In the car this morning Parker says:
"Mom, did you know that Quinn said that his mom just signed him up for basketball camp and he didn't even want to go?"
"No, I didn't know that. But he ended up having fun right?"
"Well....he said he didn't even learn anything and he didn't like it."
"Oh, that's too bad."
"Even if you didn't like it you could have learned something, I told him. I also asked him if he wanted to grow up and not do or practice any sports and just be weak all the time."
"Did he answer?"
(Parker ignores this question.)
"Parker, do you know that some people don't play sports at all and don't care about that stuff? Do you know some people just play video games all day or chess or other games like that?"
"Well...at least they are working on their brain muscle and making it strong if they play chess."
Friday, June 29, 2012
In the car this morning Parker says:
Thursday, June 28, 2012
So...Parker is on the swim team in Piedmont. He is one of the youngest ones. He improved greatly this past year both in swimming and in "getting it" which I've blogged about before.
At the end of the year, the volunteer, parent board of the team told the other parents that the coaches were not happy with the Piedmont pool and wanted to move to Albany part time. Parker's level would not have been affected, but the older kids would have to have workouts there in the afternoon. Which is hell because Albany, although only 10 miles away, is up Hwy 80 which is always a nightmare and horrible in the afternoon. The parents voted, but before the board told us the decision, all the coaches quit effective July 31st. They decided they just wanted to start a swim team in Albany and be done with Piedmont. They expected a good number of kids from Piedmont to go with them.
I've never been a fan of the coaches. They are not welcoming, they don't share information, they aren't engaging with the kids (at Parker's level at least), they don't actually seem to teach much swimming, and they appear to be fairly unorganized. Numerous times I tried to ask questions, to get advice about Parker, but was always met with a sizeable amount of vagueness. Which I can't stand.
So when they quit, I was totally fine with it. And although Parker liked Jesus, one of the assistant coaches, because we did private classes with him, I don't think he'll care who the coach is as long as he is not a dick.
Before they quit they had said that all afternoon workouts for the summer would be in Albany and Parker's level would be combined with one level up. I figured we would do it because he would get a lot of attention (most kids don't work out in the summer) and it would be good to do a slightly harder workout. But so far it's been horrible. The drive is as bad as I thought it would be, the facility is not user friendly (not many showers, no where for parents to sit), crowded, etc. And the coaches are checked out and don't seem to care at all about Parker. (We told them we would not be staying in Albany come the fall because they needed to know figures.) He and the other kids were thrown into the longer workout (50% longer) without any ramp up or modifications and the coaches were surprised when they were struggling. My attempt at explaining this to the head coach was met with a blank stare. So after a few workouts, we (Michael and I with some input from Parker) decided that he would not continue on the team for the summer.
Yesterday, one of them came down from Sacramento to do a "deck interview" which is basically coaching the kids in a workout so the parents (the board) can see what his style is. We weren't going to return to practice, but I wanted to see this guy in action. He seems like he would be good, but I don't think he'll take the job if he is offered since he wants a more competitive position. He had the kids do lots of dives in (Starts) which Parker is actually pretty good at now, but the poor boy was freezing.
He took a long hot shower afterwards. Michael and the girls ate a dinner Parker didn't like so I decided we would eat in Albany to avoid traffic and eat something delicious. So we went to Nations, a burger joint. He was very hungry and it was delicious.
Hopefully it will be the last time we go to Albany, but might return for another coach candidate.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I met a woman named Tatiana at my mother's group for Parker. We got along, but didn't become fast friends. The bigger group sort of separated into two smaller groups and then all of my group either moved away or went back to work or lost touch. I see them sometimes at Trader Joes or around town.
This week Parker is taking a Tag camp. Yes, 3 and half hours of playground games. One of the kids in the camp is Teagan, Tatianna's son. He is the almost the exact same age as Parker. Tatianna was feeling sick so I offered to bring Teagan to camp today. So I picked him up and the kids had a small playdate. It's as if the last 7 years passing without them knowing each other didn't exist and they got along famously. Light saber fighting. Chess. Generally hanging out. It was sweet.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I was teaching Parker some math terms this morning like line, line segment, ray, vertex and then asking him to draw some. Then I asked him to draw three line segments that were AB, BC and CA. He said, Mom! I don't underst...." and before he could finish the word understand he said..."I get it!" and drew a triangle.
Monday, June 25, 2012
The kids went to Adam's birthday yesterday. He is Shari's son. I've know Shari for almost 20 years now. It was at the jungle, a chucky cheese type place with plastic crap prizes and tons of kids running around. They had a blast.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
If you'd like to see more camping pictures, go visit Ebba's blog. She's got a ton! Many that I took with her camera.
For many reasons which we can share with you if you are interested, we are doing some math with Parker this summer. I printed out the California math standards for each grade, checked off what he already knows in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade and are working through the stuff he doesn't know or has never seen. We do about 2 pages each day in this workbook or I make up problems. He doesn't complain and seems to enjoy "learning" new things each day without having to do pages and pages of computations. Long division bugs him. Which makes sense since it doesn't make any sense.
Yesterdays discussion was like this:
Do you know what this is? (I drew a right angle.)
He said, "An angle. A right angle."
Right. Can you draw a 180 angle? He drew a line.
Super. Can you draw a 360 angle? He drew a circle.
Nice. How about 45 degrees? Got that right too.
Then we talked about different kinds of shapes like scalene, isosceles, and equilateral triangles. Then I asked him to draw a rectangle, rombus, trapezoid, and square. And because he is a little punk, he drew them all in each other. Fourth grade geometry. Check.
