Archive for the 'The Man' Category

Feb 05 2014

My brain hates me.

Published by under Education,The Man

I had to take a test tonight. It was a test for which I felt ill-prepared. I had woken up this morning with the knowledge that I had forgotten to do an entire section of homework, so instead of reviewing two chapters during The Boy’s nap, I would have to somehow do a section’s worth of homework (an hour) and then try to review the whole chapter (an hour) and then if I had time (not bloody likely) re-review the other chapter. And, since I’d gotten up late, I’d also have to cram a shower and hair/makeup time in there. It wasn’t looking good.

Fortunately, my husband is a wonderful man who has a plethora of sick time, so he came home way early and watched The Boy while I feverishly mathed it up. I was not feeling good about the section I hadn’t done. I did all the homework and it was only somewhat clicking. My 4-cylinder brain was missing every other stroke, and that’s not what you want when one mistake throws off your entire solution.

Eventually, I clawed my way into something like a groove, and started feeling…OK. Not like “I’m gonna ace this!” but more like “I will probably score a B or B-” which for some people is probably a great grade, but I have complexes, and for me, if it’s not an A I might as well just drop the class and give up because I am too dumb to go to college and should give my spot to someone else. Go mental health! (As a side note, this is the exact mindset for which I give my husband no end of grief, when he is in the throes of his own “I’m a miserable failure and don’t deserve higher education” angst-fits. Go hypocrisy!)

So, I went to class and took the test. And everything went pretty well. There were a few places where I had to erase all of my work and start over – and the amount of eraser dust that removing two equations full of the wrong work from your page produces is quite embarrassing – but overall, I felt good. I double-checked everything, running my solutions against the original questions and making sure they fit, and handed the test in.

As soon as I stepped into the hall, I froze. I leaned against the wall, just outside the door. My brain was hammering at me: “You forgot to do something. You forgot to do something.” I thought back over the test, and the things I had reviewed today. It seemed like there were some things that I’d reviewed that weren’t on the test. And not little things – whole sections. Were they there? Did I do them. I couldn’t remember. I literally could not remember what was on a test that I had just finished and had spent 45 minutes working.

I became convinced that I had skipped a page. I had no idea what the policy was on this, but even if my instructor wouldn’t let me work the skipped problems, I at least needed to know if I had skipped problems. I went back into the classroom and walked up to her and said “Hey, was there a back page? I’m pretty sure I skipped it.” She picked up a test – not mine – and turned it over to reveal a whole page of problems. I was like “oh no”. She smiled and said “Well, you weren’t going anywhere, anyway, right? Which one would you like to work on?” and she fanned the completed tests out. I kind of chuckled and said “I’ll work mine, if that’s OK,” and picked it up from the stack. I turned it over to see…

…a full page of completed work. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I kind of dumbly handed the test back to her and she said “Did you do everything else?” She paged through it…all the work was done. She looked at me, and I said “I guess my brain is playing tricks on me”. She kind of laughed and said good night and I left again. And as soon as I left the classroom, my brain began insisting that something wasn’t right. That test was too easy! I had struggled all afternoon, and none of those problems had seemed very difficult. This was just plain failure waiting to happen.

However, there was nothing to do. I had turned in the test, I had double-checked my work, I had just seen the completed test with my very own eyes. And, what’s more, at the beginning of class I had gotten back a quiz that I knew I had totally screwed up, and lo and behold, my score was 9/10.

All I can do is wait for Monday and see my grade. And also try to figure out what the hell is wrong with my brain.

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Jan 30 2014

Tolors.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

I bought The Boy this set of DVDs from zulily called “Preschool Prep“. Apparently there’s a whole big series, but the ones we got were:

  • Meet the Colors
  • Meet the Shapes
  • Meet the Letters
  • Meet the Numbers
  • Meet the Sight Words (vol. 1, 2, and 3 on three DVDs)

We started with “Meet the Colors” because he already can recognize most letters and 0-9 numerals, is strong on perhaps four shapes, but has never offered a comment on any color, ever. Sometimes, if I said “Where’s the blue?” he would point to a blue thing, but that was hit and miss, and he NEVER named a color. Well, let’s just say it’s a hit. Upon first viewing, he wasn’t real sure about the whole thing. The Man’s opinion was that he was freaked out. I wasn’t so sure. He seemed pretty interested.

