Sunday, September 17, 2006

Seen AND heard, thank you very much

We found a terrific playground in Regent's Park yesterday and my kids had a bloody good time exploring the equipment and chasing the pigeons. (Hmm. That Britishism didn't quite work for me, did it? Oh well. Never mind.)

It was nice to see the kids relaxed and enjoying themselves, but something seemed odd and it took me a little while to put my finger on exactly what was different. Finally, I realized the problem. The playground was filled with children and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves, but only two children in the entire park were making any noise. As the British children played happily and relatively silently, my kids ran around shrieking at the top of their lungs.

"Evan, come see THIS," Julia would scream exuberantly every time she encountered a new piece of playground equipment. "Pigeons, WAIT," Evan would yell as he chased the bird around the park. They were just two kids having a good time, and at a playground in the States, no one would have even noticed them amidst all of the other childish noise. All things considered, my children have always been pretty quiet when compared to their peers. But here, they seemed to attract a good deal of attention and they most definitely stood out as loud Americans.

I've always believed strongly in letting kids be kids and I've always encouraged mine to let off steam in appropriate venues like parks. Apparently, I am somewhat alone in that philosophy around here. I think that I can eventually manage the differences in educational approach, lifestyle and language usage (minus the whole "bloody" thing). But the idea of me raising children who should be seen and not heard? Not bloody likely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm not so sure the british-ism fits you -- just yet. And, as far as Evan and Julia are concerned, I'd encourage them to shout so loud we can hear 'em on this side of the pond.

Kristy -- who's blogger account won't let her sign in for comments.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous orangemanmike said...

Not sure if you were aware, but my dad had British parents (they came to the states after WWII). Despite his lack of accent, my dad is still very British. And, one of his refrains that sticks into my head to this day is "Children should be seen and not heard." My sister and I got this every time we started making too much noise.

As you probably know, it didn't stick! Nor do C and A appear to opperate under such instruction. ;-)

1:39 AM  
Blogger Tenille said...

If you figure out any way that my kiddos can be "seen and not heard" for five itty-bitty mintues, I'd love to know! Oh the noise! :)

12:46 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Eek. A quiet playgroud sounds bloody creepy. ;)

(But yay - you found a playgroud!)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

I was always especially worried when my kids were quiet. A sure sign there was mischief afoot! Don't know what I'd have done without that "indicator". :-)

12:48 AM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Just re-reading an old entry. Exactly what do you have against the word "bloody"? It's one of my favorite Brit imports.

6:09 AM  

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