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Posts Tagged ‘Pokemon’

Last night younger son and I were working on the K’Nex.  We’re on step 79 of 182.  It’s a great way of teaching patience.  As we’re putting the little rods into the connectors, he was quoting :Georgie” from the movie of Stephen King’s It.  “It’s all your fault Bill.  You let It get me, Bill.  It’s all your fault.”  He does this perfectly.  He even looks like the actor who played Georgie.  We’ve got to put him in a little yellow slicker and rain hat one day.  As he keeps doing this, I’m giggling and telling him he’s a wee bit creepy.  I wanted to make sure younger son knew where this was coming from so I asked him if he knew I meant “creepy” in a good way, that he was being funny.  He said, “Yeah, Mom, I know.”  Then I asked if it bothered him that some people look at us like we’re a little bit odd.  His response?  “No, it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a little macabre.”

Older son comes into the dining room (because everyone keeps their four foot K’Nex set-up on the dining room table).  He had been working on his comic strips.  I asked him if the “odd” moniker bothered him.  He said no and then, in the style of the Addams Family, crossed his arms and snapped twice.  I love my sons.

Tonight I decided to watch Clue.  As younger son heard the music, he started quoting Mrs. White.  “Flames, flames, on the side of my face.  Heaving breaths, heaving…flames…”  Yeah, a little bit creepy and a little bit kooky.  And that’s fine by me.

I’ve never enjoyed the pressure of conforming.  It is tiring to try to keep up with what other people think one should be like.  I don’t want to live my life trying to be someone I’m not.  I try not to judge and when others give the impression they are judging me, I just don’t have time for that either.  Hubby and I teach our sons to do what they want to do and be who they want to be (yes, lyrics from the theme song from The Addams Family movie).

Conforming is far too tiring.  Life needs to be enjoyed and you have to figure out your own standards, whether that be through religion or spirituality or common sense or whatever guiding force you follow.  Then enjoy life.

And one quote from Clue, because I love this movie and it’s just so quotable…

Mustard: Is this place for you?
Wadsworth: Indeed no, sir. I’m merely a humble butler.
Mustard: What exactly do you do?
Wadsworth: I butle, sir.
Mustard: Which means what?
Wadsworth: The butler is head of the kitchen and dining room. I keep everything tidy.

P.S.  The boys loved learning that Wadsworth, aka Tim Curry, also played Pennywise.

 

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Over the past month our sons have gone to birthday parties every weekend.  Six birthday parties.  One of which was today and in honor of our youngest’s upcoming seventh birthday.  He has a summer birthday and we had hoped to have more school friends attend if it was during the school year.  Not true.  Didn’t matter.  He had a blast.

It used to be that I had a social life.  Not so much anymore.  At this exact moment, I am waiting up for the six and a half year old to come home from roller skating with the neighbors.  Our eight year old opted to stay home (he’s still a bit under the weather).  I organized the unbirthday boy’s Pokemon deck with guidance from the older son.  I couldn’t help myself.  I alphabetized them with the health points.

Yep, my sons have more interesting social lives than my husband and me.

When did that happen?

This will be the way of life for the next ten to twelve years.  Then I’ll get my social life back.  Maybe.  If I haven’t become a boring old lady.  That’s the trick now.  To keep myself interesting for the next twelve years.  I have to keep learning new stuff and remember that I have a brain.  Explore new things, keep up with my hobbies.  I really have let my hobbies fall off the radar.  I’ve let a lot of things fall of the radar.  My husband only learned today that I enjoy roller skating.  I told him I would have gone if both boys went tonight.  He didn’t know I even knew how to roller skate.

Maybe he’s got a brand new key.

Update…the six year year old stopped by for a brief moment to tell me he was going out for a sundae.  Am I jealous?  Little bit…

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Life presents various struggles, dilemmas, and challenges to overcome.  Some are easier than others-deciding which shoes to wear with an outfit or which dessert to have after dinner.  Notice I didn’t write if to have dessert…but which dessert because you only live once and you can enjoy things like dessert in moderation.  Or be gluttonous, really, it’s up to you but live with the choices you make and please don’t whine about them.

Back to challenges.  The challenge I am about to embark on is related to my son’s faith.  Many would say it is his challenge and it is.  However, as his mom I want to help him and be there to guide him.  Since I know nothing about evolutionary theism or any of the variations on the name, I’ve got a lot to learn.  Just by doing a quick google search I have quickly learned that there is controversy surrounding it and I will need to brush up Darwin.  My oldest is grappling with balancing his growing faith in Jesus with his scientific brain.  He asked me the other day who was the first man on earth and I naturally responded Adam.  He looked at me and said, um, Mom, are you sure?  Does that fit within the eras?  I told him we’d have to research it.

