Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book suggestions?

A familiar sight with a new subject.

I remember when M was at this stage.  Picture books still entertain L (greatly) but it's taking ever more books per day to keep up with his demands, and he spends more time choosing the books each day after school than it even takes to read them.  He's done by the time we get home from school, no matter how many I let him take out.

He's ready to move on to chapter books, but not ready to commit, even though I know that one fun chapter book could replace 20 times its weight in picture books. (Backpack weight/time spent choosing books at the library every day after school are my only concerns.  He could read picture books for 5 more years and I wouldn't fuss.  M still enjoys them, too.  Heck, even I like them!)

For the record: with M, I failed spectularly until I realized he didn't want to read books about annoying 7-year-olds teasing their siblings.  Out with ALL the cheesy transitional chapter books I had been pushing, in with actual chapter books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, The Cricket In Times Square, Charlotte's Web, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Henry and Ribsy, and the whole Great Illustrated Classics shelf. He never looked back.  But, along with being a certified logophile, he had the skills to handle those heftier books.

But L is different.  He's younger, for one, and his reading comprehension is still closer to second grade than fifth.  Plus, he has a very specific set of interests.  In a word: cars.  

He'll happily read a picture book about pretty much anything fun, but hasn't been interested in diving into any of the transitional chapter books I've suggested.  I wondered if racecars could be the secret to unlocking chapter books for him.  It looks like they just might be.

He sweated his way through his first-ever chapter book, so curious to find out if Humphrey, the racecar-driving hamster, wins his big race or not. (Don't worry. I won't spoil it for you).  And when he finished he wanted to read it again.

So.  That worked.  Aside from The Mouse and the Motorcycle (perfect suggestion from my perfect BFF/expert on all things books and otherwise) what other easyish chapter books might catch the interest of a car-loving four-year-old?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Field day success

Last week was field day at school, which always includes a class cheer and costume competition.  L's classmates were zoo animals, M's class was teeth, and my students were superheroes.

In the past, I've raised the point that the standard "pizza party" reward for best field day cheer and costumes might not be the best way to reinforce the PE department's goals of fitness and health for the children.  [Not to be a killjoy, but it's not actually just once in a while.  With 20+ classmates' birthdays, holidays, rewards, and food-related lessons, junk food at school can be a weekly issue.]

This year, the reward was a pool party!  What a good plan- fun for the students, easy to prep, low-cost, and no unnessary junk food.

I'm sure they changed it for their own reasons, so I'm not taking credit.  I'm just celebrating the step in a healthier direction!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Things he doesn't do

The other night when I was writing about how I have used my blog to analyze M to oblivion, I realized that I don't always follow up with specific issues. 

As I'm working to understand xyz about him, I blog about it, he gets it/matures/moves on, I ... don't blog about it.  By then I have probably moved on to a new worry and am too busy thinking about that.

My blog needs a disclaimer: People in blog may be more normal than they appear.

So, just for accuracy's sake and kicks.

Things M doesn't do anymore, or things that never turned out to be worth the worry in the first place:

Repeat himself 
Count his syllables/words
Lick his hands or arms
Get time out every day at school
Fuss about shirt tags/socks
Fuss about lights/noises
Carry a note in his pocket to remember to notice people's countenance
Have trouble making friends.

It's hard to know what was additives, what was asynchronous development, and what was just being a kid. But poor guy!  All those little things that make parents wonder: "Is this normal?" are probably all normal.  

And lucky L, born second to a mom who has already stressed herself to immunity on most issues before he ever reaches them.

M, you are perfect.  I wouldn't have changed one thing about you, and that includes the licking!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Piggy things

I didn't tear up when my boys said their first words, took their first steps, or blew our their first birthday candles.  I cherish those memories, but they don't bring tears to my eyes.

So why was I getting misty when L learned Pig Latin today?  Something about those mixed-up syllables brought me back to my own childhood, and made me see L through a different lens.  Less the boy of my very own, more a boy of his very own. 

I remember having that same moment with M.

It was around this point last year that M asked for a haircut. L's still holding strong.

I may not have any babies left, and I can handle that. But please L, please never take those perfect, curly piggy tails away from me.

Monday, January 26, 2015


M doesn't know it yet, but he's playing hooky tomorrow.

He and Whim are headed to NASA: A Human Adventure.  I'm a little jealous that Whim gets to be the one to take him.  He's going to flip, and Whim gets to see it firsthand.