Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Few Lessons From My Family

My life was extremely…different before I had my family. Or I should rather say that my perception was extremely different. I had experienced very little joy and much anguish…and it made me bitter, to say the least. But this post isn’t about how miserable I was. It’s about a few of lessons I have learned from my man and our child, from my family.

The first lesson is politeness. I never believed in polite conversation, meaning I didn’t believe in conversation for conversation’s sake. This will sounds silly but I learned how being polite can affect people from my man. When someone says “Hi. How are you” he always asks how they are doing in return. I never used to. I didn’t think anyone really cared when they asked that I didn’t want to be that fake person who asks but doesn’t expect a truthful answer. People would ask me how I was doing and I usually would tell them to ask me another question. Now I ask they are in return because I see that it makes them feel good, usually. I also say thank you all the time. For example I say thank you when I get off the shuttle that takes me from the mall parking lot to the college campus. I know that if one person is really nice to you it can make your entire day better. Before I knew Scott I wasn’t happy enough with life to behave this way. Now I know it is worth it.

Lesson two: children make all the difference. I’m the oldest of five children and helped my mother raise two before she remarried and had two more. I love children. I always have. The way they perceive the world, their mindset, their love, it’s all so amazing…but I never wanted to have kids. My picture of the world was too negative. I didn’t want to be responsible for bringing anyone else into it. My friends say they always knew I would have kids. I heard the words “Yes, mom” from them many times over the years. I guess I was always trying to take care of everyone. Even when I couldn’t be saved I still wanted to save others from the harshness of this world. And then I met Scott. It may be fair to say he saved me.

This is where the story gets cheesy and I tell you that falling in love has magical effects. At first I hadn’t changed my mind about having children, but before long I was actually considering it. Scott is very good with kids (he mentioned something once about being on their level). Although he hadn’t said it directly I could tell he wanted to have children, so one day I asked him why. After saying “Who said I did” and me explaining that I knew he did, he gave me the best answer anyone ever could. He said that he felt he could raise a child to be a good person thereby making the world a better place. About a year and nine months later I gave birth to our daughter.

Lesson three: not anticipating what happens next. This began learning this lesson from Scoot and then it was really driven home by our daughter. I went through this phase where I asked many people what their favorite thing in the world is. Scott’s answer was “not knowing what will happen next.” The idea is very attractive.

I was the type of person that was always anticipating what would happen next. I have an analytical nature, including much over-analyzing. This came in handy sometimes. I was always prepared during road trips. But I learned from my family that this behavior was taking my attention away from the moment I was living in. Instead of feeling the warmth of the moment I was too busy thinking about what would happen next. In the hospital, after our daughter was born, I should have been spent every second being engulfed in my new baby, even when we had visitors. But most of the time while we had visitors, I was nervously deliberating what should be happening over the next few days. I can see it in the pictures taken of us in the hospital. I was looking out beyond everyone. I should have been looking at my baby in every picture, and it pains me to know that I wasn’t. If we have another child I won’t make that mistake again.

The lesson didn’t fully set in on me until L was over a year old though. I did make sure to start cherishing every moment once we brought L home. In doing so the idea of her growing up too fast hasn’t been a problem. Unfortunately, I still felt the need to most days to have a plan, and if the plan didn’t get played out then the day was a bust. But very rarely do things go according to plan when you are a new mother, or even a mother of three I would imagine. I soon found out that the days when L and I had the most fun was when we had nothing planned. It was liberating to feel the freedom from worrying about anything. We would just have fun. Nothing more, nothing less, and I now find these periods to be the happiest, most comfortable and care-free times of our (my family’s) lives.

All I ever wanted was to be happy in life. For me happiness has to come from learning how to be happy. I am continuously learning and have been provided with the best reasons and tools to do so.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dolls are for Girls



When I was young a played mostly alone. Now, the boys didn’t want to play with me because I am girl and I was too asthmatic for sports. Every year when I was in elementary school we had physical fitness tests. I supposed they were attempting to asses our physical abilities for the sake of statistics, but I can’t say for sure. For one of the tests we were timed on how quickly we could run a mile. After the first two years I learned that I wasn’t going to get a good time so I might as well walk the whole thing and take the maximum time, I think it was thirteen minutes.

