Monday, April 25, 2011

What TV Teaches Us

Right now, the boys are enjoying a hodgepodge of favorite television shows. I think that number one on the list is "Batman: the Brave and the Bold." Number two is "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," and number three is "Super Why." Sesame Street and Barney are still on the list, but those are mostly shows watched while snuggling with Grandma. There's the occasional odd episode of different things, but that's the big three television shows, as far as my children go.

(Movies? Different story. Little Bear is still not into movies, and The Boy is very specific and picky when it comes to his movies.)

The lessons that are taught in each show are superficially different but fundamentally the same: teamwork, helping your friends, and doing what is right are the most important things. I can get behind these lessons, as they teach important things about socialization and, well, life. I think and hope that we all keep our family and friends high in our thoughts and actions, and most of us put the team ahead of our own personal interests most of the time.

In education nowadays, teachers use projects and group- and teamwork to teach important concepts. Think about science experiments; they're doing that same sort of thing for math and language arts and social studies.

Mickey and his friends use their Mouseketools and their friendship to solve their problems, such as remembering the steps to Daisy's special dance and getting her on stage in time for the show. Each character's personality and individual traits factors into the story, and the writers take great pains to keep everyone involved in the solutions, despite whatever flaws they bring to the table.

Batman is a super hero: brave, loyal, hard-working, fights to the end, ready to sacrifice anything for his friends. Yes, most of his solutions tend to result in a big splash-page punch to the jaw; but I'm okay with that. He fights for his friends and with his friends, and that is something that meets full approval.

In Super Why, the characters go into famous stories, meet the story's cast, and help them solve their problems by using letters, spelling words, and reading sentences. It's not exactly the most satisfying solution to problems, but it's interesting enough to keep our interest and teach words, letters, phonics, and spelling.

I certainly understand that too much television isn't good for them, as too much television isn't good for anyone. I try to limit the amount of television that they watch, and many days, they will really only watch tv as a special treat with Grandma. I don't want the television to limit their play time, that's for sure. But, look at a day like today: the boys spent about three hours outside in the hot (80 plus degrees) sun running around the Pittsburgh Zoo with a friend. And, when I say running, I mean really running at top speed for long lengths of time. On a day when they've had that much exercise and fun, it's not unreasonable to let them watch an extra program in the evening.

Besides, too much television isn't the cause of my personal issues, so I don't expect the same from the boys. And, it does give them a basis for pretend play. The Boy got a Two-Face action figure from me last night, and he's been playing good guy-bad guy... "I'm going to get away from you, Batman! "No, Two-Face, I'm going to get you!" followed by Batman knocking him off the edge of the bed / table / chair / etc. Rinse and repeat.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hospital - Not Us, Fortunately

Tonight, The Wife and I went to the Dollar Store and K-Mart to pick up some supplies to make an Easter basket for a young girl (2 1/2) who's in Children's for Leukemia complications. We didn't do anything extraordinary - a basket, some shiny grass stuff, some candy, a coloring book, a chocolate bunny, and an Elmo DVD on clearance. Still, we know how much we appreciated when people took fifteen minutes to do something like that for us, particularly if we didn't have to walk them through the details and they had common sense.

"Just tell us what you need from us" is a wonderful concept, but one that is not so easy to put into effect. When you're dealing with families that are coping with long-term catastrophic illness, telling people what you need is a difficult concept. How do you explain things? How do you have the emotional and mental energy to tell someone what you need? And yet, people might or might not think of what you need. We've had the rare occasion to deal with a small group of people that had a tragic lack of sense, which caused no end of friction at inconvenient times,

If you have a friend or a family nearby that is dealing with something like cancer or some kind of similar difficult, all-consuming issue, then you might want to help them. I've posted about this before, but it bears repeating. If you want to help them, there are a multitude of helpful things that you can do, depending on your financial means and/or the amount of time that you want to devote. One of the most helpful things that people did for us was to come over every other week and help out with the outside chores. We didn't have much of a yard, so the half hour to mow the lawn and occasionally edge the grass was a godsend. Maybe your friend needs someone to take care of the yard work, or to have the garden weeded, or just to bring their garbage cans to the side of the house. That's helpful.

