Monday, February 22, 2010
Despited the hacking cough, the Little Man was excited to see the Chinese New Year's Day Parade this year. He's quite the dragon connoisseur, if you go by books read and stuffed animals owned. And he wanted to see the big ones dance in the street.
He was fairly quiet the whole trip, happy to hang on E's (or briefly, mine - he's getting heavy!) shoulders. This saved his energy and gave him a little view above the crowds (that were double deckered!) all along Mott.
Little Man, hanging in there
Trying to see
Inspired by the confetti flying on Mott Street, P requested a sparkly shooter. But once he had it in his hot little hands, he had no interest in exploding it in the street. He wanted to enjoy it at home.
This is sooo P. We haven't bothered to join parades for the last few years because the throngs overwhelm him and he doesn't enjoy himself. At All. But he's finally found a fab way to be peaceful in this mobbed metropolis: he ignores it ;) (We were serenaded on the sub the other day, the singer attempting to get a high five from the Little Man, who sat, tight lipped and unmoving. After the moment passed, I mentioned that it was ok for him to say hey, or even just smile, to strangers, if he wanted - wondering if it was his stranger danger issue at play. To this midwesterner, the thought of not responding to someone still seems so... un-doable! I've gotten better about ignoring total crazies, but it still isn't natural for me. While I'm thinking about this, a lady sitting to my left asked me if I was born in NYC. No... She smiled and said she was. And then warmly reminded me that P was a local kid - like she had been, and that this is how kids deal, surrounded by strangers (who often try to claim a kid's interaction.) It was an eye opening point. Other than possibly the checkout girl at the supermarket, there were hardly any unknown adults in my young life. My folk's friends, my preschool teacher, the neighbors. I knew them alll. And happily ensconced in the car, I interacted with strange adults next to never. Sure, there was an occasional trip to the zoo or the mall, but that was rare in comparison to P's daily foot-filled forays with uncountable unknowns. Of course it would make a difference! As I thanked the nice native, I wondered how I'll honor my little New Yorker's need to claim some semblance of privacy in this city while simultaneously appeasing my people pleasing personality...)
But where was I... Oh, yes, we headed home with the dragon decorated bomb. I assured E it would be easy-peasy. We'd cover the bathtub with sheets, and explode the thing while enclosed. Then the Little man could toss and tumble it till he was done. Slide out the bottom sheet and whalah. No muss, no fuss.
Ha. (hahahaha) E, being the good sport he is, climbed into the tub with the tube and the kid. E hates to get messy. Though he had just had hundreds of tubes rain down on him during the parade, he felt fresh picked, confetti free, and wasn't too excited to preen again. But I so wanted a picture of the boom :) And he kinda likes me ;)
Needless to say, the best laid plans and all that... I (seriously) underestimated the size of the boom. I clicked the camera as i automatically clamped my eyes shut to the enormous bam... only to feel the explosion. land. on. me.
Yup, it shot right out the top, dusting E and P with a few tiny shreds in the process. It blew open the sheet - and barfed onto me - and the rest of the bathroom. After a shocked second, we all died of laughter. Especially the karmically clean Ethan :) It only took a few shakes for him to brush clean. The bathroom is a while nuther story...
P, very excited:
P and E, surprisingly clean after the explosion:
The bathroom, surprisingly not clean after the explosion (the pic does it No Justice. Trust me. :)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
P's long adored the ancient playground (featuring, basically, sand and a 70's style jungle gym) across from E's office. The surrounding area is vibrant, typically packed with the Green Market (the big sister to our Saturday morning grocery run at Grand Army Plaza) and throngs of New Yorkers dog walking and bench sitting. But the Little Man never even bothered to enter the modern playground just across the sidewalk. Raised walkways bordered by ladders and poles having lost his interest before he turned three (way too safe, apparently;)...
Then they demolished the boring modern monstrosity. P was worried his beloved pyramid would follow suit, but some smart suit has preserved that tiny space (so far.) Now, after months and months of work, the new Union Square playground is open... and it rocks.
Granted, it isn't everyone's cup of tea. We met in mass on Friday, homeschoolers swirling around the swingless space. Some moms seemed thrilled, some not so much. P, however, was unequivocally jazzed.
