Monday, March 14, 2011

Media Doing the Right Thing

Long ago, Eric and I started collecting movies with messages -- movies that we wanted our kids to see because the story told was more powerful than we could tell alone.  Requiem for a Dream, Trainspotting, and Traffic tell the stories of drug abuse in such real-life, horrifying fashion that I could never imagine starting down that path myself.  In Traffic, an honors student starts prostituting herself to get her next fix -- that has stuck with me to this day.  And, of course, I have the full set of books and movies with powerful female protagonists; my girls will never want for media that promotes a strong female character.  (Wimpy female characters are not allowed!)

I plan to buy Glee for the same reasons.  I've only watched season two, but in that duration the show has addressed bullying, sexual orientation, relationships with parents, bystanders, alcohol, sex, and friendship -- all in ways that are really appealing and don't have that "now is the time for the moral" feel.  I continue to be impressed with the show; it really has embraced the motto "with great power comes great responsibility" and I applaud their efforts to broach topics in a meaningful way so that kids will start talking with each other (and hopefully their parents) about the same issues.

I also give kudos to Kurt's dad.  In many shows with teen protagonists, the responsible adults are lame, disinterested, and/or misguided.  Kurt's dad has never been these things; the love he shows for his son is overpowering.  At one point this season, the dad realizes the full extent to which his son has been bullied.  He immediately takes the issue up with the school's administration but, even more powerful, he turns to Kurt's brother and says "Where were you?!"  I also love that the dad sits his son down to talk about sex (on screen, so that every kid who doesn't have someone to talk to them about sex will at least have a reasonable voice from which to hear).  I just hope that in 10 years the show won't be horribly outdated because I look forward to watching it with Raina and Lola.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Benefits of Routine

Lola has experienced ample sleep troubles in her brief two years and we all celebrated when she finally figured out how to sleep through the night without difficulty.  Learning the "now it's time for bed" routine was an integral part of the plan.  Lola drinks milk, gets her diaper changed, is placed in her sleepy sack, cuddles with a parent in the cuddle chair, is placed in her bed with her loveys, is covered and then zipped up in her tent.  She is very comfortable with this routine and we use it for naptimes and bedtime.

In fact, on the weekends, we are often out and about through lunch time, which puts Lola ill at ease in regard to her nap.  She'll start to get grumpy in the car but we always settle her down with this statement:  "Lola, when we get home, we'll get you some milk ..." and then she chimes in with the rest "change diaper, seepy sack, cuddle chair, loveys."  It's very cute.

Yesterday, on the drive home from daycare, Lola started rubbing her eyes and yawning.  I didn't give her the verbal reassurance she was looking for, so she started the routine: "I get home.  Drink milk ..."  I devastated her with the news that we had to eat dinner and take a bath before bed.  Her response was heartwrenching.  "Mommy, I sad.  I so seepy!" and she rubbed her eyes some more.  She was VERY happy to go to bed at 6:15 last night!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Girls Get Graded

Lola and Raina were assessed these past two weeks and we recently received the results. 

Lola earned a 100% on her Parents as Teachers developmental screening.  Apparently Lola was the first 100% in months for our particular evaluator, which was thrilling for everyone.  One week later, Lola had her 2 years check-up with the pediatrician and had another set of developmental screenings.  The pediatrician screening requires the parent to answer questions and to stop with a "no" response a total of three times.  I had not finished by the time the pediatrician walked in; he glanced over Lola's sheet and responded "You can stop, she's developmentally older than a 3 year-old, so she's okay!"  Way to go, Lola!

Raina's screenings were in her classroom and we received teacher reports this past week.  All of her teachers complimented her hard-working attitude, her perseverance, her friendliness, and her obedience.  Her reading has skyrocketed these last few months, she's much more expressive with her verbal language, and she's incredibly math savvy.  Raina was overcome with happiness when we read the comments aloud to her; her mouth opened in a shocked O and she exclaimed "They think I'm a good student!"  Of course they do.  She works really hard to be a good student, and it's wonderful to see that effort be rewarded.  Way to go, Raina!

Lucky side benefits

Little Lola inherited Eric's hard-to-breathe genes so it was no surprise to anyone that she started using medicine to regulate her coughing.  She uses an inhaler and she's supposed to breathe in the medicine for a certain number of breaths per puff.

Lucky side benefit:  Lola now can count to 20.  At some point, we started counting the breaths aloud and she started to recite with us.  Now she automatically starts counting (which causes her to take breaths, bonus!) and she's really, really good at it.  She'll count just about anything you put in her path and she proudly proclaims "I counting!'

At a young age, little Lola learned how to climb out of her crib so we obtained a crib tent to restrain her in her bed overnight.  We combined that effort with some professional Sleep Clinic help and we suddenly had a kid who slept a decent amount of interrupted time each night.  Lola learned that she could not leave her crib no matter how hard she tried, so she gave up trying. 

Lucky side benefit: She learned to love her bed.  She wakes up in the morning and happily plays in her crib with her various loveys, she sings songs, she counts, she talks very loudly, and has a great time.  She also sleeps in more and more.  She stirs when the house stirs, so on the weekends we all sleep in to 6:30 - 7 a.m.  It is glorious!  The gift of sleep is deeply appreciated in our house!