8 May 2011

lie-ins, lies and violence.

Had a lovely lie-in today. I did perhaps slightly fib to Danger and tell him Sherlock and Mycroft weren't up, when they were, but both in the kitchen, helping their Mum bake a cake (well, Mycroft was reading and observing. Sherlock was 'helping'.) But I figure the only time Danger will get time off is when Mrs Holmes is around, so I wasn't about to give up a lazy Sunday morning in bed with him. And it's not like he's much help on the baking front.

Once everyone was up (I mean out of bed), a final lunch was prepared, and we were all heading back to the beach for one last bit of fun. Or not. Depending on whether you were a certain 5 yr old.

We ate lunch, then, because Mycroft, his Mum and John had to have some serious discussions about Mycroft's new school, and what would happen regarding him boarding there and things, Sherlock and I headed off to have our talk.



John gave Sherlock a very stern warning not to hit me in the face (or anywhere else). "Why not? Other people can."

We walked up the beach, then sat down. And as I started he promptly ran off. Luckily, while I may be slow, my legs are considerably longer than his. So I caught him. Then we sat down again, him in front of me, with my arms wrapped around him, to prevent further escape attempts.

So he resorted to kicking my legs. Which, conveniently, was exactly what I wanted to talk to him about - well, him kicking John. So we discussed why he did it "I hate him, and you", what he thought it would achieve "Make you go away" and all sorts of things about violence. And I think I convinced him we weren't going to go away, and he wasn't going to achieve anything by doing it (except the continued confiscation of his chemistry set - he hasn't had that back yet, since the stink bomb incident), and the possibility of no future swimming trips for him. And we talked about non-violent ways to express his displeasure. And then why he hated us. "I hate you and your job and wish you were dead." (I pointed out that he was intelligent enough to know that wasn't a reason, just a statement). He didn't seem to have a reason for that, in the end. I think part of it is that we're 'letting' Mycroft go away to school. But to admit that would be to admit he might miss Mycroft (whom he 'hates' too.) So we didn't get quite that far at that point.

Then we threw some rocks into the sea, to get rid of some excess energy. And then threw rocks at sticks, to knock them over. And then rocks at piles of rocks...yeah. Lots of rock throwing. Quite big rocks.

And we talked about Mycroft's school, and how it was important that Mycroft went to a good school - just like it was important Sherlock did. And we were all sad that it meant Mycroft wouldn't live at home all the time now, but that he needed to stay at school to do all the things there. "What things?" (I considered this a victory. A question about the place surely means some acceptance of it?) And then we talked about the things he could do with John, when Mycroft wasn't there, and John had more time to do things with him (find him a chemistry tutor, maybe? Teach him to ride a bike before Mycroft came back for his first holiday, so Mycroft would never see that Sherlock couldn't do it...). And we ended with him acknowledging that whatever he did, he wasn't going to change the fact that Mycroft was going to school in September. And the rest of us would all miss him, even if Sherlock wouldn't. And we would all talk to him on the phone and on here. And I swear he almost said he would to, before realising what he might be admitting...

He even sat on my shoulders for some of the walk back. (More owing to fatigue than anything else, i think. He may hate me, but I'm a good taxi.)

And once we were back, immediately took refuge behind Danger, and announced I was "mean and horrible". And then wouldn't speak to me. But kept glowering at me. Which I think means he's thinking about what we talked about. And he hasn't kicked anyone. But he has stamped his feet when we were leaving (I told him foot-stamping was acceptable as an alternative to kicking any sentient beings. Sorry Mrs Hudson, for any plaster he dislodges from your ceiling.)

On a far brighter note, he did actually seem like he was pleased to see me when he realised I was there on Saturday night (he was asleep when I actually got there, but woke a little later) and gave me the picture he'd drawn me:

 Amazing, isn't it? It's going up on the fridge. Thank you, Sherlock.

And expressed some interest in my bruises "Why are your eyes black if you got hit in the nose?"  and "Can I touch them?", which we discussed some more during the entire 'violence' discussion. Because he is obviously uncomfortable with people having physical injuries, even if he doesn't mind doling them out when he can't see the effects. He also doesn't actually like upsetting other people...he just doesn't seem to really notice he does it.

Anyway, only time will tell. He did allow me to give him a hug when Danger and I went to tuck him in for bed. Meaning he wouldn't respond, but didn't stop me. I daresay a few gruesome murder related bedtime stories will get me back in his good books.

62 comments:

John H. D. Watson said...

