Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It started out as a really good day. I got my work out in and then had a lot of time all to myself in the morning before I cleaned up house and body to see an old friend from high school. I'm still down on my childhood education, but there are a handful of people from my early years that I'm genuinely glad to have met, and she's one of them.

The boys loved her little girls and were fighting over who got to hold the baby. My friend was gracious about my home, but because there were Legos, babies and a wooden coffee table, I thought we should go outside. I might have changed my mind once it started raining, but my friend was fine. So we walked while one of the little ones jumped in puddles and the boys jostled for control of the stroller.

We chatted as best we could with four small children, then got some lunch. My friend left shortly afterward, and I hope she can stop by again. Adults like playdates too.

I was waiting for Sam to get home to watch the boys so I could take Jazmyn to Hebrew School when I got a text that she needed help at the train station because she had fallen down the stairs. We joke about her klutziness, but this kid has managed to negotiate a lot of stairs with her bass, so this was unusual. I wasn't sure how well she'd be able to watch the boys, so we skipped Hebrew School today. The principal was very nice about it and will get us the homework.

That wasn't so great, but I really liked having all of the kids home. Sam was impressed that Jazmyn has printed some sheet music and was trying to tap it out, as Jaz had. They both spontanously decided to practice their basses, and they sounded good. And the boys dumped out all of their Legos and made yet another brave new world.

At one point, I turned off the tv. Too much noise was interrupting my knitting. And then I decided that it was time to tackle the project I had been dreading: letter writing to my nieces. No TV or computer until they were written. Simon was game, but Jacob wasn't. Of course, because he was the one whose skills I was concerned about. In desperation, I told him that he couldn't make cookies with Sam until he had put in a written request for her. That worked. Oh cookies- thank you.

I drafted the note for him, but he was skittish. He said he didn't know how to make an "s" and his "m" was like three stilts. So I sat with him. He struggled through, then told me all of a sudden he could make the letters with his eyes closed. No, please don't... but then I relented. Huh. He did a much better job.

The child knows how to write and, when he wants to, read. But Michael got on my case last week about the deterioration of his handwriting because I haven't been pushing him. I want him to learn and practice in context. I thought letter writing to his beloved cousins would work, but he can smell a ploy before I can set it up. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that some of his resistance is based in his lack of confidence. Hopefully, knowing that he can do it with his eyes closed has instilled that in him.

Now what will I make that boy write for me tomorrow?

Deb in the City

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