Dingoes Defy the February Slump: Keep Running, Mamas - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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JenLove candle.gif For your grandma.

 

goodvibes.gifAlex! Congratulations!

 

Jo, I'm always amazed at what you are up to. 6 miles barefoot on the beach! Wow, lady!

 

Gaye, I'm living vicariously through you with all the partying. Have fun!

 

Shanti & Mel, I love the little differences in language!

 

That reminds me: one of the podcasts I listen to is by a Canadian, an Australian and an Englishman - three runners separated by a common language, so to speak. Good stuff!

 

DrJen, good to *see* you around!

 

Bec, congratulations on the weight loss!

blowkiss.gif To all the Dingoes out there. What a great group.

 

On school, I had one child who I felt was not being challenged enough, and now a more average child in 4th grade. We are up in the air about what to do with her for middle school, but might audition for an arts-oriented school which would take her from 6th - 12th. Auditions would be next fall, and she would probably try for a spot in their piano program, or band, which is the fall-back for those who can't make it in strings or piano, but are still musically inclined.

 

Work is overwhelming at the moment, and I am feeling very behind and stressed out. Then valentines were on the docket today - thank goodness my older DD and her friend helped my DS finish his so I could sit at the sewing machine with DD2. All in all, it went ok and just a few odd things to finish up. DH promised he would make supper. So I had better get back at it!

 

RR? What's that??rolleyes.gif

 

 

 


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#182 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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zub--congrats!

tjsmama--I will say that I've been amazed by the number of people who hold their boys back a year in school, all while telling me how they're already advanced. A friend's youngest is 9 months older than R (March bday) and she held him back so he's a first-grader like R is. R's already one of the oldest in the class by virtue of having a December birthday, so I can't imagine. Actually, I can though: she wanted him in the Cherry Creek Challenge school, which meant she needed him to score high to get in. She now brags about her first grader is doing third grade math. Color me unimpressed. R will be doing third grade math in a few months too (and is doing some now), and honestly, she's not that advanced in math--certainly nothing like some of the kids here!

It makes me wonder what the playing field looks like when it's level. There's a ton of competition to get into that school, and it's pretty obvious that someone's 4yo who is applying to the school probably wouldn't be as accomplished as someone's 5yo and yet some of the parents are counting on that fact to get their (5yo) kid in. Then again, it's Cherry Creek, so stuff is pretty skewed there anyhow. Not everyone who lives there is rich by any means, but the perspective is skewed. Another friend of mine applied for her kid to get in. I don't think she knew that he basically needed to be reading by the time the application went in and he didn't get in. He also has a March birthday, but he was entering kindergarten at 5. And her perspective on the Jeffco budget cuts vs Cherry Creek? "I think our district was better prepared." I looked at her and pointed out that the value of homes in her neighborhood was considerably more than those in mine. She tried to argue and I just looked at her before she said, "ok, I see what you mean." Strange, isn't it, how more expensive homes = more tax dollars = more money for schools = less budget cuts. eyesroll.gif

Jo--ugh on the science project. DH and R are working on the science fair project as I type. She started freaking out when she realized she'd have to point out that her hypothesis turned out to be wrong, but he calmed her down by telling her how his dissertation hypothesis was wrong. lol.gif

BBM--stay warm! I was going to run outside, until I realized it was 16 degrees out. I decided that's what treadmills are for.

sparkle--have you asked your doctor about an inhaler? It will help the bronchitis symptoms at least.

mommajb--I hear what you're saying too.

Honestly, holding kids back wouldn't bother so much except that after years of budget cuts, we have limited resources. So the kid that would be served well by being a 8yo in second grade isn't getting adequately served by being a 8yo in first grade. If we had all the money in the world to throw at it (and small class sizes), fine. But we don't.

We could solve many of these problems by arranging education according to learning styles/needs/levels rather than ages, but that has its own problems too.

ETA: now, I'm going to run. Really.

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#183 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Jen, thinking of you as you remember and honor your Gram today.

 

Mel, what's the podcast called?Good luck with the valentines and

 

sparkle, good think you had an inside track at the ER! I hope you can catch up on some rest today.

 

DrJen & BBM, I'm impressed by and a tiny bit jealous of both of your mileage.

 

jo, agreed that 6 miles barefoot on the beach sounds idyllic.

 

My youngest's fever is hanging on- we're on day four now. I put her in the ergo on my back and we walked in to town because I could *not* do another day with no exercise at all and staying at home. She fell asleep on my lap in the coffee shop while I sipped tea and my older daughter played and read, and I only had a couple of dirty looks about having an obviously sick kid out in public. We then wandered through the village and chatted with a few friends, came home for lunch and she passed out on the couch while I prepped food.

 

 

 


"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
Madly in love with my 7 and 4 year old daughters

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#184 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelW View Post
Mel, what's the podcast called?

 


It's called Run World Radio.

 


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#185 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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real, I am reading along feeling a bit like the odd one out on this whole when should the kids start school and then I go to the part about 8 yo in second grade and thought well, my 8yo (almost 9) is in 3rd grade so maybe I am not holding them back. 14 when starting highschool, 5 when starting kindergarten and I am calling it holding them back.

goodvibes.gif that all the sick dingos and dinglets are better soon!

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#186 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Drive by hello all.

