Archive for ‘Family’

March 9, 2012

You never know…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

Choices

I was in the park today (03-09-2012) with Logan and I began speaking to a fellow parent. I will not use her name since I do not have permission.

It turned out she is also a same-sex parent of a cute little girl. We began talking and had a lot in common. What I wanted to write about today was things I guess I take for granted were actually of interest to her.

1st – Patience is a virtue. We forget that our little loved ones are just children. We expect them to know and understand at our level. We talked about how can we really, logically, be angry and upset with our child who is so young because they spill their milk, or break a dish or glass. They have no reference, they are learning — should we have not put a cover on the cup, or used a plastic plate. So they spill something – use it as an opportunity to learn, not to admonish! It is hard, but not impossible.

2nd – Understanding consequences. In reference to #1 above and to #2 below “hind sight is 20-20”. I have a client with children in college and were were talking about what our children do and what in the world they must be thinking when they do it. We came to the conclusion, “they are not thinking”. It turns out that our children really do not know what they are thinking and what will happen by what they do. There are studies that show that children under 16 (if not 18) do not have then mental capacity to understand the long term consequences of their actions.

3rd – Discipline of actions (a chance for empathy). I had relayed to her that Logan was very strong for his age and had even bitten a playmate soon after his first day at his daycare. I said we had tried the old ways of saying things like; “Logan, what were you thinking?”, “Logan, why would you do such a thing?”, “Logan, you are a bad boy for doing this!” and then took a different approach. We tried the “empathy” approach. By this I mean we said; “Logan, look your friend is crying.”, “Logan, how do you think your friend feels?”, “Logan, is this the right way to treat your friends?”. Well, the change was amazing. Logan has always showed an early understanding of empathy and he quickly understood what we were saying and changed his behavior accordingly. Now when (if) he does something to hurt someone else we talk to him in terms of the hurt person’s feeling and he understands what he has done wrong.

4th – I am sure there were other things we talked about, but it’s late and I just don’t remember what.

I am not trying to say I have insight to being a great parent. I can only say I am trying very hard to be a better (modern) parent. I am trying not to fall into that same patterns our parents and their parents were taught. I am trying to pause, step back and think about how my actions in the next few minutes can forever change Logan’s future.

Advertisements
Tags: ,
March 4, 2012

You’re a Dummy…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Words Hurt

Words Hurt

How words can hurt…

This brings me back almost 15 years ago when I innocently told my partner, “That’s stupid!”. He was hurt and upset with me for days. During the following few days he sulked and barely talked to me. I could not figure out what I had said (or done) wrong. I repeatedly asked, but he would not tell me. He would say I should know what I had said. I didn’t. Eventually, he told me I had called him stupid. I was flabbergasted and bewildered. I knew I would never say this, but had I actually said it and not remembered?

Truth was it was a cultural difference. I had said “That’s stupid” and he translated it to “You’re stupid”. He is of Hispanic decent and this is how he “heard” what I said. I explained that in English it really means nothing and it is just a saying. I was talking about the action, not the person. He eventually forgave me, but it did point something out. Words can hurt.

Today he and Logan were in the kitchen and I heard him say “You’re a dummy!” about some silly thing Logan did. Now, I personally would not have taken offense to this, but I decided to take a moment and think about what was just said. Jose and I discussed what he said and I told him I thought we should try not to use such language. No matter how innocent he meant it. I suggested that saying, “You’re silly!” might have been a better use of words. He agreed. Logan is only 4.5 yrs old so probably did not take any offense to what was said but it is never too early to begin watching what we say.

What is said today can have far reaching effects in the future. Now as a parent, I think of these and many other things differently than I might have just a few years ago. It’s an ongoing learning experience for all of us.

This video is very poignant…

February 20, 2012

Kool-Aid Play-dough on President’s Day

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

What do you do with your 4 year old on a “bank\school” holiday? What any sane parent does, invite a friend over who has three year old twins of course.

