Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Me ears are alight

Sometimes, the things people do or say leave me shaking my head in wonder or bewilderment. 

Sublime to ridiculous and all points in between - we humans have it all covered, don't we?

Walking to school with Nina yesterday, a woman I know only slightly stopped me to say that her grandfather came from a tribe in Nigeria, and she loved my dress because it reminded her of their traditional colours.

That made my day.

We went out for delicious Chinese food on Friday night, and the kids used chopsticks with aplomb. 

I have been trying to remember the first time I ate in a Chinese restaurant; I think I was 21, and it took me some years after that to get the hang of chopsticks.

The differences between their experiences of childhood and my own sometimes leave me breathless.

Then again... some things never change, man's inhumanity to man being one of them.

Nina was mocked and insulted by two children at school about the appearance of her skin. As she always does, she asked them to stop, since what they were saying hurt her feelings. They didn't. She told a lunchtime supervisor, who advised her to ignore them.

No. That is not an adequate response from an adult. It's a cop out, a lazy way to deal with inappropriate behaviour on the one hand, and distress on the other. How do those children learn that such teasing/abuse is unacceptable if it isn't addressed? And why should any child with a disability (or indeed without one) have to accept it?

Rest assured I will be talking to school about the incident, and suggesting that there is a training need here. 

1950-60s Hawaiian barkcloth dress - flea market
Jacket, bag, bangles and necklace - charity shopped
Ankle boots - community fair

The prize for the most inappropriate donation to a charity shop this week goes to the person who thoughtfully gave us a half-used tube of anal lubricant. 

Thanks for that.

The weather has been utterly bizarre this week; glorious sunshine, howling gales, snow and hail storms, all within moments of each other. Or indeed at the same time. 

How is a girl supposed to know what to wear? 

As predicted, we're sharing the jacket. And the scarf, apparently...

My friend has just adopted a kitten. He's adorable. 

Despite my advice that it wasn't necessary, she insisted on buying him a bed. I suggested that if he had the run of the house, he would likely choose his own spot to sleep, and anyway, cats love boxes so a cardboard box with a blanket would be just as good.

She was horrified. She said it would look as though they didn't care about him sufficiently to buy him a bed. 

Because kittens are known to care about how things look, and what has been spent on them.

I don't know. 
I listen, but sometimes I wonder if I'm hearing things right. 
 Much like this guy.
(Nina doesn't get it, and asked what's a tape?)



kobieta niewidzialna said...

Curtise -I love your dresses ,everyone is amazing. Best :)

Laurie Duncan said...

Yes, you really hear people say a lot of crazy things nowadays! I find most people are just so rude, and say whatever they feel like. Or they stare at you like your in a zoo. Oh, well. I was teased a lot when I was little so I know what it feels like, and no one ever got in trouble for it.
Love your dress by the way, just amazing! :)

Josie said...

My grandfather doesn't come from Nigeria but I still love that stunning dress x

Beth Waltz said...

I've been watching The Ladies' No 1 Detective Agency on YouTube and was about to comment that that exuberant print reminded me of Botwanna color... It IS wonderful!

Not so wonderful is the cruelty of children and the ultimate stupidity of adults who willfully fail to address it. You will be blessed, Curtise, for caring for your child; not only by Nina but by those like Laurie who also suffered verbal sticks and stones. They do leave scars.

Very sound advice about the kitten and the box: my cats scorn any bed in which I cannot lay, with the exception of laundry baskets and cardboard containers.

Lesley Extance said...

Yes I am afraid there is always going to be not very nice children and people , I feel for your daughter , as I know how she feels , at school I was picked on.
A fabulous dress Curtise I love it !!!.

Louise McDonagh said...

Anal lubricant? I have no words!

Poor Nina, no one should be bullied. I hope you are able to sort it out with the school.