I didn’t want to play with the girls because I wasn’t at all interested in what they were doing. Dolls, house, patty-cake-type hand games, being catty even at a very young age, pretending to be a princess, none of that appealed to me. I remember as young as three or four I was playing with He-Man toys (I even named my kitten Cringer) and Transformers. I wanted to be He-Man for Halloween one year but my mom wouldn’t let me because I was a girl. Of course, I forgot all about it when she made my She-Ra costume. It looked authentic and she even teased my hair up like hers.

Why do I bring this up? I started a controversy today with two of my coworkers, K and A. Now mind you, it was more like friendly banter but I am very convicted regarding what I stated. I don’t recall how the conversation started but I mentioned that I was going to buy presents for two little boys whose shared birthday party my daughter and I would be attending next weekend. I said L was old enough now that I would let her pick out the gifts (with slight guidance) for her friends. She said she wanted to get Kyle, who will be turning four, a remote control car, and his brother Sean, who will be turning two, something with unicorns. But, I continued to explain, Kyle and Sean’s parents were of the type that boy’s shouldn’t be allowed to play with “girl’s” toys. For example, the mother had once mentioned that Kyle had requested a Dora The Explorer bicycle but she and her husband couldn’t bring themselves to buy it for him. Both of the coworkers I was speaking to agreed that they should not comply with his request and gave Dora’s cousin Diego as the alternative. I was immediately annoyed and this perplexed me for two reasons: 1) I don’t agree because I would buy it for my son (if I had one), and 2) Dora doesn’t engage in “girly” behavior. She explores the forest, climbs mountains, counts things, and solves riddles. There’s no fairly princess glamour or tea parties with fancy dresses. Fuel for the fire.

Keeping my irritation subdued, I listened as K went on about how her godson’s mother let him play with girl’s toys and K stopped letting him bring them to her house because he started acting “fruity.” I looked her right in the eyes and said “K, toys don’t make people gay.” She replied that he was acting it and she wasn’t having that in her house. I wanted to scream at her “so what if he was” but she’s my partner and you can’t afford to burn bridges in the corporate world.

After K walked away from my desk I went to the cubicle next door. Apparently I wasn’t done with the conversation. I asked A whether or not she thought boys should be allowed to play with toys normally targeted towards girls. She said they should not. I asked why and all she said was “because they’re for girls.” Oh, it was on.

Trying to keep the conversation at an intelligent level instead of it being reduced to a “you’re wrong…no, you’re wrong” argument, I chose my words carefully. I asked for specifics. Exactly which toys should boys not be allowed to play with. The main answer was dolls. Why, I asked, and the answer was “because they’re for girls.” I asked why dolls are considered girls toys. Is it just because they have always been perceived that way? Why were they given to girls to play with in the beginning? I’m thinking it was because woman used to be the sole caregivers for the children while men were the providers. Little girls were given dolls to play with to emulate what they would be doing when they grew up or to emulate what they’re mothers and grandmothers did. I told A that I knew she agreed that men should take on an equal roll in the care giving to their children and housework and the like. She agreed they should. I said “Well, then why should we stop them from doing it as children?” It teaches the responsibility, as MW agrees in his/her article “The Value of Playing With Dolls for Boys and Girls.” Again, the only answer was that dolls are for girls.

Both K and A stated there were no boy’s toys that are unacceptable for a girl to play with. I was even told it was because there is such a thing as a female tom-boy but there was no male counterpart such as a sally-girl.

While pregnant with my daughter I knew that I would try very hard to make sure she was exposed to all kinds of toys and all kinds of play. Even her clothes as an infant were varied, not all pink and lilac. Until her third birthday her toy box was equal parts cars and dress up jewelry. Twice a child older than her asked their parent or me why she was wearing a Spider-Man shirt when Spider-Man is for boys. My reply was simply “because she likes Spider-man.” When a little boy asked his mother I waited patiently to see what would come out of her mouth. I don’t think she knew we were within earshot. I was pleasantly surprised to hear her tell her son that anyone can like Spider-Man and explain that she herself has a Spider-Man hat.

Around her third birthday though, she was much more into dolls, princesses, and ponies, and she made it very clear her favorite color is pink. She does occasionally play with her cars and trains. Of course, I accept her for the little princess she is (I call her Princess Lunatic). I will just mention that in addition to the Barbies (I’m trying to be ok with this one. I will only buy her the ones that do not look like hoochies. Thankfully she wants the veterinarian Barbie) and mermaid dolls, she also wants a tool set for her birthday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Breastfeeding is Hard

On posters in the OBGYN office and in books and magazines about pregnancy and babies you read that taking care of your health and producing breast milk to feed your baby for the first year of his/her life is a prime perspective. The benefits are tremendous. A healthy mother produces the exact nourishment her child needs to be as healthy as possible, and promote the best brain development possible. My daughter did not get sick at all until she began attending day care at nine months of age, and even then she was only sick twice before she turned one (it may actually have been that she never fully recovered from the first cold and relapsed). She also developed at a very favorable speed.