I only got one (the above) shot that day. The strange stainless steel dome, rising above one end of the playground for no apparent reason, had P and I giggling with glee. Scooching up the smooth surface was entertaining, standing on top of the precarious center point was exhilarating, and sliding down was just plain fun. Even more, there were so many climbing doodads spread across the new playspace, the LIttle Man didn't know which way to turn.
Until he found what his friend called "a modern day one of those old things that go round and round." Yah, that's another term for newfangled merry go round. A suspended soft circle surrounded by a flush stainless steel bar floated above the playground on a tilted shaft. Kiddie crack for sure. Children piled on as one father twirled and twirled and twirled the writhing heap. P flew off, did a flip and landed with a thud. Up he bounced (as the twirling father almost had a heart attack) and bounded back to the rotating wheel. This time he gripped the stainless steel edge a bit better. No matter though, he flipped off twice more, both times garnering alarmed squeeks from the other adult viewers. But P typically bounces when he flies, especially if he's enjoying himself, and the surface tiles under the ride were purposefully squishy... so I laughed at the hilarity of him flying through the air each time. I'm not particularly sure I won any friends that day... But the Little Man was in heaven (and unscathed;)!
We're so excited to go back when its warm... and the sun stays up late - that playground is vacant after dinner! Though, for the record, Mr. Social seemed nonplussed seeing so many fellow homeschoolers. In fact, I think he actually enjoyed it. Despite the fact that his favorite new "friend" from the day was Diego, the dad P introduced himself to :)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I don't know what it is about kids and concoctions, but its a solid relationship for sure. I remember the boys in my class making all sorts of unmentionables during lunch. Turns out, P likes this too. Since I have innate issues with waste in this weary world, we've done lots of colored water. But now he's getting into chemical reactions. Becoming a big fan of vinegar and baking soda. Vanilla. Oil and water. And now, the hand crank.
He's had the hand mixer high on his list for a long time, and that time finally came this week. After torturing the pink monster, he cooked it up in the kitchen, cleaned the crank and then headed to the bath to churn some bubbles. Five is fun :)
More on our exciting week of snow play later...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
P, carrying Chomper, his dino/fish/mouth that grabs stuff. Today, snow.
It's true. E and I aren't exactly, umm, plugged in. A friend mentioned the Super Bowl Sunday evening.... and it was the first time E and I had thought about it since someone mentioned it... a year ago :) (P's Aunt D and B instinctively play translator for me when in a group setting, defining pop culture trivia whenever it arises, knowing I'm clueless.) But, thanks to our location, the Little Man's life is brimming with cultural fun, pop or otherwise, despite his parents.
For example, our last craft at the library was to celebrate February 14th. As Susie, P's sweet librarian, introduced her newest craft, she asked the tableful of faces if anyone knew what we would celebrate on the 14th? Each and every smiling mug trilled "Chinese New Year!" "Yes!" Susie beamed. "And we're going to make paper lanterns with dragons on them!" P was delighted.
Today's Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, or whatever you'd like to call your (originally pagan) pre lent ritual, would probably have slipped by us too, but for our fabulous Polish friends who invited us over for Paczki. The snowstorm brewing out our window had P reconsidering his excitement for friends and fried food, but then the snow loving gleam entered those baby blues and out we flew....
Right into much more snow than I had expected. Walking everywhere as we do, I religiously check the online weather before leaving the house. Sometimes, for insurance, I double up on my information and call my father, my favorite weather relay man (happily ensconced in warm, sunny, Sarasota, he's always more than chipper to tell me how cold my day will be:) Well, I should have called him today, because, as is often the case, the weather outside was much different than that typed on my screen.
Nevertheless, we eventually made it all the way across the park (which, come to find out, grows bigger when it snows) to visit our buddies. And we carnival'd in style on some delish donuts while racing cars and playing under quilts.
Feet stuffed in trash sacks and hoods worn low, we re-schlepped home, fat and happy this Tuesday. The park had grown, again, but gawd was it was gorgeous.