The dress is fab! Xx

beate grigutsch said...

give nina a hug from me and tell her that only stupid people full of fear need to mock others! she´s such a cute elf :-) claudia looks like a lady in black lace and the boy lost all his baby roundness! they grow up faster then mushrooms!
can´t say how much i love that hawaiian dress! this colors! the pattern! just wow!
thank you for your lovely comments lately - they really brighten a "uneasy" evening!

Suzanne Carillo said...

I seriously never knew that such a thing as anal lubricant even existed. I know. I'm living in la la land.

Kids can be so nasty.


Vix said...

It would have made my day, too. What a fab comparison. Vintage dresses, the best ice breaker there is, wouldn't get that response if you were dressed in Primarni, would you?
Look at the kids (and you) enjoying their Chinese. Poor Nina, not only having to put up with idiotic classmates but doing the right thing and reporting their behaviour and not getting any support from a responsible adult. Bastards.
Half used anal lubricant? Lovely! Mind you, mixed with washing up liquid and water it doesn't half make a good bubble mixture.
Cat beds? I can just imagine the disdainful look if we bought ours some. Polly Pig favours a Lidl bag for life.
Love you! xxxxxx

Caroline James said...

Wow I can't believe how much your children look like you.

And I agree with the cat bed thing. We bought our cat an expensive cat bed and she never used it, we moved house and there were some boxes laying around and she rather sleep in that so we put in a pillow and now she has a cost friendly bed!! :)

freckleface said...

When I look at Nina, all I see is beautiful, and I'm so impressed with her maturity in the way she handled this incident. What a shame an adult let her down, because you're right, it wasn't good enough. Yes, that was a lovely compliment and what a nice conversation to share with a stranger. I can really see what she means too. You look so lovely in that dress, brightening up our screens for us once again. Oh yes, cats like to find their own places to hang out. Boxes are good, as are large paper bags, and I always found artwork provided a very comfortable perch, particularly when it was still being worked. Xxxxxxx

Goody said...

Children can be such shits. So can adults. You can't insist someone feel empathy, but society ought to demand etiquette. Sigh.

Oh, only *half a tube*? Like your shop isn't *good enough* for a whole one? "Here you go, have a bit of fun...but not too much..." Geez.

The cat bed will end up as a spot to collect cat toys that never get played with, in a bed that never gets used. Our family cat when I was small found a nice spot in the back of the basement where he didn't have to be near us. Smart cat.

peaches mcginty said...

No, it's not acceptable (I'm going to refrain from going into full swearing mode) Nina should be in a safe environment where unacceptable comments are dealt with immediately, all staff have a duty of care, telling a child to 'ignore it' is bullshit, I'm sorry to start with a rant, of course you must be furious, give 'em hell - cats love cardboard boxes and a blanket, or an old bath mat, mine are just spoiled! you look amazing btw and I want to eat out with you all, it always looks like a blast! x x x

Miss Magpie said...

Anal lubricant? good lord, I bet you all had a good laugh over that. I agree you should talk to the school straight away.

Cat bed? I'm betting it will remain as pristine as the day it was bought whilst the cat finds it's own nest :)

Melanie said...

Bark cloth plus that pattern - absolutely winning. And I'm glad you got to borrow your denim jacket to wear with it! Heh.
I strongly agree that "ignore them" is an inappropriate response. Nina had the strength to address the problem; the adult should have the strength to do the same. I'm glad you'll set them straight on this point.
Yes, cats love boxes, no question, but one of our cats came with a bed that he loved.
I love the family photos from your Chinese dinner, smiles all round.

mondoagogo said...

Vix's comment about the bubble bath just made me snort with laughter (and HOW DOES SHE KNOW?!?)

Poor Nina, having had severe skin health issues as a kid, I really empathise with her. I was bullied for it, too, but at my school they continually denied there was a bullying problem. I hope things are better these days!

We used to have a cat whose favourite place to sleep was a fruit crate filled with hammers.

Also this post reminds me that some day in the future your kids are going to look back at your blog and, hopefully, laugh (chopsticks and lubricant, what a combination!).

Patti said...

