Aiming to be happier families.

THE GOVERNESS DIARIES – Series 1, Episode 5 – Vy yoo keek ze ball all ower?

“No! Yoo don’t! Yoo don’t do zat!!.”

“No! Yoo don’t! Yoo don’t do zat!!.”

[If you’re just checking in, and haven’t yet read the preceding episodes of THE GOVERNESS DIARIES, click on the link to the right under ‘recent posts’, where you will find them. If some of them are not there, you will find them in ‘THE GOVERNESS DIARIES’ under ‘categories’, just scroll down to whichever episode you missed.]

So armed with my little plan, the next day, after we had done some reading, word search and a crossword (I have turned everything we do into games). We set out for a park where there was some shade, to play football. What our little, hyperactive tyke didn’t know is that although I am pretty awful at most ball games, I am not-too-shabby at kicking a ball.

Another thing I have learnt is that when you are faced with a road-runner type, instead of trying to tame it and make it sit still, you go with it and let it run it all off. When I worked with nursery school children and they were antsy, I used to get them up and make them jump, run around and lie on the floor and kick until they were puffed. This didn’t always go down too well in some of the nursery schools I worked for (neither did the ‘Bob Marley coordination sessions) but quite frankly, I didn’t care. We all had fun and it got rid of the jumping beans.

When we got to the park, we played kicking the ball to each other. I watched him and noticed that he had a tendency to kick the ball to my right all the time, so I positioned myself so that I was always in his line of fire. I, on the other hand kicked it back to him in all directions, making sure that he got to do a lot of running. It was a nice warm day and soon he was slowing down. At one point, he shouted, “Vy yoo keek ze ball all ower?”

Why do you kick the ball all over,” I replied

Why do you kick the ball all over,” he repeated

“Because I am a girl, girls don’t play football too well,” I said, “are you tired?”

“No, I not.”

“No I am not.”

“Me eezer”

Neither am I”

“Neither am I… keek.”

I have to hand it to him, he kept it up for nearly an hour, but he was looking rather flushed, even with all the water breaks, so I decided it might be time to change the subject. I pointed out a butterfly and he whizzed off to try and catch it. After diving at it a couple of time he admitted defeat and said, “ve go now.”

“Ok, shall we go to Esselunga and get an ice-cream?”

“No, I don’t eet ice-cream, I hot.”

I did that ‘twisty pout to the one side of my face’ look. “You don’t eat ice-cream because you are hot?”


“So when do you eat ice cream? When you are cold?”

“Yes” – (ookaay)

“Why only when you are cold?”

“Because eet make your sroat go vooor.”

I packed up laughing at this stage because the day before we had been talking about aeroplanes and he had told me that he had once been on a plane that went… (you have to picture this)… he stood with his bottom stuck out, rotated his arms, stuck his tongue out and blew raspberries “vrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

“So if you eat ice-cream when you are hot your throat gets cold?”

“Yes – eet is not helsy”


“heal (tongue between teeth like I had shown him) ttthhhhhy”

“Oh, ok”

So we bought juice at Esselunga instead.

And the logic (?) behind one of the oddities was revealed and then explained. I was taking Adelina to the park and had put her water bottle in the fridge. Vladimir said that the children should not drink fridge water because the scientists say it is bad for digestion (?) He went on to say that it is better to drink a warm drink when you eat as it aids digestion… I did not do the ‘twisty pout to the one side of the face’ or the ‘lifting of the one eyebrow’ thing – it took a lot of effort, but I refrained. I did do it a few nights later though when I saw the adults drinking cold wine with their supper and I did it again when I heard Vladimir saying to Nikoli that he could have ice-cream after his lunch … middle of the day… hot? Just after food? But hey, who am I to argue with the scientists?

So now we know two things:

  •  I am in the laundry because they were expecting the grandparents.
  • Eating cold yoghurt is bad for the digestion – I am not convert-able I like my yoghurt nicely chilled and I like it when my sroat goes voooor from eating ice-cream on a hot day.

Nikoli began to enjoy spending time with me. I made him treasure maps (to find one sweet) as a reward after doing some formal work and the treasure maps were made up in such a way that he had to fill in the conjunctions or circle all the verbs or do the opposite of the instructions. We also made paper jets, boats, frogs;  learnt to draw faces, cats, dogs etc. We went insect and lizard hunting; to amusement parks; shopping; made crumpets; played mini golf….

He would still be silly or difficult on occasion and the PlayStation game was still a problem. Every opportunity he got, he would try to play the game. If I kept him occupied he would be ok, but he was also driving his mother and grandparents crazy because he wouldn’t stop to eat when they told him to or stop when they wanted to go somewhere.

On Saturday, I had been listening to his mother telling him to stop until she left and then his grandmother trying until I was just about ready to throw a complete flatty. I walked to the lounge and said: “Nikoli, your mother and Grandmother have been telling you to stop for almost an hour. I am going to count to three and then I am pulling the plug and your game will be lost.” He ignored me so I walked to the plug and said: “Nikoli, when I say I will do something you can trust that I will do it… 1…”

“No yoo don’t” he said, not looking up from the game.


(The cleaning lady was watching this too and had stopped to see what I would do – she speaks Russian, but she knew what was going on)

“Sreeeeeee”, the Granny shouted (her first English word)

I paused for one more second.


I pulled out the plug.

“Bravo! Bravo Deni! Bravo!” the Granny shouted bouncing up and down like a puppet on an elastic band.

The cleaning lady just stared.

Nikoli stood up and rushed me, shouting, “No! Yoo don’t! Yoo don’t do zat!!” He raised his fists, the granny and cleaning lady both shouted, “nett!!!!” (pronounced ‘nyet’ – means ‘no’).

I ducked sideways and he landed on the couch. I walked away saying, “Papen.” as I passed the Granny. (Vladimir had actually been upstairs the whole time and I had been expecting him to come down and intervene but he didn’t.) As I went and sat outside, the Granny rushed upstairs and Nikoli went after her. Much shouting later, Vladimir came out to me and said that Nikoli would only be allowed to play his TV games when I said so and if he tried to hit me or shout at me I was to tell him and he would be punished.

Nikoli then sat down on the floor and cried. I waited and then said. “Ok, so we both know the rules. I am not unfair, but as I said to you before, I am an adult and it is your choice from here on. We can fight or we can have fun.”

He remained silent for half an hour and I let him. Then I said, I am going for a walk, you can come if you want.

He came……

As I passed the Grandmother, I nodded at her and she nodded back at me.

The temptation to shout, “WHO’S YOUR MAMMA!!” was ….. I refrained

 I still had Princess Adelina to defeat.




21 March 2013 - Posted by | The Governess Diaries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Bravo! I’ve always found kids respect you more when you follow through on what you say.


    Comment by jennifermzeiger | 21 March 2013 | Reply

    • Hi there 🙂
      You are so right., which is why it is also important to think before we speak and not say something we cannot follow through on…. hmm now there is another blog in the making – Thank you xx


      Comment by denib14 | 21 March 2013 | Reply

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