21 September 2011

Choice and responsibility

I don't push the boys into specific activities.  They have to be completely self-motivated and show a great deal of interest before I sign them up for anything.  That's because once they are signed up, they are committed to a certain period of time and a certain level of effort.  Take ice skating, for example.  We will have been skating for a full calendar year this coming November.  I've told the boys that at that point, they've earned the choice to quit or continue.  (They'll likely continue.)

Poor A1 has been begging to take piano lessons since before he started Kindergarten last year.  But I kept postponing them because I know that once we start lessons, I'm going to Tiger Mom him into a regimen of daily practice.  Well, as luck would have it, I've entered upon a lovely bartering agreement with a friend: holiday family photos for a series of 7 piano lessons.  Yay!  Now A1 only has to commit to about 2 months to earn the right to quit or continue and I only have to nag him about practicing for a short period of time.  Or maybe I'm just projecting my own experiences.  As anyone who's read the manual for raising little Asian girls in America can tell you, piano lessons are an absolute requirement!  I didn't love it so I may be superimposing my own distaste and it might just be that A1 will absolutely love piano practice.  Poor kid repeatedly plays the same 3 songs I taught him eons ago--it might work out for us both that the nagging will not be so necessary!

Totally unrelated pics of the boys at the pumpkin patch.  Yes, these pics look familiar because we go to this patch every single year!

Here they are drunk on cotton candy:

We did a few cutout shots until they got fed up with the process--I let them climb a tree and all was well again.

For the past year or two, A1 has missed out on the tractor-pulled hayride so I made sure to grab a shot of him experiencing it this year.

We've been trying hard to save activities until after 3 so that he can attend--like this day at Pretend City (the pose was his idea, not mine!). 

It's partly for A1 and it's partly A2 who misses his big brother so much that he has to say goodbye a millions times before he's able to part in peace.

It takes the promise of a trip to the zoo with both parents to pull him away sometimes!

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