Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Santa

Please please give us a Wii. Even if Daddy or Mommy eat the cookies.

Love Kamden

P.S. Please give us lots of Wii games.

P.S.S. Are you real? Circle yes or no at the bottom. Here use the pen.

Yes No

Look on back

P.S.S.S. Don't give me the girl stuff.

* The hand written version is way funnier :-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Suburban Kids in the City

Today Marcus and I took the boys and traveled to downtown Dallas for the annual Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Christmas Parade. The train on the way there was crowded but the boys loved being able to stand up while traveling. Once we got to Akard Station we followed all the other parents and children in search of a good place to watch the festivities.

Granted this our first year to make it the Dallas parade. (Typically I take the boys to Plano's which is always on the same day as Dallas'.) So I was not prepared for Myles when he started to whine that he needed to go to the bathroom. Of course where we were there was nothing! We sacrificed our spot and went in search of a public restroom (yuck!) I guess all the stores down there anticipated the crowds and many had signs posted "No Public Restroom." The best we could do was a string of port-a-potties (gross). After that little nightmare we lucked into an even better spot to watch everything right next to where the news people broadcast during the parade.

We got to see the whole thing from start to finish! We met some really nice folks that took turns with us taking pictures of our families and we got to see our first ever televised parade in person, YAY! It really was neat with all the characters and giant balloons. Kamden had the best seat in the house on Marcus' shoulders so he would yell out everything before we ever saw it coming. On our way back to the train the boys gasped in awe at the buildings towering over them (walking around between them is way different than driving around them). The boys had trouble paying attention to where they were going and we had to keep reminding them to watch out as we walked in front of parking garage entrances and exits. My kids know to look out for driveways and alleys not parking garages, lol.

We got to play around waiting for the train home and lucked out on getting a completely empty train. So that meant we could goof off on that too :-) The boys seemed so energetic and excited about the Holidays it inspired something in me. Kind of like magic I guess.

It was such an awesome day. We rounded everything out by spending the afternoon in Commerce with our family. My mother-in-law was very surprised to see us and I think she thought we may not come after all. I know how much she loves to see the boys and since her birthday is on Monday I know it meant alot to her that we came. I seriously have the best in-laws. Tomorrow is Allen's Christmas parade and while it probably won't compare to today's our town has such a cozy fun feeling that I know we will enjoy it none the less. For the first time in years I am super excited about this Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Raising Kamden

There are days it seems where I feel like I am completely failing my children. Today was one of those. This week started off on a weird note to begin with. I was just telling Kim earlier how tickled I was at Kamden freaking out over his very first ever "B" on a test. He missed one question on a reading test and thus his 88. I looked at it and knew that he had rushed and we had the talk about taking our time and checking our work. Secretly I was thankful that my son cares enough about his grades to be bothered by a "B" but I also worry. I don't think perfectionism is all bad but I don't want him to start having panic attacks and freaking out either.

Anyway, tonight is the night in which Kamden prepares his homework folder to be turned in tomorrow. Typically his homework for the week is sent home on Monday nights and he has until Friday to complete it and turn it all in along with a reading log in which he is supposed to read about 20-30 minutes EVERY night. Being a reader I don't think this is asking alot.

Anyway, Kamden usually finishes the worksheets in about 15 minutes once he gets home on Mondays. Then he would read, write it down and turn everything in on Tuesday. After our parent/teacher meeting the assignments became a little more involved (not much cause he still finishes in about 20 minutes) but we keep the folder all week and document his reading as well.

Tonight I sit down and look at the folder. There is only one entry on the reading log and it is from November 20th. I was furious (granted he missed the last two days of school before Thanksgiving and had that whole week off but still). I look over his sheets and discover that he did everything in pen and I can hardly decipher it and his work. I know I have been busy wrapping things up with school and then working like a maniac before my vacation last week but I had no idea that I was completely oblivious. I took responsibility for my absence and then I laid down the law. Kamden is a good kid. Both my boys are but laziness and slacking off are absolutely not allowed. Maybe I was a little harsh but I feel responsible for his future and a commitment to ensure he (and his brother) get the best and the most out of his education. That is after all one reason we chose to live where we do.

I took all the video games away until after Christmas. I forbid him to do his homework in pen ever and then I told him before he touched a snack, a tv or a toy he was to do all his homework and reading everyday as soon as he walks in the door. No more soccer or basketball if things don't improve and I even threatened to tell Santa to not bring us a Wii. Since Marcus goes back to work next week and I will now be picking him up I can personally enforce these rules.

He got upset and I felt a twinge of guilt. I told him that as an intelligent gifted child I would be unfair to just let him be a couch potato and waste his gifts on nothing. I don't understand the lack of desire to read. I don't understand the lack of enthusiasm for school. He likes school but I loved school. I love it so much I have two degrees and plan on getting a third. Kamden is so much like me and I try not to say that out loud. He needs to be his own person, but he is so smart and wonderful I just don't know what to do with him sometimes.

I offered him an arrangement just before he went to bed. For every 20 minutes of reading he could earn 15 min of video games a day with a max of 30 min. He just looked at me. I told him either way he was reading so think about it. At least he didn't go to bed mad.

I kind of thought having a degree in counseling I could decipher my kids and know exactly what to do. Instead I find it easier to help other people with their children while I sit here scratching my head about my own.