Friday, February 16, 2007

You asked, I deliver!

No, I'm not bringing over your pizza tonight (though Amelia's makes a mean NY-style pizza pie -- you'll have to stop in tonight to see me AND to get your own pizza). Trey Morgan recently asked about my kids. As I composed a l-o-n-g comment in response, I thought, "I haven't written very much about the kids lately!" So, here are some new things the kids are doing lately ... or the same old things but with a new twist. :)

My almost-6-year-old wonder ... I was beginning to think he was making all his classmates mad as he had yet to be invited to a birthday party. But last week we received not one, but two, invitations to parties that are coming up soon, and, of course, Nathan's will be next weekend as well. It will be a busy time for Nathan's classmates and their families! I don't know if you ever let your kids invite their entire class to their parties, but we decided we'd limit it to 3, along with 3 church friends, and 2 cousins (unless our Memphis cousins want to "stop in"??). Then it became 4 school friends because Nathan had a hard time narrowing it down to 3. Then we got an invitation from a girl that Nathan did not choose as his top 4, so I'm thinking it might be 5. :)

Last week we received a letter saying that Nathan had been nominated by his teacher for the gifted program. We have some paperwork to fill out to give them "a picture" of what Nathan is like, and then there will be some sort of conference or meeting to determine whether or not he will enter the program. I am very pleased. Did I tell you about the first round of testing that his teacher told me about at our parent/teacher conference back in October? The testing was out of 104 points. They look for the kindergarten children to make 28 points in their first quarter of school. Nathan got 104! After that, I would have been pretty surprised if he wasn't invited to the gifted program. I realize this sounds like a lot of bragging ... and it is. Sorry. I can't help it. I'm very proud. If you can't brag on your kids, then what are you going to do?? I don't know if the other 2 kids will be invited to the gifted program, but I know they will be recognized in other ways for excellence, so I hope we are able to show our children how proud we are of them, no matter what their strengths are. I also hope we always remind there Where their gifts come from.

On another note, one of Nathan's weaknesses is his inability to stay focused in class. I realize that at this age, maybe you can't expect much, though I'm sure his teacher knows just how much she can expect and he doesn't quite meet up with that. So we are working on encouraging him to stay focused on his work. I warned him last week that I had talked with his teacher about sending home any work that he didn't get finished in class and if the teacher tells me that he should have been able to finish it, he will work on it as soon as he gets home before he gets to do anything else. He has yet to bring home any unfinished homework, so hopefully he got the message. I'm sure it will be forgotten soon, but I'm glad he's taking it seriously now.

I've told you before that Jeremy is my favorite easiest kid to get along with. And I don't know if it's him or both of us--you know, if he gets along easily with everyone, or if it's just the chemistry that he & I have. He rarely gets on my bad side. He has so much ZEST -- when he's excited about something, it shows. His voice changes, he talks more rapidly & less understandably, he uses his hands more, etc. He was a "follower-of-Nathan" until Nathan went to school. Then he became "the followed." Derek and all the other children we keep in our home look up to Jeremy and follow him around. The change amazes me. What I thought he lacked in leadership was really just lurking in the shadows until it was needed. When Jeremy accidentally (or otherwise) hurts someone, he immediately feels bad about it, he hugs & kisses the person and says repeatedly, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," until you finally say, "okay, Jeremy, it's okay."

Jeremy also has really bonded with my niece Hannah, who comes to stay with us each Tuesday & Thursday afternoon after preschool. They play very well together. He told her last week that she was his best friend. Considering his previous view on girls, he has come very far indeed! Today they were playing together and I heard the following conversation (Terri ought to get a kick out of this):

Hannah: "Let's play house, Jeremy!"
Jeremy: "No, I don't want to play that. Let's play bad guys!"
Hannah: "Umm, I don't think so." (She's sooo cute!!) "That's for boys. House is a game for girls."

How young they figure things out!! Ha!

Jeremy is sooooo athletic. I always wished I was athletic and I wasn't, so I am really excited about having an athletic child. Dan has been fairly athletic, but never really gifted in one sport especially, though he did get pretty good at volleyball. Anyway, the way Jeremy jumps and somersaults and jumps onto the couch with his hands into a headstand on the back of the couch (don't know if I described that well), he just seems so coordinated and graceful. I've told you all this before, I know. When I watched Jeremy play with Nathan's soccer team one night, and play just as well as the kids that were 2 years older, it made me so proud! :)

Jeremy also has a funny way of composing sentences. He might say something of the sort, "Are we going to the park today because I really like the park the park is my favorite so we should go." -or- "I like to play with trucks, so I wanted to go downstairs to play with them, but I just didn't!" Jeremy is the most polite of our children, the one most likely to remember his "please" and "thank you." He remembers to ask to be excused from the table before he gets up and he usually remembers to ask for something the right way, "Can I ... please?"

Have I told you that Derek's beginning potty-training? I don't know if this is just an experiment or if it is the real thing. I guess we'll know in a month or two. Maybe he just likes to be naked. :) Well, yes, we all know that, it was my Fatal Mistake. Seriously, you ought to check out that post if you haven't been reading since November. You'll be sooo glad you did. (Um, maybe I should warn you, though, that there might be a naked bottom in the post -- not mine, though!)

Derek is really charming, and that kinda worries me. You know the type of guy that babies like him turn into! So we'll be working on that. He is just so darn cute sometimes!! Here's a warning for those of you who might have children younger than 2. When they start turning on the charm, do your best to resist! Believe me, you'll thank me for it when they're older.

One thing about Derek is that you have to occasionally pull out some psychological tricks, especially when wanting him to get dressed or help you clean up. Telling him to do it is likely to get you a "no!" Occasionally it's good to go ahead and tell him (or ask him, if you prefer that terminology), take the "no!" then discipline him for that so that he understands who's the boss. :) But sometimes when you're not in the mood for a fight, starting out with different tactics are a bit easier on you. Asking him to be a big helper and give Mommy a hand is a great trick. He loves to be a helper. Act like you really need his help and he'll step up to the plate. With clothes, he almost always says he does not want to wear what you pick out for him. So, you need to pretend that you are going to wear the clothes instead and that Derek can't wear them ... works every time. I especially enjoy hamming it up and pretending to try to put his clothes on myself, which always gets a big smile.

Another warning for the young children ... try to instill the "please" and "thank you" as soon as they're learning to talk (or if you're using sign language, sooner!). And then, after you have it well-established, stay on top of it! We made the mistake, probably with all 3 of ours but maybe not as much with Jeremy, of not always correcting them if they forgot. So occasionally they'd forget to say it, we'd think, "well, they almost always say it, so I'm not going to bother with it this one time," but the next thing you know, you're having to start over practically from scratch because they get back out of the habit. So, start very early and then stay on top of it!

So, that's it. Hope you enjoyed the recap of how the kids are doing and growing!!


Pat said...

I get to be the first snappy comeback! Thanks for the update (and for requesting it, Trey). I really miss knowing what is going on with the boys and talking with you, too. Gotta somehow rectify that! Wish we could be there for the party and up your guest count. It's so fun to hear your take on what your children are like. Thanks for this.

Paula Harrington said...

You crack me up!

The boys sound great. Thanks for sharing about them and let me tell I haven't seen a kindergartener yet that can stay focused! He sounds just right to me.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about the boy's personalities and activities. But as your grandmother, shouldn't I?
Lisa, why won't you admit your talents?? Field hockey was a big activity in your life, and you did excel in it, though you were not able to play your senior year.
I agree that parents have to stay with children when a decision is made to have them do such things as "please," "thank you," and "May I be excused?" Nana

Neva said...

Enjoyed getting to "know" your boys. I absolutely loved being the mother to boys. There is a special relationship between mother and sons. You are blessed!
Love ya

Trey Morgan said...

I like it. Good job. Your boys personalities are like my boys... all different. I'll have to write about mine too. You are definately "outnumbered."


Loved it today.

the third of its kind... said...

don't tell him, or the other boys but I think derek is my favorite. probably because he's the youngest and I am biased. I noticed over christmas that he is more independent while his brothers play off eachother and seek approval. this might just be his age but who knows. and hey, there's nothing wrong with being charming as long as you have some morals behind it.

Lisa said...

Trey B, your view on Derek is definitely skewed by the fact that you can absolutely relate. Have you never seen how Derek says something hoping everyone will laugh at it?

Char said...

New reader here - enjoyed this post about your boys. I have two boys, one almost 5 and one almost 2. (And we're expecting a baby girl in six weeks, so as a couple we're getting ready to be outnumbered too!) My younger son sounds just like yours - he's been pulling the "charming" thing since he was an infant.

And I totally agree about the manners. I love that both my boys just automatically use please and thank you, and don't know any different. It definitely works well to start with it as a babies. We taught them to use sign language before they could speak, and they still sign Please and Thank You while saying it too.

I'll definitely be back to read more! :-)