Srsly, I wasn't sure such a product as anal lubricant was appropriate for donation. We had spiders today at the thrift, ewww. Love your dress, the print is glorious. Hugs to Nina; the cruelty of people is astounding. xox

Connie said...

As you know, it is a huge compliment to have your daughter borrowing from your wardrobe. My daughter loves to borrow my things, then they somehow end up in her suitcase and suddenly they are hers. Funny how that happens. Now before I talk about your awesome tribal dress I have to say, what is up with that school?? My Izzy has a lazy eye and was bullied for awhile. It is hell. And teachers need to STEP UP! Oy! I'm fuming! I'm sorry but your mention of anal lubricant and the photo of the poop shaped ornament is a bit too much. I just so want to makes some rude childish puns but I shall resist. Your hair looks cute. I'm off to the hair salon me-self. That vid. HA Ha.

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Now I never need fear that I will donate the most inappropriate thing possible to charity--clearly other people have that distinction well covered.

Growing is so hard. My 15 year old son has autism, and in this regard it can be quite the blessing: lots of meanness just sails right over his head. But when it does connect it really hurts.

Fabulous dress!!

Anonymous said...

Eek! What a donation! I think I wouldn't have wanted to touch that tube of lube.
You know, I had eczema so severely in elementary school I too was teased and stared at every day. Eventually this wonderful counselor we had at our school had a talk with my teacher and the kids who made fun of me and it stopped, for a while. It's hard being a kid. Things like that we never forget. Your daughter will gain great compassion for others because of the isolation she's had to suffer through. And good things will come from it.
Did you get your hair trimmed? It's super cute!

Sue said...

Such gorgeous colours in your bark cloth dress, and such a perfect fit on your tall slender figure *wolf whistles*. Daily I am amazed at things people say, they obviously do not engage the brain before verbalising. Poor Nina, bloody teachers! Ignore it my arse! Good for you going in to have a wee chat, all the best with that one.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

What an incredibly insensitive thing for that supervisor to say! People! Individually, not too bad; collectively, f**king idiots.

Love the barkcloth (we see tons of it here, due to the relative proximity of Hawaii and all those 70s vacations), love the kitty shot. We do buy our cat trees and toys, but he's strictly indoors in the city - and he is way more into my shoes than the stuff we buy him!

Ivy Black said...

No...not acceptable. A lazy and stupid response and unfortunately there's a lot of it in schools. Surely if people can't deal with an incident themselves, they follow a chain until they reach someone who can. Growing up is hard enough.
Love the dress and it's made me go as far as summer even though I'm freezing my nads off down here.
Anal lube....nice...
Loves ya.

Kylie said...

Good thing I live on the opposite side of the world to those horrible little nasties who were mean to Nina!
I'd give them a right talking to! And their parents!
Nina, you are beautiful. Inside and out (the MOST important thing). You are also brilliant at drawing, singing and a whole lot of other things that I don't know about. Yet.

Kylie said...

And their teacher(s)!

Melanie said...

It makes my blood boil that teachers are so reluctant to stop bullying in its tracks. Things like that should go on a permanent record which would follow said child into adulthood.

Gorgeous dress too. My mother is guilty of spending allsorts on her cats but from my experience, a bottle lid or screwed up bit of tin foil is as good as it gets as far as toys go for most cats and a too small box or pile of power leads is a good enough bed! xxx

Mim said...

I love your dress. How nice that that lady complimented it!

I'm sorry to hear Nina is having a terrible time at school. Kids can be so awful to one another, and the teacher simply telling her to ignore it isn't helping matters. How are the other kids going to learn what's unacceptable if they're never told by the responsible adult?

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Curtise,

We read somewhere that people are attracted to wear the colours of their national flags. And, indeed, this would explain the reaction of your Nigerian woman. Of course, you are a notable exception as you wear the colours of the flags of every nation imaginable whereas we are only known to be dressed in the monochrome of our black and white imaginations. Still, variety is the spice of life.