Offer to make a grocery store run for them - if you can pay, great - that's generous - or ask to take a credit card. Buy a general list of things - eggs, milk or soy milk, some fruit, some simple snacks, some meat. Don't worr about the fancy hippy food unless requested. If you can't afford a grocery run, then a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card is always appreciated. Better yet - a gift card for the cafeteria or food court in the hospital. Having $5 or $10 cards that would let me get a cup of coffee ate 3am when The Boy was awake and a grumpy was an immense luxury. The Valerie Fund gave us a $25 gift card to McDonalds, the only 24-hour food at St. Barnabas. That lasted us nearly a year, at around a buck fifty per cup of coffee.

Little detail things like Easter Baskets are also helpful. Who has time to run to the store to fix an Easter basket when you're juggling multiple children and hospital stays? Christmas presents - wrapping, if not buying; trimming a tree or an outside of the house; Halloween candy; fourth of July glow sticks. Even a leprechaun hat and some green juice on St. Patrick's Day are some things that can make a little cancer patient feel happier during a difficult hospital stay.

Don't have a cancer patient friend that you know, but you still want to help? Go down to the dollar store, buy a bunch of stickers, coloring books, watercolor paints and brushes, construction paper, and plastic smocks and bring them to hospital to donate to the playroom. Even better: when you buy a toy for your kid or for a friend's kid, buy a second one (or buy something neat from the clearance rack) and donate a new toy to the oncology playroom. Not a used toy - can't take it because of germs. Same thing with stuffed animals or cloth items, so just bring plastic or wood stuff that can be easily disinfected. Think back to when you were a kid: would you want to go to a playroom and find used, beat-up toys?

Don't forget a couple of sets of batteries. That's always helpful.

There's a million and one things that you can do, both to help someone you know and someone you don't. Some little, practical things will make someone's life a heck of a lot easier - certainly more than an empty "call me if you need anything" promise that is never used,

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Playground Ettiquette

Over the last couple of days, I've taken the boys on a wagon ride down the block to a playground behind a local elementary school. It's a cute little playground with primary positives factors of its location (close to home) and small, fenced-in play area that encourages two small children to stay in reasonable proximity to each other. So, it's darn close to the ideal place to take two children when you're by yourself.

Since the weather has been reasonable over the last couple of days, the playground has been relatively crowded. The kids have been slightly older than The Boy, which has not deter him in the slightest. He gets very excited when he sees the playground, yelling out, "Hi, friends!" repeatedly as he gets closer. The cutest thing? He goes up to every kid, one at a time, and says, "Hi!" He also might try to shake their hand, which is something that he sees me do quite often.

The other kids don't quite know what to make of The Boy. They don't necessarily want to play with a smaller boy, but most aren't rude to him. For the most part, they just ignore him as much as they can. The other kids are usually fairly careful about running around the playground when there are smaller kids around - neither of my boys has been knocked over very often, and when they have, the other kid has inevitably helped him up and apologized.

Bring ignored doesn't stop The Boy, who is bound and determined to treat every kid as if they are his friend. He will try to join in the older kids' games. Yesterday was a perfect example: a frantic game of freeze tag was in effect, and kids were sprinting around, laughing, and being wonderfully crazy. The Boy just joined in the game action by running around, laughing, and yelling, even though the older kids who were playing the game weren't including him in the game. The Boy had a great time and enjoys playing with "friends."

One cannot help but to wonder how long this blissful unawareness lasts. When will he start to notice that other kids are behaving badly towards him? Will he care, and will he change his behavior? What he does - the friendly verbal greeting with an enthusiastic smile, the offer to shake hands, the inclusion of others around him in games and activities - is what we teach as socially acceptable behaviors. Yet, that's not how the world of children works. Children are frequently mean and exclusionary to everyone, even their usual best friends. I'm not in a rush for him to be hurt by strangers and by friends, don't get me wrong, but I am curious as to how The Boy will develop and grow.

His parents are relatively interesting case studies in this regards. Both of us learned fairly quickly how to ignore other kids and how to develop a sense of indifference towards the clique system. I know that I had friends - or people I was friendly with, anyway - in most of the social circles in high school. My best friend has been my best friend since middle school, but I had friends in the jocks, burnouts, nerds, band geeks, other music geeks, art kids, school play kids, football players, etc. With luck, The Boy develops a similarly wide group of friends without some of the social issues from which I've suffered.