 

Zub, sending you love and sticky vibes. It should be, as we say in Hebrew, "in a good hour, at a good time". goodvibes.gif

 

I am feeling sort of down in the dumps today (shvach, would be an excellent and expressive Yiddishism for it) for no particular reason. And I am embarrassed to say I have to go act like the Punk Ne'er Do Well at a murdery mystery dinner party we are doing for the kids' school PTO. I can, it is true, do 'anti-authority figure' pretty well but the punk outfit is going to stump me. I think I'll go for all black and mismatched earrings. 

 

I am reading a very good book called "Quiet" that is resonating very deeply with me -- I'm definitely an introvert and it is refreshing to see it laid out so well (that it doesn't mean shy, anti-social misanthrope -- just someone who needs a lot of alone time to recharge and does not fare very happily in large crowds with a lot of stimulation).

 

Anyway, off to pretend to be social...


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#187 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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I'm sorry for those fighting educational battles.  My kids seem to be right on track for their ages at the moment.  They are both doing well in school and meeting the reading and math milestones, and the social stuff, too, but aren't remarkable enough to need extra attention either to overly challenge them or to pull them up to grade level.  My DD is one of the youngest kids in the second grade, though, due to having a summer birthday and also to the fact that our town has a gap year program between kindergarten and first grade that lots of parents take advantage of.  DD's class is eighty-something kids and I think almost twenty were lost to the transitional program her year.

 

I don't know why, but I was really surprised when I heard some parents talking about it and saying that some parents of boys, especially, take advantage of the transitional program in order to give their kids an edge in sports when they get older.  Apparently they separate kids by grade level, so it's much better for boys to be older when they are getting competitive and sending them through the transitional class is a way to make that happen.  I'm just not that forward-thinking, I guess.  And I'm hoping my kids' sport will be running, where being older and bigger is not necessarily an advantage.

 

I feel really lucky that my kids' needs are currently being met through their classes.

 

Tomorrow I have a running date with my neighbor, for the first time in ages.  She's gone on and on about how out of shape she is, so we should be a pitiful pair.  I'm hoping to run all of this week, now that I've spent all day today feeling okay.  I might finally be rid of the never-ending colds.

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#188 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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I am so tired today, I must have a virus of some sort because I have no energy. Maybe I am just a little burnt out but I can usually keep going anyway when things are hard. I don't even feel like knitting. I fell asleep for a while with dd this morning and I really didn't want to get up for the rest of the day. I wish I had a dh who would step up to the plate on days like this and know how to prepare meals, soup and tea for the sickies in the house and know it isn't a good time to ask when I am ever going to get around to some of the jobs that need to be done in the house. I love to cook but I sometimes wish someone else could prepare a really good meal. It is more likely to come from my kids than my dh. Does anyone else see that as wrong?

 

dd is a little better tonight. She has had a rough go with these chicken pox. She has them pretty much everywhere you can get them greensad.gif

 

ds and dd1 are in the grade that fits best with their age. Because they go to a small school and are in French Immersion they have split classes every year so they get a mix of where they fit in the age ranking every year. That has been good for them. dd2 has a late fall birthday and we kept her back a year when we made the shift from homeschooling. It had nothing to do with academics or gaining an advantage and everything to do with social and emotional readiness for school. She is the youngest in the family and quite relished that 'baby' role and being the oldest in her grade and the oldest in her class every other year has called out some good leadership and maturity qualities she would not have developed as readily had she been the youngest in the class as well as at home. Right now is the hardest time with this as she is the most mature girl in her class physically but she is managing things really well. I am proud of her. Being in a small class (only 15 students) means that her teacher can give her the kind of work she needs as she is a very strong student. We are very, very lucky to have the schools we do for our kids.

 

Okay, time to get dd2 to bed. The poor TV needs a break! Today she watched some Harry Potter, a couple of DVD's of symphonies, Singin' In the Rain and a whole lot of Little House On the Prairie. It distracts her from itching and moaning too much but I will be glad when she is a little better and can do other things instead!

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#189 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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babybugmama - do you want me to match people up from the PM's you sent or do you want doctorjen to do it? My foggy brain is confused!

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#190 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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Shantimama - I did it already - I should have PM'd you too to let you know it was done.  Bbm did a few pairings too, including you.  Everyone should have received the name of their secret sprinter (sprintee?) now.  Bummer that dh can't step up some.  I agree with you that's not right.

 

RR - I'm on call this weekend, so made it a priority to get my long run in at the first available time.  There was no one in labor overnight, so I got up earlier and knocked my long run out of the treadmill.  14.32 miles, the last 2 of which almost put me over the edge so I bumped up the speed so I could get done!  Star Trek (the new one) is a great long treadmill run movie, btw!  Now call can do whatever it likes.  39 miles so far this week, will do a short run tomorrow if babies permit.

 

 

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#191 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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Whitney Houston - R.I.P. candle.gif

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#192 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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Shanti - hug.gif and goodvibes.gif That sounds miserable. I have a had a similar day of exhaustion and nodding off, and then actually sleeping on and off from 1-7 - bleh - BUT, my dh took the kids to the park, then the grocery store and made them all dinner luxlove.gif I wish we could give you a break!