Our hopes for a warm, sunny clear day were not to be realized as the morning fog burned off. Instead, we got an cool, overcast day reaching a high of about 55F. After all the high pitched screams and giggles finished from the boys seeing each other we got the boys settled and playing with each other.

Milo Helping Making Pay-dough

Milo Helping Make Play-dough

Michelle and I began working on making a great play-dough receipe she knew of and her son Milo came and helped us.

Kool-Aid Play-dough
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c salt
2 pkgs kool-aid (1/4 oz size)
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 c boiling water
3 tbsp oil

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water.
Stir until thickened.
Let cool and then knead to consistency of play-doh.
Add additional flour if too sticky.

It will last weeks if kept in an air tight container. This is non-toxic if eaten. Mixing it with Kool-Aid gives the dough surprising scents: lemon, cherry, lime, orange. Additional food coloring can be added if color is not bright enough.

Rolling the pasta out

Rolling the pasta out

Liam and Logan rolling all the colors together

Liam and Logan rolling all the colors together

The boys just loved it. They really enjoyed rolling the play-dough out with the pasta roller. As you can see they rolled all the colors together. We ended up with a lot of off-beige colored dough.

After a few hours of this we watched a little of Toy Story 2 and 3.

Then Papa brought the boys outside and they played in the back yard. He made giant paper airplanes. They were a hit.

After a 6 hours play-date our guest left. Everyone was happy and exhausted.

It’s 5:30pm and Logan has had his bath, got into his PJs and had his evening milk. He fell asleep while I was talking to him. He did not even get to play a little of his favorite video game with Papa. Zzzzzzz.

It’s 8:30 and Logan just woke up. His first words to us were “Papa, can we play pirates?” Which is what he calls his PS3 game he loves. He is diffidently his father’s (Jose Fidel) son.

Unfortunately for Logan we had begun watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and wanted to finish it.

Video gaming

Video gaming

Update it’s 9:15pm and they are playing. I am going to bed. I have to be up at 5:30am to start my day.

February 19, 2012

I want… Buy me… Please! Please! Pleeeeeze!

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

We knew this day was coming and this week it has arrived. Logan is 4.5 years old and has “discovered” why they put commercials on TV. Until now when we were watching a show and a commercial came on he would ignore it because it was not as interesting as Curious George or Zulu Patrol. I know this is not a new phenomenon to other parents or unique to us, but it seems that way. We are trying to stop this behavior early so it does not snowball as he gets older. We explain that he really does not need this and that he has plenty of toys in his room. Ultimately it comes down to the art-of-distraction. Can we get him to focus on something else before he becomes fixated?

Here are some of the more annoying ads.

Cuddle-Uppets

Cuddle-Uppets ($19.99) - Blankets that are puppets. Wow! What more could a kid want?

Press Dough Cookie Maker

Press Dough Cookie Maker ($19.99) - Yum Yum

Moon Sand

Moon Sand ($19.99) aka Moon Dough, Magic Sand, Aqua Sand - The amazing new Dough that is out of this world!

Bendaroos

Bendaroos ($17.95) Amazing Flexible Building Stick!

Disney On Ice - Toy Story 3 ($45.00) Yes, we are going to see this the 2nd week in March and looking forward to it.

February 12, 2012

Dragon Breath

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Brushing Teeth

Logan was 18 months old when we first saw him for the first time. He was so small and we both fell in love with him instantly.

Since Logan was still a ward of the state (a foster child) we (his foster parents) had to follow strict procedures concerning Logan’s health needs. Soon after he entered our home we had him meet his new doctors including a dentists. At first the dentists said he did not like to treat children under three. I explained that we had a court order from Logan’s Judge requiring regular dental examines beginning by age two. I also explained that I had some concern about Logan’s teeth being discolored. They were kind of grey and translucent looking to me. I thought that they had been neglected and needed to be checked out. Our dentists agreed and we went to see him.

read more »

February 11, 2012

To Eat -or- Not To Eat…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Groceries

Groceries

Every parent has had to deal with their children not wanting to try new foods. Our son is 4 years old and is ultra-finicky. We can’t figure out how he survives with as little as he eats. All of our friend’s kids seem to eat everything. We have spoken to his pediatrician and she assures us this is normal behaviour. It does not make us feel any better, but at least we know we are not alone.