I'm not sure how optimistic I am about that, but that could just be my natural cynicism.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011


Friday morning, I left for Lima, Ohio, for the local barbershop convention. I use local in a slightly more global sense, as Lima is approximately 270 miles away. I was quite happy with the entire time, as my quartet performed a nice chunk better than our last contest, and the chorus performed noticeably better. We didn't score as well as we would have liked, but all judge comments were on the money and accomplishable.

The interesting thing from a family perspective is how the boys we behaving while I was gone. They are good and sweet boys, even when they are bad; but, when I'm away, they are just unbalanced a bit. It's little things - discomfort when sleeping, short tempers, that type of stuff. I see it in myself as well - without having the boys around, I simply don't function as well as I'd like. Little thing, yes.

It makes me wonder how people survive as single parents and function with joint custody or small amounts of visitation. I understand that it's a complex world, and in 2011, we find ways to emotionally cope with difficult situations. It just strikes me as being awfully difficult. Kids like routine, consistency, and stability. Adults like consistency and stability. Remove them, and things go awry.

That's not to say that our standard nuclear family has an easier time of it. Having two parents involved certainly evens the odds out somewhat, but people are still people. Our flaws make it impossible to live a truly happy life without making things more difficult for ourselves; I kind of gather that if I can teach my children how to teach themselves how to do things and how to avoid some of the worst attitude mistakes that I've make, then I've done a good job as a parent.

Man, I have something profound that I'm trying to explore, but it's just not happening. How disappointing. I'm not entirely sure if I'm trying to explain how important my children's presence in my life has become, or if I'm trying to explore single parenting and my fears about that topic. I have a few people close to my wife and me that are going through divorces - a couple of acrimonious situations, a couple of non-hostile ones. Some with children, some without.

Still, going away from home, for me, is hard. Little, little children don't really understand it, and their expectations can be difficult to bear. Hearing that Little Bear spent a little bit of time wandering around saying, "Where's Daddy?" is really, really cute. The Boy being a little pain while I'm away is... not sure of my feelings here. It's nice to know that I have such a strong impact on his life (as he has on mine) but terrifying to know that I have a strong impact on his life.

Alright. Can't deal with this tonight. Not enough sleep this week. I'll think about this and get back to you.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Park Issues

Today, we went to the park after dinner. This particular park is one that is close to home, but we don't go there very often. No particular reason; others are more convenient to walk and Blue Slide is the destination for driving. This park is under construction right now, because they're installing a spray park, so we will probably be going there reasonably often this summer.

There were two older boys playing at the park while their dad watched. They were six and seven, maybe eight. Those two boys took an immediate liking to my boys, and they played together for the hour that we were there. It was really nice to see! It feels like, so often, I'm complaining about the other kids in the park or am entirely indifferent to the other people. We do such a great job of trying to give our neighbors space that our children feel uncomfortable or indifferent about speaking with each other. Their dad was a cool guy, also, and was very kind to me and to the boys.

The Boy is at an interesting stage in his development. His vocabulary is pretty amazing, considering his age. He understands an awful lot of words - not surprising, as both of his parents are intelligent, well-read, and speak accordingly. His speaking skills, however, are not quite there yet. His speech isn't well-defined, and I wonder if his hearing affects that. So, when he talks to other kids, I am always a little concerned that there's going to be a translation issue. There doesn't seem to be one most of the time, so it's entirely possible that my over-analytical ears are merely making something out of nothing.

I'm certainly trying to give him plenty of room when he starts playing with friends and meeting new people. While I want to help guide him and to accelerate his social development, I also understand that his social sense will develop faster by socializing with other kids without me hovering over him. I figure that the best thing that I can do is to watch from a distance, making sure that things stay positive (and he doesn't, say, try to play the hitting game with a bigger kid that doesn't quite get it) while remaining close enough that, if he feels that he really needs me, he can find me easily.

He surely doesn't need me standing on top of him, guiding every thing he does and says. That won't help him and will likely do more to irritate him and accelerate teenage annoyance. I already one that his teen years are likely going to be challenging; he has enough physical issues that he likely will feel more awkward than normal. The last thing he needs to feel like I'm more overbearing and controlling that I actually am.

Still, it was nice to see the other boys being so kind and to see The Boy actively and engagingly playing with others. By the end of the time, The Boy was even riding down the slide with the other boy! It was very cute and a Kodak moment, which of course meant that my phone wasn't working. (It was working. I just didn't want to turn off the baseball game.)

