Posts Tagged ‘children’

20120826-094835.jpgHow is it that we’re already at third grade? Where did the time go?

I have a feeling I’ll be saying this a lot in the coming years, right?

New school, old friends & hopefully new friends
This year our school district shifted things around. There are two schools (West and Central), and they were both K through 8.

West is literally in our backyard, and for the past three years, the neighborhood has been filled with hundreds of kids walking to and from the school. Until now.

To better even out the distribution of students, teachers and expenses, the district decided to merge the two schools, making West 6 through 8 and Central K through 5. This means, the munchkin is now headed to Central, renamed Elementary.

This, as you can imagine, caused more than a little consternation on the part of my 8-year-old. We’ve tried to reassure him that all of his friends are in the same situation. The school administration has done a good job of helping the kids get acclimated, with field trips to the ‘new’ school at the end of last year.

We’ve also tried to explain that the students who had already been at Elementary are probably just as upset. They now have all these interlopers invading their space, their school, their teachers.

And the up side of this whole thing is the possibility for new friends. πŸ˜‰

All of this seemed to help, and the first two days of school went off seemingly without a hitch! Yay!!!

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a successful year! Here’s hoping your school years will be just as good!


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20110917-085011.jpgMy son walked over to me last night, and asked, “Mom, did you used to have boys chasing you on the playground?”


“Sometimes, yes…”

To which he responded, “Did you like it?”

What?!? LOL! πŸ˜‰ “Ummm…once I realized it meant they liked me. Why do you ask?”

“Oh,” he said. “A few of us boys have girls chasing us at recess. I just wondered.”

Unbelievable. Seven-year-olds?!?! Boy, are we in trouble!

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My son is going to be seven in June. He’s going to be seven, and he still doesn’t know how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Maybe you can relate. I know I can. You see, I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until second grade. Yep, that’s right. Second grade. and, it looks like my little guy is on the same path.

Now, not to make excuses, but there are a few simple reasons for this:

  1. We live on a hill, and the driveway is definitely not flat. It angles downward and ends up right on a busy street. Not an ideal place to learn to ride a bike.
  2. We have no sidewalks directly in front of our house. There’s a sidewalk to our left or across the street. Again, can’t really send the child out to practice riding up and down the sidewalk by himself, and the neighbors don’t particularly like it when you camp out on their lawn for a couple of hours. πŸ˜‰
  3. I don’t like outside. Yes, it’s true. I know. Whatever. It is what it is. I love the sunshine, the warm breeze blowing into the house, the windows open. Ahhh. Perfect. But…I do not want to enjoy all of that outside. I like screens, shade and the comfort of being inside. This is a bit prohibitive when trying to teach someone to ride a bike, and leaves the majority of the weight on the shoulders of my husband, who, by the way, loves being outside.

The Right Size

Now, with that being said. The munchkin has this really cool blue and green bike with training wheels…that is waaaay too small for him. My parents have a bike for him, which is really cool. (See the picture above? The one in front is the actual bike.) Unfortunately, we’re not sure there’s a way to attach training wheels to it. It’s a 20″ and many of those don’t allow for training wheels.

As we explained this to the munchkin, he was a bit distressed at first. You see, his current bike is a 14″ and an 18″ is still too small for him – those are the ones that allow for training wheels. The 20″ is what he needs, no question. So…what to do?

Definitely Not a Daredevil

While the little guy appears to be laid back and willing to try anything, this is definitely not the case. He’s extremely cautious, likes to think things through and is not willing to take risks when it comes to anything. Ah…like father like son.

So, back to my question: What to do?

He was totally freaked out when we tried the Daddy-will-run-behind-you-holding-on-to-the-bike scenario in the bike store the other day as we were getting a feel for sizes. That did not go over well at all – for either of them, actually.

In the end, we decided to see if we can find a way to fit the training wheels on the 20″ and go from there. Decision made.

The Plan

Enter, the plan. After we get back home and let the p’s know that we’re going to use their 20″ bike they got – even if we can’t put training wheels on it, the munchkin says, “Here’s the plan, Mommy.”

“Um, okay. What’s the plan? What are we talking about?” I inquire.

Using lots of hand gestures (he is part Italian, after all), he explains. “Okay. We’ll take my little bike with the training wheels and take them off. Since I can totally touch the ground easily on that bike, I can ride it without putting my feet on the pedals and instead get used to the feel of balancing the bike. Then, I can use the bike Grandma and Grandpa are giving me and have Daddy hold onto it until I get the feel for it. Then, I’ll know how to ride a bike without training wheels.”

He smiles and walks in the other room.

Alright then. Glad he has it all figured out. My little planner.

What plans have you or your children made to help you adjust to a new situation? I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line below, and let’s share our Common Grounds.

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Every Friday my first grader has a spelling test, which we practice for each and every day up til then. The class was recently working on compound words. We ran through all the words like normal and finally got to “suitcase.”

“Hmmm. That’s a hard one,” says the munchkin. He attempts to spell it, fumbles over “suit” and completes “case” with no problem. After he finished trying to spell it, he asked to see the word.

Ah yes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on this one. I’m a visual learner, and seeing something is how I better take it in, process it, understand it and eventually learn it. Like mother like son in this case. *Smile.*

So, I show him the word. He frowns a bit, and I can tell he’s noodling something in his little mind. After a pause he says triumphantly, “I get it. It’s just like ‘pursuit.'”