Monday, February 15, 2010
As I crossed the room to flick the lamp tonight, I finally noticed just how much floor space is devoted to BB's "property" (what Phoenix lovingly calls the general space filled by BB's treehouse, barn, stables and vehicles.) Its uncanny, really, especially in a little New York flat. Then I glanced around, thinking about how much of the space E and I typically occupy (the mat in front of the kitchen sink and perhaps a small spot on the couch). When we moved in, before The Little Man was yet two, his belongings fit into a tidy metal tub. The apartment was wide open, I'd daringly even say... spacious. Since that day, the child has collected every item he could get his hands on. The wood crate on the stoop next door? The perfect center island for his kitchen. The plastic pizza-box-lid-holder-upper-thingy noticed on the sidewalk? The ideal deck table for BB. The bandaid wrapper bound for the trashcan? A little velcro and they'll be perfect skis for little BB. The child keeps everything. Then, of course, there are the toys.
Despite my cynicism and role as chief picker-upper, I don't begrudge him his love of toys. Or strange baubles of junk. Really. He's a kid and he learns through manipulation, play, experimentation. (And he has the most beautiful trust in the universe that it will provide, always, it provides. I try to rectify this with the status of the world, without any luck whatsoever. But, quite seriously, if the kid is hoping for something, it always manifests.) I may occasionally swoon unstably at the thought of finding a spot for yet another treasure, but I secretly love a challenge, so....
And then I see how his play evolves and it is so exciting and fun. His sweet Uncles gave him this magnetic marble set a couple of years ago. In the beginning, he was merely experiencing how magnets work, how to line them up, how to pile them up, how to stick them all over the house. Then he really liked watching us build with them. Then he really liked building the same shape over and over. Then he pulled them out the other day and made a boat for BB (of course.) With a captain's wheel, a glass bottom area with fishing holes, a watch deck, upper and lower lights and a lookout spot on the back. Open-ended toys and bandaid wrappers rock. Really.
Friday, February 12, 2010
We met a couple fellow homeschoolers in the park yesterday to enjoy the deep snow. We only hoped for great sledding (and empty hills with all of the kids back in school, a total perk in busy Brooklyn ;) but were surprised with amazing snow sculptures all over the park. Apparently, some inspired (or bored) adults (or big kids) had a blast during the blizzard too. P and his bud deserted their sleds pretty quickly in lieu of the fun filled tunnel fort...
The Little Man walks much further these days, I don't think its been an actual energy/strength issue (he can run non-stop all day when playing:) - more that he's just becoming less bitter about growing up. After saying (for years) that he doesn't want to grow up, ever, this month he chose to age an entire year, just to match Eloise's age.
P happily hikes home:
The Little Man really liked this snowman:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Promises of snowstorms have passed with mere dustings this winter. This one is a whole 'nuther story!
With school closed for the day, all of P's neighbor buddies powwowed last night and planned a snowball fight. For eight thirty. A.M.. For a child who burns the midnight oil, this seemed laughable, but he popped out of bed bright and early and zoomed downstairs to join the fray. The dads formed a team and fighting escalated. Snowballs whizzed everywhere, trash can lids (it is Brooklyn) were employed as defenses, snowball making tools were wildly wielded.
Soon enough, the wise fathers realized they had to shovel their walks (city ordinances) and told the kids it was time to make a fort. I was pretty impressed with their ingeniousness (they are all native New Yorkers.) All 8 kids grabbed their snowshovels (P included) and cleaned the walks into a big pile :) The bigger backs helped and packed and eventually a fort took shape. Then the gang split up for warmth, food and sledding, only to meet again a few hours later. The fort grew some more. The Little Man packed a zillion snowballs. Snowmen appeared everywhere. It was white and deep and cold and wet and beeeeautiful.
And its still snowing as we go to bed - late. Later than usual ;) Because, while I was dreamily looking out the window before bed, a huge tree gave way under its wet, snowy weight and cracked down, right onto a minivan... and all of the way across the street onto another car. This meant that our dark house was soon aglow with warm red lights from the police car below. And then filled with the faint sounds of a chain saw revving between wind whooshes as the fireman cut and hauled and cut and hauled... It was so cozy, sitting warmly above the radiator on the wide window ledge, looking out at the snow in the whirling lights and swirling snow. E left his sick bed (he had turned in early after a long day) to join us... because it was just too damn picturesque on his way back from the bathroom :) P, curled on my lap, yawned and leaned his (very tired) head onto my shoulder, sighing, "This is so lovely...."
Tomorrow: sledding :) I'm so excited!!!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
P, playing with Amazing Aunt and Uncles while E and I.... actually went out with our dearest friends. Yes, it was fabulous. And yes, we tried to ignore the thoughts of what P could be doing to his dearly beloveds while we were gone. More of that in the post below....
From "Eloise at the Plaza," P's current obsession:
"There is this Oak Room which is to the right if you want to have a broken mint or something like that..."
P looks at me and whispers, "Is that ok?" while pointing to the illustration of Eloise snagging a mint from a candy bowl. I use this to illustrate the general trust he has in us, his parents, to help him understand social customs and general life lessons. Before this post obliterates that idea, to bits....
There's a sliding scale, a long line of variation, in how adults deal with other people's kids. Everyone is somewhere on this line, anchored by two very different ends. I know (and love) people at both ends. This is not a judgement, just a description. At one end is the lady who is entirely comfortable correcting your child, reminding your child to say "please," despite the fact that you, the parent, are standing right there. These people have absolutely no qualms embracing a village like leadership role around all short pints. At the other end of the spectrum you have the lady that will chuckle uncomfortably, when licked, purposefully, by your child.
Personally, I fall waaaay towards the latter end of this continuum. I chuckle and divert, dodge and duck. (Unless I need to stand up for my kid, and then I try to be as careful with my language as possible.) This is not "the right way," this is merely what makes me, the social scaredy-cat, comfy. E falls into this same role. We understand it too well. This is all background for the upcoming breakthrough in our house.
I've mentioned before that P adores his Uncles a lot (The Aunts are included in this nomenclature, there are just so many that this has become our verbal shorthand) . But as of last night, E was ready to hang up the Phoenix-family towel. Sure, he was tired (E;) and coming down with a cold (yes, E, and it'll be our first this winter! Holy moly compared to the last two virus infested cold seasons!). Regardless of the grumps, he was right. Phoenix and family can be a crazy combo.
I've gone on and on about how great it is that P listens to us, respects us, so much. How I actually have to take care when speaking that I don't over-influence him. How he listens to our needs, his friend's needs, and responds willingly and beautifully to those needs. Yah, there has been a lot of fabulous Phoenix talk.
There hasn't been a lot of talk about how psychotic he gets around his Uncles. How he completely disregards anything his aforementioned mentors say. E and I have spent many a late night brainstorming ways to help his interactions be something slightly representative of who he usually is. To no avail. We've tried removing him from situations. Giving exit strategies and suggestions before get togethers. Whispering reminders to him during get togethers. Redirecting. Relaxing. Yelling "Stop!!!" And, honestly, the list of attempts goes steeply downhill and away from all of our highfalutin philosophies from there. Nothing "works" and E often has to remove himself from the situation (the dishes are his sanity saver) so he doesn't blow a gasket. Meanwhile, I keep a calm demeanor and then obsessively replay every yucky moment for the remainder of my insomniac filled night.
So, after an evening of silent seething last night, E whispered to me that we best do something, NOW, or he wasn't doing a family get together again.
What could be so bad, you ask? What could my adorable, loving, sweet little son possibly ever do to upset us so? Ha. Hahahahahahaahahahahahaha.
He might pretend to endlessly puke, loudly, in your guest's soup, all evening. While crawling all over them while they try to eat said soup. After reaching into their soup with his grubby fingers to take their prized Romanesco Cauliflowers. Then he just might mix a concoction of his backwashed milk and half drunk water into a cup, plug it with another cup and unceremoniously dangle it precariously over your guest's partially eaten, pirated soup. Then he could bring out an array of chapsticks and repeatedly shove them into your guest's faces (who are, by the way, still trying to finish their dinners), insisting that they wear some, despite their very sweet "No thanks." This, of course, would all occur before he pulls his pants off to wag his bare bottom (and other unmentionable body parts) at them and then spit on them to say goodbye....
