Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Skippyjon Jones

by Judith Byron Schachner, Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (2005) - Paperback - 32 pages
"My name is Skippito Friskito." "I fear not a single bandito." "My manners are mellow," "I'm sweet like the Jell-O," "I get the job done, yes indeed-o."
And the rest of the book just rolls off your tongue, too. There are three books in the Skippyjon set right now, with a fourth coming soon. And I have loved them since my cousin, a first-grade teacher, introduced me to the darling Siamese (who lives a rich fantasy life as a Chihuahua). When your kids outgrow Dr. Seuss (or you need a change of pace) try Skippyjon on for size. Some of the books come with a CD for reading along. It's hilarious.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Focused laserlike

It's a delight for the parent of an ADHD child to watch that child actually focus on something for a change. Case in point: Saturday morning dad forgot to give boy his medication when the two got up. As result, Daniel was a hurricane of activity by 9 a.m. He flitted from room to room, toy to toy, leaving a disaster area in his wake, even though he wasn't feeling his best. Sunday morning he received his meds on time and proceeded to build Lego vehicles - buses, planes, helicopters and cars - for four hours. Which meant I got to clean the house in peace. Nice.

Monday, August 11, 2008

please and thank you

I am always proud when Daniel uses courtesy words without being prompted. He's pretty good at it, which is not something I can say for a lot of people anymore. If you want a real hit with the culture-shock stick, watch some of the old shows on TV Land. The courtesy with which even family members treated each other in the days of black-and-white television are a wake-up call.

Monday, August 04, 2008

How quickly we forget

Michael Lemon's arrest has local UGA fans turning on him. The "comments" under the story are just nasty, for the most part. But I remember when the Lemon family was in the Telegraph for a tragedy - the boys' mother killed and the family home burned. At that time, the comments were all about supporting those boys.
Where has that support been? Did the boys get the help they needed to deal with the tragic loss of their mother? It's beginning to look like that answer is "no."
I don't profess to know exactly what has happened in Lemon's life for him to end up where he sits today. But even I can see the turning point - from good kid and great athlete to kicked off the team and arrested. It's when he lost his mother's guidance that a good kid's life got off track.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fighting fear

We're not getting much farther trying to get Faith to learn to ride her bicycle. She wasn't even up for trying last night. After weeks in the balancing act of encouraging her to go for it and trying to keep her calm as we explore the world of wheels, she is now apparently afraid of diving. During swim class this week, another young man was really scared of going off the diving board and Faith is now reluctant to take the plunge. I'm surprised because I thought she had conquered her diving board fears a couple of seasons ago. Maybe it's the head-first position that scares her. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but during a recent conversation about Faith's fear of falling from her bike an adult cousin shared that she does not dive because of her fear. Turns out Daddy also does not like to dive. Now I'm no Greg Louganis but the only fear I've had is losing my bathing suit top heading into the water. (It's happened a time or two with strapless suits.) The other day in the pool Faith was ready to dive, but didn't want me watching. I heard the splash but don't know if she jumped or dove. For so long she seemed fearless when I was scared. Take all those times she would climb up on her high chair when I was worried she'd fall. Matt was thrilled she was being adventurous and learning to climb. She'd plow down a flight of stairs in now time as a toddler. So it's time for the speech - "The only thing to fear is fear itself." If I could convince her that overcoming her fear will mean hours of fun and a great sense of accomplishment, perhaps we can move forward. It still amazes me that my girl who often thinks she can do anything and pushes forward in so many ways is content to not even try.