- B had taekwondo on Saturday, and he just continues to love it and be so into it. He is really starting to seem more confident in the class sessions. The dojang we selected, in addition to having the huge perk of being a 2-minute walk from home, is just so great with the kids. Maybe all dojang's are? Maybe that's part of the taekwondo code? I don't know much about martial arts. This dojang is somehow managing to get B to do things like volunteer to go first in showing the instructor he can do something. He almost always gets whatever it is partly wrong, but he doesn't even seem to worry about it. It is as though they have made him feel incredibly safe. What a huge gift. But how can they have done this in less than four weeks, when M and I have been at it for more than four years and still haven't succeeded?
- Later on Saturday, we dropped B at the boys' godparents for the monthly sleepover. P and B alternate months having a sleepover at the godparents'. M, P, and I then went to dinner at a fantastic new burrito place in town (can't believe I lived in this city for 15 years without any Mexican food), and P handled himself well. We did not tell him we were going out to eat there until right before we went. Once he knew, he was a little nervous chattery for awhile, but then got himself under control. In particular, he did himself proud ordering his food and just generally using phenomenally good manners throughout the time we were there. After the restaurant, we stopped by a video store, and P was able to keep himself perfectly regulated amid all that stimulation. So much so that we felt able to let him talk briefly with the guy outside the door with two pythons winding around his neck when we emerged. Snakes give me the creeps more than anything else, but P was in heaven.
- At 9 pm Saturday night, M and I discovered that P's one-year old kitten January had a very swollen crusty paw. It was clearly painful. Had to break this news to P Sunday morning. He got very scared. He really loves that cat. (We have gone from early years of not being able to let him near any animals without serious supervision, to being able to get him a kitten last November.) I was worried we may be dealing with both vet and RAD P all day. As it turned out, P held it together pretty well. January had to spend the day at the vet's, getting x-rayed and having claws pulled back into position, and getting stitches, and becoming a conehead. (Somehow, he got three of his claws jammed deep into their nailbeds. I can't even write that without cringing.) So P had to deal with a full day of uncertainty about January and how he was doing and what he was going to be like when we picked him up. All day long, he said things like "I need to tap."
- We finished our weekend by riding the dinner train. You can see a general picture here. That is not us, and not even this year's dinner train, but it gives you an idea of how incredibly cool this is. It is an event put on by this local hobby-scale train club. M and I have gone every year since we discovered it way back before we ever met P and B. This was the first year we've taken P and B. They have ridden the train (without dining tables) many times on the club's "open run" weekends throughout the summers. There are strict rules about keeping your weight balanced and still, keeping arms inside the train, and so on. And P and B have mastered these rules over time. When we told them they were getting to ride the dinner train with us this year, they couldn't believe it. (We told B on Saturday morning, and P at the very last minute.) Their godparents came along too, so it was the six of us, and we had such fun. There was the added bonus of the slighly older boys in the train car next to P's breaking all the rules and eventually getting yelled at by a club member. Specifically, what he did was get right in the kid's face and yell "Do you want to get off the train? Either follow the rules or get off the train NOW." It was very fun seeing P and B's reactions to that -- they both called it a natural consequence for that kid. Quite funny. And it gave us such a great opportunity to apply our Love and Logic script about how sad it is for those kids that they haven't learned how to be respectful in such situations, and how we feel so good inside when we go somewhere and have fun respecting other people and their property.
- When we met up with godparents and B at the dinner train, the godparents' reaction to the sleepover was that B had been extremely calm and respectful and helpful. He sometimes has trouble with this at their house -- godfather sometimes recruits B into major roughhousing that blurs the lines between friend and authority figure, and B doesn't always succeed in getting back under control. This happens at our house when godparents come over too. But it seems this time the sleepover went much differently. The godparents (who are in their 50s) weren't so worn out this time! When we asked B what had changed, he said "taekwondo has taken over my brain."
Monday, September 21, 2009
We are in a continued period of smooth-sailing. Like many of you, I realize the pattern between saying that and having it come to an end. So knock wood for now, and I'll only have myself to blame if things fall completely apart in the next 24 hours! But, darnit!, we had an interesting and fun weekend, and I feel like celebrating it. Here are some highlights: