Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Day at Summer Camp...

{Making friends at camp. A GIANT Millipede "feels like a giant toothbrush"}

We are LOVING Summer Camp. It's bug week and there is a lot of creepy crawly fun happening daily. We pick Ry up every day soaking wet from "swimming" in the creek, shoes crusted in dirt from nature hikes, completed bug crafts (did I mention my son doesn't do crafts? He DOES at camp!) and smiling from ear to ear. Since I work for a City and am involved in Parks & Recreation, I am fortunate enough to get the inside scoop daily via texts and photos from our fantastic staff. I hear of him making silly "Scooby Doo" faces, singing the Addam's Family theme in the bathroom, and making his counselors laugh. I have recently learned that he also created a critical mass of kids sliding down the hillside into the creek - sorry about the soiled shorts Moms. He has good ideas. His preschool teacher has told me this.

And then today, there was this...
Verbatim from camp staff:

Alec: Ryder, be careful, don't run down the hill, it's steep!

Ryder: (in full sprint down the hill) I can't stop!

Ryder arrives at the bottom and Alec catches up to him. Ryder looks at Alec and says...

"now THAT'S inertia!" 

That's our Boy.

Friday, June 17, 2011

All I Need...

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about her 3 year old daughter's need to try on a zillion outfits to then proceed to change them a billion more times. It reminded me of Ry getting ready for school. Here are his rules:

Mom, please have the grace to accept with serenity the things that I cannot change, Courage to not change the things which should be changed, And the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

  1. I will only wear black or navy t-shirts
  2. Nothing with Jack Skellington on it (I now hate him)
  3. I will only wear shorts
  4. Flip flops or Crocs, I hate socks.
  5. My Chinese Silk Pajama Top from Grandma Bevy is always appropriate as a jacket.
  6. I will take as long as I want to do these things, no matter if we have 30 minutes or 2 minutes to do them in.
In addition to getting dressed, more often than not, he would somehow need to take something with him to school. He used to stuff a magnet into his pocket, a junky plastic toy, a puzzle piece, etc. As he has matured, it launched into a book, a transformer or a "Go Go." Said object would likely hit his cubby, only seconds after entering school, thus making the motive unclear at best. No matter what, it would command a tedious visit to the toy bin in the corner of his bedroom and some rifling around for some time, only to find that perfect "thing." There was never a real plan for which item was going to be selected, RIGHT AS WE'RE TRYING TO LEAVE THE HOUSE... as if the act of getting dressed was not enough of an arduous task. I am sure there will come a day when I miss these little quirks, but in the throws of it, you are not always thinking about how interesting or cute something is, just about how the heck you are going to get out of the house. BUT, I think we are at the tail end of this ritual.

Daddy says Ry reminds him of Steve Martin in The Jerk. "All I need"... makes us laugh every time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kumon....COME ON!

{...because she looks super happy.} photo by James Estrin/The New York Times
I just saw this article, printed in the New York Times, entitled Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten? and it made me want to cry. I was trying to picture my 2 year old, (with his arm finally freed from the fire hose hook up) sitting in Junior Kumon, in front of a work book, being yelled at to fire off answers to math problems by a cold, militant math teacher. Maybe I am exaggerating, but maybe not. I quickly shifted my mindset to my 5 year old who adds and subtracts nightly at the dinner table with Tater Tots, Dino Nuggets, Broccoli etc. It's still math...and he is doing it on his own, without me forcing the topic. 

As there is no data to support that early reading suggests increased success later in life, I have to imagine this over-tutoring in math runs an easily assumed parallel (because I am a brain surgeon). But to my point, I am NOT a brain surgeon, but a Mommy whose instincts are setting off alarms telling me that this phenomena is nuts. Parents are growing increasingly worried that their kids will fall behind this new curve- a curve they are inflating due to their own fears. People, you are perpetuating the problem...and in turn, creating worry in parents like myself who have decided to let their children grow-up in a more organic fashion.  And so the cycle continues...

You should probably put your kid back in the sandbox. They'll thank you for it later.

Here is the Article... enjoy. Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten?