Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Proud Moment

Oh! I am so proud.  You may want to exit now if you do not prefer gratuitous mommy-bragging.  This is one for the portfolio!

Coop's picture was on the front of our newspaper today.  He's been reading to the READ dog for a few months now and he's very proud of his accomplishments.  I've mentioned it before here.  I've been asked before and I've thought it myself, "What's so special about reading to a dog?  and how does it help?"  I can tell you that for our kid, who can be a bit shy, it has helped because there is just no pressure from a dog.  Actually, our dog in particular, Lucy, falls asleep at every visit.  We've tried to read to our dog, Sammy, but there is way too much licking (on his part) involved and it's just not as comfy since he's an outside dog. 

As a still fairly new homeschooler, when Coop first sat down with Lucy I was a bit nervous.  No, I shouldn't have been, I should have just let Coop be,  be his own person.  But I was nervous for him.  "I hope the lady knows he's only 6!  I hope she realizes he just started reading!  I hope we chose a book that won't be too hard or embarrassing for him!"  Yes, the first time was rather agonizing.  Coop is not one to open up to people he doesn't know... let alone try to dabble in a new skill he was just learning... right in front of a stranger.  His first 15 minute session was sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.  Did I put enough o's?  o infinity.  He connected with Lucy though and decided he wanted to keep participating.  He was excited and talked about Lucy right up until their next visit. 

There's something else about reading to a dog and not a hyped-up mother who corrects every other syllable...  it's calming.  I was concerned when he began reading to Lucy back in September, that every Tourettes tic he had displayed thus far would come bursting out.  Nope.  He just... read. 

This all is why Saturday when Patti, Lucy's owner, asked if Cooper would like to participate in the photo I was so excited.  "I thought he would be great because he's my star student" she said.  Coop took all this in with his usual, 'whatever' attitude, but I was busting at the seams.  I wanted to tell everyone.  When we met up on Monday to take the picture, it was all I could do to keep from bawling right there in the library.  There was Cooper, reading clearly, fluidly and perfectly.  No tics.  And a small crowd had begun to gather of school kids and parents to see what all the commotion and camera flashes were all about.  My shy guy kept his cool and kept right on going.  I was beyond proud.  I was proud of Cooper and honestly, I'll say it... proud of myself.  I taught someone to read.  And if you can read, you can learn anything.  This was a moment my heart took a picture of.

For more information on the READ therapy dog program: 

Here is Lucy herself.

For the article itself:
Paulding Library Offers Reading Program to Wag About

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday! Sundae! Sunday!

Okay.  I admit it.  Mayhaps it was a mistake.  I have lived through enough Sundae Sundays to admit that maybe it is just not such a great idea.  At first it seemed amazing:  Every Sunday for dinner we will simply have sundaes.  No menu planning.  No complicated ingredients to buy.  Not much to really think about.  Only six little bowls and six little spoons to wash up afterwards.  Maybe not the most nutritional of dinners, but something the kids would remember when they were all grown up.  "Hey, remember when we always had sundaes for dinner on Sundays??  Man, that was fun".  No, it is not the most nutritional of dinner items, but one day a week won't kill us!

Recently I've sat back and pondered another of our Sunday traditions:  doughnuts.  Each week, dependent upon good church behavior, we all pile in the van after church and head to Ingles.  Everyone gets to go in and pick their very own doughnut.  Sprinkly.  Creme-filled.  Chocolatety.  Sugary.  Everyone gets so excited.  (Which makes me wonder if our Ingles has noticed our weekly field trip yet and watches from afar like the circus has just rolled through...)  After doughnut picking we all settle down at the table and talk about what we learned at church and how hard we're going to nap.  (Well... I usually talk about how hard I'm gonna nap...)  It's a nice time to just be together.  Doughnut time usually counts as lunch since we get home from church around 11am.

So I stuck all that together in my head the other day and realized, "Oh shit.  My kids eat nothing but crap on Sundays."  OOops.  My bad.  Now, I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea of no sweets for kids.  I suppose that's evident in everything I've just said.  I sometimes wonder if this whole anti-obesity situation is going to backfire when we raise a whole bunch of little robots that scream, "nooooooooooooo!  sugar bad."  Once these little people can make their own choices, some are going to go ape-shit in the candy aisle.  Instead, I believe in all things in moderation.  Let's learn about nutrition, but also how to have something a little sweet every so often.  But, let's be honest... my Sundae Sundays have become a free-for-all that I'm going to have to put the kiboshes to.

This is going to get messy.

So what goes... 
the doughnut or the ice cream?  

oh, choices.  choices. 

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