Now I get to start researching it.  I have to start before him because he will advance beyond me in no time.  Evolution is everywhere.  The Pokemon world has it.  The cards evolve to stronger forms.  My youngest son is having his unbirthday party this weekend.  “The Amazing World of Gumball” is the theme.  One of the characters is named Darwin.  It’s a fish with legs.  I was trying to explain to my youngest why that is funny but he is six-evolutionary theory is a rather large topic.

Add into the mix blending that with theology and it makes my head hurt.  My head will have to hurt because my oldest is still walking his road toward baptism.  He’s been asking about baptism in the same breath he’s been asking about who was the first man.  I have not explicitly asked him yet if he is trying to find a balance because I want to be able to answer him with more than just “We’ll ask Pastor Ed.”  Trust me-we will ask Pastor Ed, but I want my son to know that I will be on the journey with him.  I want to be able to field questions from my younger son too.  He usually joins in on the conversations once he notices the level of intensity.

My youngest noticed his big brother in church on Sunday.  He realized big bro was participating in the service.  I think when he heard “Gloria Patri” he put together that the song his big bro keeps singing at bedtime came from church.

So tomorrow I will take a break during work and go to the big old library and get a book or two.  I’ll search the databases for some current information as well.  Let the learning begin.

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This evening, against my better judgement, the boys and I left the house at 7:10 to go to Toys R Us to get gifts for this weekend’s birthday parties and Pokemon cards for them.  They each had their allowances and were desperate to get more cards.  The plan was to stop at Burger King on the way home.  All went well on the trip, but we didn’t get home till 8:30…their bedtime.

We ate, we had a great family dinner, filling our tummies with Whoppers and our ears with tales of the day.  Then the boys started getting ready for bed as I reviewed their school work and homework.  That’s when I discovered my youngest still had reading to complete.

The oldest went off to brush teeth and do various bedtime stuff.  My other son and I sat down on the couch so he could read me “Snakes”, a non-fiction story.  In my mind, I was thinking, ‘okay, read it quickly, you need to brush your teeth, I’m going on the field trip with your brother tomorrow, we need to get to bed, read quickly…” which goes completely against every fiber in my being since I’m a reading specialist.  But…

Then a beautiful thing happened.  My son brought me into his world and I was living at the speed of a six year old.  He found something interesting on every page.  He pointed out the egg tooth on the baby snake.  He pondered which would be the better pet-a snake or a bearded dragon.  He wondered if he would ever have both.  He examined the scales on the skin.  He questioned where the snake’s ear was hidden (since we can’t see them).  He admired their eyes.

We studied the snakes…at his pace, in his time.

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We’re going on a family field trip tomorrow.  The boys don’t know it, but they will not be going to school tomorrow.  We’re going to the Franklin Institute to see the dinosaurs.  Last year we wanted to take them to the Museum of Natural History in NYC, but whenever we tried to go, there was a blizzard.  So I checked the Farmer’s Almanac to pick the date for the Franklin Institute trip-clear skies for the two days before and after, with mild temps on the day of the trip.  Yet tonight there was snow.  Okay, not actually here, but on the east coast.  I find it interesting that we have the power to make it snow by planning a trip to a museum.  It is an awesome power.

The dino exhibit should be pretty awesome too.  According to the Franklin Institute website, the guy who owns the exhibit was an advisor on Jurassic Park.  The boys will probably be impressed with that.  The info says you will learn about dinosaurs you never knew but I have a sneaking suspicion that the boys will have heard of them.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up the boys and get them ready for school.  Then when it’s time to go, I’ll make the call that they won’t be in school.  Then they’ll find out where they are going.  I hope their reaction is a positive one.  If they are blasé about it, I may have to weep.  But even if they are blasé about it, I’m totally stoked.  First, a whole day with my family…on a Tuesday.  Second, a whole day not at work…on a Tuesday.  It’s just lovely to shake up the schedule every so often.

It will also be nice to have a break from Pokemon.  My oldest asked me to battle tonight.  Now I explained to them a week or so ago that while I support their interest in it, I have no interest in it.  I am interested in everything they do, but I don’t have to do everything they are interested in doing.  Still, he asked me to battle.  I tried.  I don’t get it.  He even asked me at one point if I was even interested in battling and I told him no, but I was trying.  According to him, I won.  He could have told me I lost after the first round and I wouldn’t have known it.  The one thing I will compliment is the math review that happens in Pokemon battles.  But tomorrow, there will be dinosaurs.

