Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Neglected Second Child

Tonight, I was reading to Davis, and he wanted to say all the letters in the title of the book. I know that he (usually) knows the uppercase letters, and he did fine with those. Then he wanted to say the letters in the author's name, and they were in lowercase. Hello, Mommy Fail! The kid pretty much knows no lowercase letters. I'm not entirely sure he knows "M" and "N", upper or lowercase, are two separate letters. And writing? Let's just say he can sometimes make a "T".

With Ava, I was the typical new mom. She was all of a few days old when I started reading to her. We read lots and lots as she got older, and would be content for me to read to her for hours if I had the stamina. (I never did). She was a self-taught reader by the time she turned 4. Obviously, her genius is a direct result of my wonderful parenting. Or maybe she just got it, which is perhaps the more likely case.

Then there was Davis. He was always squirmier. And bedtime was always a little more rushed. As a baby/toddler, one or two board books were fine. There wasn't a lot of extra reading time during the day, either. And, he's an energetic boy. Sitting down for a long period of time has never been his thing.

Anyway, I had a goal early this summer to get him to learn to write his name by the time preschool started back. I think we worked on that about 2 times. He wasn't into it, and I didn't push it. He's a lefty, too - a challenge I've never dealt with.

But now I think I need to do a little more. He's only got one more year until Kindergarten, and while I don't think he needs to be fully reading by then, he could probably use a little more knowledge. Just the idea that he should know some sight words before next August is bewildering to me.

Don't get me wrong - the boy is smart. I'm not saying Ava is smarter. As hard as it is not to, I'm trying not to compare my two kids. We just need a way to make this fun for him.

Anyone have any fun suggestions for teaching a future ADHD patient active and energetic boy the basics of reading? Good apps? Same for writing. Because right now, if the dogs on Nick Jr's Paw Patrol aren't teaching it, he's not interested.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The F Word

In the last week, Davis has called two people fat. Not behind their backs. To their faces. Bluntly. The first occurred in my absence last weekend. My parents so sweetly kept my kids for 52 hours (not that I was counting) and I had my ENTIRE HOUSE TO MYSELF. That's right, my house. All mine. Morgan was on a golf trip, kids with the grandparents, and my time belonged to me. It was lovely.

But back to the story. My parents and the kids were at a grocery store (The Fresh Market, to be precise). They were buying jelly beans, and apparently, a woman in line, who was perhaps a little round, was talking to Davis about his jelly beans. He told her, "I can't eat too many because then I'll get fat like you." 

Oh boy.

My parents didn't really hear it, but Ava did, and she reported back. Davis did not deny the incident. I didn't want to make a really big deal about it, because with 4 year olds, sometimes any attention is good attention. So, I just said it's not nice to point out to people that they are fat, and kind of left it at that.

Fast forward a couple of days. We were at the pool, and the sweetest ten-year-old girl was helping Ava learn to dive. I don't even want to get into whether or not she was fat. She's ten. It doesn't matter. Davis was sitting with me on the side of the pool, watching the diving lesson. All of a sudden, he says, "You're fat." He didn't say it in a mean way, just very matter of fact. I wanted to dive in and stay under water until the pool closed. I couldn't even look at the poor  girl. I quietly reprimanded my mouthy child, who then quietly said back to me, "But Mommy, she IS fat." 


Luckily, the girl just continued playing with Ava, who (thank God) did not think she any physical trait that needed to be addressed. 

Now I live in terror anytime I'm with Davis and we see someone who is even slightly plump. 

I guess the upside is that I've got someone who will be honest with me if I start packing on any extra pounds.

I'll laugh at this someday, right?