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#193 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Just spent some time catching up on the last three pages of posts. Wow! There's always so much going on in dingoland. The discussions about educational resources, competitiveness and red-shirting fascinate me. I live in Canada, and there's really almost no competitiveness for school admissions. None at all where I live, and almost none even in bigger cities that have more specialized programs. I'm honestly quite at a loss to explain why Americans have so much of this stuff and we have none. I wonder if part of it is just built into the individualistic, competitive national culture? But also, if the discrepancies between rich and poor, and between rich schools and poor schools, is the rest of it. Add to that the high-stakes standardized testing that US school systems seem addicted to and gosh, it seems like common sense and the best interests of the kids just get lost in the shuffle. 

 

Here KG starts at 4y8m to 5y8m. No one red-shirts. If a child clearly isn't ready, their parents will keep them out of school and typically put them in 1st grade the next year. KG is primarily about reading readiness and learning to be in school, with lots of play and social time. We haven't seen the same trend towards down-loading of early academics on earlier grades, yet even though our academics only really start kicking in the year after KG, our Grade 5 seems to be at basically the same level as your 5th grade.

 

The down-side is that there's less specialized programming, and less extra stuff. We don't have many high schools with pools, tracks, smartboards or theatres. We don't have gifted programming or school nurses in every school. We don't have cafeterias in small schools or dozens of after-school and extra-curricular offerings. I don't know how much of a loss that is. What tends to take the place of those things is more community-based and family activities and more individualization and flexibility. For instance, high schools don't tend to have junior and senior orchestras, but instead there will be a local society running a non-profit Youth Orchestra program. My highly gifted eldest dd was grade-advanced and further accelerated in her areas of strength, given independent study options, allowed to take up to two months off for study/travel, granted credit for advanced out-of-school work and allowed flexible attendance. No gifted program, but no end of individualization of her educational program. If your kid needs to learn to swim, you look after teaching her or getting her lessons for her yourself. 

 

Quick RR: I'm managing to keep my mileage in the 30-40 mpw range and am pleased with how I'm feeling. Currently running 6 days a week. Hope to be up about 45 mpw by early next month. Running about 1/4 of my miles barefoot and I'm hoping to increase that proportion too. Treadmills at the community gym are both broken, so I have to deal with the dark / cold / gravel / snow or whatever the road presents. We'll see how it goes.

 

Miranda

 


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#194 of 489 Old 02-11-2012, 09:09 PM
 
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DrJen--bow.gif for 14 on the treadmill.

mommajb--No, that's not holding kids back. That's normal, IMO. And really, I don't count holding fall birthdays (Sept-Dec) back as redshirting, especially since most districts have a cutoff date somewhere between Sept and Dec 1 anyhow, and November birthdays, especially, struggle in some areas (my November-birthday cousin repeated kindergarten for that reason). Redshirting, IMO, is when someone has a kid with a May/June/July birthday *and* based on nothing more than concerns that they might be a few months younger than their classmates, decides to wait until said child is 6 before starting kindergarten. Those kids are 6 years + some months when they're entering school with kids who are still 4 and won't turn 5 until say, October.

RR: 3 on the treadmill in memory of Sherry Arnold. candle.gif

Also, I'm running a half-marathon tomorrow. It's supposed to be 27 degrees and overcast. cold.gif Seriously, what was I thinking?!?!? Right now it's only 10 degrees out, so I'm really hoping it warms up overnight like it's supposed to.
cold.gif

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#195 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Real, good luck at your half! I don't think I'm even capable of conceptualizing the cold at this point; hopefully, some good carb-loading will help you maintain the speed and energy you need to finish fast and stay warm!

 

Miranda, bow.gif to you, too, for that kind of mileage without the aid of a TM to achieve it. In Canada. For reals.

 

Sad about Whitney Houston. The world has been missing her for years, in truth. So sad when such amazing people are lost to such terrible circumstances. candle.gif

 

Mel38, I hope you got caught up on work. Your dh sounds supportive and wonderful, and that has got to help! thumb.gif

 

Nick, I think I am an introvert in a similar vein. Writer types are often "gregarious introverts." That fits me. I am very interested in others, and in interacting with people. I get lonely without my people. But I need a lot of placid down-time and solitary space, too. I think it makes me impossible. nut.gif

 

RR: 10.2km around the track + 2km walk to and from. Obviously a lot of walking during the run, too. My barefoot muscles were tired this morning, so I put on the shoes and took to the rubberized track around the big park. It's nice enough, with bathrooms and a cold water fountain, but the car exhaust makes it a lot harder for me than the beach. Anyway, it's done, and now I am going to do my abs and upper body and get on with housework and writing. At the same time.

 

NRR: Dinner at the boss's tonight. How to prep the kids to not have one of those granola-bar commercial moments?! Wish me luck! I can just see "Mom really hates it here," or "We might not come back next year" or some such not-appropriate-for-the-occasion stuff coming out. horrors.gif

 

 

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#196 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 05:28 AM
 
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MirAnda....you're really not helping my long time desire to move to Canada. Really now.

 

I have two fall birthday - my kids are slightly younger than geofizz's dd and slightly older than her ds.  That means they were both almost six at the start of kindy. What I keep saying is that if we do a good job teaching school readiness in kindy, then the reading and math happens when it needs to.  My dd1 was ready of school at 4 (but couldn't go because she wasn't old enough) and dd2 was not at all ready. Neither went and both seem to be thriving.

 

Jo: extroverted introvert here too.

 

Spent yesterday skiing. We drove t the. Snowbell (western edge of Michigan- 2 hrs) and my older dd skied about three times farther than she ever had. Our usual pattern is ski together as a family then one adult hangs with the kids while the other skis/change.  Unfortunately the long skiing by dd crept into my time, but it won't be long before she's skiing faster than me. 


