I inherit last week’s tabloids from my mother in law.  The other day, People’s issue covering Kate Middleton’s 30th birthday was laying on the coffee table.  My 10 year old daughter K noticed the issue.

K: Wow, she’s 30. That’s sooooo old!!  Her life is half over!!!!

Me: Hello, your mother is sitting right here.  I’m older than 30.

K: Well, it’s old for her, not you.

Me: Yeah, yeah… trying to talk your way out of it

K: You’re going to live to be 150 because you are always going to be around for me.  She’s only going to be 60 or something so her life is half over.

I can remember being a kid and thinking that 30 was SOOOO old and thinking that I was always going to want my parents around (man did that change in my teenage years LOL).  I will remind her of this in a few years when she gets into that stage.

I always say that you are only as old as you want to be.  I try not to be “old”.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember this post where I discussed how intense my son can be?  His grandmother got him the Lego Space Shuttle kit for Christmas.  He has wanted this kit for SO long.  He couldn’t wait to get started it on it.

I wasn’t so excited about him getting it.  See, it has 1230 pieces to it; many of them are teeny tiny.  There is nothing worse than stepping on one barefoot.  It will make the biggest, toughest grown man cry! LOL

The last time J got a kit with so many pieces it didn’t turn out so well.  He was much younger and I really think he was in over his head.  Our dog (who was a puppy at the time) chewed up one of the pieces.  Instead of telling us this or asking for help, J decided the whole kit was a lost cause and threw it all in the trash!  The worst part is he put it in the garage trashcan (which is much larger) and didn’t tell us until the trash was pickup up.  So there went a $100 gift from a family member down the drain (or in the trash I should say).

Last Sunday was Space Shuttle building day.  J let us know what he was doing and closed his door.  I peeked in several times and almost had a heart attack because of all of the pieces in the floor organized into piles.  He promised he would finish it soon and clean up any mess.  I feel bad, because I didn’t really think he would.

Several hours later (around 4-5), J opened his door and asked us to come look at his masterpiece.  He really finished it.  He did a good job.

He is so funny.  He asked us to get him a display case because he would like to display it in his office when he grows up. LOL

It sometimes amazes me how different my kids are.  I don’t know if it’s the difference between a boy and a girl, or if birth order really has that much to do with it.  They are only a little over two years apart, so the environment has been the same for both of them.  But sometimes they are almost polar opposites of each other.     

We’ve come to the time in the school year when parents have the option to test their children for the gifted and talented program (called GT in our schools).  My son, who is older, has been in this program since 2nd grade.  His 1st grade teacher recommended it because J was overwhelmingly bored with school.  My daughter, K,  was tested for the first time last year and only missed the cutoff for placement by 4 points.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her.  She would have been devastated.  To her, it would have meant that she wasn’t as smart as J.  Instead of telling her that she didn’t qualify, I told her that we decided against the GT route for her.  She seemed to understand and went on with life just fine.  It wasn’t a total lie.  Honestly, I don’t know if we would have placed her in the program even if she qualified.

Both of my children are equally smart.  They both read well above their grade levels.  They both excel at math.  The both make the A/B honor roll on each report card.  But they process information and the world around them completely differently.  I don’t think I really understood this until reading the flyer sent home from school about the testing.  It talked about what differentiates a “gifted learner” from a “bright child” and asked you to rate which characteristic your child shows.

Bright Child vs. Gifted Learner Differences:

Bright Child Gifted Learner
Knows the answers Knows the questions
Is interested Is highly curious
Is attentive Is mentally and physically involved
Has good ideas Has wild, silly ideas
Works hard Plays around, yet tests well
Answers the question Discusses in detail, elaborates
Top group Beyond the group
Listens with interest Shows strong feelings and opinions
6-8 repetitions for mastery 1-2 repetitions for mastery
Understands ideas Constructs abstractions
Enjoys peers Prefers adults
Completes assignments Initiates projects
Is receptive Is intense
Copies accurately Creates new designs
Enjoys school Enjoys learning
Absorbs information Manipulates information
Technician Inventor
Good memorizer Good guesser
Enjoys straightforward Thrives on complexity
Is alert Is keenly observant
Pleased with own learning Is highly self-critical

 

These differences have never been presented to me like this before and it makes so much sense.  I think that I better understand my kids, especially my son.  J has this approach to everything that is so intense.  He attacks everything that he doesn’t know or understand with such vigor that soon he knows everything about it.  He is interested in things that kids his age usually aren’t… like World War II history.  J does very well in school grade wise, but he really doesn’t put much effort into it.  I wonder what he could accomplish if he would give it 100%.  If he doesn’t complete something perfectly, he isn’t happy with it.  There is no “I’ll do better next time” with him.  Sometimes he won’t even try if he thinks he will fail.  He HAS to be right about everything and if you call him on it, he will find a way to make his point the right one.  (He would make an excellent attorney LOL).  See what I mean… he’s intense.  And sometimes that intensity doesn’t sit will with kids his age.   

