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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Don't Get What it is You Don't Get.

Student: Can you walk me through this problem because I don't understand anything we did today.

Me:  Okay, what do you think you should do first?

Student: Um, the exponent.

Me:  Okay, do that.

Student: Okay, now what do I do?

Me:  Well, you have subtraction and division, which one do you do first?

Student:  Division.

Me:  Okay, so do the division.

Student:  What do you mean?

Me:  Do the division part of the problem.  Divide those two numbers.

Student:  I don't know what you're saying.

Me:  Take those two numbers and divide them.
Student:  I don’t get it.
Me:  Take this number and divide it by this number.
Student: So, I subtract them?
Me:  No, you divide them.  See, there is a division sign which means divide.
Student:  Why wouldn’t I subtract?
Me:  The problem has a division sign.  It’s telling you to divide.  Why would you subtract when there’s a division sign?
Student: Oh, so I divide?
Me:  Yes.  Take this number and divide it by this number.
Student:  I don't get it.

No, really, teaching math is awesome!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm Going to Need You to Calm Down, Mr. Mascot

General rule of thumb: Mascots are creepy.

Young kids usually don't like mascots.  There's just something about a grown person in a costume running around making an ass of themselves that seems unnatural, even to small children.

Gavin has never been a huge fan of mascots.  Once, when I took him to a high school basketball game, I causally walked over to the mascot (a lion) expecting that Gavin would want to give him a high-five.  Well, that didn't go quite as planned; there was clawing, screaming, and crying (and none of it was by the lion).  To this day, he still says, "Remember that lion at your school?  I don't like that lion."  Point taken.

Things on the mascot front improved slightly over the summer when he gave his beloved Paws (the Detroit Tiger mascot) a high-five.  That, to say the least, was ground-breaking.  Prior to that moment, he loved to see Paws on television, look for Paws at the game, but refused to go anywhere near the over-sized tiger when the opportunity presented itself.

Even though he was on good terms with Paws at the end of the summer, the mascot-love doesn't extend to all mascot-kind.  On Saturday night, we went to an amateur hockey game - the Grand Rapids Griffins, to be exact.  On our way to the restroom, we encountered Griff, the oh-so-friendly-mascot, who attempted to give Gavin a high-five, but Gavin shook his head no.  No tears, no screaming, no problem.

image c/o

Later on in the game, however, Griff wandered over to our section.  He waved at Gavin down the row of seats, motioned for him to come over, but Gavin still declined.  Griff tried again and again, but Gavin still wanted nothing to do with him.  So, either in a desperate attempt to win over Gavin's affection, or to release some of his pent-up-rage, or maybe even because he was that into the game, what did good ole Griff do?  He started pounding on the glass.  Banging and pounding and shaking the glass.  He shook the railing near the seats; he threw a milk crate in the air.  This went on for no less than five minutes.

And then?  He tried, again, to get a high-five from Gavin.  And when Gavin declined (because any rational human being would clearly be skeptical of Griff at this point in time), he tried to climb over the railing and come towards Gavin.

You can probably guess how that went . . . lots of screaming, clawing to climb onto my lap as quickly as possible, and a sad little chant of "I want to go home."  We spent the rest of the game keeping an eye out for Griff's location (who, by the way, didn't give up on the high-five).

Maybe he was drunk.  Maybe he was on drugs.  Either way, what mascot really thinks a kid (or even an adult) wants to be anywhere near him after acting like he was about to bust down the hockey rink?

Dear Griff,

I'm going to need you to calm down.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


The Parent of One Extremely Terrified Child

Friday, February 10, 2012

Yeah, that's kind of how it goes . . .

A short while after arriving home from daycare/work, Gavin walks out into the kitchen and announces:

"Momma, Tanis doesn't like me."  (Tanis is a new "friend" at daycare.)

"Why doesn't Tanis like you?"

"Because I'm mad at her."

"Why are you mad at her?"

"Because she's mad at me."

"Why is she mad at you?"

"Because I'm mad at her."

"Oh, okay. Well, why are you mad at her?"

"Because she doesn't like me."

At first, I thought this new "friend" was not being kind to my son, but now I see that even preschoolers are not exempt from the ridiculous complexities of friendships and relationships.  I'm hoping they can sort it out because I sure as hell can't!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Well, Wash My Mouth Out With Soap!

If you know me well, you know I swear.  Probably too much.  Okay, probably way too much.  I should try a little a lot harder to watch what I say, and be, you know, more lady-like or something like that.  But, I should also exercise more, eat healthier, put more money into savings, and do more charity work.  It just hasn't been on my list of priorities lately, but now I'm thinking it should be.

Up until recently, we haven't really had a problem with Gavin repeating our naughty language.  I mean, there's been a few times I cringed when he repeated something I said, or I crossed my fingers in hopes that he wouldn't go to daycare and say, "Thank you, Black Jesus," but other than that, we've been pretty lucky on the inappropriate language front. 

Until . . .
- A few days ago when the car slid in the snow, and Gavin shouted from the backseat, "Oh, shit!"
- He kicked the dog's butt and said, "Get your ass out of here!"
- He opened the back door and said, "I don't want to go outside; it's f**cking cold out there!"
- He dropped his Poptart on the floor and yelled, "What the hell!"

The worst part about all of these examples is that he wasn't repeating something I said at that moment.  No, these were things I had said days or even weeks ago.  He heard them, and then he stored them away in his little giant head for just the right moment when I would be least expecting them - and expecting them I was not.  In fact, they caught me so off-guard that my first response was to turn my head and laugh.  And, we all know what happens when you laugh . . . "Oh, shit!  Oh, shit!  Oh, shit!" for the next twenty minutes.  Like everything else children do, it's funny until it's not. 

So, I guess I'll be moving the "watch what you say around your kid" priority a little further up the old to-do list . . . and pretty damn quick.  Oops.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Doesn't Even Make Sense!

Between daycare, preschool, home, family, and the television, Gavin picks up a lot of new words and sayings.  Sometimes they're cute ("To infinity and beyond!"), sometimes they're irritating ("Trick or treat, smell my feet, . . ."), and sometimes they're inappropriate ("Oh, shit!" I have no idea where he heard this one.  I'm guessing he just picked it up when we were out in public . . . not buying it, huh?).  When he hears a word or phrase he likes, I hear it about 100 times a day (i.e. "That's what I'm talking about!").  Occasionally, however, he picks up phrases and doesn't quite get when or how to use them.

Recently, we've had a lot of conversations that go a little like this:

Me: Gavin, you need to sit down and eat.
Gavin:  How many more bites?
Me:  You need to eat three bites of everything.
Gavin:  That doesn't even make sense.
Me:  Yes, it does make sense.  You need to eat three bites of your chicken, three bites of your macaroni, and three bites of applesauce.
Gavin:  That doesn't even make SENSE!
Me:  Yes, it does.
Gavin: No, it doesn't make sense.

Alright, kid, clearly you heard that somewhere, and you don't understand what it means. 

Not even five minutes later:
Me: Okay, pick up your toys and then get in the bath.
Gavin: That doesn't even make sense.
Me: You don't make sense.
Gavin:  That doesn't even make sense!

Just get in the tub.

Hopefully it's a saying he tires of quickly because I'm tired of hearing it.  Although, I will admit that it's better than hearing him sing, "Bow-chicka-wow-wow; bow-wow-chicka-wow."  I guess I should inquire about whether or not they're showing porn at daycare these days . . .