Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Susan and I took the kids today to Cull Canyon, a lovely man-made lake in Castro Valley. Michael and Parker had a ball game (where Parker hit a grand slam and several triples.) The weather was perfect and it's a great place for all age kids even little Annabelle. I told Elizabeth that she could take the swim test so she could swim to the dock on the other side of the lake if she wanted. She was hesitant and on her first practice, she freaked out. She, like me, doesn't like the lake water (even a man-made one) and got scared that she couldn't see very well. She got upset and said she couldn't do it. I backed off but then she tried again on her own an hour or so later. She did it. So I suggested she rest and try again before doing the real test. She did. She got a little off track (started curving too much) during the test and got a little upset, but I told her the lifeguard didn't see it and she could swim back. She collected herself and swam back perfectly. She got her wrist band and then a little later in the day swam out to the dock with Roy. To say she was proud would have been an understatement. Miranda played the entire time in the sand with Sebastian and/or Fletcher. It was a lovely way to spend mother's day and Susan's birthday.
Monday, May 06, 2013
Michael and I went out on Friday night to dinner and a movie in celebration of his birthday. We saw Iron Man which I was dreading but which turned out to be pretty good, even for a stupid action movie with too much violence and things blowing up.
The kids went to a co-op at a family that is on Parker's baseball team but who go to a different school. I like the mom and the kid, a third grader, seems pretty nice.
The next day, Elizabeth was telling me about the co-op and told me this:
"Parker was playing jump rope at the school and I asked for a turn. He ignored me so I asked again. He kept ignoring me so I stuck my foot on the jump rope so he couldn't jump and then Parker said, "Move your fucking foot.'"
"Wow," I said. "What did the mom say?"
"She told Parker it wasn't ok to say that."
Michael and I discussed it and found it really hard to punish him for this since it seems like a completely appropriate use of the word fucking. He didn't say it to anyone like Fuck You! And he didn't tell anyone to Fuck Off. He didn't even say something was "fucked." He used it as an adjective to describe his frustation at his annoying sister. He could have hit her or whipped the jump rope at her, but he didn't.
So I talked to him about it reminding him that were words that some grown ups didn't like to hear from kids and fucking was one of them. If he said it at school, he would get in big trouble. He said it just blurted out and he understood the problem. I came *this* close to congratulating him on his word choice, but left it at, Be careful what you say.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
The kids have checklists to help them remember to do everything each morning before school. Miranda has re-done her with pictures instead of words.
This morning she added one task: Having a fight with Elizabeth.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Last weekend Parker had a chess tournament which featured a chess master who provided analysis between rounds of games that the kids recorded during the tournament. He had a little canopy set up in the hard, and about 20 chairs, and people milled around listening to him review the kids games while we waited for the next round to start. The kids all enjoyed listening and engaging between runs on the playground, and once Parker realized that he was reviewing actual games from the tournament, he started recording them, so he could get the play-by-play. Here's the master's analysis of Parker's game, which includes a funny moment where Parker actually moves himself into check, and his opponent doesn't notice, which gets a big laugh, and is a teachable moment for the bemused master.