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I Will Not Eat Griffin

You ever love something or someone so much you want to eat it or them? Well I do! My kids are so amazing to me that I often tell them I want to eat them or eat certain body parts like toes or feet or lips or whatever. I have been telling Griffin I want to eat him since the day he was born. He never protested until recently. The conversation goes like this:

Me: “I’m gonna eat you Griffin.”
Griffin: “No mommy, if you eat me I will be dead and would also come out in your poop.”
Me (not quite sure how to respond): “OK I don’t want that so I guess I won’t eat you today.”

Today one of his sentences was “I will not eit Griffin”. I guess he was concerned and felt the need to write a sentence that he’d want me to write since I once again threatened to eat his adorable toes as we left the gym tonight. Maybe he wants me to write “I will not eat Griffin” 100 times on the chalk board after school to make sure his message sinks in? By the way, I was proud that he spelled “eat” as “eit” because I think that’s a tough word and the way he spelled it was phonetically correct.

I will probably always want to eat him. Even when he’s a stinky teenager. Even when he’s being a pain in the butt. Why do we want to eat the people we love? Speaking of eating, tonight Griffin saw me pumping and asked to try some of my milk. He has asked to try and breastfeed when he sees Liam eating before. No I didn’t breastfeed my curious 6 year old. Instead I let him try a drop of my milk. He thought it was yummy! He’s so innocent and sweet. I could just eat him!

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Brothers

Griffin wrote, “I like Liam” today. This is music to my ears. I already knew he liked him and I’m pretty positive he loves him as evidenced by how nurturing he is with him. There has been no jealousy expressed and Griffin is always so helpful with Liam when I need him.

I have yet to write about Liam because he is 4 months old and I am just now feeling human again after many sleepless nights and what seems like endless breastfeeding sessions. Eventually I’m positive Liam will be an inspiration to my blogs but for now he’s too young and Griffin offers me a plethora of hysterical and touching insights on a daily basis.

Back to how sweet Griffin is to Liam. He gives Liam bottles, pacifiers, hugs, Eskimo kisses, and even sings to him. He also tries to speak Liam’s baby language and they have precious conversations like the one on my Facebook page.

These things make me realize just how innocent Griffin still is. He is so young, even at 6 years of age, that he is able to identify with the needs of a baby like it is 2nd nature. I haven’t told him to do any of these things and I’m just in awe of his ability to open his heart to his brother. I know he will be annoyed in the future like most siblings are but for now I will enjoy this sweet stage with the both of them.

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Play

At first I didn’t think day two of project “improve Griffin’s writing IQ” wasn’t as interesting as day one but as the day progressed I found out I was totally wrong.

Today he wrote, “I like to play.” Not as insightful as I wanted him to be at first but when you dive into that sentence with my amazingly creative son, you find that it means a whole lot more than it appears to mean. I didn’t choose to ask him to elaborate but instead I observed how he played the rest of the day.

First, he played with his GI Joe’s. He did the normal battle scene where some men survived and others did not. Nothing new here. Then, things got interesting as they always do with Griffin. He got the diaper box from Amazon from the recycle bin, cut a door into the side and started driving cars into it and setting up a little garage. He also had his GI Joe men going in and out of this new toy he had created.

I have always loved his creative play and been amazed at what he can turn into a toy. For instance, he recently got all of my q-tips out of the box and made them soldiers. He has also made swords out of paper and aluminum foil and set up battles between the two.

All of that being said, it made me realize that his simple, “I like to play” sentence isn’t all that simple. The act of playing is defined as engaging in activity for enjoyment or recreation. Griffin’s definition of play is more complex. It is creative, ingenuitive, and limitless. He plays hard and truly uses his brain to make up incredibly games that I can’t even begin to create. He loves playing so much that I have multiple pictures of him sleeping with his favorite toy of the day after a long day of learning and playing. Tonight, as you see, he fell asleep with a GI Joe character clutched in his hand. I’m so lucky to have this child!

