Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear LEGO,

I recently put together one of your StarWars sets with my 5 year old son.  It was a "microfighter"set, rated for ages 6 through 12 and it contained 97 pieces.
I do not know how I survived the experience.
I have failed in my attempts to convince my son to throw away everything your company has ever made.  Therefore, here are my suggestions for improving your product:

1.  Stop making different colors of grey.
We had four different shades of grey in our box of bricks, which meant that even when I found the long-piece-with-four-bumps-and-a-knobby-part-on-the-end, it was useless until I found it in the darkest shade of grey.
2.  Please restrict yourself to only 20 different shapes of bricks.
Maybe things won't look as slick, but I promise you - your customers, and their parents, will suffer fewer headaches and/or tantrums.  

3.  Make your instruction booklets so they self-destruct after the first construction.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Be grateful for what you have...

This is the last picture of me taken before I fell:

Ben took that in our backyard just yesterday and I think he did a great job.
Today I fell while I was playing a chase game with Lily.  I landed splat on my face, without using my arms or hands to soften the blow.  My chin and front tooth seem to have taken the lion's share of the impact.  The dentist said that the bruises and scrapes will heal but the tooth is a "wait and see" injury.      
I'm not ready to have a new picture taken just yet.  Maybe tomorrow when the bruises have more color.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mom the Advocate

I got to the playground five minutes earlier than usual, which Ben loved.  He immediately found Zeke and ran over saying, "Zeke!  Zeke!  I'm here!"  Reunions are big things to Ben.
I pushed tired Lily's stroller close to the door to the classroom and glanced inside the open door.  Mrs. E was there, and I waved to her.  Then Zeke showed me the paper air plane he was having trouble with and I threw it a couple of times with him.
Mrs. E came out of her class room and approached me.  She said, "Hi!  I'm glad you're here early because it will give us a chance to talk."
I smiled and said nothing.
"I haven't asked at the front office but do they know why Zeke always leaves early?"
This was the question I had known was coming and had even prepared for.  But suddenly I was not prepared.  I felt caught, seized, collared, trapped.  My written, prepared answer dissolved in my brain.
"They don't know," I dodged.  "Those ladies are very nice.  I fill out the form, we smile and wave and that's it." 
"Well, can I ask why he leaves early?" Mrs. E pressed.  "I mean, it isn't for speech therapy and it isn't for, you know... I mean, he's doing fine.  He can do the work.  So what is it?"
A million things went through my head.  Insecurity won.
"It's not him," I said, already beginning to crumble.  "It's me.  I want to pick him up early.  I expected that kindergarten would be four hours but this, this is all day-"
"-You wanted a half-day kindergarten class?"
"Yes, and when we didn't get into SuperAwesome School District-"
"-They still have half-day kindergarten?" she asked, surprised.
"Yes, but we didn't get in so..."
"I understand," she said.  "I'm old-school.  I agree with you.  Developmentally, I agree with you."
"We go home and we play," I lied.  "We don't do anything special.  We play, we do homework-"
"I understand," she said, in as neutral a tone as she could muster.  "Well, let's get the homework for today."
Then we went into the classroom and Zeke got his things and I wished her good luck with the rest of the afternoon.   

I have spent two months thinking about and trying to defend my decision to pick up Zeke from school early everyday.  Now, finally, after the Moment That Mattered, I have my 30 second answer:
I decided that Zeke needs to come home after lunch each day because I believe this is the best thing to do for Zeke.  He's five and right now he needs time to play and explore.  I am facilitating that. 
Zeke and Ben play rescue helicopters, imaginative play very strongly narrated by Zeke with supplemental sound effects by Ben.