Or something like that. I can hear you already. Why don't you just, couldn't you just, haven't you tried just??? Yah. We've done it. We've tried it. We've thought it. We even become the parents we don't want to be on these evenings. Trust me. (Well, except for beating, spanking, shaming, threatening or yelling (though the word "Stop" has certainly reached higher decibels than we'd prefer). This may seem like a simple child training moment to many (and to them I graciously say, choose a different blog to waste your time on :) I don't want to solve one problem by creating a new one... despite how horrified I was last night...
So, completely drained, embarrassed and exasperated, I sent E to bed and sunk onto the bathroom floor with P. He, usually the infinitely in tune child, is unbelievably clueless when it comes to this subject. When we've discussed ways to keep the Uncles comfortable in the past, he's seemed genuinely stumped that they wouldn't be. How could one not enjoy being jumped? Unexpectedly, while relaxing? From behind? He seems quite sure they do like it.
Which makes it a really tough conversation. Because it feels like stealing joy. Like he has this unadulterated joy and peace with these people, and the thought that he could do something unappealing to them is unfathomable to the child. After all, kids commonly equate doing something someone dislikes with someone disliking the person doing the doing. At this age, they are their actions.
So we chatted, carefully and quietly, forever. He was infinitely interested, a little crushed, but mostly confused. And then it all came out. Apparently, he doesn't believe me.
He informed me he was fairly certain I was wrong. That his loves do, indeed, like their soup puked in. "But Mama, they laugh!" They don't mind him hitting them, they never ask him to stop! They don't mind being climbed on when they are eating, no sir! I assured him that this was a standard for grown-ups, and I, as a standard grown-up, know these things :) When the small sage said, "Mama. You, are you. You are not Seth or Alicia. You can only know you. You can't know what Seth and Alicia think."
That's right folks, he didn't believe me. Me, the one formerly known to sway the moon, I have met my match :) It was late. I pathetically yammered about social customs, comparing them to library running rules (stuff everybody just does for the population's maximum comfort - nothing we haven't covered before) He pointed out that different houses follow different customs and we weren't in the library. Me:0. Kid, 2 points.
(I realize as I write this, its sounding more like we were lobbing arguments back and forth than chatting, but that's the shortcoming of my writing, not actually representative of the bathroom floor powwow:) The kid was really trying to understand the intricacies of my babble, and to help me understand his thinking.)
So we made up a scenario. Plot: P is at someone else's house and begins spitting on the floor, repeatedly. Then we went through family members, imagining how they would respond. This is where that spectrum comes in. While no one in our families falls into the "uber-bossy" end, there are plenty that land in the middle. These would respond with various, clear no thank you's ;) Then we landed on a number of family members who P knew would.... just laugh. He said he thought this meant they liked it. And he certainly likes to make people laugh. So, step two in this scenario? Head nod, he would spit again. Definitely. Probably laughing maniacally himself.
I told him I often laugh when I don't necessarily like something. I told him it was just my way of being uncomfortable, what I do when I don't know what to do. Or sometimes I would just rather a kid's parents correct them, it doesn't feel like my place if it isn't my kid. And there are other's like me in the family, like Papa. True, we aren't that way with the Little Man, because we're comfortable with him, we know what to do (er, kinda:). But we feel that way around lots of other kids. (This all seemed strange to the child, understandably :) and reminded me of a point Naomi Aldort (parenting "expert") espoused years ago. If her child was endlessly talking to a stranger in a restaurant, even if Aldort believed the stranger preferred otherwise, she would not attempt to change her child's direction. The child would only see the mother as an adversary, since the stranger hadn't professed discomfort, and would believe the mother wrong and interfering. The point irritated me because it disregards the stranger's needs, in lieu of the child's. However, I have to admit she was spot on in describing how the child would handle the situation. Apparently, children typically tell it just how it is and it is endlessly confusing when the rest of us don't. )
I could see a small light over his head. More a nightlight than lightbulb at this point. Then he thought a bit and got there and had a solution. He figures he should ask his Uncles. Since he doesn't necessarily think his mother or father can really know what these loves are thinking, but he really doesn't want them to be uncomfortable.... "Why don't you tell me when you're uncomfortable, Mama, and then I"ll ask them if they're uncomfortable too!"
To be completely and perfectly and horribly honest... I'd rather he just listen to me without hesitation, much like he does the rest of his life :) But since blind devotion and automaton production aren't really on my parenting goal checklist, I agreed we had a great solution. (I think the consummate optimist is really banking on nothing bugging his beloveds, so we'll see how this all plays out:)
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Last weekend was cold, sure, but this weekend blew it all to hell. The wind gusts felt downright Kansan :) (While paying for our weekly dairies, the tent above became briefly air-born... but was quickly foiled by the two cream connoisseurs behind the makeshift counter. They didn't even blink. I was impressed :)
I was also impressed with the Little Man's determination. He focused on wiping the stone border-wall clean of the light snow dusting... for the better part of the eleven blocks. Being much shorter than said wall, I was shocked he held his arm up for so long. Especially since snow was plummeting... right into the crack between his glove and his jacket - cuuuumfy ;) But his intense attempt to continuously knock Imaginary BB off of the wall with the snow kept him going :)
Monday, February 1, 2010
We spent yesterday afternoon at the aquarium with a prospective homeschooler. Her mum is interested, but is a little nervous to take the plunge and give up playschool. She hoped an afternoon of chatting over sea lion tricks would give her some answers. I probably should have suggested she asks someone else... with well edited, inspiring answers :) But P and I had fun....
The Little Man had agreed to this visit weeks ago (I ran it by him - knowing it would make for a slightly different experience than our typical Phoenix focused aquarium visits.) He was excited to meet V and her mama, and doubly excited to see the walrus again. But, the Little Man has been in a mood for the last few days. A week, maybe. I'm not sure what's going on (fighting off a cold? Needing more sleep? Growing pains? Growth spurt? On the edge of something developmentally? Have I been lackluster? Is he not getting the right.... something?? Or just irritated:) Nothing seems awry. He's eating great, sleeping per usual. But the grumps are obvious and, in the last three days, getting more pronounced.
So, despite talking about our plans every day for the last four days (he doesn't like surprises), and being fine with our plans when we woke up, he was bereft when it came time to go. Drat! Our unknown friends were below ground, subbing their way there, so canceling was impossible (and would have been exceptionally rude to boot...) I validated his doldrums, his wants, his frustration, suggested he kick the bed rather than the door (a strange re-occurrence making the grumps truly obvious - he hadn't been physical when frustrated for a really long time and then it started popping up a couple of weeks ago....)
Where was I? Oh, door jamb. He said he understood we had to go, but he would not be happy :) He had such a good point - that he could choose to be happy or not. So I agreed, that it was his choice whether he enjoyed our outing or not, I'd love him either way.
I got dressed. He climbed onto the bed and rolled around, quietly. Then he sat up. Then he started smiling slightly. He jumped down and got ready and we went. It was crazy to watch him process through it.
He was beyond happy all afternoon - obviously having made the choice and really dedicating himself to it :) He adored our new playmates, adored every eel, jellyfish and shark. He held his new friends' hands and chatted with them gleefully. I occasionally looked around to find Mr. Hyde, but he was gone. (He's reappeared again since then, so the mood has yet to magically lift permanently...)
Anyway! I'm boring myself again as I ramble. The point of this post: The fence-riding mom had a common question: how do you spend all of your time with your kid? Is this difficult?
