Work with me, please.

Archive for June, 2013

How’s That for You?

20130629-222348.jpg

Here’s to another satisfied birthday kid. Jay’s party went well yesterday. He and his friends had fun, and the staff were so helpful. I actually spent a lot of time talking to other parents and relaxing, so much so that I missed a lot of good pictures.

Jay had asked for a Ninjago cake. I stressed for a few weeks about how to pull that off. I looked at lovely Ninjago cakes online that were in the shape of the Ninja Lego men, brightly colored fondant draped elegantly to depict the characters’ costumes. I envied those bakers. Fondant scares me. I’m not ready for it. I thought about star-tipping one of the Ninja, but I visualized myself cramped over a cake for a few hours, ending up with a severe case of carpel tunnel syndrome. Then, someone suggested an edible print-out. Bingo! It was so easy and fast, and he was pleased with it — always the ultimate test.

Before the party, he had his first drum lesson.  He had fun and he wants to continue with the lessons, which I think is great.   What I like too is that the lessons are at the instructor’s house.  Yay!  I’m excited that Jay chose something that is unrelated to Mae’s interests.  Sometimes, it seems that he likes what she likes because she likes it and he’ll stop liking something if she doesn’t like it or shows no interest.  I have a feeling the drum lessons will be different.  I’ll ask her to encourage him to practice because she’s great at motivating others, and I think that will help him stay focused.

I’ve been making it a point lately to preach to them that they have to help and support each other.   This is the first weekend that they are responsible for their own laundry.  So far, they have moved their clothes downstairs, into the washer, and then into the dryer, using teamwork.  I just listen carefully and intervene if necessary.  I have to particularly listen out for the bossy one, Mae.

Love her like I do, I know Mae can be slippery, which came out most recently this weekend. She’d been suspicious of the Tooth Fairy since Jay lost a tooth several weeks ago. She lost a tooth at camp on Friday and didn’t tell me about it. She placed it under her pillow Friday night to test if the “Tooth Fairy” would bring her a gift. I walked into her bedroom Saturday morning and she pulled the tooth from under her pillow with a flourish. “Aha! I told you.” Yep, she proved herself right. No question, the Tooth Fairy does not exist outside of this house. I am she. Then, she proceeded to think out loud about what I should give her for her tooth. “Should I get candy or money or . . . .”

Erck! (FYI, that’s the sound of a car hitting brakes hard.) I explained that now that she knows there is no Tooth Fairy, she can’t expect to collect on a lost tooth. I thought that would be a short conversation. Not with this child. No, not this one. So, then I explained it this way: The Tooth Fairy leaves gifts. A giver decides whether and what to give; there is no entitlement. I added that she’s a nine-year old allowance-earner and she can buy herself whatever gift she thinks the “Tooth Fairy” would have or should have given her. She’s grown out of the make-believe, so she can grow into more independence. Since we were having a frank conversation, I told her that Santa Claus and the Easter bunny are fake too. Done.

Advertisements

Picking and Choosing

20130627-192435.jpg

It’s a good thing I’m not the type of person who panics easily. I should be freaking out about being told today at 6:45 pm or thereabouts that Jay’s martial arts-themed birthday party on Saturday (less than 48 hours from now) may be without a martial arts instructor. The party scheduler didn’t know that the usual party instructors will be participating in a tournament this weekend.

She said she’s trying desperately to book one of two possible substitutes. Hey, a lot can happen in two days, right? I do wonder about the capabilities of the leftover instructors who aren’t participating in the tournament. Does that mean they suck? Would six-year olds notice? If I can fit into Mae’s uniform, maybe . . . .  Well, the scheduler is going to call me at noon tomorrow and give me an update.

This is our first week back from vacation and then I was home sick on Monday and Tuesday, so I’m still getting my energy back and adjusting to our summer routine. Jay and I both picked up some crud. The pediatrician asked me if Jay had had any recent “exposures.” I said, “Between the zoo, pool, water park, beach, and hotel, I’m sure he was exposed to something, but I don’t know what.”