While there is no greater gain than the sound health and growth of your child, breastfeeding also benefits the mother. After the baby is born the uterus slowly shrinks back to its normal size. Breastfeeding speeds up the process. And, what’s the best way to loose that weight you gained during pregnancy? You guessed it - breastfeeding. By the time my daughter was five months old I actually weighed a little less than I had when I found I was prego. In fact, I couldn’t keep any weight on. Although I ate normally, healthy stuff to pass on to my daughter, she sucked all the nourishment right out of me.

With all the perks to my child in mind (I actually wasn’t aware of the extra rewards for the mother until I experienced them), breastfeeding was still tumultuous.

I have been through many extremely arduous experiences in my life; I was homeless at sixteen coming out of an apathetic and abusive home. However, continuing to provide my daughter with breast milk for the entire first year of her life was the hardest thing I have ever done.

My daughter fed exclusively off the boob for the first three months of her life. At that point I had to return to work. At first L would feed from the breast in the morning before I went to work, I would pump the milk out twice while at work and once when I got home, and then L would have one last latch before bed time. Eventually the actual latching on moved weekends only, and at around six months old L quit the nipple completely. She quit because I scared the crap out of her…twice. The first time she bit me it was a beautiful Saturday morning. The morning sun was shining in through the windows. I was sitting in the glider reveling in the feeling of not having to use the pumps. Then her sharp flat little teeth slid into my areola…and I screamed, and it made L cry. It was the only feasible reaction, but I hushed her and said I wouldn’t do it again. She latched back on and we were in business. The following week it happened again. Imagine a sharp slice like a dull razor on the most sensitive piece of your body. You’re going to scream. I didn’t jerk L off or jump up. I just let out a shrill that I suppose to L was the equivalent of me dreaming about clowns. She got scared and cried, and never latched on again. The pumps became the only outlet.

We were living in a not-so-nice neighborhood (no place to raise a child), which I had been trying to get us out of since before L was born. We did not have the money for the more expensive, better quality breast pumps. I purchased two of the cheapest handheld electric pumps available from Wal-Mart. Ever hear the phrase “you get what you pay for?” I now know these things were a joke. Near L’s first birthday, the day I would be pump free, one of other pumping mothers at work told me about how she had rented her pumps from the hospital and it took her only seven minutes a sitting to pump. But for me, five times a day, for thirty minutes a sitting, I (and my man if I was home) had to listen to the most obnoxious sound ever created. It was an errrRRR errrRRR sound like a dieing motor that made you want to jam sharp pencils in your ears. My man once told me that we should keep the pumps and if L ever tells me she hates me he will stick her in a room and make her listen to them for a few hours and tell her what I did for her. If I mention the satanic pumps to him now he gets bad chills.

Finding somewhere to pump twice a day in the corporate grey where I am employed was no pleasurable task. In a building that houses over a thousand employees there was one curtained area in a bathroom at the farthest corner of the building. There were at least three other mothers that needed the same space and always seemed to be there when I needed it. When I was able to use it, the bathroom always felt like a walk in cooler. Guidelines will tell you that in order for better let-down (when the milk starts to flow) you should not be in a cold area.

At this time I was on hourly wages (I’m salary now) and only had a specific amount of time I could spend on break. Instead of trekking to one end of the building only to find the pumping curtain occupied, and then trying to find another room, I began to sneak into these tint meeting rooms called huddle rooms. I would write my name on the reserving calendar just outside the room as though I was having a meeting in there. After a few weeks the first one I was using was assigned to a contractor who would be there for quite some time. The second one did not have a lock on the door and it wasn’t long until a woman whose desk was near by, peeked her head in to see what the noise was. She opened the door and just stared at me like her brain couldn’t process what was happening until I said “excuse me” in the most awful, powerful, hormonal voice I could muster. After that I talked the head of security into allowing pumping mothers to use the small room with a cot they call the infirmary.

Another bothersome aspect is what’s called a lull when the let-down happens. Your eyelids get heavy and you feel like all of your energy is being sucked out with the milk. Seeing your content baby during this time is like an immediate boost back to life. But when you look down and all you see is little machine that would look much better smashed into little pieces the lull carries through. Since I couldn’t get novels to stay open I brought comic books to work to read to get through this while pumping.

One final hardship I will share. My daughter started going to daycare half the week when she was 9 months old. The first daycare she attended was not so great and she would cry with relief when she saw me walk through the door. When we got home I would have to ump right away, but L did not want me to put her down. I would lay a blanket down right in front of me, put L there with some toys, sit in the glider and start pumping. L would cry and reach for me the whole time. I tried to cradle her with my legs so she would understand I wasn’t leaving her, but she would just sob. I recall one day had been particularly rough and being hormonal from milk production wasn’t helping. With L on the floor I began to pump…and L began to cry very loud. When the lull came I lost it. At first I thought I would cry to but I began to laugh hysterically. I laughed so hard my eyes dropped tears. There was nothing else I could do. I couldn’t take everything coming at me all at once and I didn’t want to upset L anymore than she was. Laughing was my only option.

I understand now why there are support groups for breastfeeding mothers. If I haven’t painted a clear enough picture of how hard it is to produce milk for your baby for an entire year let me know. I will come over with some vice grips, breast pumps, a frying pan (to help simulate the lull with a smack to the head),and the most annoying Yanni or happy-hardcore techno album, turn your thermostat down to forty degrees and get to work.

Check out this very awesome shirt I will be purchasing during my next pregnancy (it appeals to my inner superhero…maybe I read to many comic books). Yes, I would do this all over again for another healthy baby. I have to give the same advantages to any other children I have…but next time I am renting the hospital grade pumps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake 2009 - Team Nine Tailed Fox





I posted the information below a few weeks ago. Our team is trying to raise $1000 in order to support a child/mentor match up for an entire year. Unfortunately, we are only at $50 as of today. If you are intersted in helping the children in need of guidence and support please take a look at our team page.


I have signed up to participate as a team captain for Bowl For Kids' Sake 2009. This event is being held to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our team goal is to raise $1,000.00 before the middle of March. $1,000.00 will support the mentoring of a child for an entire year. Please follow this link to check out our team page. Any support, any support at all, that you can offer will be appreciated, not only by my team, but also by the child you are giving time to, time that will be used to show them that they are worth our time, that their lives and well being is important to us, time that will be spent showing the child the love that is available in this world.

http://bowlforkidssake.kintera.org/2009/ninetailedfox

http://www.bbbsfl.org/

Friday, March 6, 2009

Noggin

Now, any parent who has read any parenting magazines or any of the literature lying around the OBGYN office has heard that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television be watched by children under two. I have always been apprehensive about allowing my daughter to watch television. How much could I allow her to watch with out depreciating the time she spends doing something more constructive like using her imagination with toys or exploring the backyard? What kind of programming would have the most positive influence on her? I didn’t have a fair amount of faith in anything I had seen, not even when Noggin was first introduce to us when L was two years old.
I am sure most of us know of the children’s television station Nickelodeon. I believe the station began when I was a child. Think “You Can’t Do That on Television.” They expanded their programming with time slots they called Nick Jr. The Nick Jr. block aired programs geared towards pre-school and early elementary school aged children. While the Nickelodeon channel stills gives the Nick Jr. block to its viewers, the series shown progressed into being part of a separate channel called Noggin. Noggin is literally “Preschool On TV” (their slogan).

The first clip I saw on Noggin was from Yo Gabba Gabba. A green monster named Brobee was inviting carrots and green beans to a party in his tummy. The monster was an obvious person in a costume and the effects and background scenery was simplistic. But the “Party in my Tummy” song was so jammin’ it didn’t matter. That’s also where L got hooked to the station and Yo Gabba Gabba became on her favorite (and one of her father’s favorite) shows, along with Diego and Dora the Explorer (also aired on Noggin). The show has a very indie music/film feel to it.


Yo Gabba Gabba! (There's a Party in my Tummy !)
Uploaded by Materialiste


L turned three and began watching more and more television. It didn’t completely ease my concern, but at least all of the TV she was watching was on Noggin. I had come to know that ALL of the shows on Noggin were extremely educational and interactive. In fact, just in case you didn’t see the educational value while watching the shows, before each one a woman’s voice reiterates the list significance shown on the screen. For example, just before Little Bill, a Bill Cosby creation, comes on you are told that the show “enhances preschoolers’ social and interpersonal skills, helps build ethical values, and encourages an appreciation and understanding of community.” When I first saw these introductions I remember thinking that they were just ridiculous propaganda given to beef up the minimal lessons in the shows. Well, I knew I was wrong when L asked me to help her clean her room after watching the Wonder Pets. She said “It will be like teamwork,” teamwork being one of the main focuses of the show. Or how about when she told our puppy to jump in Spanish? I know enough Spanish to get by, but I didn’t know “salta.”