Bullying in all its forms can be found everywhere and it is never acceptable. In a school environment, where children, of course, are forced to be present, it us the responsibility of those in authority to provide an environment where young people can flourish. Feeling safe from the bully is a large part of that. It is good that Nina spoke up both to the bully and to the adult as nowhere is a better place for bullies to thrive than in silence. So, the matter must be pursued and the bully brought out into the open. No doubt then many other issues will be brought to light.

We are looking after a neighbour's cat at the moment whilst they are on holiday. She came with a boxful of toys, an automatic feeding system, an electric powered water fountain, real growing grass in a tray, a luxury sized litter tray, a carrying container, food treats, weighing scales and enough food for a siege. She has spent most of her time so far in the corner of the wardrobe!

Bobbi said...

That dress is amazing.
I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is being teased. I'm still working on the mental issues I have from being teased my whole life.
The necklace you're wearing is really cool.
Cats will sleep anywhere and play with almost anything. They kind of take over and assume that the people are servants or something. It's kind of funny.

thorne garnet said...

ignore it is not the answer. You go get 'em!

Cat's have a bed, it called "Yours"

Natalia Lialina said...

Nina is adorable and so lovable. Every kid is! Imagine what happens to these kids, what makes them to be so cruel. Yes, it all begins with grown ups - mainly with parents and family. And that begins with their families... its' a circle, and only rare individuals are willing to break it. Not with cruelty, but with compassion... We had a rather maddening story at school - the school which we loved and worked so much to make it an even better place, all of us, the whole family. When grown ups (in this case it should be the teachers and principal) are not mature and compassionate enough to really look into the situation, then I better leave such a place. Fish rots from its head, as they say in Russia.

I love your dress and references to African fashion! I recently discovered a great African fashion site and thought to myself that I probably was an African at least once in my previous lives. :))

It is so cool that Claudia wears your clothes! I truly think it's a wonderful connection with your daughter. You all look so cozy and fun and lovable, I just want to hug you all! Maybe it's inappropriate, but that's me... I feel like we are old friends. Love your hair btw. xxxxx

Kezzie said...

Poor Nina! She's a brave girl beautiful girl and I hope she gets the support from the school she needs. I HATE how cruel children can be sometimes, it's just despicable. You are quite right to complain.
I love your maxi, so pretty!x

Mother of Reinvention said...

Kids can be little shits. Your daughters are beautiful. I don't know what the craic is with teachers these days. I am having a bit of a similar time with Sprogzilla and they really don't want to know. To many irate parents who think their little horrors are wonderful I suspect. I am in love with your dress. The colours are fantastic and you look beautiful in it. xxxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

Well done to your lovely daughter for standing up to those bullies, pity the adults couldn't do the same, shameful! Great dress and I love a good mondegreen, I remember that advert well. Amazing what folk think is OK to donate to charity, isn't it? I sometimes thought they had mistakenly dropped off their bin bag and a fab selection of clothing was heading for the council tip.

Mrs Bertimus said...

I hope you know just how much I love your blog.
Will you please stand for Parliament?
You have my vote x

Angels have Red Hair said...

When we first got Buster I bought him a (somewhat) expensive wicker dog bed. He reduced it to toothpicks in no time ... the same mistake has not been repeated.
Hearing about unsupportive people in what should be a supported, secure environment makes me cross ... give them a good dose Curtise common sense.
You're looking gorgeous as usual :0)

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Um...excuse me, but is school not the appropriate setting for children to learn compassion and kindness? What was that supervisor thinking? Sigh...it's tough enough parenting in this day and age; a lack of support in the school system only makes things worse.

The good thing is that Nina has You for her Mum! Some things don't just right themselves, but need the helping hand of a Mum that knows when to step in.

Love the kitty story...Wait 'til kitty decides that her pillow is the best spot in the house...or the clean laundry basket, or the kitchen table!

I love the feel of barkcloth...for a medium weight fabric, it always feels so soft!

valerie said...

