So a couple of new developments around the Foster household lately, all involving sleep. First of all, a few weeks ago, unbeknownst to me, Keith moved Ari into a twin bed in lieu of the crib. He just did it one random night, because Ari asked him to, and Ari’s been in a big boy bed ever since. He’s only 20 months old; I had no immediate intentions of taking him out of his crib. But it’s been an easy change. It’s so strange to tuck him in to a big bed, to see him looking so tiny in it! Lately he and Owen have been asking me to sleep together, now that they are both in a big boy bed. I can’t imagine that being anything other than a disaster, but maybe I’ll let them try it one time. I guess it could work out for the best, because most likely when we adopt, she’ll need the crib. But 20 months, for crying out loud!
Secondly, I think it’s time to move Owen’s bedtime back. He’s been going to bed at 7:00 PM for three years; I think he’s needing less sleep now than the 13 hours that Ari needs at night. He gets into bed at 7, then lays there for an hour goofing around, whining, getting in trouble. He finally falls asleep, and he’s up before 7:00 AM the next morning. So maybe I should push his bed time back until 8:00 PM. The thing is, I like the fact that they go to bed a little early. It gives me a couple of hours to sit down and decompress at the end of the day. I use that time to clean, to fold laundry, to lay out clothes and lunch for the next day. Sometimes I even read a book. I like that little bit of alone time in the evenings. But it’s unavoidable – he’s older, he needs more active time and less sleep. It is what it is. So, since he’ll be up without Ari, I’m going to use that time to work with him on school. I think the calm activity will mellow him for bed, keep him quiet while Ari sleeps, and help him learn some things to boot.
So last night was our first night of school. I put together a 15-minute lesson the letter D. I’m trying to focus right now on helping him learn to write all the letters. He writes most of the capital letters just fine, but has trouble with some of the smaller ones (especially d and b). We picked out toddler pencils at Wal-Mart, and a pair of rounded-tip scissors, and a Care Bear folder to keep his schoolwork in. Owen loved this part. I also got a Preschool workbook and some modeling clay for crafts. I printed off some letter D coloring sheets and put together a little booklet, which we worked through last night. Somehow we turned it into an hour-long session, but Owen loved it. He got kind of testy during the actual writing part, where he wrote big and little Ds on the lined paper, but he did a whole page of them and then was so proud of himself afterwards. We colored a picture of a dog digging. He opened a piece of junk mail and circled all the Ds he could find (we happened to get a credit card offer from Disney yesterday, offering a free DVD player for signing up, it was perfect). He used his kindergarten scissors to cut out a huge D. I use the term “cut out” very loosely, as this was his first time with scissors and he basically chopped up the page. But he was so proud to be cutting! He used the clay to make a big and little D, and they are dry this morning so we’re going to hang them up. I think one more night on letter D and we’ll move on. Once he’s through the alphabet, on to phonics!
I don’t know if we’ll do ‘school’ every night. It’ll get tiring for both of us probably. But he enjoyed it, and is already asking to do school again this morning. So as long as he’s enjoying learning, I’m willing to press on with him. He’s a smart boy, that Owen.
Keith has to work today, so I’m sitting here enjoying the world’s most schizophrenic but delicious cup of coffee – a mix of Chocolate Velvet coffee and Cinnamon Swirl coffee, with Vanilla Caramel creamer. The boys are running around absolutely insane, Ari chasing Owen pretending to be a lion. I think we’ll head to the library this morning. I have an enormous fine, but it will have to be faced sometime. Owen’s been asking to check out books about peacocks, so I’m going to have to pay up. But first, another cup of coffee.
(Friday weigh-in and new book review up in the Goal Journal.)