Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Adventures in Dentistry

Well, he survived his first visit to the dreaded dentist chair.

He was apprehensive (what kid isn’t when they see all that machinery?) but our dentist is a soft-spoken, sweet woman who chatted with Daniel until he was truly interested in counting his teeth with her. (He has twenty, in case you wondered).

Into the chair he went, and his eyes stayed glued to the hand held mirror they gave him to watch what they were doing. They managed to get digital x-rays, poke around a little in his mouth and even do a quick cleaning. No cavities (which is actually a big relief.He has his TK’s teeth exactly and hers are very cavity-prone!) but they did find a few dark spots in the back that we’ll need to brush extra well.

Violet didn’t have an actual appointment but was happy to let the dentist poke around in her mouth too, after watching Daniel do it.(Funny how that works.She's late on a few teeth, but the ones that are in look good.

Anyway, three cheers for fun at the dentist. :)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

What's Gonna Work? Teamwork!

Daniel's latest favorite show is Wonderpets - he loves the concept of animals rescuing other animals and we love the undercurrent of classical music and non-irritating jingles.

Today we got a little creative (and destructive). We busted out the glue gun and raided the house for anything we could use to create our very own Fly Boat - the contraption the wonder pets use to fly out of their cages and off to the rescue. We found an old metal tub, construction paper, flat beads, markers, wooden dowels, and some knit items from Violet's drawers. (Sorry, sweetie.)

The final product is rough, to say the least, and required at least one stick of hot glue, one washcloth and one red bib to give their lives to the project. But Daniel's pretty happy with it, especially the fact that the pets have their own little red capes (thank you red bib). As soon as we were done, he zoomed his new Fly Boat off in search of animals to rescue.

And my favorite part of the whole project was gluing the wheels on the tub... Daniel held the hot glue gun while I held his hand, guiding the glue. He spontaneously broke out into the theme song: "What's gonna work? Teamwork!" Precious.

(And yes, that's the same turtle we used for our little oil spill experiment. Poor guy has been through a lot this month.)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Same Sex Parenting

No, this post isn't about parents of the same gender.

It's about the way parents parent different genders differently. (Say that ten times fast.) And honestly, before now, it's something I hadn't really given any serious thought towards.

Before having kids, you consistently hear general statements like "Oh, there's nothing more tender than the bond between a mother and her son" or "Fathers just can't say no to their sweet little daughters". At the time, I just dismissed them as stereotypes to be ignored.

But lately I have started noticing some patterns in our home. And as much as I loathe fitting stereotypes, the patterns align as follows: Fernando and I both are stricter with the kid of the same gender. The old sayings appear to be at least partially true.

Try this on for size: My theory is that it's easier to afford grace to someone you don't entirely understand - it's easier to overlook manipulation and testing when you aren't 100% sure if that's what it really is.

We both love both kids beyond comprehension - with our entire hearts - past what we thought possible. But the fact remains: Men understand how boys think and women understand how girls think. With the kids of the same gender, we have higher expectations based on what we understand.

For example. I'm more likely to give Daniel that 20th hug goodnight when he comes out of his room (again) saying that he's scared (again) - and Fernando is more likely to be tough with him, knowing that he's playing me like a shiny new fiddle. But Daddy's more likely to pick Violet up and comfort her when she's throwing a tantrum while I'm more likely to make her tough it out and use her manners no matter how much she's crying.

Yes, I realize that particular example just highlights my inability to choose my battles (I'm working on this). But I hold to my theory: Dad's hold sons to a higher standard than their daughters and vice versa.

I have heard these words come out of my mouth numerous times towards Violet: "That is not how we act, Violet. We are nice ladies." We. Ladies. Likewise, Fernando often explains to Daniel what it means to be a "big boy" and what kind of behavior is required. When Daniel suddenly excelled in swim classes, Fernando felt a stronger and deeper pride than I did. Why? Because dads know that their sons need to acquire a type of learned courage and adventure to become the kind of men God designed them to be. And right or wrong, moms would be fine with their sons clinging to them in the pool for just one more summer.

Now I know this theory has all kind of exceptions and caveats (like genetics, how much time is spent with the kids and how much coffee each parent has consumed that day) but for the most part, it's true. And aside from simply being interesting food for thought, it's actually been helpful to consider as we continually "fine tune" our parenting styles.

Now, if you'll excuse me - my kids need me. Violet is crying and Daniel is standing by her holding a big stick. But I know my sweet little man would never hurt his sister, so she must have grabbed it and hit herself in the head. And ladies do NOT hit themselves in the head with sticks.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Holy Swimmer, Batman!

Today, we got in the pool at Daniel's swim lesson. And Ms. Tammy warned us that kids usually don't do as well with the parentals in the pool. So we were ready for some fairly mediocre swimming.

But Daniel (metaphorically) blew us out of the water. Holy stinking cow.

Ms. Tammy kept saying that he will be a swimmer someday. I think the word "Olympian" came out of her mouth a few times. (And she told Fernando a few times that he should teach these courses - he is apparently a natural!)

Daniel just kicked it into high gear and showed what he's made of. He was proud of himself and was not ready to stop at the end of the lesson.

I was proud, but Fernando was prouder. You should have seen him beaming at his son at the end of that lesson. Priceless.