This morning I went grocery shopping and bought several food items specifically hoping Logan would find them interesting and want to eat them.

read more »

February 7, 2012

Proposition 8 Ruling…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Proposition 8
Proposition 8

This image sums it up pretty clearly!

Here is an online article with excerpts from the ruling:
Excerpts from ruling on Calif’s gay marriage ban

The judges rulings were straight to the point and put it in terms everyone could understand!
“…all parties agree that Proposition 8 had one effect only. It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed to obtain from the state, or any other authorized party, an important right – the right to obtain and use the designation of ‘marriage’ to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less.”
February 6, 2012

Every Monday and Wednesday…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Tree Trimming
Tree Trimming

Every Monday and Wednesday I bring Logan to speech therapy at 10:30am. It is only one block away from his daycare, so when the weather is nice we walk. We really have a good time. There are so many different things to see along the way every time.

Today the local utility company was trimming trees that were interfering with the telephone and power lines. Logan was fascinated by the man hanging by ropes in the tree with a big chainsaw. It was a little difficult to explain what they were doing but eventually he said “I understand Daddy.”, turned around and continued walking down the sidewalk towards speech class. I think it is fascinating to see Logan developing more and more each day. Not long ago all conversations were ones-sided.

I am so looking forward to when Logan truly has free and fluid conversation abilities. I want to take him  fishing, ice skating and other father-son activities. I want to tell him jokes and have him laugh at his old man’s sense of humor (or more likely hate it).

February 5, 2012

Hate Speech…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Croissant
Sunday Croissants

So this morning started out to be a great relaxing Sunday morning; Logan waking me up with “Daddy? Are you sleeping?”, fresh homemade croissants and coffee.

Then I was checking the news headlines online and came across yet another instance of “hate speech” that really burns me up!

Santorum on Friday doubled down on attacks against the gay community, telling a gay man that he doesn’t deserve the ‘privilege’ of marriage because same sex relationships don’t “benefit society.”
“[Marriage] is an intrinsic good … we extend certain privileges to people who do that because we want to encourage that behavior,” he said after a gay audience member asked why homosexuals don’t deserve equal rights when it comes to marriage.

What is so offensive by Rick Santorum’s comments is not so much what he is saying (which is terrible), it is the fact he is being allowed to say it to so many people and no one calls him out as a “hate speech” speaker. Just because he is running for president and he is “speaking” for the Repbulican Party and all the other religious right wingers he can get away with it. There is a limit to our right to freedom of speech.

He is telling me that my relationship with my partner does not benefit society. He is telling my son that we do not befefit society.

WE DO BENEFIT SOCIETY! — It’s just that simple!

February 4, 2012

Pasta a la Papa…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

My boys slept late today, 9am,  after 6+  hours of video gaming yesterday — they were worn out.

After a leisurely breakfast and 3 mugs of dark, rich, sweet, piping hot coffee I decided to take Logan to the park so Jose Fidel could have a little “quiet time”. He caught Logan’s cold\flu from last week and has been miserable all this week while Logan has recovered. I, knock on wood, have not succumbed to the cold d’ jour  — yet!

It has been a beautiful Northern California winter afternoon, 63F – sunny – blue skies. Franklin Park was packed and the shrieks of children’s laughter filled the air only interrupted by that gut wrenching cry coming from a child who just had their toy taken by another or a shoe in the face coming down the slide too many at a time. Parents love (ignore) it all and the childless singles and couples at the park all look around as if they really care. It’s more like they just want to see which is the “bad” parent at the moment. Not long ago we were this type of couple.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: