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Archive for the ‘children’ Category

It´s pretty scary raising kids. There are so many things that can go wrong. They get sick; they act up; they get in trouble at school; some have learning issues. Through it all, it´s pretty scary but you get through it. And you´re done.  With a sigh of relief, you pat yourself on the back and know you´ve done your best.

Then come the grandkids and it is even scarier. For one thing, you know all the things that can go wrong. Then there´s the fact that things are not under your control. They have their own parents that make decisions and, for the most part, you have to stand by and support those decisions. Yes, you can offer opinions and suggestions but you can´t push. At least I cannot.  I watch and listen and, when appropriate, I will offer my two cents. But it is all very scary, nonetheless.

That´s what is going on here in my little corner of the world. First it was summer break and the kids were all ready with a day care plan but that didn´t work out because the kids don´t like going to the  woman who was going to watch them. She watches all her grandchildren at the same time so I think our boys just are not used to all of the noise and no technology and other kids, most of them younger than them. So I am called on to go watch them. No problem. Then Spencer got sick and was hospitalized. So I was not only watching the others and trying to be supportive of my daughter, I was also running back and forth to the hospital, their house, and my house! After seven days in the hospital, he was discharged but I had to still be there because he had to be watched and given his medicine on a strict schedule. Now we are looking at major surgery for the little guy (he´s six) and the start of another school year and everything is up in the air.

In the meantime, there is no time for me to see my doctors and get my tests done. The distance between the boys where I need to be and my doctors makes it difficult. And the schedule changes constantly so I am on call every day, all day. I cannot plan “my stuff.¨

And so it´s tough. It´s scary. But that´s my life right now.

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What a question. The obvious answer would be yes, we’re all going to die. However, it was Spencer (4 years old) asking. So not a good answer for him.

It all came about because of his curiosity and my diabetes. Actually, it goes back to my surgery last July. Somehow, he must have heard the grownups discussing the possibility that I might die. They hear everything, those little ones, especially the things they are not supposed to. I was very careful not to discuss anything like that in front of them. But I think my daughter must have discussed it with either her boyfriend or her friends, maybe even on the phone. So he heard it and got it in his head.

Fast forward to now. I am careful not to test or inject my insulin around the boys but because they spend so much time with me, it is sometimes inevitable that they will see me test and/or inject. Spencer asked me what I was doing when I was testing my glucose, which requires a prick of the finger to get a drop of blood for the meter. I explained that I was testing to see how much sugar was in my blood. I went on to tell him, in the simplest of terms, that we all have sugar in our blood but sometimes our body doesn’t work right and we end up with too much sugar in our blood and that can hurt our organs and make us sick. I told him that is what I have and it is called diabetes. That’s why I have to test my blood before every meal and at other times. Then I have to give myself an injection of insulin that helps get rid of the sugar in my blood (again, I had to keep it very simple). He’s very curious now and every time he sees me reach for my meter, he wants to come watch. Then when I am done testing and injecting, he always asks “Nana, are you going to die?” The answer I give him is simple, too. “No, I’m okay. I’m not going to die.”

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Yesterday I wrote about a laundry lesson and my son. That reminded me of another lesson with my son. I went through old posts because I was sure I had written about it previously but I didn’t find it. Of course, maybe I just didn’t look well enough but in any case, I’m writing it up for you today.

In eighth grade, Tony developed a habit of sleeping in late in the mornings. On school mornings. He would stay up way too late and although I kept after him to go to bed, I was not going to put either of us through a routine of standing there until he got in bed and shut off the lights. I gave him more credit than that and trusted him to finish what he was doing and go to bed. If he woke up too late he would end up being late to school. I would not let him stay home just because he had stayed up too late. However, because he would get in trouble, I did call the school and say he hadn’t felt well that morning and had missed first period but I would get him there by second period. Then it happened again. And again.

By the fourth time, I told him the night before that if he didn’t get up in time for school, I was not going to lie for him. I guess he didn’t believe me because he overslept again. And true to my warning, I refused to call in or write him a note. I just took him and dropped him off, waiting at the curb until he walked in the door. That afternoon he was mad at me. He said that all because of me he was going to have to have a week of lunch time detention. I reminded him that it wasn’t because of me. It was because he couldn’t go to bed on time or get up on time. He mumbled something and went in his room.

It turns out that lunch detention was held in one of the classrooms. The kids would take their lunch in there and they had five minutes to eat. No talking. Just eating. Then when they were finished eating, they had to sit perfectly straight, facing forward, with their hands folded in front of them for the rest of the lunch period. He said it was beyond boring. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. But I was trying to teach him to be more responsible. I was afraid he might not learn and we would have to do it all over again.

It seemed to have worked because he didn’t over sleep again. Not for school.

Then, about two or more months later, he said one day, “Mom you know when you made me go to school and tell them I had over slept and I had lunch detention for a week? Well, I hated it at the time and I was mad at you but now I realize that it was the best thing you could have done for me.”