You do seem to bear the brunt of most of his sulks, but I get more shin kicking, so I suppose it evens out. Thank you.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Well hopefully there will be less shin kicking. Maybe even less sulking, but that might be asking too much.

Nothing to thank me for. I don't like you getting bruised!

Bronwyn said...

Ahh the vagaries of bright, energetic, emotionally frustrated children. It's difficult to have the intellectual capacity to think and understand so many things and not to have the emotional resources to deal with them.

I think you two are doing better than anyone else would in your position.
Later gator,
Bronwyn

Lupe said...

Awww. :( I feel sad for Sherlock, it must suck twice to feel sad about missing your brother but not being able to admit it. I hope he comes around, though. And that he stops hitting John. :S

KHolly said...

I remember doing a bit of foot stomping of my own when my brother left for a bit when he was 13 and I was 9. We didn't speak civilly much at all in those days so I was balancing a bit of "I do not miss him!" [stomp] against don't you dare talk to him on the phone without me being hidden under the kitchen table to listen.

Paula said...

Poor Sherlock. I think, it must be very hard for him. And you two are doing a brilliant job to help him and Mycroft.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

The problem is, Sherlock's behaviour can easily eclipse Mycroft - who is just naturally quieter, and keeps things to himself more - and who is equally, if not more, nervous about this whole thing.

Mrs Holmes said there's a few days when he can go to Harrow and meet his future classmates, or something, before term actually starts. I hope it helps him feel a bit more comfortable.

John H. D. Watson said...

Definitely more nervous, I'm afraid. Just less angry.

Lawless said...

Aww, Lestrade. I am impressed with your talk with Sherlock. I expect he'll come around in time as he matures, though I don't envy him -- as others have said, having one's intellect outpace one's emotional maturity has go to be hard. At least he's intelligent enough to know that arguing with facts isn't very effective.

John, not to denigrate your own efforts with regard to the kids, but you have a keeper here in Lestrade!

innie said...

Like everyone else, I'm glad the boys have the two of you looking out for them and raising them right! And I'd suggest some time with paper and crayons if foot-stamping and rock-throwing can't be done - Sherlock, you have real talent!

sherlock said...

they're colored pencils, crayons are waxy and smell weird and don't come in enough colors.

Ann E. said...

Wow, I've taught children's art classes before and Sherlock's work is very impressive! I really like how nicely the windmill blades are shaped. You must enjoy drawing very much.

Sherlock, maybe you would enjoy studying art and chemistry together. Here's something interesting I once learned about the Impressionists. (That's people like Claude Monet, who did lots of very famous pictures of water lilies.) One reason their art was so different than the great painters before them was that the paint was completely different, and their art teachers didn't realize it.

See, people like Rembrandt had paints that were made by hand. That meant the browns were very thin and runny while the whites were very thick and pasty. They could get a lot of great effects that way, especially when they painted light and shadow.

But by the time Monet and Van Gogh were painting, paints were all made by machines. They were all pasty. So the teachers would try to teach them to paint like Rembrandt, but no one could do it any more because they didn't have the right kind of paint. Monet and Van Gogh and other young painters invented their own ways to paint with the paints they had instead of trying to follow what they had been taught.

innie said...

Sherlock - my mistake. Thank you for letting me know what you use. Have you considered that Mycroft might like a picture of the two of you to take with him when he goes?

Sherlock said...

Anne, can people mix colours like that now?

Innie, he doesn't like my pictures anyway, he said I shouldn't have put nose hairs on lestrade even though he has them.

annoyedwabbit said...

Sherlock, you can still grind your own pigments and make your own paints. Most people don't (because it's obscure and messy and time consuming) but it's certainly possible. My father does, sometimes, when he doesn't want to use commercial paints.

Bronwyn said...

Mixing pigments can be messy. I haven't done it for artistic purpose, butto demonstrate techniques for detecting forgeries. I've also made my own dyes for fabrics. It is definitely a learning experience. I did not know that you could deliberately mix different kinds of dirt into paints to change the texture and oxidation rates until then.
Later gator,
Bronwyn

Ann E. said...

Sherlock, it sounds like some of the other readers know more about actually mixing their own paint than I do. It's much easier to buy ready-made paint today, of course, but since you're interested in chemistry and you like to make art, it does seem like a project that might interest you. Do you suppose there's any way you can earn back your chemistry set?

There are lots of ways to combine science and art. When I was about your age, my mother showed me how to make spore prints on construction paper. http://www.namyco.org/education/spore_prints.html. After it rained we would put mushrooms from our garden on construction paper under a bucket overnight.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Sherlock, WHY were you not only awake at gone midnight, but using John's phone AGAIN. You know you're not to do that.