So today, we were doing money problems. They focused around "what was a better buy". He didn't understand that statement at first and had some trouble (for about 2 minutes), but then got it. For each of the three problems he had to figure out if buying a specific size package of some food was a better buy than buying the items individually or in a smaller or bigger package. For each problem, his brain worked differently than mine figuring out the answer, but he got them all right.
Then a couple hours later, we were at the market. We were looking at salads to bring to a BBQ today. We were deciding between a pasta salad and quinoa salad. At first he said the pasta salad because he liked pasta better than rice, but then he said, "No, mom. Get the quinoa salad because it's a better buy." Which it was.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
We joined the piedmont babysitting co-op and used it for the second time tonight. Kids went to my friend Christine's house who lives up on Wildwood. She is the one that invited us to join it (it's invite only). She has a boy in the girls' class and two older ones. Another family with a boy in Parker's grade was there too. Michael and I went to Alameda for Mexican food and a Wes Anderson movie, but it was sold out so we came back to Oakland for a sci fi movie that seems just like Aliens to me but without the excitement. We picked everyone up at 9:45 and Parker was long asleep. Girls were awake and relatively happy. We shuttled them all off to the car and then home and into bed. If they wake up at 6am, I'm gonna be pissed.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
And in the long list of ways the girls are different than Parker...
Monday, June 18, 2012
Miranda woke after a 13 hour post-vacation sleep and felt inspired to write this poem:
Snail under the leaf
Snail under the leaf
The snail is crawling all the places it can sneak.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
There are some phrases that Michael and I say that always demand a follow up...usually from me. For example, when Michael or I say "I have no place else to go" in the sense of..."why don't you escape the house for a bit" or when playing a game where a piece moves. The follow up is always me saying, "I've GOT NO PLACE ELSE TO GO" like Richard Gere said in an officer and a gentlemen when he is doing push ups in the rain and mud.
Another one is if Michael says, "You should avail yourself of x, y or z" (Michael is really the only one who says this because, really, who says avail these days?) I always come back with "A VAIL! A VAIL!" from A Kliban book when two guys are in a boat pointing to a whale.
The last one I can think of right now is also a Kliban reference. It's when someone says, "Do you see them?" Then the other says, "I see them." Then I say, "Hasidim too!"
Monday, June 11, 2012
The second was a bedtime story read to them by Parker's teacher Mrs. Sears. Joanie came over this evening and read all three two books. It was all very sweet and the kids were thrilled to have her here. They asked if she could come every night. She has three children of her own all under 5 so I'm guessing she is fairly busy in the evenings.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Here's one Parker's been working on for a week or two, and nearly has worked out.
Here's Parker working on his new Bach piece. He lost the music, so he's only able to practice the first half. His teacher instructed him to be careful, so I don't think she would approve of this performance.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Thursday, June 07, 2012
I got Parker some new shorts yesterday. He calls them PE shorts because they like workout shorts. He likes them. He saw them in his room, came downstairs and said, "what are those shorts in my room?" I said they were his and I got them for him. He smiled really big and said, "Oh thank you mommy!" and then gave me a big hug.
When I give stuff to the girls, they look at it and say, "I did't want that color." or "Why did she get that one and I didn't?" Or something equally as rude and ungrateful.
Today, the kids were getting ready for the pool. Elizabeth and Miranda got their own towels, snacks, clothes, goggle, etc. I gave Parker his swim bag and his bathing suit and asked if he was going to get dressed here or there. He said here and went upstairs. He didn't come down. I yelled up, What's going on?!??! He said, "I can't find my bathing suit! It isn't in the bag!" I told him he was holding it in his hand when he went upstairs. Sheesh.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Sunday, June 03, 2012
The girls had their ballet recital this evening. Months, weeks, days, hours of prep for less than 2 minutes on stage. But damn if those girls didn't have the best buns and make up on stage. Including the older kids. A variety of kids did about 10 different dances and they were all fairly awful. From Copelia to Nutcracker to Sleeping Beauty. There were your expected falls and laughs at kid who forgot the moves.
It was hard to watch for me as I kept wondering if I sucked this badly way back when as these kids did tonight. (I'm not talking about the 5 and 6 year olds either. I'm talking about girls that looked 13, 14, and 15.) I'd like to think I could actually turn out my legs (which none of them could) or bourre without it sounding like elephants, but perhaps my memories are rose colored and I was as terrible as all of them. Miranda wants to do it again and Elizabeth is done. Half success I guess.
We let the kids watch television on the weekend mornings, which we've discovered is a fairly reliable method for parents getting to sleep in. They go down when they wake up and watch shows on Netflix, and it's a big treat for them, and something they look forward to. They've worked out a system of picks so they never fight about what to watch, and they Shawn the Sheep, and Backyardigans, and whatever else they are into on any given day.
Lately, their unanimous pick is AFV, otherwise known as America's Funniest Videos. Parker discovered that one Sunday night on live television and was immediately hooked, and made a point on subsequent Sunday evenings to tune in. And then when he discovered it was available through Roku, he introduced the girls to it, and they've all been hooked on it ever since.
This morning, they all slept in late, but I was still surprised it was only Parker and Elizabeth watching AFV when I poked my head into the TV room. Since it was nearly 8am, I went up to make sure that Miranda was ok.
I found her smiling on her bed, singing a little song to her horse, because her horse felt a little sad. She told me that her song was a made up song about her lucky day, and how today was going to be a lucky day because it was her ballet recital, and it was about the sweetest thing you'd ever seen, and so I enjoyed this quiet little moment of sweetness with my daughter. And then she said, "Where's Elizabeth?" To which I replied, "She's down with Parker watching AFV." She leapt out of her bed, saying "Aweesome!!!" and then she was off down the stairs like a shot.
Saturday, June 02, 2012