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#197 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 06:37 AM
 
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Honestly, I never considered holding any of my children back in school either.  DS is an October birthday, so he's on the older side of his cohort.  DD1 is March and DD2 is May, so it really wasn't even a consideration.  A friend of mine whose DS is one day older than DD2 is holding her son back this year and starting kindy next fall (he'll already be well into 6), but she did it because he had NO interest in anything academic at all and she really felt he wasn't ready for it.

 

Add me to the "want to move to Canada" list too!

 

kerc ~ that sounds like a lovely ski with the family.  Glad you finally have some snow up there too.  Your DD sounds like she's really getting good!

 

jooj ~ hope the dinner went smoothly and your children managed to keep their feet out of their mouths twins.gif!

 

Real ~ have a great half!!!!!

 

Shanti, sparkle, and all the other under-the-weather Dingos ~ I hope you're feeling better soon grouphug.gif.

 

NRR (because, there is no R to R, again...) ~ I've started on a Whole 30 to get myself off the junk food, break the cravings, and feel better.  So far so good thumb.gif.

 

 


~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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#198 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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Has anyone been paying attention to the attention Finland has been getting as a result of their PISA scores over the last ten years? Here is a good discussion. Reminds me of what Miranda described about Canada's system, and makes me sad that The "American way" will probably preclude us from ever having an educational system that approaches education in a similar way

Re: introversion. I have only in recent years started to accept that I am an introvert, that I need more time to be alone or "down time" than others, and it doesnt mean Im less capable or less driven (although its hard to stop beating myself up for it most days). I relate to what you said Jo; I love to be around people, watch them, hear their stories, learn about others and otherness, but not to be at the center of the action. I rad once that an introvert is enervated by spending time in a crowd and an extrovert is energized nod.gif

JG - That looks like a great way to get cleaned out, physically and psychicly. I hope you are able to find balance. Our discussion of last week woke up for me the realization that for me it has a lot to do with snacking. I eat healthy meals, but more than not, I dont "need" the snack. When I dont snack I feel much better, find that I am really respecting hunger cues, etc, and when I do it's the opposite.... this leads me to critique what the snacking is about, which helps me see that I am using it in that moment to fill time, or offset boredom, or whatever, and if I see that I'm boredom eating, I can think of something that I truly want to do instead... You know how to eat well, you've done it many times, so what is going on in those moments when you dont?

Miranda, Real, DrJen - bow.gif

NRR: I think Im turning the corner - knock wood. I think I needed to sleep - I was so exhausted and child-like-weepy all week, and finally yesterday just could. not . get out of bed. Today I feel so much more rested, and the lungs feel less ticklish. Im hopeful

















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#199 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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I don't want to move to Canada. Well actually I'd love to for many of its qualities, the cold NOT being one of them. It's cold enough here in western Massachusetts, thankyouverymuch. High today on my long run was about 15* but the wind was killer on a few of the streets. My neck is stiff now from hunching against the cold. Ah well, 10 miles is 10 miles.

 

I must say, the peckishness (how do you make 'peckish' a noun?) I feel about 45 mins. after a long run or an intense run has only been matched in my life by the same feeling of voracious hunger/crankiness when nursing. Whew. I might be turning back into a human now that I've had my omelette, GF toast, and caffix.gif. Maybe more of the last, yup.

 

On birthdays: interesting. My oldest dd is an October baby and originally, when we lived in NY where the deadline was Dec. 31, she started kindy at 4. Then we moved to FL and because their deadline is Aug. 31, *and* she was in a Montessori with multi-age classrooms, we decided for social/emotional reasons to reclassify her in 4th grade for the second time so she wouldn't go up to the middle school and be in a classroom with adolescents almost 3 years older than she was -- there was no way she was ready for it. Since she was in the Montessori she got work that was appropriate for where she was academically, and we have seen no ill effects whatsoever -- she is way ahead in her verbal/reading/language/humanities work and more or less grade appropriate in math (although because she did the Montessori math for a couple years, she is ahead in some ways and thinks of math conceptually, and not as quick with the kind of worksheet-fast-computation skills most traditional schools emphasize). Now that we're in Mass., she is in 5th grade and doing extremely well academically (again, challenged where she needs to be because her class and school is very small) and socially/emotionally in the correct cohort. 

 

I would not have held her back at the outset but due to our circumstances we took this route and I think it was one of the best decisions we made.

 

I will say, that having taught middle school, those years (mainly 7th/8th grade) are the ones where that extra year of age difference manifests in difficult ways socially in the classroom. Having some kids who are turning 15 in 8th grade, with other kids who are barely 12 -- it's just very difficult to manage. Younger it doesn't matter so much, and once they get to high school also, but that middle school period is already very challenging and that adds another aspect to the complications. 

 

My younger two are both late August birthdays and both the youngest in their classes, but no problems. Dd2 is quite bright and in a nice group of kids, and can hold her own socially. Ds also is where he needs to be academically (although he still has writing skills issues as he just picked a dominant hand last year) and he's tall, and quite social. So although he may always be the very youngest in the class, so far we're ok. He'd be bored out of his mind if we held him back.

 

I think it might be time to work on my sugar addiction...I ate some candy last night at the murder mystery event and it made me feel very ill. Ugh.