Huh? I turn around to look at him, wondering how he (a) knows the word and (b) comes up with this comparison. And then it hits me.

“Yes. Yes, it is. You mean from PokΓ©mon, right?” I ask. He nods and smiles.

You see, “pursuit” is one of the moves a PokΓ©mon may use, and he was drawing the comparison with the “suit” part. Well, I thought that was pretty good logic, and a great way to remember the word. πŸ˜‰

What clever comparisons, tricks or tips have your family members come up with to remember something? Drop me a line below. I’d love to hear about it.

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The Tooth Fairy stopped by yet again. This time at my parents’ house. The munchkin was so excited to “pull out” his second front tooth while visiting Grandpa and Grandma.

And then his face turned from bliss to consternation. “Oh no!” he cried.

“What?!? What is it?” I asked, thinking he was in pain, or something else had happened.

“How will the Tooth Fairy know where to find me? We’re at Grandma and Grandpa’s! How will she know?!?!”

Ahhh…right. I assured him the Tooth Fairy would surely find him and all would be fine. Luckily, the Tooth Fairy remembered to find him at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and the next morning, he awoke to find his reward for losing his tooth on the night stand next to his bed. Whew. That was a close one.

All I Want for Christmas…

Needless to say, the second the tooth fell out, my parents were regaling him with the song, All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth. After they finished singing to him, he asked, perplexed, “Why are you saying Christmas like that: Chrithmuth?”

My mother stared at him and laughed. He’d said “Christmas” just fine the first time he said it, and changed it to sound like she had the second time. “Well, because usually when you have two missing front teeth, you can’t say ‘Christmas’ properly. It sounds like ‘Chrithmuth,’ but you say it just fine.”

Testing the Theory

The munchkin came home from school yesterday and immediately blurted out, “You guys were right!” Sounding completely shocked by the idea. (I mean, when are parents/grandparents ever right, after all? πŸ™‚ )

“Who’s ‘you guys’?” I asked.

“You and Grandma,” he said.

“Oh, okay. About what?” I questioned.

“Christmas. I asked Nick, and Amy, and Mike (names changed, of course), and none of them could say ‘Christmas.’ They all said ‘Chrithmuth’ just like you and Grandma said!” Again, he sounded completely surprised by this idea that we were right about something.

“But,” he continued. “they could say ‘Misssissippi’ and ‘es’ just fine. Weird.”

Yes, weird, indeed. What a nutball. He makes me smile…a lot, that’s for sure. Gotta love it!

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Image by: clarita

Yep. It happened again. The tooth fairy dropped by for a visit. And…the munchkin saw her!

You heard right. Our six-year-old lost one of his big front teeth, which increases his tally to a whopping three teeth lost to date! For such a feat, the tooth fairy rewarded the munchkin with an amazing $2. (Seriously, what was she thinking?)

The little man bounded into our room at 6 a.m. the day after the astounding event to proudly announce, “Guess what, Mom! Guess what!!!” Mommy eventually figured out someone was speaking to her – and not in a dream – and responded intelligently, “Mmrph?”

“The tooth fairy was here…and she gave me $2!!!!” He was practically shouting as he danced around our still-dark room. “Wow, buddy, that’s great.”

When I finally dragged myself out of bed later that Saturday morning, I was able to ask more coherent questions. “So, that’s pretty nice of the tooth fairy to give you so much cash for just one tooth, huh? It must be because it was your first front tooth, yeah?”

“I know, right? Wait, was it you?” he asks nonchalantly. What?!? He’s six. He shouldn’t be thinking along this path already, should he?

“It was the tooth fairy, buddy. Didn’t you see her?” I question innocently.

He thinks for a minute and then starts nodding his head. “As a matter of fact, I did.” Really. Okay, this should be good. “Yeah? What did she look like?” I ask.

“Well, she was really, really tiny. And she had a green dress and little wings. I was laying on my side and just happened to open one eye *an elaborate demonstration ensues* when I caught her. She didn’t see me though, so it’s okay.”

Whew. That was a close one. Has the tooth fairy (or any other fairytale creatures) visited your house lately? I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a comment below.

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While taking part in our nightly ritual of reading, the munchkin picked out his new favorite book, Rhyming Dust Bunnies, climbed onto my lap, settled in and began to read. Part way through the book, he came to a two-letter word and promptly stopped reading, focusing so hard on the word, I’m surprised a hole didn’t spring through the book from his laser-vision.

“Sound it out,” I gently encouraged him.

“Sss-ah. Sah,” he says, frowning. He tries again. “Sss-ah. Sah?” He says again even less convinced this time.

“Make it a long ‘o’ instead,” I instruct, thinking this will promptly result in the proper pronunciation of the word, “so.” After all, they’ve been learning about long vowel sounds and short vowel sounds at school.

Nope. Instead, I get: “Sss-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.” I think he carried the “long” vowel out for nearly 3 seconds, at which point I burst out laughing. “Not that kind of long vowel,” I get out through hiccuped laughter. “‘Oh,’ not ‘ah.”

“Ohhhh. I get it. Sss-oh. So.”

Bingo! What a nutball! Gotta love him.

On a separate, but related note, if you have young kids learning to read and have not been privileged enough to stumble across the Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas, I highly recommend it. It’s hilarious and up for an award.

Discovering Our Common Grounds

What funny stories do you have to tell? Let’s hear ’em! Drop me a comment below. πŸ˜‰

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