Squire Tuck is pretty awesome. it's interesting to me, our ability to go on for days and weeks just sort of existing together in a calm affection and then one day he'll enrage me to the point that i think MAYBE BOARDING SCHOOL because i will never be able to handle him as a teen, and then the next day he'll melt my heart. recently it's a lot more of the melting. this is preferred by a majority of the panel.
school is not so good, he is (or is perceiving himself to be) the boynobodylikes, he doesn't seem to think people hate him but there is an stated absence of affection that baffles me. he seems uninterested in doing anything about that. i think that this is maybe okay. i told him today on the walk to school that nearly everybody i know who is interesting now had a pretty shitty time of it when they were kids, one way or another, and he said, it's only school that's bad and i'm trying not to mind it.
i wish i could make it better for him somehow but i think that i can't change the actual problem. i think the only way to make it "better" is to counterbalance it and that effort seems to be going much better. it's i guess month six of "let's not talk about school unless Squire Tuck brings it up" and i'm not saying i'm perfect but we have discovered a full range of other topics that are tremendously interesting and much less stressful that we can talk about.
like on the walk to school we pass this guy almost every day. he has a huge dog that he has clearly not trained and can barely control; he walks his dog around the school every morning at the same time the kids are arriving and you see him struggle to hold the dog from attacking other dogs and small children. i hate this guy so much i have to cross the street so i don't punch him. "there goes that donkey-hole again," says Squire Tuck as we cross the street; Squire Tuck, who is trying to model for me cursing without cursing. donkeyhole is not as good as pitchforks but i like it. in addition to its being clever, i like that it sounds like "don quixote". your anger is tilting at windmills, it says. lighten up.
one of the things we were told to do was to read more with him in czech. it is hard to find great books in czech for this age. i go to the bookstore and it's row upon row of something translated from english, and the translations of children's books here are notoriously bad. some are good i'm sure but i don't know which. this kills me because i know which books are good in english and can talk about YA literature until my teeth are blue; i go into a bookstore here and it's nothing but series books from english, most of which stank in the first place, translated by someone who at first glance has translated "indian" as if it meant "american indian". i put the book back on the shelf and walk away. Friar Tuck usually winds up reading the news with him. perhaps that's edifying.
right now they're sitting in the living room; they're reading a fairy tale by jan werich, one that features a king giving a poor but clever maid a riddle and she solves it and he marries her. i like this version because it goes on after "happily ever after" and also because it's not remotely insulting to kids. also, it's funny. they are laughing pretty hard and that's a good sound.