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#200 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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I've been meaning to ask Dingo advice about kids and music education:

DD1 has been playing violin for 2 1/2 years. She started with Suzuki for the first 2, and is now doing ? - I dont know what the name is. Anyway, she started at my suggestion, so it's not exactly a "student led" endeavor, however, I have sat down with her every 6 mos. to reassess her interest, and freely given her an out. She has always wanted to continue.

But, it is very hard to get her to practice. My goal has always been to keep her interested long enough so she could get good enough to play some self-directed songs (Dixie Chicks, Bob Dylan?) around a camp-fire or something. So far so good. But it often feels a little ridiculous that I, me, have to work so hard for her to play. I don't have to work at all to get her to climb, and that was my idea too. She likes lessons, but not practice.

For my part, I played violin at her age for 5 years and ended up quitting mostly, in hindsight, because it became an obstacle to doing other things - I was not allowed to go out after school until I had practiced for 30 minutes. Also, I practiced in my bedroom, alone. I try to make her practice time more social if she wants it, I dont make her practice every day (3-4x/week, plus the one lesson).

She attended a sleep-away music camp last summer for the first time and loved it. And he playing made huge strides in that one week. The goal there was to show her that there is a community of musicians in the world - kids just like her - playing isnt something you do lone in your room b/c mom makes you wink1.gif She doesnt have access to a group music experience, although I havent investigated possibilities as much as I could.

So the question is, do I keep slogging along like this until one day she either wants to quit or she gets the bug enough to self-motivate, as I've been doing, or just tell her she needs to show more initiative or we're done. It's not like its free - hello! That camp aint cheap! But we just got the sign-up form for this summer's camp and she is SO excited dizzy.gif Really!?

Im trying to find the balance between pushing her and paving the way, you know, but I get so sick of being the one to make sure this happens. She's nearly 9 1/2.... I just dont want her to quit greensad.gif

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#201 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Sparkle, this one I can speak to. I started playing the violin at age 4 and had private lessons, as well as in-school Orchestra (as of 4th grade when it became available) through high school. I have not played in any organized way since before having kids (when we were living in Boston just after we got married I played in a chamber music group). 

 

I never did Suzuki, it was always classical violin training.

 

I hated, hated, hated practicing. It was terrible and I was not allowed to do anything else until I had practiced. Now granted, my parents went overboard and made me practice an hour a day. Once I hit middle and high school though when I had lessons at home once a week plus in-school orchestra and lessons, that eased up.

 

But, I LOVED being able to play well, loved the orchestra experience, etc. It's a conundrum and very common as far as I can see.

 

Does she really *get* the relationship of practice to improvement? I'm sure she understands it with climbing. Sometimes with music it can be harder. What I started doing was mentally making every piece into a story in my head, and 'talking' through the music. It sounds silly but it worked for me. When my mom was listening, it was good and fine. When my dad was listening (on practices) it was awful because he was so critical. It can be very isolating, for sure. Are there any other kids who also play nearby who'd get together once a week to practice? Then the other two times aren't so rough.

 

If she loves music camp, and she generally loves playing but the practicing is hard, I'd say keep at it and let her go at her own pace. She may not progress as quickly without the practicing but if she is getting lessons and playing regularly, she'll at least make small steps. 

 

The other thing that helped me a lot was having the piece I was playing, played on the stereo (dating myself!) while I practiced it. Then I could hear it. I would play with the music, then I would stop laying and listen, then I would play alone, then I would play with the music again. Makes it go faster and it's easier to hear what it should sound like with the other instrumentation. 

 

Just some thoughts, hope it helps.

 

Now I can use some advice. Ds is enrolled right now in indoor soccer skills practice. He asked to be enrolled, it's through the town, and totally low key and 'fun' (no yelling, no mean coaching, etc.). He claims not to 'like' it although he seems to have a great time while he's there. He needs the activity, and he says he wants to play soccer, but the truth is I think he doesn't so much like the team competitive sports thing. So my question is, do I keep taking him; do I sign him up for little league (which he says he wants to do but never has before, although he loves playing baseball in the yard with buddies), or what? And if not, what do I do with him? He definitely needs an organized athletic activity, more than just running around screaming in the yard. eyesroll.gif The result of that is he eventually tackles his friends or sisters and pisses everyone off. When he's doing a regular sport activity he still runs around screaming in the yard most afternoons but doesn't seem quite as inclined to mischief. help.gif


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#202 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 10:00 AM
 
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Sparkle, we have a similar situation with DD2 who just turned 10 and her piano playing. She loves her teacher, loves the class, doesn't want to stop, but she simply can not remember to practice on her own. We also shoot for 4 or 5 practices, but I would be fine with 3 if she could just remember to do it. I have tried many things to avoid just telling her to do it, but none of them have really worked.

 

Just five minutes ago, I had a conversation with her that went something like this:

me "hey, do you have anything else that you need to get done today after you finish the valentines project?"

her "nope! No homework, it's Sunday."

me "are you sure? Do you think you should check your list?"

her "nope, I'm sure!"

me "really? Is there nothing?" (at this point, it had become obvious to her that there IS something and I just don't want to say the word)

her "no... Oh yeah! Piano!"

