Month: September 2015



Steve does our egg-shopping at Costco and was relating the dilemma he faced when choosing between the organic eggs or factory-farmed eggs. The organic eggs were, of course, more expensive, and packaged in a pop-open clear plastic container. The cheap eggs had layers of egg carton cardboard and were housed inside of a cardboard box.

It reminded me of a slightly depressing article I read recently about “The Worst Place On Earth,” which talks about the environmental cost of our tech: my smartphone, my computer, the batteries of electric cars and even wind turbines. Trying to be “green” with wind power and battery-powered cars can still have some devastating results on the environment.

How do you weigh the cost of dumping disposable diapers in landfills versus considering the plastics used in creating our bumGenius reusable diapers and the hundreds of gallons of water we spent washing those diapers? I make a living with my shiny Macbook Pro while knowing that the people who pieced together this computer did so in sometimes dehumanizing and dangerous conditions (and now knowing that the “shiny” comes from minerals mined from The Worst Place On Earth).

We have great buying power, but I’m not sure we’re ready for that responsibility.

A letter from the teacher

Letter from teacher

For the first several days of public school, I quizzed Steven thoroughly about his day, being sure to ask “feeling” questions. Overall, he seemed to be quite content with school, even proud of not feeling too anxious about the first day, and only had positive things to say.

So imagine my surprise when I got an email from his teacher indicating otherwise!!

After asking Steven about it, it sounded like there was one time when he didn’t know what was going on or perhaps didn’t know what the expectations were and got teary and sad. But apparently he’d forgotten about it by the time school was over and we picked him up! He was also really sad when he thought he forgot his homework folder at home (turns out that I had packed it for him already but he didn’t realize it).

Slow on my feet

No consequence

One of the hardest things for me about parenting is having to THINK: To constantly be thinking about logical consequences, about the child’s motivations, about my tone of voice, about how to be proactive instead of reactive…

The current challenge I need to think through is Benjamin’s almost constant response to any type of request: a sing-song “Nope! I not going to!” or sometimes a whiny “But I not want to!”

Steve the fly killer

The Fastest Fly-Swatter Swinging in the West

One early morning, Steve and I were very annoyed by a fly. Steve got the fly swatter and managed to get the fly in mid-air. Then, standing in front of me, he swayed his back a little and pushed his knees out into a gunslinger stance and did a slightly awkward twirl with the fly swatter before pretending to holster it in his sweatpants. I burst out in laughter and immediately drew this comic.

While I’m on the topic of Steve and flies, I’d also like to mention that Steve has also impressed me on many occasions by catching flies out of the air with his bare hands.

Family fun time ideas

Family Fun Time

At our Friday family meetings, the last item of business is always to plan “Family fun time” (which usually can happen that day or evening). After writing them down in our Family Meeting Field Notes book, we read them one by one and vote on them. Benjamin was very busy drawing in his own Field Notes book as we were coming up with ideas and then suddenly raised his hand with a suggestion.

When it was time to vote, Steve was the only one to vote for Benjamin’s idea.

PPPSD (post-piano practice stress disorder)

piano treat

Practicing piano can be a form of torture for both Steven and me. Steven at least gets a treat at the end of it… But I can only hold on to the long-term hoped-for results of discipline, healthier brain, better academic performance, etc., etc…

This week we have tried rewarding Steven with 15 minutes of learning how to type on the computer as a reward for completing piano practice with a good and cooperative attitude, though, so it hasn’t been as torturous as usual.