Monday, October 13, 2008

10/13/08 Ghosts

I absolutely love this Halloween shirt.

It's one of the few items we have that has survived all three, partly because it still fit Julian when we discovered there would be a baby#3, and partly because I just couldn't part with it. Not only is it adorable and season-appropriate, but it was a gift from Aunt Laura and Uncle Ryan. It's really held up over the years and many, many washings and wearings -- great babyGap quality.

(A fashion don't: aside from the kooky ponytails, those are Julian's giant blinky basketball sneakers she's wearing!)

Aww, those little pipsqueaks. This shirt deserves its own scrapbook page!

Would Monday be complete without a homework gripe?

Today's math homework was a perfect storm of stupid, fruitless, destined for failure, punishing those who understand, and incredibly time-consuming.

The first of 4 exercises is:

Count for someone at home. Count up by 1s, starting with 1. I counted to ________.

This really, really sucked. First of all, most preschoolers can count by 1s. Heck, Katrina just about can. And count to what, until you can't count anymore? Some way to foster a sense of achievement. If you can count by 1s, this is an infinite exercise. And if you're Gabriel, you'll insist on counting up to 500.

Or 400 if you get too tired and have to pee. This took at least 15 minutes.

But what are we supposed to say? "No Gabriel, don't push it." "No Gabriel, you don't have to do what the instructions say." Not that he'll listen to us anyway. I tried to get him to count by another number, but he insisted on doing what the instructions said, and he insisted on a multi-hundred number.

After this excruciating drudgery, Gabriel volunteered that counting by 11s is 1, 11, 22, 33 -- up to 165. This took him less than a minute. Why couldn't he have done that instead of counting up to 400 by 1s? Because he's very ordered, and because he wants to challenge himself. Dave and I were gritting our teeth that this insipid homework turns those fine qualities into liabilities.

We're guessing we're in for a shock when it's time for us to oversee Julian's homework, but maybe not in the way we expect! Meanwhile, little sister also likes numbers too -- not to the obsessive extent her oldest brother did, but there are definite signs of the same sort of ordered thinking.

I had to insist Julian sit down in the kitchen while Gabriel was doing his homework (instead of running around throwing things). He became engrossed in Gabriel's toil and watched with his usual wide-eyed innocent face. A face I can never get enough of, especially that most perfect, luscious, beautiful mouth.

When he's taking it all seriously, that is, which fortunately isn't too often! precious, my sweet boy. The middle child, the glue that holds this family together, the hub of the wheel, the center of the star.


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