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Waiting for Godot

As I'm waiting for Roxio to finish updating and therefore stop crashing my computer and every other program that I'm running... Of course, it's not working, so now it's time to uninstall and reinstall. Sigh.

We had a very nice day today. We went to two different parks with the boys, sandwiched around nap time. The weather got up to 82 degrees today, which was the first time that we got over, like, 50 degrees in the past week or so.

It's interesting to watch the boys play in the park right now. They are physically different from where they were in November, which was the last time that we went to Blue Slide Park, but they don't quite realize that they've changed. They approach the park, right now, like they did last time, although they're starting to figure it out.

The Boy is doing a lot more climbing of things, that he wouldn't do last year. He's climbing up ladders and things like that, which include interesting shaped climbers. Tonight, at the second park, he climbed up a curved ladder about twenty or twenty-five times to go down the twisty slide - truth be told. I'd bet that he was doing it just to climb the ladder. It was not long ago that that sort of climbing was impossible for him, much less something that he's attempting without me standing underneath him! He actually got mad at me for trying to help him once.

He is also starting to socialize quite easily, even if the other kids aren't quite getting him. The Boy walks up to random people and says, "Hi!" He doesn't quite seem to understand or to care if a child is too old to want to play with him or too young to be able to effectively communicate; he says hi and tries his hardest to play a game with them. He'll chase them or be chased by them, try to climb alongside, or go down slides with them. It's really quite cute and quite sweet, and I hope and pray that he continues to meet nice kids. I don't want him to become anything less than the nice, cute boy he is, at least until he has to become something else.

Isn't it amazing, how quickly I go to that place? I guess I've been so used to hearing stories of bullying, to seeing children being cruel and hateful to each other, that I assume it as early as possible. I know that I had a fairly easy time growing up. I was bigger than most kids, so I wasn't often a target of bullies. My wife had a tougher time, because she was a target at one of her schools before finding an easier home elsewhere. Neither one of us wants to see our kids go through some of the thing that we've both lived through. I mean, we're already afraid that he's going to be the weird kid with the hearing aids, and we want to avoid as much extra as possible.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun at the park, and The Boy made some friends with whom he played. Still no luck getting Roxio off my machine so that I can reinstall it, and it's now having the fun of causing my machine to almost entirely crash. Sigh.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Little Devil

Yesterday, neither one of us worked because I had tickets to opening day at PNC Park, to see the Pirates play the Rockies. So, we all got up at the usual time on a school day for The Boy - 7:15 or so. The Boy had snuck in to bed with us at sometime around 2:00, which is a nice and unexpected change from the fit that he'd throw at the start of the sleeping-on-his-own experience. The Wife got up and took care of Little Bear, and I got up to get dressed before I took care of The Boy.

"No, Daddy! Don't get up! You need to stay right here!" he said to me, patting the bed next to him. I snuggled him for another couple of moments, then got up to do my thing. He flipped out in an epic manner. I mean, hysterical crying, throwing things at us and down the stairs, pushing his brother... the whole nine yards. The Wife handed me Little Bear to take downstairs, and things got worse. The Boy started whacking her - the whole hitting habit that he's seemed to pick up over the last couple of weeks.

The hitting thing is a little concerning, because it's the second bad habit that he's picked up from school. (The first was the phrase, "No, Little Bear! Don't talk to me! Don't talk to The Boy!") When I spoke to the teachers, they acknowledged that it's a common problem and something that they don't make a big deal. The more attention you pay to it, the more it occurs. We usually walk out of the room when The Boy starts hitting someone, and that usually stops it quickly enough.

Anyway, we finally got him off to school, and I left for the baseball game after a quick trip to CostCo. When he got home, he was still grouchy and out of sorts. He complained of a headache and asked for some Tylenol. When The Wife took his temperature, he had a low grade fever.

That pretty much explains most of his grumpy behavior from the morning. Isn't it interesting how much our health impacts our mood? He wasn't feeling well, and his brain interpreted that feeling as grumpiness. That's a radical change of his personality based on a cold! He's normally such a sweet boy, and that behavior yesterday morning was such an outlier that, really, this was the only cause.

Gosh - imagine what it would be like if he had to go through his treatment now, when he understands that it isn't normal to feel like crap?

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Patience and Gentleness, Please

Last night was not a great night for electronics. First, I forgot to take The Boy's hearing aids out before he got in the tub. We dodged a bullet on that one, I think - replaced the batteries, blew out any moisture (there was remarkably little), and put them immediately in the drying tub. Second, The Boy fell asleep in our bed watching baseball with me. The little stinker laid down to snuggle and was asleep less than 30 seconds later! He was in pajamas but not his night diaper, and I left him smack in the middle of a pad in the middle of our bed when I went to take my shower. When I came back, he had rolled over to the edge of the bed and peed on my iPhone. That, too, seems to be fine, although the case was soggy. Sigh.

When I moved him into his bed for the night, he stayed asleep, so I left and went back to my room to study music. Unrelated note: I'm auditioning to direct another women's chorus next week, so I wanted to get a head start on the music. About thirty seconds later, he woke up and freaked out. It wasn't enough that I sat in the chair next to the bed; he needed me to wit with him on the bed. This was the course of the next hour and a half; every time I got up, he woke up and needed me. I got really frustrated, and Grandma came over to generously offer to sit with him. I refused, because she had already spent all day with the kids and would be doing so again the next day. I try to be cognizant of her need to rest!

My wife reminded me, later, of why I ultimately stayed and tried to do my best to soothe him. The Boy is not a normal boy, no matter how much improvement and adjustment he's shown over the past several months. He's a damaged baby, with myriad health issues and physical setbacks, myriad mental and social setbacks, and some different emotional needs. He never had the opportunity for normal development and interaction like his brother has had. He went right from newborn status to cancer treatment, which necessitated some extreme measures.

I mean, he's going to be a weird kid. That's not insulting him; his parents are hardly normal. Neither one of us is particularly socially adept, and our lives up through marriage were not simple and easy. We've both struggled with socialization and friendships and an overly large amount of alone time. This doesn't even start to discuss my own personal issues with authority, which have cost me an awful lot of my career. With that stuff already in his genetic code, he's already going to struggle with identity issues and social issues. Throw in this other stuff, and it becomes increasingly difficult.

We've begun reexamining the whole kindergarten thing again. W haven't changed our mind; we're 99.9% sure he's going to start kindergarten he's six instead of five. As per usual with my life decisions, I like to try to rationalize my decision from as many different angles as possible. This boy is a sweet, sensitive, little guy who needs a lot of extra attention and gentleness from his caregivers. I think that putting him in a situation without that kind of care and consideration would be deadly to him and to his spirit! Not to mention: do we want him to be the weird kid AND the youngest and littlest in his class, or do we want him to be one of the older kids and more normal-sized?

He just needs extra attention, extra snuggles, and extra care that, to date, his brother doesn't really require. (It'll be interesting to see what his nest brother will or won't need. Either way, let's just avoid the interesting medical issues, please.) It's easy to offer that he needs that extra attention and patience, and it's easy to get frustrated and angry with him when you're tired and just want to get to sleep. I try to do a good job with it, although I'm as human as anyone else and slip up on a regular basis.

But, lets be honest: if he needs me to sit with him for a couple of hours at night while I do some work and some reading and some music learning, is it really that much of a hardship? That's one of the major reasons why I bought an iPad: I want the convenience of being able to juggle multiple work tasks, music tasks, reading, and entertainment in one ultra-portable package. No skin off of my back, I think.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Substitute My Life

So, today is my first day substitute teaching in a local school district. I'm doing elementary school orchestra, which is really kind of fun. I've done orchestra for five of my ten years' teaching, but it's been a few years. Still fun, but there's a steep learning curve for playing violin. I'm not there yet, but after one class, I'm fairly sure that I can keep up with the 5th graders without too much trouble. Fourth grade should be even easier.

It's an interesting educational climate right now, because everybody's running scared. With the GOP attacking public education on every front and teachers suddenly becoming the bad guys that are responsible for society's ills and any governmental budget shortfalls, things are a little bit scary. This year, pretty much every teacher that I know is afraid for their job and for their salary and benefits and pension. The cuts have already been deep and will become deeper, and most districts have announced hiring freezes and salary and wage freezes. Some districts have been threatening furloughs for teachers.

Side note: it's interesting how, as a teacher, you get penalized for actually using the sick days allotted to you in your contract. There's no reward for NOT using your sick days, except for a small payback at the end of one's career. Your days carry over from year to year, except that you can't use more than a certain number of them in a school year. So, you have an interesting conundrum: use your sick days, get written up by your supervisor for being irresponsible. Don't use them, go to school sick, and you derive absolutely no benefit from them.

