Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
- Last night, Tony said "I am not going to bed." In Chinese, of course.
- This morning, Tony said "I am not going to school." Again, in Chinese.
- This morning, Tony then tried to hide on the balcony so he didn't have to go to school.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
- Tony and his mother will go to Big Buddha theme park at Ling Shan. Jenny will thank the powers that be for having such a healthy and good looking son.
- Tony woke up at 200 a.m., and started crying for about twenty minutes. He needed water. He eventually fell back to sleep. Jenny supposes he had a nightmare.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
- Unlike yesterday, Tony woke up happy. Fifteen minutes before he would had to have gotten up, he was sitting up in bed. He even bent down to plant an affectionate kiss on his mom's cheek. His screams were screams of joy -- not protest.
- Tony laid out his own toy train track configuration last night. Unlike his father's which are closed and looped, Tony likes to make his tracks long and winding.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
- Tony fell asleep, last night, listening to some songs on my mobile phone's MP3 player. He even tried singing along to songs by The Jam (not Pearl Jam), slurring the words as he did so.
- This morning, Tony was not at all happy. He was saying, in Chinese, that he didn't want to get up and wanted to keep on sleeping. He was still crying when I put him on the Van that was to take him to kindergarten. He had even taken his school bag, and thrown it on the ground for some reason.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
So I'm not speaking with any confidence here. That said, the pattern in the Derb household is a sort of lower-key version of the Chuas: Mom does the tiger business, nagging and harassing the kids to do homework, music practice, chores, etc., while Dad flaps around vaguely in the background murmuring: "Perhaps we should let them go out and play now, honey …"
Mrs D has the Chua tendency, but in nothing like so concentrated a form as Amy Chua herself. There are no tooth-marks on our piano. The music lessons — daughter violin and dance, son piano and school band — were all her doing. It's she who pounces on the school reports and demands to know why this semester's grade in Social Science is three points lower than last. (How does she remember?)
Dad is more laissez-faire, sees himself in fact as somewhat like the God of the Deists, who kick-starts the Universe then lets it run with just an occasional nudge in the right direction. If what I see on the school reports agrees tolerably well with my own estimation of my kids' abilities — which is, in both cases, modestly above average — I'm content. Music lessons? Sure: but when my son reached the age at which bitter rebellion set in, I argued his case with the Mrs while secretly admiring his spirit.
You can in fact lead a horse to water and make him drink, but only up to a certain age. After that, reason, diplomacy, forbearance, and some fatalism are far more appropriate than Chua-style bullying, certainly for American kids. My own Tom Sawyer and Calamity Jane are now aged 15 and 18, and I have no illusions about my ability to do much moulding from here on out, other than perhaps by example and persuasion.
I am in any case, by conviction, quite a strong genetic determinist. I know myself; I know my brother; I knew my father; and when I look at my son, I know what I'm looking at. Not that I'm necessarily a hundred percent happy about it; but I believe I have done my best, and at this point can do very little more.
I find this interesting because I have a Chinese wife, and I have to admit that reading this passage, Derb says, better than ever I could, what goes on at Casa K with our 43 month year-old Tony. I can only modestly echo the similarities. JKIC (Mrs. K) has exhibited Chua Tendencies. She harasses Tony to behave. She is reading the reports the teachers send her about Tony. She gets in knots about Tony's progress against other students. I am a bystander saying "Don't be hard on the boy!" I share Derb's generic determinism but I prefer to say I am a genetic fatalist. So much with Tony is out of my hands.