Monday, November 24, 2008

Ssss Ehhh Ksss

I am very proud to announce that David has passed an important milestone on the path to literacy. We work with him quite a bit on letter sounds and he pretty much knows the what sound each letter makes (well, at least one sound per letter anyway). He is still struggling a bit with short vowel distinctions. But he has not been able to mush the sounds together into a word. He has not been able to get C-A-T from "Kuh. Aaa. Tuh" to "cat."

Until yesterday. For the first time he looked at a series of letters, not as several unrelated sounds, but as a pronounced unit.

We were in Brooke's truck where he was messing with a promotional beach ball containing this logo:

Which he proudly parsed as "SEX."

So, we had to remind him that "C" can be hard, as in "cat" but I did not let the significance of his effort pass.

We are on the way to literacy. Perhaps Freudian literary criticism, even.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Throwing in the towel, over and over

What is up with the spilling?!?! Can we not get through one single meal without someone spilling there drink? We have reverted back to the sippy cup with Simon because, even though he perfectly capable of delicately sipping a fine Chablis from a crystal glass, when he gets bored with his meal, he has to conduct hydro-entertainment experiments with his cup. David is simply distracted and clumsy. Then tonight, I had carefully set both boys' cups out away from them and there wildly gesticulating robot-velociraptor-tentacle-laser arms. In doing so, they were within reach of my gracelessness and I knocked one over.

We are averaging two towels per meal this week.

Don't let Simon drive the tanker.

House Party One would have been ok

As I have mentioned, if David gets up early in the morning, he gets to watch TV so that, left to his own devices, he doesn't burn the house down or wake up his mom (in no particular order of importance). This morning, he awoke just as I was getting my socks on to leave. I grabbed the remote, activated the toob, and pressed in channel eight--PBS--so he could watch some Clifford, the Commercial Free Dog (with the help of viewers like you). No, he wanted "five, eight" Disney. Who showed him that? Well, I didn't have time to stick around and see what would be on Disney at seven am and I am not comfortable with him watching commercial TV by himself (well I am not comfortable with him watching any TV, but you don't care). Channel eight or nothing. He went. To. Pieces. Flopping around on the couch and crying real tears. Then he explained that when I left he was just going to change it to five, eight himself even if I put the remote up on top of the TV because he can get it there by climbing up on the furniture.

Now, when I type it out like that, I am inclined to think that I probably should have unplugged the TV at that point put the remote in the garbage disposal. But he was so cute. He was trying to be defiant but was just pitiful and clearly had no idea of the gravity of what he was saying. Plus, I didn't have time to peel him off the ceiling. So I reiterated that it was eight or nothing and he acquiesced. He even hugged me before I left.

So, what did I deprive him over over on the Disney channel? According the TV Guide, Little Einsteins followed by the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And I just realized, he had the channel wrong. Disney is 45. "Five, eight" is Comedy Central, where he would have been watching House Party II.

David gets the remote

More on the genius of WALL-E

Basically, any configuration of Legos can be declared some character from the film.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Social carnotaur

I sat on the couch reading Saturday afternoon while Simon napped and David played outside. Occasionally I would peek out the window to check on him. He was running around with a boy who is six or seven and girl who is eight or nine. I am not sure what they were doing as they roamed over the parking lot and the "island" in the middle of the lot, but it was clear that the two older kids were setting the agenda, playing with each other, and that David was floating around the periphery, participating as much as possible. I give the older kids credit for including him to the degree that they did, but he seemed to be working hard for their attention. My first reaction was pity, but I checked myself.

I have to give David props for his ability to socialize. He will walk up to anyone of about any age, befriend them, and play well with them. He generally does not overwhelm and rarely allows himself to be pushed around. We had been to the Mall playground that morning where there were many kids of all ages. Among them were four boys between the ages of 3 and 5 running around and around (and around and around). David ran up to one of them, struck his Velociraptor pose with hooked fingers, and hissed menacingly. The boy he was challenging struck a similar pose and hissed back. And they were fast friends for the next hour, running circuits, chasing, switching from game to game. Sometimes David led, sometime he followed, all the time he enjoyed himself immensely.

I don't need to pity him during those times when he tackles a larger social situation. He is happy to be on the periphery of some older kids' play for awhile, but I know he will not remain there long.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Simon has a second degree burn along the half-inch length of the back of his right thumb's proximal phalanx. I normally do not let Simon in the kitchen because he is stubbornly resolved to tear it apart or in some way injure himself. Today, when I excused the boys after breakfast and began cleaning, Simon wanted to stay in his seat. He does this sometimes--usually before meals--sits in his chair and watches me prepare or clean up. I was doing the dishes and didn't notice that his slipped off his chair, walked across the kitchen to the stove behind me, reached up and touched the skillet just as I turned around.

The skillet was cold. He didn't burn himself today. He did that Thursday morning at mom's. Before she could react he darted into the kitchen, up to the stove, and reached for the skillet in which she was cooking. The burn was pretty bad and made him miserable. Today is the first day that he didn't complain about it hurting and didn't put up a fuss when I changed the bandage. He does avoid using that hand as much as possible, which is a pain since it is his dominant hand. But in spite of the misery of that experience he still walked up to another skillet today and touched it. I shouted in alarm, picked him up and set him down outside the gate that normally prevents him from entering the kitchen. His eyes welled up with big, wet, offended tears.

Consummate scientist: That skillet burned me, but that mean this one would too?