Subbing is not the most fun way to spend your day. There are exceptions - this place seems one of them. I'm doing small group music lessons for most of the day, which is fun and tends to move quite quickly. The large ensembles move even faster - when you have a half hour to get 30 fourth grade students into the room, instruments out and tuned, quieted down enough to play, then packed up and out the door in a timely fashion, time moves quite quickly.

I've also had the opposite experience, although I haven't had a truly negative one since I left teaching in Detroit. The number of times that I was removed from my classes and thrown into a classroom for a set number of periods with no plans, no class lists, and no supplies would astonish you. My second year there, for instance, I lost 112 of the 182 preparation periods during the school year. They were all reimbursed, but that planning time (which includes lesson planning, music copying and preparation, instrument repair, room setup and cleanup, phone calls to parents, phone calls to music stores, and a few other sundry things) still had to go somewhere.

Still, those times stuck in the room with 30 hostile students really kind of scarred me when it comes to substitute teaching. I have a small tolerance for allowing myself to be put in those situations, leading to things like the summer school debacle from last year. Subbing in a music class tends to have a better class of student and a quicker paced day. Not sure if I'd want to get in, say, a middle school English room for a day.

Not for $90. $12.50 an hour isn't worth it. By the way - that's the honest pre-tax salary for a sub. Nice to way to feed your family, isn't it? Try those calculations - $90 times 180 days, if you're lucky, means a pre-tax salary of under $17K per year. Sigh. To make matters even better, I left my lunch at home today. Win.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011


Little Bear hid the TiVo remote again. He doesn't necessarily do it intentionally; he likes picking up the remote controls and pressing the buttons. Then, he'll carry the remote control around the room with him, usually because he's forgotten that he has it. When he remembers that he has the remote, he'll put it down in any convenient or interesting location. He tends to favor putting the remote inside boxes and bags, particularly briefcases. Grandma has gotten to work to find one or more remote controls inside her case. The only problem is that, when I have a touch of insomnia, it can get difficult to find the remote at 2:15am.

The boys had a great night with Mom and Grandma and Grandpa while I was out singing. I sang the St. Paul Oratorio (Mendelssohn) with a local group tonight, which was wonderful, but it put me out of the house for a few hours. They were asleep when I got home. They haven't really stayed asleep.

Little Bear was up twice. The first time, he was awake for a quick snuggle and kiss, then back to bed. The second time, he laid with us for a few minutes before deciding that he really wanted to kick and squirm and was therefore put back to bed. I think he'll stay.

The Boy, on the other hand, has been waking up every fifteen to twenty minutes since 11:00. That's why I am awake at this point. It's exhausting to put him back to bed.

I'm really torn about how to respond to something like this. Our history with him has been quite simple: when he cries at night from his own sleeping place, take him in with us and let him sleep. No worries. I understand that what is likely best for him is to be sleeping in his own bed and in his own room. We should likely be continuing to shepherd him back into his room, give some hugs and snuggles, and let him reside in his own room.

(Yes, that is his super hero cape that he's still wearing.)

Of course, it's easier said than done, particularly since we adults need to sleep at some point. At some point, he's going to "win" by either sneaking in after we've fallen asleep or by just wearing us down to allow him with us. Since young children don't have much of a worldview outside of their parents (and grandparents, in our kids' case), they spend large amounts of time figuring out how to get what they want from us. This situation isn't exactly an "us vs them" sort of thing, but it is a situation about which The Boy is unhappy. He wants the old situation: sleeping with Mom and Daddy, and he wants it badly enough to fight for it.

The Wife is determined to have him sleep in his own room, and I agree with her. I don't want to agree with her, but I do agree with her. I love having The Boy with us, but I understand how important it is for him to learn to soothe himself back to sleep. I'm just unhappy that the multiple wakings tonight have given me a nice case of the "Up-All-Nights."

So, it leads me back to my remote, and also back to the weird case of why the TiVo has stopped recording every episode of the season pass of Fringe and Chuck that it should be recording. I'm not entirely sure I'll come to the solution to that problem, save that I'll watch it on Hulu in another week. I did find the remote; it was in the hallway leading into the kitchen. I'm assuming that something more interesting was laying in the hallway where he dropped the remote.

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