Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Teaching An Old Dog (and Her Young Pups) Some New Tricks

First off, Amelie has learned to count to ten. I'm especially impressed because I don't think she's heard counting (beyond three) all that often. I instituted a new rule recently wherein, after one reminder to not splash in the tub, a repeat splasher is bodily removed from the tub and forced to stand naked and wet on the bathmat for a count of ten before being returned back to the warm bath.

We've only done in a few times but apparently it made a big impression. She whispers the last two numbers in the video because my friend Jen, in an effort to help her, whispered "eight" to her so Amelie thought that was a clue that she was supposed to whisper.

video


Calliope, not to be outdone, has started writing words and sentences! Her school is very progressive (or old school, depending on your outlook) and doesn't believe in pushing children to read. So they only started studying the sounds of letters in January. And now, apparently, they are teaching the children to sound out words. Calliope seems enchanted with the idea.

Sorry it's sideways.
Written right to left, it says "thank you? (because she loves question marks, not because it's a 
question). I love (the) book." And there's a drawing of the sketchpad and colored pencils she
was given. 


I'm thrilled to watch the transformation into a reader (not there yet) and seeing the excitement and pride on her face when she figures things out. I am also, I note, a little bit relieved to see her start this work, even though, in theory, I support her school and their laid back approach entirely. I see them produce hundreds of students over the years who are bright and inquisitive and best of all, love going to school, so I know they are doing something right but it's still a little nerve wracking when it's your own kid.

As for me... Jamaica was transformative. I came back feeling like I had pressed a giant "reset" button. After missing my first two afternoon workouts because of hectic days at the clinic, and inspired by fellow SMC Sacha on the trip, who told me she gets up at 4:45 AM to work out before work... I started setting my alarm for 5 AM. And mostly getting up the very first time it goes off. And getting myself set to work out with very little wasting of time.

This requires going to bed earlier, and inspired again by Sacha, I'm making good progress here too. I set a bedtime alarm on my phone that reminds me and although I'm not where I want to be, I'm a lot better.

I also started a new workout program. I signed up for Dai.ly Burn and I input my preferences and voila... it sends me a new workout to do each day! It's fun having some variety to my workouts after doing T25 for so long.

Also, and this perhaps the biggest change... after writing a post to the SMC Forum about how to stop using nighttime snacking as an emotional crutch... I've committed to myself to eating dinner without distractions every night. For at least two weeks. Tonight was night two.

I did this exercise a few years ago, pre-kids, and it was really hard at first. I got very depressed initially. So I was worried about that happening this time around but actually, I am finding it much easier this time. It's kind of nice to sit down alone (I tried doing it with the kids two nights ago and my god, it's no fun AT ALL to eat with them -- all that whining and jumping up and down! no thank you!) at a nice clean table with a nice plate of food and just my thoughts for company.

I ended up getting really hungry after getting into bed and so I had a granola bar but hey, I didn't read or do anything else while I ate it. Progress!

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