Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cole says...

Cole: Momma, are there really such things as beanstalks?

Me: Yes, but they don't really grow as big as they do on TV.

Cole: So you can't climb a beanstalk to get to the giants that live in the clouds?

Me: Do you really think there are giants living in the clouds?

Cole (sounding unsure of himself): No

Me: What would happen if a giant tried to stand on a cloud?

Cole: He would get wet!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cute pics of Rylan

A lady at church asked me on Sunday if I curl Rylan's hair with a curling iron!

Cole says...

"What did you say, Momma? Hold on, let me press rewind on my invisible tape recorder."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cole says...

"When I grow up, I'm going to buy a motorcycle because one day, I might be running late for storytime, and I would need to go really, really fast."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Simmer down

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I've ever gotten was from an episode of Charlie and Lola where the two kids kept fighting so their mom made them "simmer down." She put them in separate chairs, and they had to sit there until they could resolve their argument and agree to play nice. Now every time Cole and Eli fight, I don't try to intervene. I simply tell them to simmer down and make them sit on chairs on opposite sides of the room. They have to stay there until they agree to let the other person get up. If Cole says Eli can get up, but Eli says Cole can't, they both have to remain sitting until Eli changes his mind, and vice versa. Sometimes "simmering down" takes just a couple seconds and they're up and playing again, but sometimes they scream threats at each other from opposites corners for five, ten, fifteen minutes. Either way, they're learning (I hope) how to resolve their own fights, and they don't kill each other in the process.

This is a picture of Eli simmering down at the park. He was in a particularly grouchy mood, so "simmer down" took at least fifteen minutes while he screamed at Cole that he would "never never" play with him again, tried throwing sand across the playground, threw himself on the ground, and finally announced, "Okay, Cole, you can get up."

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?

We love the park...

and the beach...

Monday, July 7, 2008

I just read...Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I love the idea of this book: that there are people with the magical ability to read characters out of books. I thought the plot was great - not gripping because it dragged on too long in some parts, but still fun to read. The narrative had some lovely moments, surprising considering that it was translated to English from German. But on the flip side, the dialogue was stilted and unbelievable, and I had a lot of trouble picturing this book in my head. It could be because the story takes place in Europe, which is not a place I'm familiar with, so even though it is set in modern times, I kept imagining it taking place in the past, and then they'd say something like "cell phone" and I'd be thrown off. The characters never came together for me either. If I tried to read the characters of this book to life, it would turn out more like a Darius reading than a Silvertongue reading - they would definitely come out with mashed faces or bum legs or no voice - because I can't quite picture the characters in my head. Still, I've started the second book in this trilogy, and am looking forward to learning more about the Inkworld.

Eli says...

"Momma, food and water rhyme!"

"Um, no they don't, Sweetheart."

"Yes they do. They both have a 'puh' sound."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I just read...The Case for Make Believe by Susan Linn

I didn't realize until I'd gotten home from the library with this book that it was written by the author of Consuming Kids, which is an amazing book that I still think about often although I read it a couple years ago. I enjoyed this book as well, but I don't think the author supported her case in this book as well as in the previous one. I felt like she repeated her argument many times without giving good strong evidence to support her beliefs, and her advice for parents on how to save make believe filled only a few pages of the whole book. I also feel like she might lean too far to the extreme for the average person, advocating that parents wait as long as possible before introducing the screen to their child, which for most of us is just not possible. (For example, what am I supposed to do with my baby while his two older brothers are watching a video. I'm sorry, but the simple fact that he's the third child automatically means he's going to be introduced to the tube from a very young age.)

Despite these criticisms, though, I found this book thought-provoking, especially the case studies that she includes from her puppet therapy sessions. And even if I don't agree that children should have zero media access, I do believe that parents should responsibly limit and monitor their kids' TV and computer time and be actively fighting against commercialism. Overall, this book was a good refresher of why Consuming Kids was such a great book, and if nothing else, it resparked my interest in this subject and commitment to raising consumer savvy children.
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