Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yes and Hell Yes

Alastair earned his first paycheck today (not counting his turn in a WIC commercial in 2006).

He was at The Little Gym, starting to get slightly disruptive as his class moved over to the final station of the day, and definitely not listening to the teachers. Instead of running around like a lunatic, though, he decided to sit next to the main teacher, Miss Shayla, whereupon he proclaimed to the class, in a highly affected "adult" voice, "I'm Miss Shayla, and I'm going to tell you what we'll be doing at this station."

Bent over in laughter, Miss Shayla told him to go ahead and lead the class. He organized a pretty good routine (all normal stuff they've done a million times before), and class continued rather uneventfully.

Both teachers came out to tell me what a riot my kid can be, and after class was over, he was excited to tell me all about it, too. So I told him that he should ask if he gets a paycheck.

He ran right over to the counter and asked, perfectly seriously, "Do I get a paycheck?" Explosive laughter. And yes, they wrote him a paycheck. He clutched it all the way home, and talked about it all afternoon.

That's my boy: exhibiting a strong work ethic at age 4.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Previously, on ahamos...

I've started and stopped a number of posts recently. Things have been...well, they've been mixed, really. There's been some good, some bad, some AWESOME, and some meh.

There have been a bunch of behavioral issues with Alastair, but those are being directly addressed. He'd spent too many nights and weekends being passed from one set of hands to the next, and while it made for a dynamic summer for both of us, it also made it tough for us to find time to enjoy each others' company.

For 2.5 weeks, however, he's not sleeping anywhere else than home; he's not going to bed late; he's not watching anything with a screen after 7pm; he's getting to nap at 1pm; and he's eating what he's served, which is generally healthful. It might sound totalitarian, but we're actually having a ton of fun:

Last night we trekked down to World of Mirth (a fantastic local toy store), where we found some really cool dinosaurs. We bought a big spinosaurus--with articulating jaw--and a pachyrhinosaurus (which he initially misidentified as a styracosaurus). We also bought a bitchin' marble roller coaster thing, and I can't wait to start building it with him.

We also introduced the "clean plate club" at home. Members get dessert at dinner. Holla!

We've gone to King's Dominion in the evenings.

And this weekend is gonna be a non-stop action fest! First up, as usual, is Saturday morning Special Breakfast and The Little Gym. Then there's the Filipino Festival right across the street from my house. After nap is the Richmond Kickers' final game of the season, and it's gonna be a big ol' party lasting into the evening hours.

Sunday starts off with brunch at the Jefferson Hotel, which is like Special Breakfast times eleventy. This will lead directly to nap (for both of us), hopefully followed by either a mess o' karting or Maymont or, if it's raining a movie.

I'm keeping him occupied at all times, keeping him focused on productive activities, and trying my hardest to guide him positively and not negatively.

I'm a little bit bummed that our experiment can't last a full month, but I'm pre-paid for a track weekend right before my bday. After that, though, we're gonna get lots more time of focused and dedicated daddy/boy time, with a week-long trip to the beach in early September.

It's only been 4 days since I started working on his habits, and we're already making some serious progress. The first two nights, he was up over and over again 'til way past 11pm. For the past two nights, though: he's dropped right off to sleep. When he goes to sleep earlier, he also stays asleep longer, making him much more pleasant in the morning. With the "clean plate club", we've had much better success at not only eating, but eating at a reasonable pace. And most importantly, the smart-talk has dwindled. He had been floating in a state of either 100% bliss or foul mood, with almost no transition time. Emotional extremes. That is evening out--thank God.

We're gonna keep driving the party bus and beating the routine into his head until it clicks, and minimize the interruptions to that routine to less than half what they had been. I'm through putting up with impediments to my child's development--he is all that matters.