 

So basically, I am just back to telling her to do it. eyesroll.gif

 

I think the camp sounds wonderful. We don't have anything like that, no community at all. So I think that is a big plus that she likes that. Who knows, maybe it will click one year and the kids will want to do it on their own. If it doesn't, I still hope to have gotten enough years in so that she could come back to music at some point later in life and have that groundwork there.

 


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#203 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 11:03 AM
 
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Thanks ladies. For a couple reasons, she has had 3 teachers in these years, and all three told me that they didnt start to motivate themselves until they were 13 (all three said the same age, independent of each other), when they could see that they could start playing their own kind of music (pop?). That's what Im shooting for... but that's 4 more years of pulling teeth lol.gif

I am actually about to start playing myself. I hope this will help. I want to play, and have a violin that Dh got me 3-4 years ago, so now its time to put my money where my mouth is, especially as DD1 said, in response to me prodding her to practice b/c I love hearing her play, "well if you love hearing violin so much, why dont YOU play" bag.giflol.gif

Nic - I have the same problem w/ DS (7). He is VERY athletic, and complains about not having a sport to do, but everything we sign him up for, he then complains about. He does soccer, but Dh is the coach, as this was one way we saw to prevent complaining. He says he wants to climb, but I dont believe that he will want to once on the team, etc. What to do indeed. I would say, just keep trying redface.gif It sucks, b/c all the effort comes from you, but maybe there is something he will find in the process. Also, pay attention to his natural inclinations; is he a team sport type, or more individual. Would he prefer something like swimming, karate, boxing bag.gif, Gymnastics!? DS LOVES biking; mtn, road, whatever, but there are no teams for that. Dh takes him out regularly and we are signing him up for some races this year, but nothing really starts for kids and biking until age 10+

NRR: ok, ladies, I feel so much better today that I practically wanted to shout it out to everyone at the grocery store. Im back joy.gif Thank g-d!!

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#204 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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Glad you're better, Sparkle!

 

I will pay attention to that individual vs. team thing, thanks. Does not help that dh signed him up for wrestling thinking he could use the intense activity (which he can) but although he does well while he's there and seems to like it, he hates going. Sigh. Thankfully that season is nearly over.

 

Swimming...he swims, but it hasn't 'clicked' yet. Also all the swim teams around here are a HUGE commitment for the parents and I'm just not there bag.gif to start at age 6 being required to be at 4, 2 hour practices a WEEK plus meets. Ugh. He really wants to do some kind of martial art, which we will do as soon as we find one we can afford to keep up with (they charge a fortune!). And it seems like around here people start their kids on one main sport very early and foster major competitive edges. Ugh. Not my thing. I'd love for the kids to do the town track program but it only meets on Saturdays...and that won't work for us.

 

Bah. 

 

I'll figure it out.

 

My husband bought the kids a Wii for Chanukah. He is now addicted to it. eyesroll.gif It is extremely annoying, and the kids fight the more they play it. Last week we had a Wii free week because the privilege was taken away, as they were being extremely unkind to each other. I loved the Wii-free week. I am not a Wii fan. (except the dance party. that's pretty fun)


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#205 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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random unrelated thoughts:

a. Geofizz: I bought milk in a paper carton this week because my store was out of the glass bottles and it said on the side it (milk from grass fed cows) contains Omega 3. Maybe there are places where your diet doesn't have to change much, but if you bought the more "natural" version you'd find these omega 3? 

 

b. violin:  around here there are solo suzuki lessons and once you hit age 5 you go 1 x a week to a group lesson. Is she the kind of kid who wants to do it but needs to be with others? Can you start a group lesson? (this is why we aren't music lesson material).

 

c. Nic: your boy should run with you. Like build up to 2 miles or something.  Also: Erin really enjoys playing soccer, but hates going and hates leaving. That has everything to do with a transition and nothing to do with the actual activity. It depends on when you ask her whether or not she'll respond that she likes it.

 

 


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#206 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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I grew up a Suzuki violin kid, way back when. I often disliked practicing, but like sparkle described, I too loved what it eventually enabled me to do. And like kerc suggested, I loved the connection with other string players, the orchestras, group classes, chamber ensembles and quartets I played in. When I became a parent in a small remote village I realized that if I wanted my kids to have the opportunity for that sort of experience, I was going to have to create it. And one thing I knew for sure by then was that I did want that for my kids. As an adult I realized what violin had given me. So I went and got myself some Suzuki teacher training and started teaching, creating a cadre of young string students here in our little town in which my own kids could grow up. 

 

The most valuable thing violin has given my kids is the experience of working consistently over the long term despite the bumps and drudgery to achieve excellence. In our fast-paced age of instant gratification, patience and the ability to defer gratification are in short supply. My kids get it, though. While many things come easily to them, violin always meets them at their level and offers them new challenges, new ways to learn to work hard, to problem-solve, to keep at it, to gradually progress through repertoire and towards higher, more refined levels of ability. It's taught them to appreciate the value of the early stages of learning, of attention to detail, of persistence.

 

These are life lessons I am more than willing to put my energy into! There have been times when I've spent immense amounts of emotional energy, time and creativity keeping this music thing going for my kids. But they're not just learning to play the violin: they're learning values and skills they'll need to succeed in life.  I remind myself of that when I start second-guessing myself and worrying that I'm too invested in their music. It doesn't have to be music which is the venue to teach kids these things -- martial arts or ballet or swimming might work just as well for some kids -- but in our family music is something my kids on balance want to do, it's something I'm able to support easily, and so for us it makes sense for them to learn all these life skills in the musical arena. 