Lesson learned. For both of us.

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Tempting

I belong to the local Nextdoor community on Facebook. I check it every day, not because I’m looking for anything specific but because sometimes there is interesting information posted. For example, on Saturday I will be attending a free learn to crochet workshop, at the local library, which was organized by a woman in the group who wanted to learn to crochet. I did crochet years ago but haven’t in maybe fifteen so  I am going.

The other day, I came across a posting that made me chuckle and I figured that the poster didn’t realize that what they posted was funny.

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I was tempted to reply and inquire about the free toddler! I didn’t because I didn’t want them to think I was putting them down in any way. But it did cross my mine and made me chuckle.

The next day I found this:

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I really laughed out loud at this one because someone else had followed through with replying to the post. I figured I wanted to meet this woman. I might, one day. In fact, I will look for her at the crochet workshop in case she attends on Saturday. I also waited to see if the original poster would reply and wondered if she would be angry.

I didn’t have to wait long.

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This one really cracked me up.

Being the grandmother of a toddler, I also found this a tempting post. Maybe we should list Spencer! 😉

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If we were having coffee, we would be indoors. It’s raining here in Seattle. It’s not cold, just wet. You would have to help yourself to a drink before settling in as I have a baby in my arms! I drove up here on Tuesday morning and was handed a baby as soon as I got in the door. The rest of the time has been filled with holding him, feeding him, and lots of burping! Mati is four weeks old. He’s quite alert for four weeks. I think I’m spoiling him. He’s been attached to me almost all day, every day. I got to be his first babysitter, too. His mommy and daddy had tickets to two soccer games this week so they got a couple of nights out and I got this precious little boy to myself.

This past week has been filled with shock and sadness in the world. Being here with this tiny, innocent little boy has helped me both empathize with that grief and sadness and also get through it without totally falling apart.

As Mati sleeps in my arms, I’m reminded of holding his daddy in my arms when he was this age. I’m reminded of how much simpler the world was; how much less hate, fear, and danger we faced. I am also filled with hope and dreams that Mati’s world will be a better place; that he won’t have to know the hate and intolerance; that he will be in less danger when he grows; that he will live in a world that embraces all mankind.

I’ll be driving home to Portland tomorrow. I’m already missing this little one and wondering when I’ll be back to see him. I’m lucky that he’s only a three hour drive away from me. Hopefully that will translate into frequent visits.

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 #WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Come join us!

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I have mentioned previously that I volunteer at my grandson’s school. He is in Kindergarten. Usually, I do one of two things. I either help with kids’ printing practice, one on one, or I take a couple out in the group work center (in the hallway) to work on an art project. I think it’s sad that there is no time for the kids to have an art project as a whole group but there is so much to be covered that there just is no time. I enjoy doing the art projects, though so it’s a good fit for me.

Before Christmas, I was asked to do an art project where the kids would be working on making a Christmas tree picture using their shapes. We were using a large triangle, a small rectangle, and circles. The instructions were for them to (1) draw a large triangle then a (2) small rectangle touching the bottom of the triangle. They had a sample to look at and I explained it slowly and carefully to each of the two (at a time) students. There was more to it but I only gave those instructions until they had completed those steps. The first three kids really had a problem drawing the triangle and we had to erase a lot. So I thought to lightly draw three dots and have them connect them with their pencil to form the triangle. It worked like a charm but I only did it for those that were having trouble with the triangle. So when it was Anderson’s turn (that’s my grandson), I drew the dots for the other child and then turned to help Anderson. When I turned, he had seen me draw the dots and had drawn his own three dots, and was connecting them! No help needed. I was very pleased but the triangle wasn’t quite like the others. It was narrower and not quite as large as the others. However, I did not have the heart to tell him to erase it. He had done such a good job with no help! So what if his was a little different?! I think he made a perfect little Christmas tree!

The last steps were to use a large marshmallow in paint to fill in the triangle and the rectangle; then a small marshmallow to paint ornaments on the tree. Kind of a clever way to incorporate triangles, rectangles, and circles (which they were studying that week) into a seasonal project!

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Anderson’s Three Shapes Christmas Tree

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A Cookie Smile

When Anderson slept over on Friday night, we read a bedtime story on my Kindle. He said he didn’t know we could read books on the Kindle (tablet) so I showed him all the kid books I had downloaded to his Kindle Fire. We picked one called Diego Dilemma and the Cookie Conundrum. It’s a cute story but I would recommend that the author go back and use kid language. The sentence structure and a lot of the vocabulary are way above the 5 year age recommendation of the book.

In the story, the little boy, Diego, loves cookies but can only eat them when he earns them. He earns them by eating vegetables and by being a good boy. One day he decides to eat all the cookies without permission and, just like his dad warned, he turned into a cookie!

So now, Anderson keeps asking if he is going to turn into a cookie. Last night he asked if he was going to turn into a candy cane and this morning, after his second granola bar, he asked if he was going to turn into a granola bar!

Ah! The power of the written word!

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