ciroccoj: (Default)
There's this kid at TaeKwon-Do, Xane, who Chris has actually told the boys not to talk to. He's a horrible little shit, to be honest. Spends all his time either bragging or putting down other kids. I'm a higher belt than you; ballet is stupid, hip-hop is better; I can run faster than you; I can do more push-ups than you; I'm half-Lebanese and you're not; Runescape's so much better than [whatever the hell it was my kids were playing at the time], etc etc etc.

He gets to them. I've explained to them that instead of being angry at him, they probably should feel sorry for him, because being that obsessed with putting down other people has to mean he's not all that self-confident; if you like yourself and think you're pretty cool, you don't care if other people are better than you at some stuff, and you definitely don't need to put them down in order to feel good about yourself.

I know it's a tough lesson to internalize. I don't expect them to be able to do so; just sending it out there as food for thought.

Anyway, the other day we finish our class and Justin says, "I think maybe part of why Xane isn't very nice to other people is his dad isn't very nice to him."

"Why's that?" we ask.

"Oh, he just said something during class."

"What's that?"

"It was after I finished my turn doing the kicks, and you hugged me. He said 'You're so lucky you have such a nice dad.'"
ciroccoj: (kids)
Justin has not started the day well. He has been hyper, motor-mouthed, and belligerent, and it's only ten and Chris and I already feel like killing him. Instead I take him aside and have a long, long talk about Behaviour and Attitude and Respect. Finish up my spiel with the Interactive Part, which is part of every good parenting discussion, wherein the parent asks the errant child what he/she can do to translate the topics discussed into behaviour. This is done so that the child can have ownership of his/her actions, and find solutions to behavioural difficulties that are meaningful because they came from the child him/herself.

Me: ::sum up what we've talked about, Behaviour, Attitude and Respect:: So, what can you do to have a better day? Starting right now?
Justin: I can make a pie!


Mar. 14th, 2006 05:24 pm
ciroccoj: (Default)
Justin: Sss... eye... k, k, k... lll... oh... p, ss. S-eye-kl-oh-ps. Look Mama!
Me: (turn around, see "Sikolops" on the screen)
Justin: Cyclops!

First word Justin figured out and typed all by himself. Cyclops.
ciroccoj: (straps)
It may very well come to pass that unless Justin stops behaving like an unholy cross between a Banshee, a Viking, and a vicious yap-dog on acid, we will locate the nearest band of circus performers and sell him. Or maybe pay them to take him away.
ciroccoj: (straps)
Chris does his fifth (and hopefully last) oral exam today.

Anne has stuff to do, and will be unable to pick up Garry and Eva at 1PM. More like 2:30 is the ETA I was given.

And it's a PD day. So Justin is home all. morning. long.

With Garry.

Edit: Make that 1:30. Thank god. Yelling, screaming, fights, time-outs, 15-minute separations, more yelling, and in between the angst and drama, lots and lots and lots of happy screaming and thump-running.
ciroccoj: (family 2005)
  • 3:30pm.
  • Seventeen children, ages 5-11, 7 girls, 10 boys (Ryan, Marta, Anya, Allie, Stephon, Noah, Oscar, Evelyn, Garrett, Olivia, Olivia, Liam, Liam, Halle, Hansome, Daniel, Justin).
  • One semi-horrified childhood friend in the presence of seventeen children, childfree and grateful to be.
  • One Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban cake.
  • Double batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • One vegetable platter.
  • 99% sugar drinks.
  • Loot bags galore.
  • Presents. Presents. More presents.
  • Two Starr Gymnastics staffpeople to take the children for the first hour.
  • One Party Room at Starr Gymnastics for the second hour.
  • 5:30
  • Scads of parents taking children home.
  • One Coffee at Starbucks with childhood friend.
  • Two happy boys.
  • Two relieved parents.
  • One happy childfree childhood friend.
  • One more double birthday party, survived.
ciroccoj: (family 2005)
Subject line from a Simpsons episode where Bart has his first crush, on his babysitter (playing by Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on Roseanne). At one point she tells him that she's fallen for another guy (her own age). He has a nightmare about it that night, where she tells him her happy news, then reaches into his chest and pulls out his still-beating heart, saying "You won't be needing THIS any more!" and laughing at him.