 

Years ago I wrote this blog post listing reasons why it's worth supporting my kids' music educations. It was therapeutic for me to write it, and to return to it over the years and remind myself. Maybe it will help you too.

 

RR: Managed 30k this morning. Planned 22-25, but needed a place to pee, so I ran the extra 3k out and back at the midway point. Longest run since last July. A few twinges in one knee, but otherwise felt okay.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#207 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 02:04 PM
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Interesting about the music discussions.  I grew up with piano lessons (I started in 5th grade, I think, and went through Jr. year of high school).  For some reason, practice was almost universally excruciating.  I loved finishing a piece of music, loved the sound, loved the expression and everything about it, but it was like pulling teeth to get me to practice.  I regret that now, as an adult, because I think I could have been so much better!  Katie is in 5th grade, and has been in band this year.  She's been learning the flute.  She practices about 5 times a week for 30 minutes, plus 2 days of band practice, plus a small group lesson with other flutes, and a private (extra) lesson that the band teacher requested.  It has been slow going for her, but she has really seemed to enjoy it.  Even though, I do need to remind her to practice, she rarely fights me on it.  When she does, we just break it up into shorter sessions (2 15 minute sessions), or go online for note reading practice.  I think the 3 times a week of being with a group has greatly increased her interest level, plus lighting a fire under (she doesn't want to be the only one not able to do something).  I check in with her pretty frequently to see how she likes everything, how she's feeling, etc.  She is always positive, and has said that she wants private lessons over the summer and wants to do jr. high band.  Given her personality, I don't think I would see this kind of enthusiasm if she wasn't truly into it.  But, she does still need me to organize her time (this is something we are working on).

 

Sports - I was going to also suggest swimming.  But, that is a HUGE time commitment.  Our local swim club has a similar commitment, and it is also really expensive (which is why we aren't doing it!).  I agree to take him running with you!  Or, you can take him on his bike while you run beside him.  Another idea is dance class.  There can be a huge physical component in it, as well as the artful expression.  Also, boys are greatly coveted in dance classes! 

 

I have been such a total dongo lately!  I have had the opportunity to run, but just not the gumption.  I'm sure I will get to it soon!  Really, I will.  I promise!  I work all night tonight, then have tomorrow off, and then Tuesday a 6am-9am shift!  After that, I am taking my mom downtown for her birthday.  I have been pretty distant from my parents since the whole bruhaha with my brother around Thanksgiving.  It's the only way I can seem to protect myself.  They will always take his side, will continue to let him freeload off of them, and criticize me, so I have taken steps to not allow myself into their codependence.  It has been good, overall. 


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Not perfect, Just amazing!
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#208 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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Nic--I think I'm going to look into that book. It sounds good to this introvert. No advice on sports though. Maybe he could take a martial arts class instead?

Also, I'm with Nic on not wanting to move to Canada because it's cold.

kerc--yay for skiing!

JayGee--good luck with the Whole 30. I've noticed a couple of pounds creeping on and know I need to something, but I'm not ready to be that hard core yet. Kudos to you!

sparkle--yep, kids fight practicing. I'm pretty sure they all do, no matter what. I remember resisting practicing piano. Somehow I ended up a piano major (and now a musicologist) despite that. R has been playing violin for 3 years and she fights it too. Her basic line is that she loves to play, she just hates to practice. She practices 5x a week (usually with me breathing down her neck, Tiger Mom style. orngtongue.gif That sounds worse than it is, but it does prevent her from learning a mistake while I'm not paying attention and then having to relearn a passage).

That said, I think any kind of orchestra experience is really helpful. R is in orchestra twice a week and loves it. They're playing for some sort of concert with a bunch of other strings groups twice this spring and that always fires her up. Maybe there's some sort of youth orchestra in the area. And honestly, even though even as I write this she's telling me she doesn't want to practice right now banghead.gif she was soooooo excited on Tuesday when she got the short-arm cast so she could start playing violin again.

Keep slogging along. The magical time when children become self-motivated to practice won't start until around high school. I think that's when I didn't make my mom tell me to do it anymore. In any case, I didn't really feel motivated until junior year when I realized I wanted to be a music major and there could be a scholarship involved. :oops That said, anyy time people have to practice a skill every day, it takes a lot of self-motivation. Look how much it takes us to put on our shoes and run, even though we know how great it feels afterward.

I just asked R and she said "Just keep making her practice. It's the same way with me, I don't like to practice either."

BTW, I love Suzuki, especially the part where you listen to the music every day. Our music teacher uses that principle for everything--the upcoming 1st grade program, the choir music, etc, and it makes such a difference. We just put it on in the car or in the background, and we all end up singing the songs by the end. Another thing that might help for violin (or not), is singing the pitches of the notes before trying them on the instrument. That's how we spent our last month because R couldn't actually play the instrument. I like to think of it as putting all those sight-singing technique I was forced to use as undergrads to use. wink1.gif

RR: Survived the half marathon this morning and didn't die of hypothermia afterward. cold.gif It was 15 degrees out when we started. I'll write the full report tonight. Brief report is that it was cold, overcast for the second half of the race, and about 25 degrees when I finished (2:00:43). I hung out just long enough to grab food and then started getting cold and headed straight back to the car.