Currently L’s favorite show on Noggin is Lazy Town. Lazy Town is all about practicing healthy habits and improving yourself. Of the shows characters about half are puppets. The other half the main female protagonist eight-year-old Stephanie, bad guy Robbie Rotten, and Sportacus the superhero, are real people. Sportacus’ name says it all. He is extremely fit, exercises often, and always eats healthy (he calls fruits and vegetables sports candy). He and Stephanie show off their gymnastics moves while dancing to electronic music and singing about the day’s lesson. My daughter loves to get up and move with them.

Yet another great show on Noggin is Jack’s Big Music Show. Mary, Jack, his dog Mel, and other characters on the show are puppets that are in love with music. They hang out in Jack’s playhouse playing instruments, creating and exploring all kinds of different music. The show features music videos especially filmed for the episodes from children’s artists like The Laurie Berkner Band, Milkshake, and Music for Aardvarks. Sometimes the musicians even come into the playhouse with Jack and pals. Normally the featured bands are musicians whose careers are focused on making music for children, but every once in a while a broader spectrum is creating when they present artists like Nuttin’ But Stringz. Here is a video that my whole family absolutely loves. L even said she likes the way the violin sounds. The video is not great quality, but that can’t take anything away from the awesomeness of the music.


It isn’t just the shows that are interactive. Noggin is a mostly commercial free station. The only commercials you will see during the twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week preschool programming are for other shows on Noggin, Nick Jr. or Nickelodeon. These are commercials are placed between songs about seasons or animals, new word introductions, and something wonderful called Puzzle Time, all hosted by the same cartoon moose, named Moose A. Moose, and his bird friend Zee.

Puzzle Time is just what it sounds like. The moose introduces puzzles and asks the viewers to participate in solving them. He will ask about opposites and rhymes. He will ask you to choose which of the three figures is different or unique. He will ask how his friend Zee can get to a particular destination or ask for help following certain directions. He also asks for assistance in finding shapes, and I’m talking not just squares and circles. My daughter can tell you how many sides and octagon and a hexagon have from watching these puzzles. That is something I never would have thought to teach her on my own. Noggin gives me ideas on different concepts I can teach L.

L is almost four now. After expressing my many thoughts on how much television she was watching and how it takes away from time she could be spending exploring and/or using her imagination her father has cut back on the amount she watches. But when the TV is turned on she instantly asks if she can grab the remote control and turn the channel to “one two five,” Noggin. If she is going to watch TV I am content with her watching this channel. I just have to make sure addiction doesn’t set in (I have seen it creeping up). I strongly doubt that the children used in the study mentioned in an article titled “Watching TV no help to babies: study” were watching Noggin.
video

Saturday, February 28, 2009

To Preschool or Not to Preschool

They absorb what goes on around them, things they hear, things they see. They learn to speak by listening to us. They learn how things work by watching us like little spies. We want to foster this potential our children have to be taught. We want to be sure we have them as prepared as possible for their life-long learning tour.

We know this tour begins at home. As parents, we usually, instinctually, start teaching our children. The question is, at what point do we say they need a professionals touch. Kindergarten begins their elementary school career, but do they need preschool before that? Is it better to put them in preschool than to teach them at home?

My man and I both have to work full time, but we were lucky enough not to have to put our daughter into day-care until she was nine months old. We do not have family close by, so day-care was/is a must. After calling every preschool in the phone book I had found that they were full, the child had to be two years old, or had to be potty trained to attend. After interviewing some horrendous possible caregivers we started L in an in-home day-care. We had to find another within only a few months, which was fine by me. Something was just not right about the first place. The children didn’t seem at all enthused.

By chance we were told of a lady who runs an in-home day-care and came highly recommended. We interviewed R and were happy (really we didn’t have much of a choice if we wanted to keep our jobs). R was a middle school English teacher but had quit almost twenty years prior to stay at home with her own daughter. L has now been contentedly attending R’s day-care for about three years. L is happy at R’s house. She benefits from the nurturing environment R provides.

With things playing out this way do I need to put L in preschool before kindergarten? We started asking this when L was two. At that time we decided we would think about it over the coming year and decide before she was four…and the time has come. L will be four in May.

