Thursday, May 01, 2008

What Italian Papas are looking for...

Here's a lift-the-flap book that my kids have enjoyed over the years. The title means "Search and Find" and readers have to guess what each family member is looking for, then lift the flap to see if they're correct. Here are some samples of what Italians are searching for...

What's Mamma looking for? A little sanity, maybe? (Perhaps that's just me...)

Oh, yes. Her keys! This I can relate to, unfortunately.
What's the Nonna searching for?
No, it's not someone to cook for (at least not this time). It's....her reading glasses! All the better to spy microscopic smudges of mud on her grandchildren's knees and scrub them into submission.
How about the Papa'? He's looking for something under his jacket on the chair. (I know, it's hard to tell that's a jacket, since a chunk has been peeled off by my 2-year-old). Is he searching for his tie? His cell phone? His Blackberry? The newspaper? Or is he simply on his hands and knees praying for a way to pay for his kids' college education?

The answer to all of these is, of course, no. Especially the college one, as university is practically free here. And I've yet to see a Blackberry in Italy, so that's not it, either. No, ladies and gentlemen, this papa' is searching for...drum roll...

His helmet! (cymbal crash).

Italians love their motorscooters, and they're part of the landscape here. In fact, Italian mammas and papas even bring their kids to school on scooters. The kids don their mini-helmets and cling to their parents from behind like baby koalas. I'm dying to get a picture of this, but I never have my camera with me when I see it.

My dad had a motorcycle for a short time when I was a kid. He wanted to take me for a spin around the block, and my mother said absolutely not. I was crushed. In fact, I think she said absolutely not to the whole motorcycle idea, because my dad sold it after a few months.

My husband has offered to take my girls for a spin on the scooter. I said absolutely not. They're crushed.

I said they could ask me again when they're 30.

10 comments:

WordWrangler said...

ROFL!! LOVE IT! I can so relate, too. Papas love their motorcycles here in NC, too. My kids want him to take them on a little ride around the yard. NO. Just for a few minutes? NO.

They don't like me very much when I use the word. :)

E.A. West said...

That's awesome! My dad had a motorcycle when I was a child, and for some reason my mother wouldn't let me ride with him. I wonder why Italian mothers don't seem to have the same opinion... :)

Natalie said...

wordwrangler, I'm glad I'm not the only one who says no to the motorbike ride!

e.a.west...good question! I think it's because the mammas are toting their kids on the backs of their scooters, too! :-)

Mary Witzl said...

Funny post! I'd be looking for my sanity under the couch cushion, I can tell you that. And the only reason I have to look for my keys is because someone borrows them -- they are conveniently left in the same place all the time unlike THEIRS.

My father had a motorcycle for a short time too. The SECOND time one of us fell off it, my mother said "No more." Three months later he sold it.

Susan Sandmore said...

How funny. Like everyone else's dad, my dad had a motorcycle when I was young, too. My mother did let him take me for a spin a few times, but I really hated it! It scared me no end. He fell off once and then sold it. Whew!

Katia said...

Natalie, what a great, fun post. My kids have the same book, but in French. I need to look for it, and most of the flaps got totally ripped over the years, but I don't recall it being funny like the Italian version. I wonder what they'd do with it, if they made an Indian version. Now, that would be interesting.

Julie_c said...

See - now you've given me an idea for an Italian picture book. The kids keep making messes around the house to distract the Momma so they can take short rides with the Papa!

Natalie said...

Mary, ouch! I'm glad you survived falling off your dad's motorcycle! Were you wearing your mini-helmet?

Susan, if you ever come a visit me in Italy, I promise we'll stick to modes of transportation with four wheels only. :-)

Katia, I'd love to see an Indian version of this book! If one doesn't exist, why don't you write one?

And Julie, if you need any real-life inspiration for the kids-making-a-mess-around-the-house portion of the book, just let me know and I'll email you a few (hundred) photos.

Mary said...

What terrifies me, especially in multi-lane traffic, is the sight of a toddler strapped into a flimsy little seat on the back of their parent’s bicycle. Are they mad?!

My uncle had a motorcycle. He did the macho thing and bought one that was too big and heavy for him to handle. It was such an embarrassing sight; I never asked to ride with him. He fell off several times, and then sold it.

cynjay said...

I sold my 650cc Honda when I got pregnant with my oldest. Made my DH do the same (although he held out for a couple of months).

I tell my kids that motorcycles are like tattoos - once you are old enough I can't stop you, but do me a favor and don't tell me about it.