Sunday, 4 May 2008

Sunday 4th May 08

A very peaceful start to the day.

The day continued peacefully.

I half-watched Countryfile whilst doing a huge pile of washing up, the only complaints were that I'd made the living room too hot by lighting the stove to get washing up water.... but not a problem. I'd rather light the stove and burn a kilo of waste wood to get some hot water than put on the gas for a few minutes.... and it helps dry the bananas which are sitting on the wok-stand on top of the two-gallon pan.

I had an early lunch and set off with my eldest son to Rowntree Park to attend the York Rotters Worm Charming contest, with Gill and our youngest following on afterwards. I helped set up the grid of 16 squares 2m x 2m on the grass, and entrants started registering, including our two boys. I did some announcing with my loud voice and soon the event was underway.

Gill and I joined in with our boys attempts to get worms out of the soil and we got four by the end of the 15 minutes allotted time. However, a minute later, I spotted another one and I didn't stop to think and popped it into the pot. When the adjudicator counted the worms, our team was in equal first place with 5 worms. So there was a 'charm-off' with the two top teams going back to their plots and the first team to charm a worm was the winner. Gill and I encouraged ours to do lots of jumping up and down, and suddenly, there was the winning worm...

So they walked away with their prize, a 'Junior Wormery' by Original Organics, and I cycled it home. However, I had a niggly thought that I had cheated by putting in a charmed worm after the time had passed... and I shared my feelings with my eldest who has a keen sense of fair play and honesty, and I admitted to my wrongdoing. We decided that the best thing to do would be to tell Catherine the Rotters project manager, and to give the wormery prize back so it could go to the real winners. I offered to give one of my wormeries to the boys as a consolation, as I have three different types. This made me feel better. I blame my lack of impulse control and lack of 'thinking of consequenses', both of which I am aware of when I stop and think.

In the evening I came accross a good blog which is worth reading if interested in carbon footprints etc.


Anonymous said...

You don't have a "lack of impulse control and lack of 'thinking of consequenses'", you just wanted your son to win, which is perfectly understandable. Don't try and make excuses for it.

Anonymous said...

John,its easy sometimes to get excited and caught up in the moment of competeing in a contest..
As a parent we all want to see our kids do well and hopefully was a honest mistake.

You did well talking to your son about it and lovely he understood and was humble/mature enough to say lets give the prize back.

I think thats admorable for just being up front and honest!! Hope some thing works out for both winners and Catherine recognises this in your son.

You should feel proud of your son and I guess we all learn lessons the hard way as try to stay out from helping the kids when its something they are working on...

Best wishes,K

Compost John said...

I have published this comment as it demonstrates 'anonymous's' ignorance of my situation.
Of course I did what I did because I wanted my children to win, but other people might have had less impulsivity and thought about what they were doing a bit more than I did.

I have always been known as someone with very quick reactions, someone who sometimes does things without thinking about them. When I talked to my Mum about what had happened, she totally understood and said she could well imagine how it had come about. As you can imagine, she knows me quite well!

I am pleased that as a family we have been able to discuss moral dilemmas such as this, that as a grown-up and a parent I can admit that I am wrong sometimes, and that my children have a strong sense of wright and wrong. They will grow up with a knowledge of injustice and fairness, which if more people had, would bode well for the future of Humanity.

I do wish that 'anonymous' whoever s/he is, would not make comments anonymously and let me know who s/he is, as that would help me understand his/her reasonings and understanding (or rather, lack of it!) of my unusual situation/personality. However, I do understand that cowards hide behind anonymous comments and if you want to make critical comments and not take the responsibility, anonymous comments are a good way to do that.

I have never posted an anonymous comment and always put my full name and often my email address. I also don't throw ignorant critical comments around. But that's well in tune with my green lifestyle which is all about taking responsibility for my actions.

Anonymous said...

I am not a coward, I can choose to put my name where I want to and I will not be pressured into it.

You have reacted in an awfully defensive fashion. I am not ignorant of the situation, I work with adults with ADHD and I have some knowledge of autism. You assume that because I do not believe your excuses, that I must be some kind of idiot.

I didn't mean the comment to be as much of a personal insult as it has clearly proved to be.

Anonymous said...

John, my comment is anonymous but not because I am cowardly but because its the quickest way of posting a comment to your blog. (I am not the anonymous person who posted the message above though!) I have posted before as AnnabelEcowarrior, fyi. Unfortunatwely I have forgotten my login details and so there you go!!

If you post an open blog then people are entitled to comment. I didnt think the comment was critical of you, why do you have to rip into the person like that? You come over extremely defensive and senstive.

There have been many times when I have wanted to comment or ask you a question about the way you parent your kids, but have not done so because from reading your blog for a long time now, I can tell that you will completely overreact and take things the wortng way. Of course none of us know you personally but that doesnt mean you can call people 'ignorant' just because they bother to comment on what you have written!

So, if you dont want people to comment on the way you are interacting with your kids, dont put blogs out about them!

Compost John said...

Firstly, thank you K for your support.

Secondly, thank you to AnnabelEcowarrior for your second and third comments. You are able to post with a name at the bottom of your message as K did. I am defensive for several reasons, firstly as I was growing up I was blamed for lots of stuff, some of which I was responsible for and others I wasn't, or I did things which were out of my control, and if you do genuinely work with ADHDers you'll know what I mean. Secondly, as a Green in the 1980s and early 90s I faced a lot of ridicule and criticism about my beliefs and I was defensive about my emerging lifestyle. Thirdly, I have had quite a few anonymous comments posted to this blog by a person or persons who are keen to undermine my way of life, they have been critical of my parenting skills, my wife, my income generating work, and have made disparaging comments about my sexuality etc etc. I assumed that your comment was from that person or persons unknown. Hopefully these may partly explain my defensive attitude, apologies. I am working still at listening to others' views and opinions and not seeing all of them as an attack, though some definitely are.

But I have to say, if you do work with people with ADHD and have 'some knowledge of autism' then your first comment rather lacks understanding and empathy (and this is from someone who's had to learn about empathy!) and is over-simple. Of course my instant motivation was because I wanted my childrens' pot to contain more worms than fewer, but I was analysing why I impulsively did what I did instead of applying brakes like some others would have done. Wouldn't it have been more positive of you to say something about my decision to come clean and to be honest, admitting I'd made an error of judgement? You could have followed your slightly critical comment with a slightly positive one! This approach would certainly help you if you are trying to communicate with ADHDers (and anyone else actually!)

Please don't be put off reading my blog or commenting on it. Please, if you can, sign the bottom with your pen-name if you don't wish to be lumped in with the idiot/s who write rude and abusive comments to this blog, most of which I don't publish as they are inappropriate.

Thanks again for your feedback, I do benefit from much of the feedback I receive. Which is one reason I write this blog.