I love museums.  They are filled with knowledge and open to interpretation.  They have a relaxing atmosphere, like a library.  I love to watch the looks on the boys’ faces as they explore in a museum.  Tomorrow is going to be a swell day.

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Remember when you were in elementary school and the latest fad was the MOST important thing in the world?  Do you remember when you weren’t able to get the fad?  When your folks said no.  They told you how it was a fad and it would pass and they weren’t spending their hard-earned money on a trendy fad?  I remember.  While my parents didn’t always say no, it’s easier to recall the feeling of being denied the item than what the item I desperately needed was.  I do remember the trends I got…Rubik’s cube (never did master that), scratch & sniff stickers (why?), Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots (still cool to this day).  I remember I wanted more mood rings, Madlibs, and Atari games.

At the time, I wished I could spend even more time at the mall.  In hindsight, thank you, Mom, for limiting that.  If I only had listened to her about not spending all of my money there too.  Parents have to set limits and restrict the number of trendy fads children get obsessed with. It helps them build character, resist total conformity, and maintain an individual perspective.

Still…my sons really wanted more Pokemon cards.  First, I find it difficult to believe that Pokemon is still as popular as it was in the ’90s.  I totally missed the boat on being into them.  But wow-are my sons into them.  They have each been walking around with their dozen or so cards, learning the lingo, and drooling over the kids who have hundreds of cards.  I don’t want them to conform to everything in society, but learning trading, math, and the rules of Pokemon do help with social norming (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).  The different characters are sort of cool.  My sons saved up their coins toward more cards.  The oldest had enough money for another ten pack and even gave the extra two dollars (I want my two dollars…) to his younger brother for his Pokemon fund.  This was a generous action on the part of the eight-year-old.  He was actually almost half way to another pack for himself with those two dollars (I want my two dollars…).

So we went to Toys-R-Us this evening.  They carefully deliberated over the different packs they could choose from.  Each made a selection.  I pointed out they could pool their money and buy a multi-set with an extra pack and foil card.  They quickly did the math and said they didn’t have enough money together to buy it.  I offered to make up the difference.  The types of packs they had chosen were in the mulit-set.  They agreed to pool their money and split the third pack, with the younger son getting the foil card since he had fewer cards to begin with.

I grabbed an extra ten pack as a surprise bonus.  The very patient lady helped count out their coins.  I think she enjoyed the old-school, going to Woolworth’s feel of the purchase.  In the car, they split the extra bonus pack, with no quarrels.  They were complimentary to each other about their choices.  They were little men.  It was adorable.

After dinner they carefully sorted their cards and compared how many health points each had.

I will monitor the trends and fads.  I will help them choose wisely.  They won’t always hear no…they won’t always hear yes.  But hopefully the warmth they feel when we do say yes will linger throughout the years.

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Bananas are about the best fruit in the world.  When ripe, we use them in so many ways: sliced on top of cereal, banana split sundae, funky monkey bread, as a delicious stand-alone fruit snack.  This can be said of many fruits.  But I ask you this: how many fruits do we get equally excited about when they are just about rotten?

Almost-rotten bananas make lovely banana bread…or as I recently snacked on courtesy of a friend at work…lovely banana chocolate chip cookies.  Not a lot of things have a second life upon rotting.

What other things in life get a second life?  We all love to donate our goods to various charities because it’s the socially acceptable thing to do.  Reuse, recycle.  Find another use for an item.  I feel though as if our society is missing the bigger picture.  We didn’t waste as much before.  We were more resourceful.  Now we recycle yet so many things have become disposable.

Imagine if we went fully back to the idea of local.  A dairy farm in every area.  Reusable glass bottles versus the plastic gallon jugs.  Local farms, butchers, small-town doctors.  I feel like other countries get this idea and haven’t over-expanded as we have.  We are so hung up on status, stuff, and schedules.  I have less and less interest in this type of existence.

Yet at the same time I’m planning to take my sons to the store tomorrow so they can get Pokemon cards.  Where is the balance?  How do I keep my sons’ priorities balanced?  How do I keep my own priorities balanced?  Where is the place between ripe and rotten?

I’d love to stumble upon the answers but I am not that smart.  All I can do is remember that one is enough for anyone and let that guide the choices I make regarding the material things in life.  Little by little I whittle down the “stuff” we have placing the focus on needs and a few wants.  It’s tough to keep that focus.  The boys float from craze to craze, fad to fad, ripe banana to rotten banana.

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