Saturday, March 8, 2014
A couple of nights ago, we were just finishing up getting the boys through the bath, brush teeth, calm down rituals, when The Baby (who had moved himself into his bed for stories), started crying, "Daddy! Want Daddy!" Considering that he usually wants nothing to do with me around bedtime, I've evolved a ritual of reading a story in Little Bear's bed then asking him about his day; then reading a story in The Boy's bed then asking him about his day. Instead, The Wife and I tagged each other and switched. The Baby wanted to read "There's No Such Thing As A Dragon," then watch the "Get Healthy Now Show" (requested as "Watch Get Healthy Show!") to go to sleep. He participated in the story reading, then laid his head on my chest and was asleep before the first muppets started dancing. (Yes, I watched the remainder of the show, knowing he was asleep. Don't judge me.) The Wife came in to let me know that things 1 and 2 were asleep as well, then she went downstairs to work and I went directly to bed. It was a rough weekend. I shouldn't say rough. It was chorus retreat weekend, and it was an awesome weekend of music, companionship, fellowship, and song. Our coach, Paula, was as amazing as ever, and we worked the chorus hard all night Friday, all day on Saturday, and all morning on Sunday. It's tricky because, as director, I'm "on" all weekend - on my feet, on duty, always listening, always watching, always learning. It's very challenging to keep your brain open to new ideas and new concepts for that stretch of time, and I'm not used to being on my feet that much. So, by the time Sunday afternoon came along, I was pretty well whipped. Not to mention, but the boys and The Wife had a weekend-long sleepover at Grandma's house, thanks to The Wife and The Boy performing at his school talent show, The Wife coming for the Saturday of retreat, and her teaching at Sunday school. So, it was a wonderful weekend. Just rough on the body. I don't like being away from my family. I know that I >should< sleep better - no little feet kicking me while I sleep, no household sounds and beds creaking and such. I just don't sleep well away from the family. I miss my wife, and I miss the little people that share our bed. There's something about tiny little bodies cuddled up close: they're warm and comforting. It's too quiet without them. (Little Bear snores.) So, a couple of nights away rarely leaves me particularly well rested, especially when those nights away revolve around staying up late. The Boy's talent show performance went quite well. He performed "Perpetual Motion," with The Wife on piano, from the Suzuki violin book. It was a cute show; they had pairs of fifth graders who served as the MCs, and there was a nice mix of kids playing various instruments, singing with recordings, dancing, and other assorted human tricks. He made a nice impression, and the 5th graders who announced him were very complimentary. I like his school an awful lot - not quite as much as he does. "Daddy, do you know what I love more than you? My school." Okay, Boy, that's fine. I hope it keeps up. He was accepted into the gifted program in the district - not a shock, particularly since several of his classmates had told me (when I was there a few weeks ago) that the smartest kid in class was The Boy. Also, not a shock because the genetic apple doesn't fall far from the genetic tree; there's intelligent people on both sides there. I just know how quickly and thoroughly this broken educational system can suck the life out of school - when you tell teachers repeatedly that they're incompetent and uninspiring, and when you remove resources from the classroom with such regularity, and when you have your entirely curriculum centered around performance on a standardized test that doesn't measure what it's supposed to measure.... well, a kid like The Boy, who does more faster than his fellow students, can get lost in the shuffle. For now, though, he's happy. I know 2 & 3 are happy, because the preschool is a great place for them, and their teachers love them. I do worry about Little Bear, though, for next year; he's a really sensitive kid who wants nothing more than to make the authority figures happy. He's the kind of kid that can get shattered by a careless teacher.