And Mycroft does like your pictures. Maybe you could draw him a picture of all of us? I know he'd like it.

Sherlock said...

I wasn't I was using mycroft's! You don't get mad at john when he can't sleep, it's not my fault!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

John's an adult, who doesn't need to be awake for school in the morning. If you can't sleep you should read a book.

And i'm reasonably sure he's said you shouldn't update the blog from school, either. Which is where I hope you are.

sherlock said...

UR MEAN

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Quite possibly.

I'm also shocked. Text speak, from you?

Sherlock said...

Can if I want. Languages change and grow up too.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I didn't say you couldn't, mate. I was just surprised, that's all.

What are you up to today?

Sherlock said...

It's quiet reading time but I finished my book. Today we made prints with fish and paint and Tom ate some of the paint.

Sherlock said...

Ann I don't know, john was pretty mad about the stink bomb. It was really stinky.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Which book? War and Peace?

I'm not entirely sure I know how you make prints with fish.

I'm certain the paint was non-toxic though, so he'll be fine. Although it probably didn't taste nice.

You can have your chemistry set back when you've been good and not hit, kicked or been mean to anyone for a certain length of time, which John has no doubt determined, but not disclosed to you.

Sherlock said...

How can I do it if no one tells me what it is? Mrs T says I should have achievable goals.

You put the paint on the fish and then you push the fish onto the paper and it makes fish prints, shaped like fish. They don't really look a LOT like fish though. Are you coming home before I sleep tonight?

The book was The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. It was okay but I don't see why all kids books have stupid talking animals.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Your goal is to be good. I expect John will tell you how long for (something more short term than 'life', which would be my answer), if you agree with him that if you return to the violent behaviour of last week, you understand the chemistry set will be confiscated again.

I will try to be home at a decent hour. Is this a sign you don't hate me quite as much as yesterday?

And I'd argue any talking animals were probably quite intelligent, not stupid.

Sherlock said...

I only kicked him once!!

I don't know, can we go for a walk before dinner?

BUT ANIMALS DON'T TALK.

innie said...

Some animals do talk, just not in ways we can understand. Animals who speak English, however - that's just ridiculous, I agree.

Have you ever read _The Westing Game_ by Ellen Raskin? It's a bit more like one of Lestrade's bedtime stories.

sherlock said...

What animals talk??? Parrots don't count they're just making sounds.

No does it have murders?

KHolly said...

Whales certainly talk to each other. Dolphins too, I'm pretty sure.

I feel like my dog is talking to all the other dogs in the neighborhood all the time, but I wouldn't say they're communicating with each other in any kind of way you would say counts as talking.

sherlock said...

They talk to each with words? I mean not people words of course but whale words? Does that mean people can learn to talk to them?

innie said...

As KHolly said, whales and dolphins talk with their voices. And plenty of other animals communicate in ways that we don't yet understand - there was just a study that found out that hyenas plan out their attacks so that they can hunt more effectively, but we can't figure out how they're doing it.

There are murders and bombs and even a kid who kicks, but the trick is that it looks like a children's book, so you should be able to read it without any fuss.

KHolly said...

Well, I don't think anyone has quite successfully learned their language yet, but people are trying. As you're very clever maybe you can learn to talk to them. If nothing else it gives you a great excuse to have a whole career playing in the ocean.

sherlock said...

But if they're smart like us why do people keep them in big tanks like they're just fish? That's like keeping them in prison.

I would like to learn to talk to whales.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Sherlock, the animals in the books really talk in their own animal language. But then when someone writes the story they translate it so we can all understand. That's the joy of fiction.

John says you kicked him more than once - in the morning and when he came to pick you up. And it makes no difference. The bloke only hit me in the face once, and he's hopefully going to prison.

I will try to be home in time for a walk. You can tell me the questions you'd like to ask a whale.

sherlock said...

Okay.

John's here, I have to go, bye internet.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Who does this walk involve, by the way? And are you going to eat dinner first, so you don't go to bed at an ungodly hour?

sherlock said...

I guess if I have to.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

It depends how long the walk you're planning will take. Don't want you eating dinner just before bed .

I'll be leaving soon. Are we walking the dogs with John and Mycroft?

sherlock said...

No! Just us. John says I'm eating first.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Okay. Any particular reason? Or just because it's a lovely evening?

sherlock said...

Because!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Danger - I need some whale facts! Help! All I can think of is the barstools on Aristotle Onassis's yacht. (That's another thing people shouldn't Google if they're faint hearted).

