First Spring Saturday

Not really. It’s another month until spring according to the calendar, but this is South Carolina: it’s been in the sixties and seventies all week, and the yard shows it: weeds everywhere.

K and her mother spoke over Skype while E ate breakfast. He was in the room the whole time because of complications with his electronics time — he didn’t have any today. We’re trying a new motivation for sleeping through the night.

Afterward, it was soccer practice — first practice for the spring. We requested the same coach as we had in the autumn, Coach Kevin, and when we arrived for practice, we saw that we weren’t the only ones to request him. So the Boy jumped right in without the shyness that sometimes plagues him in new situations.

Throughout the day, he practiced tying his new shoes. He’s become brand-conscious: he simply¬†had to have Under Armor brand shoes. The price he had to pay? No velcro. He made some progress in the whole process through the week, but it’s still a matter of, “Daddy, I’m in a hurry! Can you tie my shoe?”

Playing Along

The Boy has had an experience at school that some, no doubt, would cause bullying, or at least the beginnings of it. It’s happened once, as far as he has explained, but I don’t know if it won’t happen again. I don’t consider it bullying, and I really think it depends on the Boy’s response whether or not it could be considered that. Teasing is not bullying, even if it continues for an extended period — and it certainly isn’t if the “victim” can turn it into a game.

The issue was simple: because of E’s relatively unknown name, it often gets mispronounced. On the playground the other day, some of the kids realized that, when mispronounced, sounds like “a meal.” So they were chasing him about, saying, “We’re going to eat you because you’re a meal!” Honestly, that’s kind of a clever connection for kindergartners. The Boy, though, didn’t really like it.

Tonight, while the girls were at Polish choir practice, I got to talking to the Boy about what had happened.

“What if you turn it into a game?” I asked. I held my arm in front of his mouth and said, “Here, eat my arm, but I think it needs a little salt.”

The Boy smiled.

“You could eat my fingers, but they’re just bones.”

The Boy giggled.

“You could eat my toes, but yuck! Why would you want to?!”

The Boy laughed.

And so now, instead of fearing when it happens again, he wants to provoke them into doing it again.

From one ditch to the other…

Valentine Box

Valentine’s Day is approaching. An exciting time for a five-year-old. The Boy asked K to help him make a box for his cards when the magical day arrives. It had to be “boyish” — his favorite term these days.

At first, he wanted to make a Batman box.

“No, too difficult,” said K. “We only have this evening to work on it while Daddy and L are at gymnastics.” So they settled on a robot.

But what to do about the neck? In the picture online, the neck was a different color than the rest, so they were reticent to cover the neck — made from an old empty matchbox — in foil as well. L, just before we left, remembered she had some red tape in her craft supplies. She brought it down, but K wasn’t initially thrilled about it.

“It’s got sparkles on it. I don’t think he’ll want sparkes.”

The Boy, standing right there, looked at it, thought for a moment, then said, “No, it’s great. It makes it very Valentine-ish.”