Archive for August, 2009

Dillon's Adventure-Filled Birthday


Fun seemed to have been had by all at Dillon’s eighth birthday party yesterday. Every year, he thinks of a theme, he’s big on the party theme, it’s been (since he was old enough to choose) punk rock, pirates, and space-slash-robots (his punctuation, there). This year, it was adventure and exploration. Think more Indiana Jones than Dora the Explorer.

And it worked out pretty well, considering I did not start planning it prior to school letting out and so inviting some of his classmates proved a little challenging. One big highlight was that his “best friend in the whole world” Kaiden was there, and the two guys were inseparable for all of the games and activities, despite me reminding Dillon on a couple of occasions that he should pay attention to his other guests a little too.

There were about 14 kids there for the party, and some of their parents stuck around, which was fun, though I wish I was able to hang out more and direct party games slightly less. Kate was the invaluable person, though, and totally came through in a variety of ways, including designing an AWESOME treasure hunt for the kids. The party was split into two teams, and they thought they were racing each other to the treasure, but really there were two treasures in separate gardens in the back yard (yes, she actually buried peanut butter jars full of skittles in my backyard, did I mention it was awesome?). The funniest thing with that was that I sort of had the kids count off (rigging the teams slightly when I realized no individual on team #2 was older than five, and I moved two guys from Dillon’s soccer team into that group), handed out the first clue, and then team two was stymied when the first clue was written in cursive, which none of them could read. It hadn’t occurred to me that all the older, Montessori-educated kids were on one team and so they could all read cursive while the other team needed an interpreter.

They had a great time running around, chasing clues, and skill sets ranging from overlooking some really obvious ones to blowing my mind by getting some harder ones super-quickly. The scavenger hunt was also really fun, though adults had to help some kids who were on teams where neither could read…

I loved one story that I heard from the mom of one of Dillon’s favorite (girl) friend from school. Apparently they went to Target and the girl said, “Dillon LOVES Bionicles, we should get him one.” And her mom asked, “What’s a Bionicle?” And the girl said, “I don’t know, but Dillon loves them.” I find that hilarious. D was so tickled that the girl made it to the party, though. He tells me “all the boys in the class are in love with her”. (That’s a direct quote.) Also, he was highly impressed with her treasure hunting and scavenger hunting prowess. Apparently, “She’s great at everything.” Yikes. He talks like this, and he’s only just turned eight. Though I suppose in a couple of years he’ll probably stop talking to me about it altogether. That’s a sober thought for the evening. Time marches on.

Overheard in my backseat


Driving D and his friend Kaiden home:

K: You can’t get that Phantoka in stores anymore (some Bionicle guy)
D: You should really go online. You can get anything on the internet.

Poppy seeds


D is constantly amazing me with the stuff that he brings up in conversation. Today in the car, on the way to the beach, he says, “will you turn down the music? Because I want to tell you something: do you know mom, before they had fast-melting, gummy, or liquid medicines a lot of times people used plants for their medicinal purposes? For example, people ate poppy seeds for pain relief.”

I mentioned that I did, in fact, know that, and he says “You know, women who were pregnant or nursing a baby couldn’t eat the poppy seeds because it would go through to the baby. It’s kind of like caffeine in that way.” I agreed, and we proceeded to have a conversation about the transmission of chemicals from a pregnant or nursing mom to her child. He just blows me away sometimes. The whole time I meant to ask where in the world he got this information, except I was so engaged in the conversation I totally forgot to bring it up.

Rose and Gymnastics


Rose has progressed to the “Level 3” gymnastics team this summer and will begin to compete in September. I think about this at this time because she is currently choreographing a series of very dramatic (including “jazz hands” and “sassy walks”) routines in the living room. Any time we have music on these days, this is not an uncommon sight. Particularly on days where she doesn’t go to the gym to work out. Which she does four days a week for three hour stretches. And she loves it.

I mean, LOVES it. If I needed any further proof, yesterday I asked her if she wanted to go back to school shoe shopping. She had already changed into her leotard, but we had some time before we needed to leave. And she said, “No thanks, mom, I’d rather go to the gym.” My princess Rose is close kin to Imelda Marcos. She loves shoes with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. Her willingness to skip shoe shopping to go practice made me really happy. Of course, once I explained that we could do both, she was in seventh heaven.

Her love for it is what makes me think the whole thing isn’t completely insane. She does twelve hours of gymnastics a week, not including performances, of which there were many. And I never wanted to be the pushy, crazy mom who overscheduled the kids and whatnot. But she enjoys it so much, I can’t say no to her on this… I mean, it is such a constructive way to spend her time, way better than wanting to play video games or watch tv or whatever. And the team spirit that the girls all share is wonderful, honestly it kind of chokes me up sometimes how they all root for each other when they are performing. The coaches do a great job facilitating that team spirit and general positive attitude about gymnastics and life, and I can’t imagine a better group of people to have spending twelve hours a week with my kid.