During vacation, my work piled up and I worked last night and I’ll work tonight to get caught up. I had three great colleagues on standby to babysit help my clients. However, the Lovelies left “urgent” voicemail messages despite my out-of-office greeting and disregarded my email auto-reply asking them to contact my co-workers. Ah, to be valued so much that they would have no one else but me!

I don’t feel like being panicky right now. I chose calm for today. I think better in this state. I have too much to do for home, self, and work and not a lot of time to get it done. Like, I have a hair appointment tomorrow after work and I need to shop for and bake a cake for which I still need to decide upon a recipe.

Woosaaaah . . . .

He’s Their Favorite

20130617-084629.jpg

If my kids had to choose between me on my best day (e.g, letting them eat candy cereal for breakfast on a school day) and their dad on his worst day (e.g., making them leave the TV to do homework), I’m sure they would choose him. And, it’s all good. He’s a gem and they — we — are so lucky to have him.

I’m glad they have a choice. It’s one I didn’t have. I enjoy watching and hearing them cherish him, and I’m proud of him for being worthy.

Strong Finisher

orange beltMae tested for her orange belt in Tae Kwon Do last Thursday. While performing an exercise called Second Form, whatever that is, she made a mistake.  She paused and started over.  The three classmates testing with her kept going.  She didn’t try to catch up with them.  She took her time.   I could she that she was concentrating hard.  She finished . Then, the entire group had to repeat the set of moves.  The second time, she did a great job from start to finish.  They all did.

Before going on to the next phase of the test, the Master Instructor praised Mae for starting over and taking her time.  He told her that he liked that she didn’t just stop.  He said that she’ll be a “strong finisher in life.”  I was more proud of her for staying the course than I was for getting the belt.

Mae told me a few weeks ago that she didn’t want to take the test because she didn’t feel ready.  She said she couldn’t remember all of the Second Form.  At first, I thought about asking the teacher if she could work with Mae a little extra.  I talked myself out of that.  Instead, I asked Mae what was the worst that could happen?  She wouldn’t get the orange belt, which would be disappointing and upsetting.  Then, life would go on.  I pointed out that she had several more weeks to practice.  I reminded her of the Fourth Agreement, always do your best.   She relaxed after our talk.  I did too.  The talk was as much for me as for her.  When she first said she was worried, a vision of a huge meltdown in the middle of the dojo flashed across my mind.  But I can’t save her from everything.  Failure is a part of life and learning.  I told myself that if she failed, I’d just have to be prepared to give her a shoulder.  So, it all worked out.  My Strong Finisher.

The whole week finished on a high note.  I went on a field trip with Jay’s class, which was a welcome break from the office.  I had Jay and one other mild-mannered kid with me.  Some of the other moms were envious; they had rowdy kids.  One mom told a kid that he wouldn’t be allowed to go on field trips in the future unless one of his parents came along.  Parents who are used to easy-to-manage kids have no idea.  Next time, I’ll volunteer to take him if he doesn’t have a parent on the trip.  Compared to my girlchild, he would have been a piece of cake.

When I went back to work on Friday, I had three deadlines and I met all of them, plus a slew of stuff that I wasn’t expecting to do.  But the absolute highlight of my week was that I found a pair of shoes on sale for $19.99 and went I to pay, I had exactly $19.99 in reward points.  Yep, I walked out with a free pair of shoes, no taxes, nothing.

This morning, I went to Jay’s school to help in the garden that the principal recently started.  I took my neglected gardening tools and gloves, meant for the garden that exists only in my head, and put them to good use.  I have neither vegetable nor flower in my own yard, but while my kids are in summer camp at the school, they’ll have an opportunity to see, touch and taste some of nature’s bounty and I’ll get some credit for it.  🙂

Today is Saturday, and I have nothing planned outside of the house for the rest of today and tomorrow.  That means we have no excuse to let our garage remain in its current crowded, unorganized condition.  So, that’s my tomorrow.  For now, Hubby found an Irish documentary that involves fighting.  I like Irish stories and he likes fighting, so we have a date.

%d bloggers like this: