This blog was born in french during autumn 2003 and is now progressively being translated in your language.
New articles will therefore appear on a regular basis.
... my apologies to the people who hadn't understood this yet, all articles on this website are created and written by myself (his dad).
Lou is currently unable to do it,, just like he is to this day unable to grasp the concept of a "computer", "internet", or to focus for a long period of time on a conversation. Only time will tell us if we manage to integrate him completely in the world in which he lives.
Therefore all stories, despite relating actual facts, are obviously biased by my interpretation of his behavior. But having known him for over five years, I don't think I'm getting it wrong.
Thank you to the "Roi Baudoin" foundation ( "Parcours hors pistes" ). The new design, hosting and translations were partially made possible by their financial support.
Many thanks to Marco Pappalardo et Laetitia Bouet for the translation.
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wednesday 19 october 2005
127. In the car
(or how daddy exploits his flaws for educational purposes)
I know all about the car, and I like it even if it's not always fascinating. (I can't see the landscape). Good thing there's the radio and the conversations with my own personal chauffeur.
For example, to go to school, we cross the woods with the numerous wide turns pressing me against either side of my appointed little seat. Daddy takes advantage of the situation to explain to me : "We tuuuuuurn left and you are pushed to the right ! We tuuuuuuuurn right and you are pushed to the left ! Fun isn't it ?" I do like it, but the centrifugal force is quite a concept to grasp, even though in practice I am under its influence quite often (merry go rounds, spin wheels, etc ...). Speaking of which, I also understood the meaning of the word "traffic jam", because thanks to our daily morning crossing of the woods I know all about them. That said I can't complain : I know kids at my school who drive a hundred and fifty kilometers every morning and every evening in a schoolbus. As a result : they have to wake up at 5:30 am !
126. Chronicles of time passing (7) : keep smiling !
There's nothing like humour ! That's a promise from a teasing and waggish little Lou.
I love to laugh and to hear others laugh. Why be sad when you can be happy ! Daddy and mommy love laughing, but sometimes they're too serious with their offspring (namely bibi !). I love hearing others laugh or laughing myself so much. If it were up to me, I could picture a world where I would only be adressed in a humorous and playful way. But apparently life is not all about jokes and it seems to require a good ammount of energy and time. Sometimes I feel a little let down, because I really don't care about time. Oh well, nobody's perfect ... except me, humour-wise. I swear !
I told you we went to the playground fifteen days ago (art. 110). Well daddy grabbed the chance to film me when I improvised a song on the swing set. You can see it here : watch the video.
P.S.: daddy added subtitles, but they're not very visible on the net so here is a transcription :
The into : "In 4 days it's ... (?) 's birthday... I... I... what you say. I'm singing the song."
The song :
"With Marie Anne, la la la la... At Marie Ann's, I understand. It's the radio... was in a locker box. I understand if the "banne du" (?) Were in a radio, Were in a ... With Grampa we obey... to Marie-Anne And I can't say swear words ! "Piapaille" woops (bis) And in "piapaille" woops, with grampa... "piapaille" woops, woops, I was there (?) At the swear wo.. wo.. wo.. woops, swear words, in the trashcan ! So below the... She said (?) The the the Petho at Matie-Anne's...vAt Marie-Anne's" (...)
My dictionary (so you can understand) : -Marie Anne, my school teacher, doesn't want me to say swear words, "which go to the trash can" (dixit Marie-Anne). - the "locker box" is the place where my teacher wants me to learn to put away my coat and my bag. - "piapaille" is a word I made up and I like very much. - "wooops" replaces swear words - the "Petho" (the Petho table) is a psychomotility table (in the classroom) which I don't like too much. So all in all this does make sense! (hum...)
Gasp! It's been raining all day ... No sunday market with daddy. But I'm comfortable with it
and I'm having a great day full of uncontrollable laughters.
Already at 4 a.m. I was in great shape. When daddy nicely came to tell me I had to sleep, I answered right back : "I don't wanna!". He said I would be tired tomorrow, that it was night, and that if I didn't want to sleep, I had to let others sleep nonetheless. I must say I was singing "gho - ghosts" from Henri Dès at the top of lungs, playing drums with my feet against the Fisher Price "awakening board", which has been hanging from my bed's bars since I was a baby ( you know, that plastic board with : a phone that goes "crrr" when you dial, a roll shaped like a rain stick, a little rabbit and a little turtle that race when you push them and make a "tac-tac-tac-tac-tac" sound, a bell, etc... ) I love that thing, it's a point of spatial reference in my bedroom. Besides I do almost all the creative things ... with my eyes closed (obviously!), and with my toes, mind you! Also sometimes - for example that night -, I use it as drums by kicking it. I swear the result is not bad at all : kind of like shaking a shoebox filled with marbles. At 4 a.m., in the quiet of the night, you better believe me when I say the sound is worth it. Anyway, daddy told me to try to get some sleep and most importantly to stop making noise.
I don't know if I slept, but at 9 a.m., daddy woke up to me discreetly singing. That's right, I got the message. When he walked into the room, we played "weeping chair" (the tickles from article 16), switching roles. Because, big news, now I also tickle others. (as a reaction
my parents overdo it, I can tell, but I love to hear them laugh).
Then I had my sunday breakfast with daddy. It seemed like it would never end - I left the table at 11:30 - because we kept talking daddy and me, about the countries, the winter, and most of all Mister RenÈ who kept turning the lawn mower on and off. Daddy would play the role of the person getting mad at Mister RenÈ (me) every time I would make the sound of the lawn mower being turned on or off. I must say I'm becoming quite good with that kind of imitation, down to the sound of the blades that stop spinning.
After breakfast we played with a toy that used to belong to Eva when she was little, which daddy pulled out from the bottom of a closet and which I especially love : it's a big plastic talking alarm clock that tells you the time when you manually spin the hands. Daddy explained to me that the hands (the big one and the small one) represent time passing, and therefore hours. I didn't entirely get it, nor did I pay attention because the only thing that really turned me on was hearing the synthetic voice tell the time. I must say one of my favorite sentences at the moment is "what time is it ?". Sometimes even every five minutes when I feel like it. It's just a game though, because I actually don't care at all about what time it is. Need proof ? Last night. Besides time is a notion that seems so complicated to me, and sometimes so stressful to you, you, the "not-like-me".
So I think daddy, smart guy, will try to explain to me again the concept of time passing, hours, days, etc... The synthetic voice wakes me up : "it-is-quarter-past-...-seven-". It's time for daddy to join me before I go to bed.
I don't know why daddy and mommy are always asking me to keep my fingers out of my mouth when I talk. It's so fun to play with your teeth, your cheek, your tongue. I'm giving myself my own check-up basically !
Anyway, I must admit that when I talk like that it's even harder to follow. I figured that out because my parents came up with a trick : they answer with their fingers in their mouth. So I laugh and I obey ... right after doing it one last time to say : "houhou, 'e 'usn't 'ut 'is 'ingers 'n 'is 'outh !"
Me from my bathtub (in the neighbouring room) : -Daddy ? Daddy, it looks like the bath is not sinking... You musn't be afraid ! Daddy (in his office, sitting at the computer) : -You're right buddy, you musn't be afraid : the bath is not sinking. And anyway it's not that bad...
This sinking bath incident dates back to three months ago, at Grandpa's and Grandma's : a loose cap, unless I pulled it, and the tub emptied at full speed. An unprecedented panic attack ... which I often bring up. Put yourself in my shoes for a moment :
I must say, to be completely honest, that I did enter my "no phase" a few weeks ago. I say "no" to everything, about everything, about anything (including the things I like) : just to see ... who's boss !
No, I don't want to go to the market with daddy on sunday (we went anyway and I had lots of fun : the funfair was there with the merry-go-rounds) No, I don't want to go to bed, take my bath, eat, play, obey...
....so the tension rises and my parents deploy the big artillery : they can't afford a trench war or to let me have the last word. Even worse, I can tell they have formed and alliance and are sticking together. They use the big artillery right away : deep voice, and as a last resort, force ! ....And I can't compete with that. Good thing I found my favorite battlefield : the staircase.
That's it ! No doubt about it. Maybe you too had felt this coming, post after post : daddy and mommy have decided to make my life a living hell. Help ! Hello, Child Focus? Abused kids helpline !
I don't know what they ate for breakfast (lion or mad cow ?), whatever it was, the confrontation is turning into a trench war. It's World War Four. Do you realize how unfair that is ? Me, a little five year old boy, handicapped, blind, versus two adults. It's not fair !
I'm becoming aware of "myself", a few years behind other kids, a moment ever so important in my life. But instead of leaving me in my self-determination, they're putting barriers and stop signs everywhere ! I'm not making this up, just keep reading : no more hiding behind my "little dog Courage" character, no more leading the conversation by imposing the questions I would like to be vasked, and no more saying "no" all the time. And I'm supposed to stand by and do nothing ? I have a nobility title : I'm a little prince, that is to say a future king ! Imagine if, as an adult, I didn't have any subjects left at my service...