Hi - I agreed with so many things in this post. Certainly the school should've taken bullying more seriously. That's laziness on their part, or carelessness. Either way it's pretty shoddy.
Agree about the kitten too. All those cat beds and baskets and toys - cats are satisfied with sleeping in a box or chasing a ball of screwed up paper. When people say pets are expensive it's mainly because they spend unnecessary money on all of kinds of frippery.
Finally, I had to laugh at the tube of - yikes! - anal lubricant. I reckon you should've put it in the window with a sign saying 'we need better quality items than this to sell!'

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

Zero tolerance is the only option. Ignorant treatment of the supervisor. In that green dress you will be listended too even if it's sad that you have to ...

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Good for you Curtise in speaking to the school. Connie has also been going through a shitstorm and what good does it do, telling her to tell a TA if nothing is done? I feel your frustration. I hope the school were suitably bollocked and those kids are soundly thrashed. Speak to their parents! Cut out the middle man and if they are nice people they'll be appalled and punish their kids.
Nina is beautiful, tell her they were probably jealous of her lovely hair and that some girls are so horrid on the inside that the only way they can make themselves feel good, is to make others feel bad. Girls can be little bitches. I hope Nina finds the strength to see beyond their taunts and see them for what they really are. xxxxxx

señora Allnut said...

oh yes, sometimes people comments or behaviour can make you feel proud to be a human, people can be really charming, and then any other random people can ruin everything with their stupidness!!
And I think you're right, inappropriate behaviour is not something to be ignore!. Why so many people is giving this stupid advice? ignoring offensive behaviours never make them less offensive!, nor make them stop! The one and only reason to ignore it, is when you just want to avoid a fight!
besos & pretty dress!

Jazzy Jack said...

I see what that person meant about the Nigerian colours.
We have been addressing bullying too. Not nice.
I agree the childhood my kids are having is mindbogglingly different to mine. Mind you, mine was a bit different in PNG :-D
What's a tape? My son asked when someone mentioned a wireless...a wireless what?
We are old! xo Jazzy Jack

Anne H. said...

So sorry to hear of Nina's lunchtime experience, hope you have success with the new Head in getting it sorted out. She is so lovely your Nina as all of them are. So matter of a fact, I remember when her fingers started bleeding at nursery, I was more concerned than she was and she told me exactly what I needed to do to help her. Love to you all Anne xx

Fiona said...

Hi Curtise

Sorry to hear of Nina's troubles at school, she's obviously a very sensible girl (would a child of yours be anything else?) and did exactly the right thing. Hope the 'dinner lady' has been tackled about her lack of empathy and action. You can tell Nina from me that I think she's a very pretty girl with a lovely smile.
The barkcloth maxi suits your colouring so well and it's certainly cheerful on a drab March day. Ewwww.... anal lube, whatever next? And how exactly does Vix know that it makes good bubble mixture??

Forest City Fashionista said...

Had a good laugh over the tape commercial!

What a sucky response from Nina's teacher! Sounds like Nina handled the experience in a very mature way, and telling children who are teased and bullied that the best thing to do is ignore it is just stupid. That's how you end up with adults who can't handle confrontation, or stick up for themselves. People can be rude and stupid - the other day I got on the bus ahead of a guy who looked about 18 or so, and he said, "Oh right, let the old lady get on first, where are my manners?" My first instinct was to smack across the head.

Oh, I do love that dress, and you look just gorgeous wearing it. Great compliment from the neighbour.

Helga said...

That's an amazing frock! I quite fancy something like that.Great colours and shape!
Ugh, kids...and people generally...can be such arseholes.
Um, anal lubricant? There's a specific type?! UGH!!!!! Ick. Ew.

Mimi and Tilly said...

I remember that as on the TV! Made me laugh tonight. No mean feat all things considered?! I have no words for the donated anal lubricant... *tumbleweed*
I have lots of words for the lady who decided "just ignore them" was an adequate response to your daughter's brave request for help, but they're not polite or kind words, so I'll think them instead of littering your lovely blog with them...

Thanks for your love and support over on my blog. It's a tough process, and it really helps to know you understand. Sending much love your way. Em xxxx