17 June, 2009

Day two at conference

Second day at conference we settled into the routines. The program is pretty similar from year to year, so it is not too hard for us adults. Our venues have varied, so you cannot be sure what the food standards will be. Breakfast was fine. A buffet including sausages, tomato sauce and bread will do our boys any day. Not that they usually get sausages for breakfast! They sat calmly and ate. The most any parent can ask for in a communal situation like this where you have no control over food. Lunch was not so successful. They served us up soup with bits in it that was a bit spicy. None of the boys ate it. The only other thing served was sandwiches liberally doused with salad dressing - again a big no-no. So our kids practically ate nothing for lunch. Add to that a tantrum from our youngest about a tiny ball that he wanted to play with instead of sitting at the table. All afternoon was free time, most people went to a tourist place called Matsushima (pine tree island). We didn't catch the scenic ferry with most, but drove instead, knowing that private transport is less stressful than public at any time for our family and even more so at present. Instead of going around shops, we went to an aquarium. A fairly run down place, but still they had some terrific aquatic creatures. A nice be furry-looking octopus, a couple of dolphins, seals, sharks, eels, gropers etc etc. The boys enjoyed it. Our oldest chucked a 10 y.o. tantrum on the way back to the car, but if we blot out that memory, it was a pleasant afternoon. We stopped on the way home to buy some supplementary food to make it easier if there was food the boys don't like. It is not like at home where we can prevail on them to eat what they're given. Much more complicated in a communal situation and it is only short-term anyway. Parental flexibility is a virtue in these situations. Dinner went off okay. Main problem was that once they were finished eating, the boys just wanted to run off - not chat like their parents wanted to. Knowing that they'd probably start running and shouting all over the hotel if I let them go (never a good idea in a motel), I insisted they stay in the room. Difficult, when other parents haven't made the same restrictions! So, they ran in the dining room instead. Sigh. Our 10 y.o. predictably disobeyed and ran out. Promptly running into a door that someone unexpectedly opened in his face. Sometimes I smile at the way natural consequences make my point for me! It it time for the next session, so I must go. Before I do, I just want to ask you to continue to pray. The car hasn't yet found a way to get to Cairns. Please pray for a way.

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