night, as they were all getting ready for bed, Romy serenely announced "Tomorrow, I want to be 'castigado' at Comedor". Mateo looked at her and said, "I don't think you know what that means" and I agreed with him because 'castigado' means punished. However, Romy said she did know and that she really did want to be castigado tomorrow. When I asked why, she said she wanted to be castigado because tomorrow, 'alubias blancas' (white beans) were on the menu and she didn't like them.
Still puzzled, I asked why she would be castigado for not liking white beans and she said, "Because I am not going to eat them".
And that was that.
We shall see but I suspect she will not be the one to give in first.
Mateo is also struggling a little with his English teacher, who insists on telling him that he has got answers wrong in his tests - such as answering the question, "Have you got a dog" with the reply, "No, I don't have a dog".
I can see why "No, I haven't got a dog" might be slightly better but struggle to see why Mateo was marked incorrect for his first answer.
Also - and bear in mind the phrasing of the first question - he was told his answer "Yes, I have got a brother and a sister" was wrong in response to the question, "Do you have any brothers or sisters"....he was told he should not have used the word 'got'.
All this from a man who pronounces the word 'Thames' as it is written! I ask you!!! Fortunately, Mateo is rather amused by this though Cesar is most definitely not. We have a meeting next week with the school.
Ruy, on the other hand, came home very proudly yesterday with his latest maths test result which was the best of all the Year 4 students.
Without wanting to label my children in any way, I can't help but think about Myers-Briggs and note that Ruy takes in detail, facts and information in a very 'Sensory' manner which really helps in early school life compared to a child (like Mateo) who has a strong 'Intuitive' approach as to how he takes in information. To Ruy, if something is explained to him, he understands it, thinks about it, mentally sorts it and can then apply it appropriately and when required. To Mateo, I really do see that if he is given one bit of information, it triggers all sorts of other questions, ideas, images - it opens doors to other things, makes patterns, reminds him of something else - so that when he has to demonstrate his understanding, he can't relocate the original information or doesn't know where to start to apply it. I think in his previous school, there was more scope for this way of thinking but here in Spain, the 'S' preferences definitely seem to have an advantage.
Romy's preference lie somewhere in between the two boys, not absolutely clear yet - though of course, I do already know that her preference is NOT for white beans!