Soviet Parenting 

N finds it hard to figure out the Llama Llama story books. 

When Mama Llama tells her little son, “I think shopping is boring, too, but at least I’m here with you,” N thought she was guilt-tripping little llama, as in “I made such an effort to be here with you, you little brat, but you don’t even appreciate it.” When I explained that what Mama Llama is saying is that the company of her son makes even boring chores fun, N was stunned. 

In the same story book, Llama Llama throws a tantrum at the grocery store and Mama Llama says, “Llama Llama, that’s enough!” When we first read the book, N was sure that Mama Llama was going to beat or humiliate the boy and was touched to the point of tears when she didn’t. 

In all honesty, I also haven’t been able to find the right intonation to read, “Llama Llama, that’s enough! Please stop fussing, little llama and be patient for your mama.” I can either make it sound to aggressive or like I’m mocking the story. 

By the way, N asked me to write about this. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. 


5 thoughts on “Soviet Parenting ”

  1. “N thought”

    Almost everything you write about his past is just…. so sad, especially since he sounds so decent himself.

    One thought on reading the quote in question would be to not worry about your intonation but so something physical like tickle Klara or kiss her tummy so that she’s laughing as she hears it (if you’re reading it to N maybe the same advice applies).


    1. N refashioned himself completely to emerge from this bad, chaotic environment he grew up in. He was a little arsonist when he was 9, setting fire to abandoned buildings and blowing them up. Which is common among victims of child abuse. He was also a very violent kid, which is impossible to believe for anybody who knows him now. It’s an enormous, enormous effort to emerge from this kind of thing and remake your life. I respect him profoundly for that because it’s very rare that people achieve this kind of transformation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.