Monday, February 6, 2012

9 year olds with swords

So this is what Max looks like in fencing class. He is completely and totally in love with this. And, for the first time in the many sports he has taken for a test drive, he is a bit of a natural. I am not saying this just because I'm his mom. I will be the first to tell you that he's got great effort and enthusiasm for soccer and football, but "natural" is NOT the word I would use.

But once he had that cute little vest and mask on (blah blah blah the technical names...), he got into his En Garde stance, and the little guy looked really good! The teacher gave him an award after the first lesson and used him to demonstrate something the second week.

Now, if this goes the way that my love affair for the flute went, he has about 3 weeks left before he is completely over it. But if not, we may have ourselves a new past time. Who knew?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pushing myself

I started with a new coach/trainer/tri-buddy a few months back. He and I got together at the beginning and he watched my form in the pool, on the track, and on the bike.

When we were done with all of that, he kinda scratched his chin. The good news was that my form was really quite good in all 3 fields. But, he said the reason I wasn't faster was, well, because I wasn't trying hard enough. When it came down to it, nothing was making me slow other than me.

So, taking that good-new-bad-news in stride, I realized I was about to spend a whole lot more time in the hurt locker. What I thought was trying hard? Nope. What I thought was my best? Wasn't.

And yesterday I ran a mile in 8:11 and then turned around 5 minutes later and ran another one in 8:05. Granted, I thought I was going to die, but I did it. And I can gehr-un-tee you I have never in my life ran back-to-back 8:anything miles. That is only 5 seconds away from a 7:something. That is freakin' crazy talk.

The idea of sustaining that pace for a whole race is something that sounds completely unrealistic, but if you told me I'd ever be in striking distance of a 7:59 minute mile...? I guess unrealistic is about to come a'knockin.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Oh. My. God.

My house is so loud.

It is brain-splitting, hackle-raising, rage-inducing loud. This morning, there was nothing but shouting around the breakfast table, despite O and I telling them repeatedly to stop. And, of course, it's only a shout festival because it is also an interruption festival. You wouldn't need to shout if you weren't talking over someone (or sometwo or somethree).

I like to think I generally have some control and/or influence over these small monkeys, but sweet lord! Help! Anyone! How do I turn the volume down on 4 boys 9 and under???

I'm going to need a rubber room....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Making the jump

Any of you who know O and I well know that we have spent many hours thinking about and worrying about our dear Spence. He has been the kid that came out crying and didn't really stop for the first 4 years. Frustration is met at every turn, and challenges lead to frustrations which lead to quitting which lead to meltdowns. Doing homework is frequently an exercise of tears, anger, huge frustration, and thankfully, ultimately triumph - only to be repeated the next night.

When we first met with his psychologist she started talking about defiance, and we immediately corrected her that there isn't a defiant bone in his body (however, if you would like to meet his brother Calvin...). None of this is volitional. You can tell that he is just as frustrated by it as anyone, if not more.

The wiggles never stop. This morning at breakfast he sat in 4 different chairs before finishing half of a bagel. My post about NLD seemed initially like an "answer," but I'm not sure what part of it I even believe now, other than the fact that he is an auditory learner. Much to my dismay, ADHD seems to fit the bill more.

So, we made the jump. We decided, despite our theoretical opposition to "putting every kid on ritalin," to put our kid on ritalin. The downside is potential appetite suppression and insomnia. The upside is that last night homework was still with some frustration, but no tears and it was done in half the agonizing time. We are only 3 days into this experiment, so the sample size in tiny. But if this can help even a tiny bit, and help the kid feel more "normal" and less tortured, I will consider it a monumental success. 'Cause in the end, all we want for our kids is to be happy, right?