What do children learn in preschool? Three things: social skills, academics, and how to behave in a school-like environment. Between me, L’s father, and R’s in-home day-care, can we provide everything L needs? I believe so. Well, mostly.

Karen Deerwester of South Florida Parenting states that preschools are “…places where children learn to consider the needs of others and think of others as friends and partners.” While this is true, Deanna Mascle, author of the article “Does Your Child Need to go to Preschool,” and I agree that in a day-care setting children will learn how to play with others, how to share, and how to follow instructions. L does receive the types of social interaction that preschool would provide. The other four children are her friends. She even has play dates from time to time with one little boy who is only a month older than her. She gets socialization outside of this group as well. R takes the children and meets up with another in-home day-care crew everyday (weather permitting) at a park or the library. We also take her to the park and to visit family during the weekends. Do I really want to take her out of there just to turn around and take her out of another familiar environment in a year (she’s almost four now) to put her in kindergarten? She has done very well with change so far.

What’s my other option? Is there anything that she would be taught in preschool that I couldn’t teach her at home and have R back up? R doesn’t just sit around while the kids run all over the place. She is incredibly involved with them. She teaches them as they play, but she also uses school workbooks. One of the best things about her is that I can tell her what I am teaching L at home and she will reiterate it while L is with her. I go beyond the natural development that happens at home, although doing so seems natural to me.

Currently, L is considered very smart. She is very inquisitive and we are constantly feeding into that. But what if, by not putting her in preschool, we aren’t allowing her to develop to her full potential?

I was reading a parenting magazine some months ago and came across an article on the choice of whether or not to place a child in preschool. The only thing that struck me as particularly interesting or swaying about the article was the picture at the beginning. It showed a game of sorts. There were columns that had letters at the head of each. Under each letter were two inch think, five inch long strips of paper with words written on them that began with the letter at the head of the column. I thought, is this really what they are teaching them in preschool. I wondered if I was leaning the wrong way by thinking she should stay at R’s house. I realized I could play this game myself with L, but what else were they teaching that I wouldn’t know about?

Deerwater asks “But do you wake up in the middle of the night and write yourself a note to remember to find a new book to read about dinosaurs? Or create a hospital in the living room because you want your daughter to practice what it feels like when Mommy leaves to have a baby? Or build a three-dimensional cow complete with latex-glove udders for the children to "milk"? Good teachers are always thinking of ways to meaningfully engage children's minds and bodies.”

The only time I wake up in the middle of the night after an exhausting day of work, school, and raising a child, is when that child wakes up (often) or if the dogs bark (rare). But, every time I see the types of ideas mentioned in Deerwater’s quote I make a point of trying them with L. And with a decision to not put L in preschool I will go hunting for them. According to Mascle “A motivated parent can certainly create a quality preschool program for their child…” And motivated to do what’s best for my child I am.

Another mother, a doctor I am seeing, who has a child only slightly older than L suggested I take advantage of the VPK programs being offered. Because of her father’ schedule L is home with him 5 week days out of every two weeks. I am going to look into it to see if she can attend the VPK program, which runs from 9 am to 12 pm, during those weekdays. Being in this program would broaden L’s views. She can get used to being around a larger group of children. She can learn how to sit with them and pay attention to a teacher, which is something I cannot provide at home. While she loves the lessons I give her at home I can just picture her getting up during a lesson in kindergarten and trying to get another kid to play with her.

I realize now that her full potential isn’t going to be reached while she is four or five, and won’t be for quite some time. There will always be room for her to grow. I have confidence that, with the support from R and possibly the VPK program (hopefully they will let L go part time), I can teach her more than she needs to have a proper foundation for when she starts public school. She will be taught beyond just the bare necessities, of course. That’s what a dedicated parent does. Preschool is probably best for some children, but for mine we are on the right path.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bowl For Kids' Sake 2009

I have signed up to participate as a team captain for Bowl For Kids' Sake 2009. This event is being held to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our team goal is to raise $1,000.00 before the middle of March. $1,000.00 will support the mentoring of a child for an entire year. Please follow this link to check out our team page. Any support, any support at all, that you can offer will be appreciated, not only by my team, but also by the child you are giving time to, time that will be used to show them that they are worth our time, that their lives and well being is important to us, time that will be spent showing the child the love that is available in this world.

http://bowlforkidssake.kintera.org/2009/ninetailedfox

www.bbbsfl.org