Yeah, so one of the things that's really... intense about being a parent is how easily your kids can do that to you, with very simple things. The other day it was something I read in Daniel's English book. He was reading Harry Potter #1 (we're all very happy about this, BTW) and answering questions from a novel study booklet I got from Scholastic. One of the questions talks about the Mirror of Erised, and asks what the student thinks they would see in it if they looked into it. In other words, what is the deepest desire of their heart?

So I'm thinking he'll write something like "I would see myself surrounded by all the Bionicles of the world" or "I would see the biggest gaming convention ever."

No. He wrote "Luli, and Daddy passing his exam."

Aw shit. Luli is my mom, who died last year. And Chris is studying night and day for that bloody exam. And... aw, shit.

This weekend it was a conversation with Chris. Chris was in London, doing a thrilling "four twelve-hour days of review" course for his bloody exam. Talking to Daniel on the phone before bedtime, they're having a lovely little chat, and at one point Chris says, "What would you like for your birthday, Daniel?"

"I don't really need anything," Daniel says. "I have a nice house, and food, and clothing, and lots and lots of toys and games..."

"That's true," Chris says. "But is there anything else that you would like, for your birthday?"

"I'd like to spend some time with you," Daniel says, and then bursts into tears.

Yeah, no, we weren't really using our hearts for anything vital, you can just cart them away, 'K?

Anyway. So today was Daniel's birthday, and Chris was back from London, and they did get to spend time together. Most of the day, actually. Justin was home too, because after yet another plus-zero day, the school buses were cancelled (again, that's the fourth or fifth time this year) and this time I was unable to drive Justin in because I literally could not open the door of my car because of the ice. So Chris and Daniel and Justin spent the day together, went to Pizza Hut, played Pokemon, and had some male bonding time. Which was sorely needed. And I had some Mama time. Which was also sorely needed.

And tomorrow Chris goes back to work, Justin goes back to school, and life goes back to normal.


Jan. 24th, 2006 09:22 pm
ciroccoj: (Default)
Museum outing with Marie and the boys was a little different today because Marie wasn't there. The boys were there with her mother-in-law, as Marie's mother took a turn for the worse and was hospitalized. Liver cancer; diagnosed in November, given 6-12 months, but doesn't look like she'll make it that far.

It's so strange, seeing somebody else lose their parent after having gone through it myself. Having a better understanding of what they may be going through, but knowing that the details are probably completely different.

Well. The Museum was actually kind of neat, despite Marie's absence, in that I spotted a couple of things I'd never spotted before and got all excited about it. There's a whole new exhibit there, about light. I anticipate many a lovely Wednesday afternoon spent learning all about wave-particle theory and Einstein and astronomy and fire and kerosene lamps and electricity. For me, that is. All right, I'll try to teach the boys some of that too.

Semi-gratuitous picspam below: Justin wasn't feeling well over the weekend, ended up with a huge headache one day, and had to spend the day lying down, mostly impromptu napping and/or watching TV. Daniel was appointed cold-cloth-holder, and took his duties very seriously.

Sickie Boy & Nurse Big Brother )


Tuesday morning is supposed to be French Day, but today Daniel wheedled his way into being allowed to do English instead, so he could finish Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone. How could I say no?

At one point, Chris and I were in the kitchen and he noticed how engrossed Daniel was, reaching the end of the book. We watched him for a while, wondering if our parents ever watched us read with the same deep satisfaction we feel, watching him. Like we've done something right, to have produced a kid who loves the written word as much as he does.

Both of us figured our moms probably watched us too. My mom always had a sort of sense of wonder with respect to my accomplishments, large and small. She did with most kids, because it is kind of incredible just how much kids learn and accomplish, so quickly. But it was especially keen with me and the boys, because she'd had a hand in nurturing those accomplishments. It was a kind of "Wow! I helped make that?! COOL!"

Man, I missed her this morning.

Daniel reading )


Jul. 19th, 2005 08:03 pm
ciroccoj: (Default)
Justin has a headache. There are few things as sad as a small child in pain, especially if that small child is trying to be brave about it.

On the plus side, he went to cooking camp today and asked if he could stay for the entire day (I had them signed up for mornings only) and said he had an awesome time in the afternoon. And then he got to play at Anne's house, where they have a trampoline and a slip'n'slide. And air conditioning.

I tweaked my Finding Elvis fic to make it agree with the new canon. Good thing it was only minor tweaks, and not rewrites of entire chapters :)

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