Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Week Two

It is week two of summer vacation and I have realized many things. 1) TV commercials/mini- infomercials are ridiculous and make absurd promises. 2) Baseball is mind numbing boring and I am certain I can't take it much longer. 3) Maxie is VERY stylish with his new haircut. 4) Sam is VERY, VERY naughty and destroys on the average of 4.5 items a week. I am wondering if he'd be happier at another person's house. 5) Without having work, little kids to chase around, or master's to work on, I get a little anxious wondering what to do. 6) Ethan hasn't injured any limbs (yet) this week!
First of all- TV mini infomercials. Yesterday when the kids were watching the Disney Channel, I overheard a commercial for a reading program geared for babies. "Your baby can read at 8- months-old!" Are you kidding me? 8-month-old babies can't talk let alone read!! I have known many babies, two of which were gifted and lived with me, so I knew everything they did, and NO eight-month -old can talk. I know boys talk later than girls, but I also know a gifted baby girl, Lilly, and she didn't talk at 8-months. Lilly said "mama" at 10-months, but that could have meant, "there's my mama!" or "I want mama!" or "I am wet/uncomfortable/tired and mama fixes it", or "I'm hungry and mama means food", or "Why does mama keep going to work? I want her" or "It is the middle of the night and am lonely, I wish I were sleeping with mama or that man mama person..." There is no way an 8-month-old can read. The concept is the baby watches a video. They video says a word like, "clap" while showing the action, followed by saying the word again while showing the word and making the sound for clap. The kids aren't "reading" clap, they are reacting to the action/word- repeating it- making it appear that they can "read". Kids are not developmentally ready to read until age 5-6, on a rare occasion, maybe four, but that's even young. Before then, they are word callers, they see a word and memorized what it looked like and can say the word. When you string together the words, they make a sentence, but because they are simply word callers, they aren't fulling comprehending what they are reading. Also, reading in the early stages requires phonics, letter/sound connection and the brain making the connection to put together letters/sounds to form a word. Without this stage, kids do not learn to "sound out words", which is a requirement in second grade when they come to unknown words. Word callers are excellent students until third grade, then they level off, or worse, let the classmates soar above them because in third grade the kids are required to read for information and they are no longer learning to read, but reading to learn which requires comprehension. Sure, you can teach your baby to read, but what's the point in knowing how to read if you can't comprehend?
Number 2- Baseball is mind numbing boring. I am proud of Noah for being in Babe Ruth Baseball, but I am eagerly anticipating the end of the season. He has games every Thursday night from 5:00- 8:15. He bats twice in that three hour and 15 minutes. Yes- TWICE. The kids pitch, so it's usually four "balls" then the coach pitches. The kids are the catchers and when the pitcher throws the ball, the catcher (except for Noah) misses the ball, then doesn't go get it, but expects the ball to roll to him (which doesn't work). It is so painful that I have to literally have Ethan sit on my lap so I don't run out and become the pitcher or catcher. However, watching T-ball is not painful. Maybe because t-ball is only 45 minutes and that is the limit of my attention span, or because when the kids hit the ball all of the kids in the outfield run to the ball, with the exception on the kid doing the "happy dance" (usually my child) in left field, the kid picking dandelions in right field, and the first baseman writing his name in the dirt. T-ball is entertaining. At Ethan's last game, a kid hit the ball and ran all of the bases even though the kids (from his team) on the second and third bases didn't move, he just ran by them giving them high-fives the whole way. It's only 45 minutes, but Ethan batted three times. That is two and a half hours shorter than Noah's games and he batted once more.
Sam is so naughty. Both Ethan and I are always mad at him, and Abby hide under the bed most of the time because he is so big and chases and wants to play with her. He is ALWAYS barking or chewing on something he shouldn't, and he's the only one who sheds, and he sheds A LOT. The little dogs are always hiding from him. He is driving me crazy, and if this "puppy" stage doesn't end soon, he'll find a new home. They only thing that saves him is he's cute and nice when he sleeps, but so is Fran Dresher, and it doesn't stop her from being annoying as hell.

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