Monday, November 5, 2012

What's Brown and Sticky?

A stick!

It's been a while, eh? I'm a little nervous blogging after so long. I feel like a husband who forgot an anniversary. How do I get through the frost?

Speaking of frost, this is where I'm from:

It's cold there, but I love it all the same. Not love it like I'm gonna be living there any time soon, but well, I've been kind of nostalgic lately. A little homesick. I usually get up there for my birthday, but not this year due to a hearty family cold that lasted 3 weeks.

Yeh, I'm from the sticks. Here is a girlhood photo of me showing off something I decapitated:

No, that's not really me. But those are the sticks I'm from in the background. I like to think that in some small way, they are my sticks. It's not true, though. I am theirs.

Speaking of non-sequiters, I went to the library today and grabbed this album for my 4-year old son, thinking he might like it:

Oh, Man. He likes it. In fact he busted a solid African move to it for well over an hour. It gratified my heart, it did. Then I was blabbering about it to some moms after school (oh, we blabber) and the consensus was that I should get him in African dance lessons immediately.

"Gosh," I thought, "I really oughta." But I can't really afford it in terms of time, money or sanity, so...  maybe not. Then I felt bad.

Then I got an email from "My baby this week" by (I always love these emails which began when my children were still embryos) and the email totally brought me to my senses. The gist of it was that 4! is a little young to be pushing kids into organized sports and for now I should just make sure he gets lots of opportunities for active, unstructured play.

And then I felt good again remembering that I have a no-constantly-shunting-my-children-from-one-activity-to-the-next policy on purpose, not by mistake.

Do you get worked up sometimes when you hear that somebody's 4-year old is taking pottery-throwing, cello and conversational French while yours is poking at a frozen puddle with the dog's chewing stick?

I do. And I have to remind myself that poking frozen puddles is actually an important thing for a child to do and I want that for my children more than I want pottery/cello/French.

The wonderful thing about my boy dancing to "Simba's Pride" for an hour is not that he has an apptitude for African dance (truly, he doesn't - he crashed into the coffee table a lot) but that he can dance for an hour if he wants. Yay!

One fantastic thing about growing up in the sticks is that we had plenty of opportunities to poke at frozen puddles with sticks which were abundant.

Speaking of abundance, I signed up for the Deepak Chopra 21-day mediation challenge which was supposed to begin today but the site is down and so I did not receive an email detailing my first meditation challenge towards "finding abundance."

Do you think this is the first challenge?

I don't, I think it's a technical glitch. But it's kind of amusing to picture all the tens of thousands of people signed up for the Deepak Chopra 21-day meditaiton challenge reacting all around the globe to not being able to do get their Deepak on.

Heh heh.

Here's my answer to that:

10 Gratitudes Right the Hell Now:

The beauty of the North

My boy dancing

Fresh air moving through my lungs this morning in the sunshine

The wagging of my dog's tail when I took him for that run

The small kindness of a friend who is thinking ahead for me today

My legs are strong

Books and CDs are free at the library

Cinnamon scones, scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast tomorrow morning

New boots

A warm bed


  1. Yep. We don't activities either. Joe's never even had swimming lessons (yeah, yeah, I probably should look into that ...). His friends are in immersion French preschools, and he is in government funded speech therapy. What can you do. But poking puddles with sticks is super fun! And free! I'm a big fan.

    Always a pleasure to see your posts in my reader. :-)


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  2. So where are those particular sticks? I'm intrigued.

    My son likes to break the ice off the puddles and eat it and then he gets mud all over his face.

  3. I signed my 4-year-old up for music lessons. But that is IT. One activity per kid, one day per week. Sometimes I feel the pressure to sign up for more, but then I come to my senses and remember that my kids need to poke puddles with sticks. Which usually aren't frozen, because I am not from the north, I am from a place where it rains for months on end. But I like it.

  4. I have never been one for organized activities, and now my kids are going to start karate twice a week (they are in grade 2 and 3) and I'm all, "Oh noes, I'm going to have to actually drive them somewhere twice a week?" But it's good, they are definitely ready for more structured activities than their usual 8 weeks of soccer a year.

    Related, I was working at our school's book fair and a woman came in, chatting with me. She told me that she is very disappointed with the half-day kindergarten program. Previously, her daughter was in some kind of 8:30-5:30 junior kindergarten program (in the States) and she can speak three languages, read, probably make hieroglyphics, I don't know what all. Anyway, she said to me, "Are you really happy with this school? Don't you think they should be doing more? My daughter is not learning much." I nodded and smiled, then silently rearranged the moustache-shaped erasers.

  5. Yay for poking sticks with puddles! I mean puddles with sticks! I was a dedicated non-scheduler. Then my son turned out to be a freakish jockish super-athlete who got really pissed at me when he had three baseball teams in a week and then got asked to sub on another team on the fourth night and I said no. But this all came when he was older. When he was four we did nothing. Except plentiful unstructured play, puddle-poking, dancing and coffee-table-crashing. When I put Eve in nursery school in the morning class, they told me she was too advanced and I should put her in the afternoon class. I said 'um, she's here for some socialization, not to learn Japanese and calculus.' I guess I understand that people want to give their kids the opportunity to - I don't know, have their best start in life? But it's so easy to go overboard, especially if you don't take your cues from the kids themselves.

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