Such an interesting question to me. But so loaded with the pervasiveness of school as norm. Its like assuming a baby should be fed a bottle (a fact wee me never questioned with my dollies). Its so culturally entrenched. And culturally twisted. We're (humans in general, not just P and I;) so far from our original inclinations its insane. Moms (or dads;), shuttered away for the day with their wee ones or sending the wee ones off to school to be with other wee ones the same age. The extended family, the tribe, our natural family formation, is non-existent. And as much as I adore spending my life with P, there's no questioning the fact that the intensity of hearing his voice for 14 hours a day, only broken by the sound of my voice answering his is, well, absurd from a vastly historical point:) Much like his little voice (ok, big voice) and movements being censured in a classroom of equally censored kids' sounds and stirrings is unbelievably, unnaturally absurd. Our society is, well, fucked up. (Sorry Cash - I'll start watching that, starting tomorrow? ;)
What am I babbling about?! The question itself assumes that its normal to not see your kid, for your kid to be in a distant box for the duration of the day. And while I recognize that as the cultural "norm" of our time, I've been on the outside of that while parenting, so I can't fathom answering it in an understandable fashion. I've been too busy feeling crazy-lucky that I'm able to be on the outside of this norm to bemoan it. Not that its all jolly ranchers and Xmas mornings around here. No, no, no. But I do know moms that claim every second spent homeschooling is exhilarating. (I'm fairly certain their children talk less than mine...) And I know moms homeschooling that regularly feel they are a hair's-breadth away from loosing it. But you could take out the "homeschooling" bit from that last sentence and it would still be true. Word dat:)
I'm pretty sure I failed to help the nice lady lean toward a decision. After all, one can't tell a stranger how much they like spending time with their kid without it sounding like a cross judgement.. or like a loon song. Likewise, one can't tell a stranger (while in front of said child to boot) that sometimes you have to imagine walking down a vacant, dark, snow covered sidewalk... just to retain your sanity for a second. So I told her the most honest (and probably unhelpful) thing possible: "I love it. And I'd imagine either decision would have difficulties for different reasons...." Yah, I told you she should have met with someone else!
However, our fun day did remind me of a funny list a friend sent me. Now, keep in mind, I know next to nothing about blogging. I'm please with myself every time I get a video uploaded. So if I'm incorrectly citing this, please forgive me... and correct me in the comment section for future reference! Tammy Takahashi has a great list of 10 reasons not to homeschool on her blog. I've copied her list below for your enjoyment.
10 Reasons Not to Homeschool: By Tammy Takahashi
October 28, 2006
1. There is no “how to”. You have to make your own decisions about what is important in education. You have to read lots of books and do lots of research to ultimately to figure out who you are, and you will soon learn, there is no “right” way to educate.
2. People will always ask you why you homeschool. Then you have to deal with their questions somehow. This. Never. Ends.
3. It is very likely that someone you love will absolutely hate the fact that you are homeschooling, and will make it clear. Wouldn’t it just be easier to do things the way your family expects you to? You’d get along better with them if you do.
4. You have to create your own social networks and be able to make friends without the constructs of a school setting. And the kids have to learn how to get along with people in the real world. The real world is scary sometimes, and it’s not always easy to know how to meet people.
5. You will have to answer all of your kids’ questions. And sometimes, (ok, maybe often), you’ll have to admit that you don’t know something. And you can’t say, “Ask your teacher tomorrow.” Instead, you will have to say, “Let’s look it up.”
6. The first step to successful homeschooling is to let go of everything you ever knew about education, and to start from scratch. If you really like how school works, you may be surprised at how different homeschooling is from that version of reality. Sometimes, that causes smoke to rise from the ears as two sets of gears try to go in opposite directions.
7. There are a million things to buy out there. It’s easy to get sucked into the “it’s for our kids’ education” trap. And beware homeschool conferences. They are like going to an endless mall of educational materials and ideas. If you go to too many of them, you may even be coerced into speaking at one.
8. Even if millions of parents have homeschooled before, nobody will be able to tell you what to expect. Homeschooling is like being a parent – every family is different and you’re going to have to become your own expert and do a lot of research. Sure, it’s possible to homeschool without research, but that’s like parenting without thinking about why you make our choices. So, once you’ve decided to homeschool, you will be spending just as much time as your kids with your nose in a book, or doing on-site research (park days and info nights). In fact, in the beginning, you’ll probably be learning a lot more than your kids are. That is a very tiring.
9. You run the risk of filling your house with books, magazines, science projects and pencils. You may need to convert part of the bathroom into a library. And what’s worse, is that whenever someone starts talking about a topic, you won’t be able to stop yourself from saying, “We have a book on that! Here, let me go get it.” People will either stay away from you to keep from being told all the nuts and bolts about taking a radio apart, or they will always be bugging you for help on their school science projects because they know you have all the books and info (and experience).
10. You are free. Completely and totally free. Do you really want to be free?