Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The new reality

I often struggle with the question of whether I'm doing enough for my son. Since he's an only child, the reality is that on the weekends, when I'm trying to keep the place from looking like no one cares what it looks like, he's got to entertain himself sometimes.

His preference has strongly gone to what I call "screened things". The TV, computer and his Nintendo DS. In a pinch, and particularly when I've said "no more" of those things, he'll ask if he can play on my iPod.

The question of an addict. Or is it? Recently, he go the idea to reconfigure the 10 or so Bionicles he's got so that they have pieces and parts of different ones on each. Hybrids, Franken-onicles, whatever. I like seeing that spurt of creativity, especially because he used to be very reluctant to take anything apart once it had been put together. Over this past weekend, he spent a lot of time doing this on his own. He wants to photograph or video them and put them on Youtube. I wish I had more than my very old digital camera that shoots a minute of uneditable video at a time to give him.

I think that, overall, this summer was a summer. That is, even though he went to camp most every day, it was primarily a playing camp. He certainly went to bed later, and got to play more screened stuff than he normally would. He read books voluntarily maybe three times, and I failed miserably at getting him to read aloud daily. On the flip side, we rode our bikes downtown for ice cream almost weekly, and that's a good thing. He also is starting to do chores, which I like and appreciate.

Oh, the sweet days of summer. Well, now it's the first day of school, and I'm looking forward to him actually learning stuff again. He'll bitch mightily, but I'm implementing a new schedule.

I think that he, like a lot of kids, actually finds some comfort in knowing what's expected of them, so with that in mind, we'll try to have a routine in the evenings. It mostly involves me keeping a better eye on how much screen time he's getting, and of course he's got to have his homework and chores done before the fun stuff. His dad and I are wanting him to learn an instrument, so we'll have to work that in too.

I'm looking forward to having him read to me again, and I think we'll wean ourselves off of the Calvin and Hobbes (he can read that on his own time) and I'll start reading him chapter books at the end of the day. I've seen some great recommendations lately, and it won't be hard to find something for us to read.

But for now, I need to get him up so we can start our day.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.