30 March 2011

Curbing preferences

Here is my dilemma.  I love my children and accept their choices.  But the world can be an ugly, unaccepting place.  So where do I draw the line?  When do I teach them to make their choices freely and proudly without apology and when do I draw the line to prevent possible [probable] ridicule and redirect those choice to more socially acceptable ones?  I mean, they're 3 and 5 years old--I cannot expect them to initiate social change, can I?

We started ice skating classes through the City thinking it would lead to ice hockey.  It did not.  It merely lead to more skating classes, figure skating to be specific.  The boys absolutely love it and it suits their personalities.  Well...it suits A1's personality and whatever Big Brother wants, Little Brother wants!

We've gotten far enough along that it was time to get A1 his own skates instead of using the rink rentals.  They came with a beginners' package that included lots of accessories.  A1 ran directly to the sparkly purple skate guards and the pink and purple gloves, among other traditionally feminine choices.  His father and I redirected him to the primary colored options.  I could tell he wanted to please us, but didn't genuinely want to switch out his selected items.

I am riddled with guilt.  I have just taught my son that he cannot depend upon his own mind, that his perception of beauty is incorrect.

Marginally related photos of the boys with their amazing coaches (it's hard to tell where A2's hair ends and his Coach's begins!), and one of our narcoleptic pup:
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29 March 2011

Expectations

There are those parents who expect sibling rivalry and discord, but I expect love and admiration.  I expect joy and laughter.  And since I'm an only child, I'm always thrilled when I see how much the boys adore each other.

Today, one of A1's classmates (playfully) grabbed his shirt and pulled him back.  A2 immediately ran up and pushed the friend.  I pulled A2 back and made sure he understood that he needed to use his words to express himself and not his hands.  He desperately explained, "But I didn't want him to hurt [A1]!"

Okay, I don't like it when the boys speak with force through their hands, but I have to admit that I'm just a tad happy about the fact that A2 was so determined in defense of his brother.

Photos follow.  Do I even have to mention that they are unrelated to this post?
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Unpublished note

For some reason, I found a note that went unpublished on Facebook from 2 years ago (March 23rd, 2009) when A1 was only 3 years old.  I'd been tagged to interview him and having documented this little exchange between us from so long ago leaves me with such a treasure now!  Here it is:


Copy this note, ask your child the questions and write them down exactly how they respond. Tag me back if you have done this, I'd love to hear the answers. (feel free to change it to Dad if appropriate)

1. What is something mom always says to you?
I love you, [A1]!

2. What makes mom happy?
When I nap

3. What makes mom sad?
No naps

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
When I dance

5. What was your mom like as a child?
(rolls into ball on the ground) You were small like this!

6. How old is your mom?
I don't know

7. How tall is your mom?
3, 4

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
To play with guinea pigs

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Clean, clean, clean!

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know!

11. What is your mom really good at?
Mama changes the clocks when the numbers are wrong

12. What is your mom not very good at?
You can't climb

13. What does your mom do for her job?
You fix stuff

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Dinosaurs!

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
When you dance and say I love you

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
A sheep!

17. What do you and your mom do together?
We're silly together

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Sometimes we wear the same shirt

19. How are you and your mom different?
If we don't have the same shirt!

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Big hugs and squishes

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
The monorail at Disneyland


Unrelated photos of the boys at Pretend City:

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Celebratory complaint

I've had a Nikon D7000 for nearly 4 months and it has rendered 7094 images (yes, that means I've shot an average of about 60 frames per day since it arrived).  And today is the very first time that I've been able to see those images using Mac's Preview software.  Are you kidding me?!?  It's been painful having to go through third party software (a package that I had to upgrade at unexpected cost just to be able to view the RAW files)!  I know that that's the cost of being on the very edge of technology, but most photographers I know use Macs, so why did this forward thinking company abandon such a strong contingent among its clients?  I don't know, nor do I care all that much at this point.  I'm just so thrilled to be able to preview these files directly from the memory card!

Unrelated photos from our trip to the La Brea Tar Pits:
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13 March 2011

Amazon remembers

...and it comforts me beyond words.

You know how Amazon uses its freakishly accurate algorithm on your search and viewing history in that scary Big Brother kind of way?  Well, every time I log on (which is pretty often because, c'mon, I have a 5- and 3-year old...how am going to find the time and energy to shop in an actual brick and mortar store?), I'm presented with a bevy of magnificent cameras and lenses as well as photography and cinematography texts.

But not today!  Today, there was an odd man out.  It was Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process.  How magnificent!  It's been eons since I ran such a search, but Amazon remembers.  Amazon knew me before I started looking at the world through my lens.  It even knew me before I started chauffeuring the kids around from one playdate to another and back again.  It holds my history.  Regardless of where I may wander and how often that feeling of being lost may creep in, Amazon still holds my history.

And now for the unrelated photos...A1 requested a visual catalog of his Lego creations:

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