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Married with one teenager. Love reading most genre, ok not scary stuff!!! Interested in genealogy. Have been tracing my family history since 1985. If you come across any errors or inconsistencies on this blog, please contact me so that I might look at correcting it or at least make a note that there are inconsistencies (which unfortunately happens)

My Family & Other Animals

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wally Lamb & Ben Elton

An unlikely pair I'm sure, but both amazing authors.

I have just finished reading 'We are water' by Wally Lamb. A tomb of a book, but so well worth the read. It tells the story of  Annie Oh. She was married 27 years and had 3 children with her husband Orion Oh, who is a psychologist.  There are the twins Andrew and Ariane and then the youngest Marissa. Annie is an artist whose art has been described as 'angry'.

She decides that she wants a divorce, before announcing that she is going to marry Viveca. A wealthy Manhattan female art dealer.

The story tells the tale from  Annie's child hood up to her marriage to Viveca. Each chapter is told from a different family members perspective. So well told and so riveting. An amazing story!

Prior to reading the above, I also sampled my first book from Ben Elton. 'Two brothers' starts in Berlin, Germany in the year 1920. Frieda Stengel and her husband Wolfgang are expecting twins. The story starts off with Frieda's water breaking and her husband putting her in a wooden wheelbarrow to carry her to the hospital.

At the same time in Munich the Nazi party was born, with Adolf Hitler as its supreme leader.

Frieda delivers two boys, one is still born. In another room a young mother passes away leaving her young son an orphan. When Frieda and Wolfgang leave the hospital they take home two boys. One is a Jew and the other is a 'bastard son of a dead Communist'. But neither of the boys know this as they grow up as twins.

This is an AMAZING story!! Very easy to read, though I was apprehensive all the way through. I did not want to put this book down, though eventually to my deep disappointment, I arrived at the end of the story. I loved it!!

Would recommend both of these books. Both are about the same size - huge tombs. But so well worth the effort.

Naughty Two's

My daughters girlfriend has two adorable children. Born a year apart, one turned two last Sunday and the other turned one on Wednesday. The oldest, a boy likes to take his time, development wise. He was slow to crawl, and even slower to walk and now at two only has two maybe three words in his vocabulary. His favourite being 'No'!!

So to say that he is getting frustrated is an understatement! He tries to tell you what he wants, and is learning that pointing gets it sometimes, with perseverance on the adults behalf paying dividends the rest of the time. Though knowing the child's habits help as well. Look at the clock and you can tell most of the time what he wants - food!! And if its not that then it is a sleep for everyone!!!

So, because he is not articulating what he wants he is getting frustrated. Probably over the last 6 months we have been seeing this and are at a loss what to do, because he hits you and if that is not bad enough he also bites, pulls your hair and scratches as well as having a scream that has such a high pitch that you imagine the glass is about to break!!!

Reading on-line forum's you see that there is a range of suggestions from biting him back to putting him in a 'time out' corner, to sitting him down and talking to him and telling him that biting is naughty and that he is NOT allowed to do it!

Well, when my daughter was 2 - 2 1/2 years old, she bit me on my arm and I lent over and bit her back. Didn't make me feel too good doing it, but guess what?? It worked, because she never ever did it again to anyone.

Then you have my sister, who as a child was also a biter. She tells me that she enjoyed biting and being bitten back made no difference, neither did being smacked or told off!!

I have tried a smack on the bottom (though with a nappy to cover it, the smack is not too hard) and also put him in the 'naughty' corner for 1-3 minutes.

We have also tried biting him back to see if that will work. But he just chomps his teeth in harder and holds on.

I am getting exhausted and frustrated by his behaviour and I'm pretty sure his young mum is as well. Especially when his sister watches and learns from her big brother!!

Me thinks that I will attempt the talk, with a small smack on the bottom so he knows he has been naughty and also introduce a 'time out' corner instead of the 'naughty' corner.