K, on the other hand, is very laid back.  She is a people person through and through.  Social skills come natural to her.  She is very organized and really takes pride in her work.  She wants to end product to look nice… presentation matters to her.  She is happy with herself even if she makes mistakes.  She seems to follow the “practice makes perfect” mantra.  She is my creative one who is always looking for some way to make the world around her better. 

At the end of the day, different or not, they compliment each other so well.  And even though J thinks he is the smarter (older) one who teaches his little sister everything she knows…  he really learns a lot from her too. 

 

 

 

I’ve finally begun to get into the Christmas spirit.  It’s about time right?  It’s only a few days away.  Our tree is finally decorated.  It’s been up in the living room with lights on it for two weeks.  It just lacked the ornaments.  I let the kids take on that task themselves this year and they did a really good job.  Now, I wouldn’t put a picture of it on the front of a magazine, but I think it’s perfect.  They keep walking past it saying, “we did a really good job don’t you think Mom?”  “Yes, you did!!”  I’m not sure why the tree top has a lean to it but this might be it’s last year.

I’ve got a plan for everyone’s presents and have most of them purchased.  I was really stressed about this since I was out of commission all last week and I’ve been working late this week to catch up.  Purchasing gifts is not something that I like to farm out to others.  I put alot of thought into what I get everyone, so it had to wait until I was feeling better.  And no matter how many times I say I’m going to start early, it never happens.  Now to get them all wrapped.  I usually make bows for each package, but that might not happen this year.    

I’ve realized how this time of year turns into a total beast.  It becomes so stressful that I really don’t even enjoy it.  I’ve been in a “Bah-Humbug” mood up until this week.  And I don’t like that.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were always my favorite holidays growing up…. not because we got presents but because they were just fun.  I was able to see cousins I only saw at that time of year.  We baked goodies that were only for the holidays and I loved gift giving even as a child.  I suppose I have to learn to let the stress go and just have fun again.  At the end of the day, the season is really about family and friends and spending quality time with them. 

Are you ready for Christmas?  How did your tree turn out? 

 

 

We finally finished my son’s Fall season of baseball this last week.  It started to feel like it would stretch out forever.  It was most definitely an interesting one.  His team moved up in age and rank this season and played much better and more seasoned teams.  A decision his coach would come to question.  See, they didn’t win one game all season.  They tied a team once, but there are no “W’s” in our standings.

 

We are a new team, only being together for two seasons now.  In fact, those two seasons are the only two that my son has ever played.  He has come a long way in that short time as a ball player, but still has so much to master as well.  His biggest hurdle to conquer is still the “stage fright” that comes over him as he swings the bat.  He can hit balls all day long in the batting cages and at practice, but freezes up when at the plate during a game.  I don’t know how to help him with it other than try to explain to him how to quieten his mind and swing the bat.  He just needs to zone out and watch the ball.  That will only come with experience and confidence.  I know every time he hits a ball in a game, he is one step closer to overcoming that fear.   

I mentioned earlier that our coach second guessed himself on moving up in rank because of our record.  Even though my son didn’t win a game all season, he is still a better ball player now then when he ran out on the field for the first game. 

There are lessons to be learned in losing

I think these are lessons that kids today don’t have much experience with.  Today, everyone gets a trophy so that feelings aren’t hurt.  Score isn’t even kept at games.  We don’t want our children to feel uncomfortable, so we shield them from all of that.  But what they are missing is important too. 

I want my children to know that nothing worth having in life will come easy.  It won’t be handed to them.  They have to fight for it.  They have to put “blood, sweat and tears” into it.  They aren’t guaranteed or entitled to anything.  I want them to find that drive deep down inside of themselves that helps them push forward when times get tough.   

Losing isn’t fun. Sometimes it’s embarrassing.  It might make us mad at ourselves.  It points out our flaws and shortcomings.  It also shows us where we need work and where to focus our attention to get better. 

 

Only in experiencing a loss, can we truly appreciate what it means to win.