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A Sentence A Day

My first grader has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and struggles with reading and writing at school. He loves math, science, and social studies and tends to excel in those subjects, but when asked to independently write sentences he doesn’t typically finish the work in the allotted amount of time. He gets the concepts and can read, but he is still pretty slow with it in comparison to his peers. For instance, got all E’s on his report card with the exception of an S+ in Art, and an S in Reading and Writing. We are very very proud and made sure he knew just how proud we are but an S is like a C and we fear that he could get behind if we don’t take action and help him along a little now. We have met with the teachers and guidance counselors and think we have a plan in place thus far.

We are against the idea of medication at this point because we believe that some of his issues could be maturity issues, and we think that since he is performing at an average level in reading and writing, he just needs a little extra help to do as well as he does in the other subjects. Also, we don’t know if he might have some other learning disability related to reading and writing and are of course having him screened for those kinds of things to rule out other issues. No judgement to parents who choose medication, it is just not something we think will work right now, especially given the ambiguity behind what is causing his inability to focus on reading and writing as well as the other subjects.

That being said, his teacher asked us to have him write one sentence at home for us each day and reward him for his writing. We will of course also be increasing his reading at home but I thought it would be cool to document the sentences that he writes because they are all going to be straight from his amazing little mind. In school they are told what to write so I thought it would be nice to share his imagination with the world, which of course is why I started kidsights to begin with. So, the weeks I have him I will share a Griffin sentence a day and also share his progress as we learn more about ADHD and any other tidbits along the way.

Today I explained to Griffin that each day he could write one sentence after school on his white board and then he would earn a gum ball (he is a gum ball fanatic, much like his stepdaddy). He of course jumped at the opportunity! I will write each sentence exactly how he writes it to show progress.

November 7, 2011
Griffin LOVES GI Joe so he chose to write his sentence about GI Joe characters today: “I like all of the strog gis.”

I was very impressed with this sentence because I think it is easy to leave off the ‘n’ in strong and he spelled ‘guys’ phonetically correct and hasn’t learned that ‘uy’ can also make the ‘i’ sound, until today when I explained it to him. I also love that he chose to write about one of his favorite things and he of course reflected his “all boy” personality by stating that he likes all of the strong GI Joe characters. Stay tuned for more sentences and chime in as you wish!

God Bless Little Debbie

God Bless Little Debbie

For some reason, since Griffin was a little baby, he refused to try anything chocolate.  He didn’t like chocolate cake, frosting, candy, cookies, milk, or anything that even looked chocolate.  I don’t really recall what made him not like it but he just refused to eat it.  He would eat white chocolate but never the “brown chocolate”.  At the grocery store we get sprinkle cookies every time and he will not try chocolate chip cookies even if his life were to depend on it.  Recently, his dad got him to try little debbie cakes and he adores them and even says a quick, “God bless Little Debbies” at the end of every prayer he does with his father.  Not sure what made him try them but he loves them and thinks they are worthy of a blessing daily.  It’s the little things right?

There are two other times that I can recall Griffin trying chocolate.  One time was with his Aunt Brenda’s fiance Steve.  He had just met Steve that day and was already smitten with him as his new play mate.  That night we got some amazing chocolate cake from a local bakery and took it back to their house, not before Griffin broke a table centerpiece at the bakery, but I digress.  Griffin wasn’t interested in the chocolate cake until his new friend Steve told him it was amazing.  Sure enough, minutes later, Griffin was eating the cake.  I was amazed because I had never gotten him to eat chocolate cake.

Another time, we were at his favorite doctor’s office, Dr. Walker, ENT.  Dr. Walker is the best children’s doctor of any kind that I have ever met.  Each time we go Griffin brings toys to share with him and even goes into his office after and takes a lolly pop.  Dr. Walker has this way of getting down on a kid’s level and making each and every one of them feel extra special, so Griffin considers each visit with him a play date even though it’s a doctor’s visit.  Yesterday, Griffin insisted on giving Dr. Walker one of his toys and Dr. Walker wanted to trade with him by giving him a chocolate coin.  As I held my breath in anticipation assuming Griffin would rudely say, “I don’t like chocolate” like he usually does when offered chocolate, he opened up the chocolate coin and ate it without hesitation.  I was in shock.  In the car I asked, “Griffin, how come you ate that chocolate?” to which he responded with, “because Dr. Walker is my buddy mommy”.

