Saturday, March 27, 2010

For the love of music???

Earlier this week I took Paul to a high school wind ensemble concert. It was not his first classical music concert - we have been to several performances of the local symphony (they try to incorporate kid-friendly music into their shows) but it left me wondering if I should keep bringing him to shows. Paul LOVES drums and has been known to sit transfixed when a piece is heavy on the rhythm. The problem is that if a piece is dark or slow or really long, he loses interest. And patience. And starts to fidget. A lot. Now I know he is only four (almost) and has a limited attention span, but I have seen other kids his age sit through performances without having to climb all over everything and bang their feet against the seat. Each time we go to a concert I have mixed emotions. I become painfully embarrassed when he acts out and wonder why I bother bringing him. But then there are moments when he is sitting completely still and completely in awe of the music. Take Thursday night's concert for example. He turned to me after one of the songs and said, "THAT WAS FANTASTIC!" So we will keep trying. Tomorrow we are headed to see a high school musical and I hope Paul will enjoy it (and behave). Last year we tried and he spent a good part of the second act in the hallway. Someone suggested exposing him to the music first. We had a wonderful jam session to the songs of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat yesterday after school and plan to hold one again this afternoon. Hope it helps.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Identity crisis

This would be something to which my mother would respond, "Oh, it's all in your head." But it's bothering me, and no one judges in cyber space (well, at least not on my blog), so here it is. Yesterday we took Paul to a children's museum. It was very crowded. He impulsively ran from thing to thing, rarely pausing to check if I was following him. Okay, never pausing to check if I was following him. Whenever we are in places like museums, I get a lot of exercise. And a lot of looks. Transracial families are everywhere, right? But when my Asian son runs into a room seemingly unsupervised (I am chasing him as fast as I can), people look around for the Asian mom. And she's not there. I am. "Are you the mother?" No wait. I usually get, "Are you with him?" Yes, I'm his date for the evening. Of course I am - why do you think I am out of breath? Then I wonder. If he was white (or I was not) would people still ask me that? I look around for other children running with wild abandon into unknown situations to see if their mothers' identities are in question. Nope, just mine. Maybe it is in my head. I know Paul doesn't care. "I have brown eyes like you mommy. And black hair like Papa." I guess I need to focus on that innocence and stop worrying about what other people think. Ah, crud now I do sound like my mother.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My cake obsession

It's become a tradition. An expectation. A challenge that I obsess over for 6+ months. The BIRTHDAY CAKE. For Paul's 2nd birthday it was Elmo (and the launching of this blog). I was told it couldn't be done. I am just not a cake person. HA. For his 3rd birthday it was a bulldozer. And thanks to an awesome design by Amy, another huge success. Soon after he turned 3, Paul begin to shift his sites from trucks to music. He wanted a guitar cake. I started sketching. Then one day he announced he would rather have a drum set cake. Not a drum cake, a DRUM SET cake. I searched google images. I tried to envision it. Paul began setting unrealistic parameters. Multiple drums. Silver cymbals. Blue icing. I refused to let that stop me. A few days ago we began the official paper link countdown. His excitement grew. My stress grew. How on Earth am I going to pull this off? Today, steps were taken. I stood in the cake aisle at Michael's and tried not to get completely overwhelmed. I finally started to visualize the drum set. My biggest dilemma - how on earth am I going to create something thin enough to look like a high hat, yet strong enough to not crumble into pieces when propped up?? how will I prop it up??? and make it silver??????
My ever so supportive husband's thoughts? "Are you going to go this nuts over the birthday cake EVERY YEAR??" ummmmmmm....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Trifecta

The subject of poop has become all too common at our house over the past few weeks. I am sorry to say that it reached levels of unhealthy obsession that involved extended family members as well. A few weeks before vacation, Paul waited too long to go and ended up having a very painful experience. He then decided he was going to avoid the situation for as long as possible, which of course only made things worse. When we were on vacation the problem escalated and we tried desperately to get him back on track. Unfortunately, the more we encouraged (okay, pushed) him to go, the more he resisted. I had flashbacks of the days when my mother would send me into the bathroom with a jar full of raisins and I knew that this experience was punishment for my stubborn behavior as a child. Eventually, after a knock-down drag out temper tantrum worse that anything he did as a two year old, we realized he was not going to relent. I officially threw in the towel. My wise husband advised me to just let him be. The combination of extra fiber, some mild medicinal assistance and the decision to just ignore the issue resulted in success. However, we discovered something about our son. There are three things that cause most clashes in the van household: Eating, Napping, and Pooping. CJ refers to it as the Trifecta because Paul does not seem able to manage all three in a given day. While the poop struggle was taking place, he was doing a great job eating (we had no idea where he was storing it all) and napping every day. Now that the pooping is somewhat regulated, the napping has gone out the window. Yesterday he napped and pooped, but fussed at the dinner table and refused to eat. It's an odd phenomenon. But now that we've accepted it, hopefully there will be fewer arguments. I never thought I would go head to head with someone more stubborn that myself.