Sherlock would ask a whale what's on the very bottom of the ocean, deeper than people go...

John H. D. Watson said...

That's a reasonable thing to ask a whale.

annoyedwabbit said...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123420217

Blue whale songs are dropping in pitch frequency - They're now 30% lower than in the 1960s. Some scientists think it has to do with the cessation of whaling: with more female blue whales, the male blue whales don't have to work so hard to make themselves heard. The article compares singing at high frequency to shouting. Now the males can go back to crooning. Plus, low frequency songs apparently make them sound more attractive.

If you speed whalesong up, it sounds exactly like birdsong - all twitters and chirps.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/22/135639670/steady-as-a-whale-humpbacks-swim-straight-lines
Humpback whales are very good at swimming in straight lines across thousands of miles of ocean. Scientists have no idea how they do it. According to one scientist: "They're doing something rather precise. They're actively and deliberately navigating within some sort of external reference frame." Humans, in contrast, are spectacularly bad at walking in straight lines.

Whale songs change each year, and certain "tunes" or patterns will travel through widespread populations of a species. (In either grey whales or humpback the songs originate with populations around Australia, and then travel across the world.) Scientists can even identify certain pods of whales by their songs.

Basically, whales are really cool social creatures that we know very little about. :D

Lindsay said...

Sherlock- People keep whales in tanks for the same reason they keep fish in tanks: because they're not as smart as we are so they believe that gives us a right to do what we want with them. There are a good number of people who think keeping them in tanks IS like putting them in prison, and think it should be banned.

You have to make up your own mind I guess. People have the same objections to keeping dolphins caged up, and most especially primates, because they are so genetically close to us and so clever. Some people think animals should never be caged or experimented on, no matter if they're monkeys or mice. It's a complicated issue in some ways. I don't know of any good books about it off the top of my head, but John and Mycroft might be able to help you find some.

Sherlock said...

We walked past the zoo tonight, when all the people had gone and the animals were making noises and it sounded a bit like a jungle, not London.

I don't think they should be in cages. Lestrade says there are bigger places, like zoos, but without cages so much, called safari parks. I think that sounds a bit better, but not the same as being wild.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Sherlock! Give Mycroft's or John's phone BACK and go to SLEEP. I will be up there in five minutes, and you had better be in your own bed, with the light out and no internet enabled technology anywhere near you. Right?

John H. D. Watson said...

Heh. I see the big brother parts of your brain are reasserting themselves nicely. You sounded just like my dad then.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I shall very shortly be ordering you into bed too.

Although you can keep the light on.

Victoria said...

Good morning Sherlock. Okay, this book does have some talking animals but it also has some gorgeous artwork of the oceans. And some super-smart adults and kids too, who are part of a special mission: to take a submarine down to explore the oceans and try to make contact with the whales. They meet a new species, who are able to communicate with them and have a mission of their own: to educate humans about how they are harming the ocean's ecosystem.

I think you might like the book, although it's out of print now. It's called The Secret Oceans by Betty Ballantine.

John H. D. Watson said...

I shall very shortly be ordering you into bed too.

You first.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ok, I order you into bed with me.

Get in here, you gorgeous hunk of supernanny.

John H. D. Watson said...

(A phrase that had never before been uttered in the history of the Earth, I'm willing to bet.)

Amy said...

Animal communication is so interesting! Another example is the 'dances' which honeybees do, to tell other bees back at the hive how far away food is, and in what direction.

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/B/BeeDances.html

Bronwyn said...

I want to recommend Ender's Game, but I'm pretty sure that Sherlock doesn't need the encouragement. So I will instead recommend The Chosen by Chaim Potok because it's one of my favorite books.

Later gator,
Bronwyn

Anonymous said...

The thought of Sherlock reading Ender's Game scares me a little I think. Or Mycroft, actually.

Becca said...

Sherlock, you might be interested to learn that many species of monkeys have vocabularies up to about 30 specific vocalizations, if I'm remembering rightly.

We know that they mean specific things because when we record the calls and play them back, the monkeys do a specific thing in response.

This article is about the calls of Vervet Monkeys, who have different calls of alarm for the different species that hunt them. If they call out that an eagle is coming, they hide in bushes, but if they call that a leopard is coming, they run up into trees and onto branches that won't support a leopard's weight.

http://primatology.net/2011/03/09/the-semantics-of-vervet-monkey-alarm-calls-part-i/

rabidsamfan said...

This is really way late, but I'm a children's librarian, and I think that books about talking animals aren't really about animals, they're about people, only in disguise (with some animal stuff added sometimes in to provide verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.)

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