Lisa  caffix.gif and her wonderful girls: R (9) violin.gif &  J (3-3/4) coolshine.gif 
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#209 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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Real, terrific race in the cold!!!

 

On Canada: West coast. Vancouver Island is not cold. I'm technically on "northern vancouver island" (really only about half-way up, but the northern part population-wise), which is colder than the south end. Victoria and Vancouver are quite temperate. You just need the temperament to deal with rain and cloud for three seasons. I've lived my whole life in coastal BC other than one winter in the interior of BC and two years in Oregon and actually really like the rain, but I've seen it make people totally insane.

 

On music practice: I play piano, but started "late" at around 11, and really didn't have the experience of dreading practice. But my mum was very laissez-faire about my music lessons- I had wanted to take them for a long time and she rarely asked me or told me to practice. I didn't have to log times for We also had a music studio that was a separate building from our house, so there was never anyone breathing down my neck to practice. I disliked band practice (trombone) in junior and high school more, and there I was required to record and be accountable for my practice minutes. So something about intrinsic/extrinsic rewards and motivation rings true for me. I also did annual piano exams, regular recitals and group lessons, so there were external motivations for practice in piano that kept my inner perfectionist practicing.

 

My 6 year old plays violin/fiddle- she wanted to play fiddle but the local teachers prefer to start kids with Suzuki and "throw in" fiddle songs. She follows the Suzuki book and has monthly group lessons, but it's not pure Suzuki. Often the nagging/reminders to *start* a practice are not fun, but once she has the violin in hand she usually enjoys it. We hit a rut of not enjoying lessons or practice briefly this fall that was cured by learning a couple of new fiddle tunes. That's what she really enjoys most, but she's able to see the link between the progression of skills in the Suzuki songs and the abilities that are transferred to the more complicated fiddle songs. Other practice strategies that she has used are various cards/dice that dictate what/how many times she'll practice various songs or sections of them, playing with my accompanying on piano, or just spending time "jamming" and having fun. I wish that I could make the violin more accessible with a stand in the living room, but after a couple of repairs from toddler instrument abuse we keep it in the case on a high shelf where she can't get it without help. When the piano case is open she often wanders by and plays for a bit and it may be wishful thinking that she would just pick up the violin if it was sitting there. I can dream, though...

 

Miranda, I love your blog post! Congrats on the (extra) long run.

 

sparkle joy.gifhooray for health! I hope I'm following on your heels.

 

NRR- Another dongo here. Finally on day five my youngest daughter's fever broke. She's still worn down and a bit dehydrated, but we made it through the worst. The oldest will go to school tomorrow, and I will run this week. Seriously, the full week of sick kids as a solo parent has sucked so much. I could handle the daytimes, but the hourly wakeups and using mama as a body pillow all night long is not

 

RR- The localish trail running series has been announced for the year. The May race is a 12.5km short course and a half, June is 9k short and 16k long, July is the 6k up the ski hill. I'm planning the 12.5 in May, maybe the 16 in June (it's the farthest away, so more tentative) and the July race. September is the 11k in my local forest. All of this seems in keeping with my New Year's resolution to love my hip, run for pleasure and not to get over-competitive and injured again. It helps me restrain myself from signing up for the half when I'm not really in the shape for it and don't have the time for adequate mileage. I'm happy to have enough options for trail races to keep me motivated to run without hurting myself on the road again.

 

In other cool running news, there is a local study being done on minimalist vs. traditional running shoes. I'm not doing it because there's a commitment to a weekly running clinic that I can't make, but I've been encouraging friends to try it out! It's for all levels of runners, but I think more geared to beginners. They're researching injuries and possibly speed over 12 weeks.


"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
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#210 of 489 Old 02-12-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

NRR: Dinner at the boss's tonight. How to prep the kids to not have one of those granola-bar commercial moments?! Wish me luck! I can just see "Mom really hates it here," or "We might not come back next year" or some such not-appropriate-for-the-occasion stuff coming out. horrors.gif

 

lol.gif I hope nothing came out that shouldn't, but I feel your pain if it did.  I recently sat next to Alison's preschool teacher at a banquet and heard about all the things that have been spilled at school.  Oy!  So glad I've managed to retain some privacy while dealing with the diva cup!
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkletruck View Post

I read once that an introvert is enervated by spending time in a crowd and an extrovert is energized nod.gif

Hmm, that makes me think i might be an extrovert, but it doesn't feel right.  Maybe the kind of crowd makes a difference?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
 The result of that is he eventually tackles his friends or sisters and pisses everyone off. When he's doing a regular sport activity he still runs around screaming in the yard most afternoons but doesn't seem quite as inclined to mischief. help.gif

Another vote for martial arts or boxing.  Boxing is great exercise and I would think be helpful reducing the extra energy for making mischief.  Martial arts adds an extra dose of discipline.  Both are less competitive in that team sport way and more in the can-I-beat-my-previous-score/remember-to-block-my-face way.  But you knew I'd say that!

 

Shanti - It seems very unjust.  Wish we could knock some sense into him.

 

So much happening in Dingoland!  I don't have time to reply to all but I'm fascinated at the discussions.  Was just talking with a mom at dd1's swim meet yesterday about how to find the right balance between pushing them to do something they really don't want vs. keeping them involved in something they'll be grateful for later.  No answers here. 

 

No RR today.  I'm so impressed with the high mileage and cold weather racing happening!  Woot woot!  You mamas know who you are!

 

G'night!


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