What I learned from these two instances with Griffin and chocolate is that a child’s trust is a very special thing and once trust is earned, they are willing to try anything.  This of course can be dangerous in certain situations, but Griffin’s willingness to trust someone and trust their opinion about something he isn’t used to speaks volumes to me.  It reminds me that we need to remember to try new things and trust the people we love and respect even if we have felt otherwise in the past.  If we don’t do this, great things, like chocolate, will pass us by!  For instance, if we have been hurt in a situation in the past, it doesn’t mean that we will be hurt in that same situation again in the present or in the future, so instead of being scared to trust again, at some point, we need to take the leap of faith and trust that we won’t be hurt again or we will never grow.  For Griffin, he realized that just because he didn’t like chocolate before, does not mean he will never like it, especially if someone he truly trusts tells him it will be good.  Don’t let the past hold you back from trying new things or even re-trying something you have already tried before and please remember to “God Bless Little Debbie”.

Brown Babies

I am just about done with my 2nd, and final, pregnancy. Griffin has definitely had some “kidsightful” things to say throughout this pregnancy but one sticks out the most.

I told him at one point that his new brother Liam moves around inside of me much more than he ever did. Liam moves like crazy and though it’s cool at times it is quite uncomfortable.

One day while driving Griffin to piano class he said, “Mommy, it’s gonna be a pattern! I didn’t move that much, Liam moves all the time, and the next baby won’t move as much like me.” I thought this was adorable that he was thinking this way but quickly informed him that mommy wouldn’t be having anymore babies. He wondered why and I explained that we are older and my body does not need to go through this again.

I followed this with telling him that if Patrick and I find that we want another child one day we could adopt. This led to me explaining to him what adoption was and how some kids don’t get good parents and need good parents to adopt them. As he was processing this he concluded, “ok well if we adopt we can’t adopt a brown baby because he wouldn’t look like us” to which I answered, “but honey we would love any baby no matter what color his skin was just like you love your friends no matter what color skin they have”. He understood my point and continued to process his little thoughts as we drove.

I took away two points from this exchange. One, children are exposed to the idea of differences at an early age by media, school, and society as a whole. They know there is a difference between “brown and peach” and it’s up to parents to teach them that our differences make us special and allow us to learn from one another.

Second, and most importantly, Griffin was already worried that if we adopted a “brown baby” he or she would feel left out if because they “didn’t look like we did”. It’s as if he had an understanding that it might be challenging for a little brown baby to acclimate into our family because of our cultural differences. This realization made me both sad and proud. Sad, because I don’t want him to think that it’s not ok for families to have different cultural backgrounds, and proud because he was able to think of how our hypothetical brown baby would feel living in our family.

What’s the “kidsight” I gained from this? I was reminded that even though Griffin is exposed to different cultures and has thus far embraced them with open arms, the journey of exposing him to diversity and differences will never be complete. This is a journey that I will gladly guide him on as his momma!

Reload

Bad dreams…we all have them no matter how old we are. My 6 year old son has recently become more aware of his dreams, more specifically, bad dreams. For a while he went from sleeping in his bed every night to insisting on being in bed with me because of his fear of the dark and bad dreams. I of course welcomed the extra cuddle time, but knew he would eventually need to venture back into his own bed. He decided on his own that he would go back into his room when he turned 6 and is now back to sleeping in his own bed but naturally still has the occasional bad dream. He knows he can come to our room when he is scared but some nights he likes me to come to his bed if he has a bad dream.

Last week he had a bad dream and called for me to come into his bed with him. As I settled into bed with him he said, “Mommy, when I have bad dreams I hit my reload button to start over so I can go back to bed and have better dreams”. Not only does this tell me that we are definitely in a world dominated by technology, but it reminds me of a very important life lesson: when life gives you lemons, in this case bad dreams, make lemonade, or in Griffin’s words, “hit your reload button”.

This lesson applies to everything from family, work, friends, sports, school, etc. and is something that, as adults, we often forget to practice. We are often brought down by negativity and can let it bring us down in a way that doesn’t allow us to see the brighter side of things. Children are pretty resilient and still have the ability to just start over when faced with negative situations. This isn’t to say they should learn to ignore negative feelings and move forward, but we could all learn to “press our reload button” so we can see the positive in everything. Once again, Griffin’s precious and innocent insights have changed the way I look at things. I’m a very lucky mommy!

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