The worst part about all this is that mommy and daddy keep using the excuse that "I'm just a little boy", "I'm not the boss", "I must do what grown ups tell me to", etc... In short, according to them I should smile and accept my destitution. My answer is therefore clear : "No means no !"
When I'm ill, it's a national affair ! It's like dealing with a baby (despite the fact I'm five years old) : since I have trouble expressing myself clearly, the only thing I can do is cry or get angry because I'm hurting. These are the only symptoms of my general state, besides fever or external symptoms (runny nose etc...) So figuring out what's wrong isn't easy for my parents. At best I'll say "it hurts", but without specifying where.
As you may have noticed, my reactions are very impulsive during my social interactions with people. If we click, they are automatically integrated in my verbal anthology, according to my mood at the time. Actually, with me, the trick is to just go for it, but without rushing me : just build a bridge to my little universe. After that it's a piece of cake !
An example ? This summer, while on vacation in the Southern France, Red (who's a very close friend of daddy and mommy) joined us for a few days.
Since about ten days ago, two new characters made their appearence in my monologues and other stories I make up.
The thing is as soon as I'm left unattended, I seize the chance to talk to myself. I create stories with the words going through my mind and the main characters in my life, including fictional characters. It's usually far from being logical and structured, and I tend to frequently skip from one subject to the other.
On top of it, every time I make up stories I do it like comedians reading stories on tape or on CD : I change my voice according to the character I'm playing ( just like Marlene Jobert reading "Goldilocks" ). In short I constantly change the tone of my voice with every character, and since I sometimes mumble, it becomes kind of hard to follow !
So trying to figure out which characters are real and which ones are fictional can be a real brain teaser for my parents.
In the country where I live, there are 3 official languages. So starting from age 9 kids pick a second language at school. Including my sister Eva since the beginning of this schoolyear. She came home singing songs in Dutch ... I was immediately hooked once my parents explained to me that it was another language, like English. It didn't take more for me to start imitating Eva or asking daddy to speak in Dutch. Since he knows some basics, hij heeft mij in vlaams beantwoorden ( ...erm... ) (he replied
in Dutch). I burst into laughter.
Since then, and especially during these holidays in the Ardennes, I regularly ask daddy to speak to me in Dutch. And I imitate him in a funny way, such as "ay, oy, oy, oy, oy" (because many words in that language "sound" a bit like "ay" or "hey" in English).
The picture is from one of those meals where daddy imitates me when I'm speaking Dutch. Needless to say I love it !
Note : Dear reader, please don't interpret any part of this article as making fun of my Dutch friends !
Another thing I love about the house in the Ardennes is the huge fireplace. Even if I can't see it, I love walking from the couch towards the fire and stopping right before the hearth (... under close scrutiny from my parents). I then carefully extend my little hands, slightly lean forward, and turn my head sideways to feel the warmth on my cheeks. It looks like I'm listening to the fire. Which I also do. I was even probably initially attracted to the fire because of the noise. A noisy heatsource ... now there's something strange and interesting. Unlike radiators or gas heaters, you can really a fire live ! As a matter of fact that's precisely why I love the radiator in my room in the country house (note : it's never properly drained!). It constantly sounds like a small stream. I even learned to operate the valve so I can make it stop or, on the contrary, let it run.
But the ONE thing that sealed our friendship was the old couch with springs. I love jumping and bouncing on the couches of the country house ( back home they don't bounce ). So it became one of my favorite games over there. I started jumping on the couch yelling " Bam in the couch, bam in the couch !" And soon enough Coline joined me. So we jumped and sang that little tune for an hour at least, laughing as hard as we could. You can imagine how excited we were, especially since I've pretty much mastered said couch : I can jump as high as 30 or 40 centimeters (1 to 1.3 feet), and once I've jumped high enough I leap back in the couch. In the evening, when she left, you could've scraped me off the floor. Dead, exhausted, but also extremely excited !
In conclusion, meeting Coline was heaps of fun and we'll certainly see each other again, even if she lives far away.
Since my mommy and Coline's mommy share the same first name, I made fun of this homonymy with her and that broke the ice between us. We both started calling our own mother : Me : "Mommy Claire ?" My mommy : "Yes ?" Coline : "Mommy Claire ?" Her mommy : "Yes ?" ... and so on, for our greates amusement !
Then our parents wanted us to play with the djembe, since we're both not too bad with
that instrument. I gave them a quick demonstration, just to please them. As for Coline, she didn't let them turn her into a circus animal and she simply refused, clever girl. Then she started playing with my little electric piano, while I was playing with my "Buzz Lighyear" phone (you didn't expect me to play with her dolls did you !). So we just had fun making quite a cacophony ... (... to be continued)