Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On Pre-K Homework and Perfectionism

Laura started Pre-K at her daycare the last week of August.  She was so excited.  So very excited.  Not to finally be in the 4's class, even though she's been four for 3/4 of a year now.  But because of homework.

"I can't wait to move up to the 4's class so I can get homework!  Grandma calls it homefun!  It's going to be perfect!"

"Perfect."  But that's precisely the problem I have with this homework.  Perfectionism.

Laura comes home every night with her intimidating black composition book with assignments glued in.  Practice these letters.  Color in this picture.  Draw these shapes to match.  It's not the actual assignments - it's the expectation Laura has for herself to be perfect.

Practice these letters: She's lefty, which means that our right-handed system of letter writing is not intuitive for her.  Many of her letters come out perfectly written... completely backwards.  And as soon as Laura compares her letter to the example, she bursts into tears.  "It's not perfect!  It needs to be perfect!  My teacher will be upset!"

Woah.  WAIT A MINUTE.  You are four years old.  You still fit on my lap, and snuggle blankies to sleep, and need me to cut up your food at dinner.  You are still so little and young and innocent.  Please, PLEASE don't worry about what a teacher thinks of you.

I am frustrated, and maybe I need to speak with her teacher about this, but I am frustrated because it feels like Laura is feeling pressured  to learn and do things a certain way.  Maybe the pressure she is feeling is all internal.  But if there is a teacher - or even a classmate - making her feel this way, she needs it to stop.  She'll learn to write her letters.  I'm quite sure of that.  I just don't need her feeling intimidated into learning.

As Laura said just last night, "Mom, this homework really isn't fun.  I thought it was supposed to be fun."  So I wrote as much in a little note in her composition book last night:
Laura did not finish writing her P's because she was getting too upset when they weren't "perfect" and I asked her to stop. -C

Monday, September 1, 2014

Apologies to Lil' Troy

Wanna be a -- crawler, shot caller
Twenty pacifiers -- on the ExerSaucer
A crawler gettin fed tonight

Paul will be six months old on the 5th.  He's not actually crawling yet... But it's close.  He gets up on his hands and knees before face planting, and when he's on his tummy and pushes himself backwards to wherever it is he wants to go.  Hide your daughters: Paul's on the move.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cheese

There are so many things I love about this photo:
I see a dress I felt spectacular in, despite hours of panic and more than one last minute dress purchase while this one waited patiently in my closet.

I see hair that was worth every penny of having it done professionally hours beforehand.

I see pride and ease in feeding my baby during a wedding reception...

I also see a little "cocktail" of Sprite (his 4th in as many minutes), set oh so carefully to the side on the chair he carefully pulled over to be next to me.

I see those pudgy little hands purposefully set on his lap.

I see that suit! My god, that little seersucker suit!

I see the world's funniest two-year-old, cheesing for the camera...

I also see joy, and laughter, and beauty in a day filled with the same.  My brother was married this weekend.  My little brother (who I often picture in my head as a blonde, choo-choo loving, funny little guy, so very similar to the blonde, choo-choo loving funny little guy seated beside me in this photo), all grown up and married to a wonderful woman. 

It's a blurry photo, and "terrible" of both me and Gavin.  But it's my favorite photo from the day.  Or at least one of them... it was such a happy day, and there are so many photos I love, but this one.  There's just something about this one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday Night BBQ

Every Tuesday night for the past several weeks, we have had "plans" with our neighbors.  Laura even asks "Mom, it's the middle day of school - do we have plans tonight?"  I love it!  I love the friendship and camaraderie we have found in our new neighborhood.  This, this Tuesday night routine, is a huge reason why we moved.  Tuesday nights means hamburger or hot dogs on the grill, a potluck of salads, running in sprinklers, and getting covered in melted Popsicle - all on a weeknight!

Yesterday, we weren't supposed to have "plans."  The other mom and I hadn't discussed anything, and I thought I'd take my kids to the pool.  Well, it was too chilly (!) for the pool, so I asked my friend (!!) if she'd like to bring the kids over for Popsicles after dinner. 

"I don't know how soon we can get over there, I have to wait for the husband to bring home buns."
"Well, I have tons of buns but not enough burgers - shall we pool our resources?"
"Yes! Your yard or mine?"

We wound up at our yard, which ended up being a silly choice as I was completely out of propane!  So we cooked the burgers inside and made do.  It was probably even better that way, adding to the spontaneity of our Tuesday Night BBQ.  All seven kids broke down in tired tantrums at the same time, so I helped my friend scoop her kids into the car while Nate wrangled our own kids into the house for bedtime.

I need to go buy more Popsicles and propane.  We'll probably have to skip our BBQ next week (my brother is getting married!!!), but I can't wait to start back up again after that.  It feels so nice having friends!