We’ve only been showing this video for about four days, and he identifies colors now. He demands this video multiple times a day by running to me and saying “Tolors? TOLORS?!” The Man was a little worried about the obsession, but I showed him some article that said young children crave repetition because that’s how they master skills.

I tried to switch him out to “Meet the Shapes” today, and while he interacted with it slightly, he was upset that it wasn’t “tolors”. So, for now, I’m going to let him obsess over getting his colors down pat and we’ll move on when he’s bored of it. Before this, his TV obsession was an episode of Bubble Guppies that dealt with fairy tales. That one was referred to as “Witch? Witch? WITCH!”

As you have no doubt surmised, I am not one of the parents who dislikes television. The Boy has watched some television all his life, and to be honest, TV does a better job teaching him than I do. I tried many things to communicate the concept of color to him, with no success. He also didn’t do great with his letters until he got into “Super Why”. Counting was the one thing that I think he picked up from us.

I know there are a lot of studies and a lot of research that shows that television can lead to attention problems and weight problems. I’m not saying that I know better than the experts. But this is what is working for him. We are a very plugged in household, and that isn’t going to change. I don’t want my son to sit in the house all day, staring at a television or computer, but realistically, screen time is going to be an important part of his life and it will form a core of his learning in the years to come. That’s the way things are moving, and there is really no stopping it.

I do want him to have some hands-on skills as well, and I have plans for having him help in the garden, and with homesteading activities I have planned for the future. I’m hoping to get my first hive set up this spring, and next year perhaps we’ll add chickens. A garden will also be part of our future.

I really am looking forward to spring.

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Jan 03 2014

Gonna have a bad time.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Fam,The Man,Travel

We tried to go to Tennessee to visit Dr. Mom and Moll the day after Christmas. Well, no. That makes it sound like we didn’t make it. We made it to Tennessee just fine. We chose to do the drive in one go, so we didn’t get there until about 12:30 AM, Central time (we are in Eastern). The Boy was so excited. He was amped up, running around, freaking out, just being happy. I knew it was because he’d woken up after sleeping for five hours, and that it was, shall we say, false enthusiasm. Of course, he didn’t want to go back to sleep and he didn’t sleep very well after being interrupted like that, but we expected it. The unexpected horror show started bright and early the next morning.

Since this was a Christmas trip, all of us were there. That means me, The Man, The Boy, Lucky, Galleta, and of course Dr. Mom and Moll. All of the dogs, seven in total, were also there. And I think the combination of lots of people and lots of dogs snapped The Boy and broke him. He did NOT want to leave our bedroom. If we took him out into the main part of the house, he was freaking out. We tried to take him outdoors, once, since it was 50 degrees. He freaked out. If we were in our bedroom, he would happily play with dust or his cars, and he would be happy. If we went out of the room, he freaked out.

Also, he would not sleep on his own. He has always been a great sleeper. If you lay him down, he will usually just be quiet and go to sleep quickly. Not so much in Tennessee. He would not sleep in his travel crib. If you put him in there when he was awake, he would scream hysterically. For every nap and every night, we had to lay him in bed with one of us and snuggle with him until he fell deeply asleep. Then we could transfer him to the crib.

We only lasted two days.

There was no way either of us was going to spend better than a week cooped up in a bedroom and taking two hours out of every day in order to cuddle a toddler to sleep. It was ridiculous. On the third morning, we packed up and drove home. The drive home was also fairly miserable. The Boy was fussy…and when we tried to stop for dinner, he had a full on meltdown in Steak N’ Shake. Like, he cried for 15 minutes and The Man finally said “To hell with this” and took him to the car. I tried in vain to tell our server to just box up our order, wolfed down 1/2 of a sandwich, and we left.

Now we’re home and working to repair The Boy. The unwillingness to sleep has come home with us, but we aren’t putting up with it here. He goes into his crib and we check on him at five minute intervals (which is how we sleep trained him to begin with). He’s finally to he point where, although he still protests being laid down, he only cries for a minute before calming down.

His behavior is also somewhat deplorable. I don’t know how much of this is leftover freak-out from our trip, and how much of it is just him being almost two and probably starting to test his boundaries and being normally defiant. It’s draining, most days.

However, he continues to be my super smart genius baby. He knows the names of many shapes, numbers, colors, and letters. He will often count very fast under his breath, so sometimes he’ll be running around going “eight, noine, teen, leven, telve, tirteen”. It sounds very funny. He’ll pick up one of his shapes and say “Dimond!” and it is, in fact, a diamond. Colors are more hit and miss. If I ask him to point to the pink one, sometimes he will, sometimes no.

The meltdowns are a trial. I know that this is just how toddlers are. They don’t really have the capacity to process strong emotions properly, so fits and meltdowns are just a matter of life. But it really seems like someone flipped his switch into demon mode sometimes.

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Dec 23 2013

Comprehension

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

There were two incidents today that really drove home to me that The Boy understands a lot more than he can articulate…and also a lot more than he generally lets on. Which means I may have been too easy on him in certain ways, thinking that he doesn’t understand.

The first:

The Man went outside to snowblow, and The Boy wanted to watch from a window. However, the dining room window he chose happened to have an electric candle in it, and he was monkeying around with the candle. I told him he couldn’t be at the window anymore, and led him away. A few minutes later, he was laying forlornly on his trampoline in the living room. I said to him, “Boy, if you want to look out that window there, you can. Get up, go behind the tree (the Christmas tree) and look out the window.” And he immediately stood up, went to the proper window, moved the curtain, and looked out.

The second:

We were in his bedroom, getting ready for bed. I changed his diapers, said his prayers, and The Man said, “OK, time for bed.” Well, The Boy was not ready for bed. He made quite a screech. So I said “OK. I’m setting a timer. When this alarm goes off, you’re going to bed. Go ahead and play. But when the alarm goes, it’s bed time.” I set the timer for five minutes, and we played. When the timer went off, he jumped up, grabbed his lovey, and went right to his crib to be lifted into bed.

MIND. BLOWN.

He’s just over 22 months. There are some kids who are speaking better than he is, but I’m not worried about that. He knows so much. It astonishes me. He knows a lot of the alphabet. He knows numbers, mostly 1-10 but occasionally he’ll count as high as 15. He knows his colors and many shapes. He can’t say all of them, but if I say “Where’s the square?” he can point to it. Or if I ask him which is the yellow one, he’ll point to it.

Sometimes, he’ll save something up and break out with it at random times, and it’s funny. Today, we were sitting on the couch in the living room, and he said “Spooky!” Now, I know he got that from the Halloween episode of Bubble Guppies, but we haven’t watched that one in a week or more. So, he’s been saving “Spooky” until the time felt right.

I have to make sure I’m telling him more things, especially with transitions. I think he’d be happier if he knew what was coming next, and what we are going to be doing. I have to remember than just because he doesn’t say a lot doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot going on inside.

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Nov 01 2013

First Trick or Treat

Published by under Holiday Magic,Photos,The Boy,The Man

It rained all the ding-dong day on Halloween this year. Fortunately, The Man’s place of employment (which is where I used to work) does indoor trick-or-treat. If an employee wants to participate, he or she puts a balloon on their cubicle or office, and the kids can go trick or treating. It’s nice. So, we took The Boy there.

He dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I got his costume off Amazon and it was a nice, lightweight job that he wore over a set of pajamas. I tried to keep him dressed lightly, but his face was still rosy red by the time he was done. That might be because he went full blast from the time we started until we finished. He didn’t care about the candy, he was just glad there were so many people he could talk to and a nice big place to run around in.

When people tried to give him candy, he would often take a piece out of his bucket to give back to them. I guess he thought he was working on the barter system. He wanted to carry around a box of Nerds the whole time. And he didn’t say “Trick or Treat”, possibly because I had never taught him to say “Trick or Treat”. Instead, he ran up to everyone and greeted them with a very enthusiastic “Hey, man!” This was a big hit, as you can imagine.

We got a lot of compliments on his cuteness. He IS pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

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LucasAsherHalloween

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