Hitting on all cylinders

August 11, 2009

Some days it feels like I get home from work at 4:00 p.m., we eat dinner, and then I glance out the window and I see that it is dark, so the kids get into their pajamas and soon everybody goes to bed. And I lie there thinking, did God accidentally hit the fast-forward button or what? What the heck happened with this day?

Then there are days like yesterday. I’d sure like to know what we did right so we can do it again. I got home from work late, and yet there was still time for the following:

– Dinner.

– Practicing the bicycle. And it’s like the Lose The Training Wheels program never happened. Now that we have, indeed, lost the training wheels, Sonny is more scared than ever to sit on his bicycle. It doesn’t matter to him that there’s a great big handle protruding from the back seat, which I hold to prevent him from falling. He doesn’t like the wobbly insecurity of a bicycle that’s lost two of its most important supports. So “practicing the bicycle,” for now, means getting him to sit on the thing. Then I push him down the road like groceries in a shopping cart, and I try to get him to steer a little. We’ll work our way up to pedaling. The idea that he might pedal fast enough to keep the bicycle balanced on his own is not even a wisp of a thought right now.

– Sonny isn’t going to get on his bicycle out of the goodness of his heart, or because daddy said so. He wants to earn something, and what he earned was some time in the car. We sat in the driveway and he played with the power windows. I guess it’s good he’s so easy to please.

– We practiced writing the alphabet, and then spelling three- and four-letter words. When I draw little boxes for him to write his letters in, Sonny writes with reasonable legibility. All we need now is paper that comes pre-printed with little boxes on them. Wait a second — I can create that in Word in about thirty seconds. {smacks forehead} Man, I should have thought of that a long time ago.

– For doing his writing without complaint, Sonny wanted to earn the sprinkler. So he and his sister got into their bathing suits, and Peanut jumped through the sprinkler while Sonny sort of ran around in the general vicinity of the sprinkler, and they both had a fine time.

– Alas, I had forgotten that my wife had mowed the backyard that morning, so by the time we were done with the sprinkler, both kids were covered head to toe in wet grass clippings. Peanut in particular looked like she was starring in a bad horror movie called Daughter Of The Lawn Monster. And so: Showers, and then pajamas.

– And then reading. Sonny read aloud from one of the Capstone Press books we keep coming back to: Demolition!, which has many pictures of buildings being blown to smithereens. (Also, my son now recognizes the word “dynamite.”)

– After that, a small snack. A few more minutes of playing with toys. And then, at last, bedtime.

How did we manage to be so much more productive? Yesterday had the same number of hours in it as usual, didn’t it?

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One Response to “Hitting on all cylinders”

  1. Holly's Mom Says:

    I love the image of Peanut covered in grass, I bet they had so much fun….

    So I know you don’t want to seem like you are going backwards, but have you thought of taking only one of the two training wheels away?

    The kid gets the false sence of security and a slight bit of balance help, but truely you can tip very easily to the side without it and it isn;t as easy as having two..

    I did this to teach my sister to ride her bike and after about 2 weeks we could take the second one off…

    Just a thought, good luck.


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