Archive for the ‘Kid Stuff’ Category

It all started out so simple…

Last month signups for fall soccer began in our small town. We asked Monkey if he wanted to play – a big “YES” was the reply – so we got him signed up. BHE did the signup and at the time, signed up to assist. He did this as much to be involved as to ease himself into learning about the game, because maybe, if Monkey got super-involved in it, MAYBE he would coach one year.

But mainly, BHE signed up to be sure the coach wasn’t a big psycho. Heh.

So, I get a call from BHE while in the Walmart picking up Spiderman PJs for the Monkey (on clearance for $7, ya’ll).

BHE: “I got a call from [local soccer bureau]?”

Me: “OK.”

BHE: “They said they don’t have enough coaches for next year, and they need me to coach.”

Me: “Did you tell them that you know nothing about soccer?”

BHE: “Yeah.”

Me: “Well, what did they say?”

BHE: “They paused. Then they said they just really needed coaches.”

Me: “So you’re coaching.”

BHE: “Yes.”

Now, ya’ll should know that, despite his total inexperience in the area (BHE has never even played soccer, much less coached it before), I am sure BHE will rock as a coach because he can do anything he sets his mind to. However, just in case, we ordered this book today, and about died when we read the inside flap description: “You thought you were just going to sign up your child for the youth league. Now here you are, a newly annointed coach. You didn’t ask for it, but it happened anyway. Now you need help.”

Boy, does he need help. Ya’ll, he’s teaching 4 year olds soccer, and at this point knows about as much as they do about the game. Plus, he’s going to be Monkey’s coach – and after my last round teaching his class for Sunday School, we kinda swore that this was the last time until he was a bit older.

They’ll have fun. But is it mean that I giggle my way through the rest of my Wally World run?

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I had a date tonight…

with the Monkey. We went to see Wall*E. I don’t know if you’ve read any of the reviews, but ya’ll it’s really good. Really really good. It’s funny for the kids (and adults) but really has a heart to it. Pixar outdid themselves this time. I can always count on Pixar to deliver an awesome movie and they did. Don’t feel like you have to be a parent to see it – it’s really a good film. Don’t believe me? Here’s a review.

Accentuate the Positive

I say the above not so much as advice to you, my dear reader (how many of you are there, anyway? Two?), but as advice to myself.

Today was one of those days with the boys. You say up, they say down. You say “Please don’t dump out all the crayons”, they look you straight in the eye and…dump out all the crayons. Especially Monkey, ‘cuz he’s four and has ‘tude.

Stuff that separately isn’t so much a big deal, but wears you down as it goes on through the day.

I was thinking, as I was stewing about the day, about how I rarely remember the “bad days” but can easily recall good moments. The good moments not only outweigh the bad ones in value, but also in quantity. I have good kids. They say “Thank you” generally without prompting – even almost-2 year old Bear! They give out hugs and kisses like you wouldn’t believe, and it’s so heartwarming to watch them bond as brothers, and watch as they laugh and giggle and jump and play (and roughhouse)  their way through boyhood.

I’m very blessed, and should remember it more often. Right now they’re sleeping like angels, in the room they’ll share more often as time passes, and tomorrow will be a new day.

Pop Culture and the Preschooler

The pressure to succeed, materialism, an emphasis on outer beauty, narcissism, romance trouble and other issues faced by high schoolers may not be what draw young children in, but the issues are there nonetheless, Twenge said.

“How do you even talk to a 3-year-old about this stuff? Think before you leap. If you’ve leapt, then cut her off. There are things you have to take a stand on,” she counsels parents.

A couple of months ago, a little girl in our preschool bible class (who’s very sweet and was SIL and I’s little blessing in the class), told us EVERYTHING about High School Musical. She already has a little crush on Troy. When Monkey mentioned liking Backyardigans, she said she used to like it, but it’s “a baby show”. She’s 5 – all of a year older than the Monkey.

Pop culture creeps fast into kids’ lives. While I first thought when I read the article “Wow, I’m sure glad that I don’t have girls”…let’s face it, it’s just as bad for the boys, just in a different way. While with the girls it’s all about fashion and relationships and who’s dating Troy, for the boys it’s superheroes and guns. While I liked Transformers as a child, as a parent I was VERY disappointed to see a PG-13 movie marketed to my preschooler.

So how long can or should we as parents keep pop culture at bay? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I am shocked, just SHOCKED!

Kidding…this doesn’t surprise me on bit.

Oh, and for the record – I like Yo Gabba Gabba (the boys…meh), but it is pretty trippy. My favorite – in addition to Biz’s Beat of the Day (Biz Markie, ya’ll!) was the Elijah Woods Dancy-Dance:

OK, and here’s Biz

Piano for the Kiddos

I’ve been meaning to look up EASY sheet music for the Monkey as we’d like both boys to at least be exposed to playing musical instruments, and as I play piano and BHE plays guitar (and we have a drumset that neither of us can really play) – we should be able to at least provide them with a start.

Anyway, I was looking for simple songs, and I hit jackpot here.

I picked a few songs I think he will like. Also, there’s plenty of room below the notes for me to write the coordinating letter, which will be helpful as I already placed letter stickers on the piano keys (in the middle C range). Wish us luck. Monkey claims that he “already knows how to play” so we will see how this goes. I’m definitely not going to force him into piano.

As for me? No freebie songs today – I have plenty of piano books here at home to wade through, and not enough time!

How Scary is Too Scary (and, are we the over-protective parent generation)?

I was looking around for a craft or something for Monkey’s bible class this week (and boy, there’s nothing specific on Ezekiel to be found on the ‘net) when I came across this:

No, a Jesus who is not crucified, buried, and resurrected, does not save, and doesn’t help ease the way to salvation. Jesus as moral teacher, inspirational rabbi, or “forever friend” apart from the Gospel only prepares one for old-fashioned Protestant liberalism, the notion that what matters is that I’m civilized, ethical, and enculturated as a Christian. That’s not Christianity.

…If this were just a Sunday school publisher, we could ignore it. If this were one isolated incident, it would not be worth mentioning. But it is not. The temptation that comes to all of us, in every era of the church, is to have Jesus, without seeing ourselves in the gore of his bloody cross and the glory of his empty grave. In the way that we speak of Him to our children, or to skeptics, or to seekers, we sometimes believe we’ll gain more of a hearing if we present Him as teacher but not as a former corpse. It is too disturbing, we think to ourselves, too weird.

I was raised Presbyterian and now worship as Church of Christ, so in teaching Sunday School it’s hard for me to compare it to my childhood – I don’t know what’s different between the “denominations” or what’s just different between today vs. my day. I don’t remember much about Sunday School growing up except learning the “big stories” – Noah and the Flood, Moses, David and Goliath, etc… Monkey’s bible class – preschoolers all – has a set curriculum, and they go through everything – and I didn’t realize just how gory the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, truly is. And we’re teaching it to preschoolers, and that makes me uncomfortable. Luckily my sister-in-law is doing more of the teaching (sometimes I kinda just hang out), and she’s doing it very responsibly and not glamming the violence at all. And it doesn’t phase the kids one bit.

And has anyone ever read Grimm’s Fairy Tales? Talk about violent.

Animal Planet? Monkey loves watching reptiles on TV. Do I shelter him from how the natural world works? It doesn’t seem to bother him watching that Komodo Dragon take down his meal – he understands that’s his food. However, I wouldn’t let him watch something that really terrifies him – like crabs, lobsters, and spiders.

How much sheltering do we do? How much is too much? Do we step back for our kids’ sakes – or for our own comfort and peace as parents that they’re innocent one more day?