Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quantification

Ever since Avey got excited about reading, she's spent much of her time sounding out words she finds. They are usually on food boxes at the table, because that is one area where she has to hold still for more than 2 seconds but is bored enough with food that she needs something to occupy her mind. She noticed  on one of the bags an advertisement for a contest to win "$1,000,000". She pondered the number for a while as we began to talk about it. Her idea of infinite these days is "ten thousand ten thousand," so she asked if the number printed on the bag was what ten thousand ten thousand looks like. I explained that it is called one "million," and then attempted to help her understand how much that is. When it seemed like she was beginning to understand, I asked, "Do you know how many things you could get at the dollar store with 1 million dollars?" Avey's jaw dropped as she visualized the treasures she could accumulate with such a sum. After she did the calculations in her head, she excitedly exclaimed, "Like fifty!"
Double Trouble
Carver sprouted a second tooth this week! He also seems very close to crawling. He sits up just fine, and when something is out-of-reach, he will rock forward and lean as far as he can. Just a couple of days ago he learned to then bring his feet under him, but that's about where he gives up. As you can see in the photo, we've started to comb his hair up. He looks like a real geek with it parted or combed forward, so I tried it up one day and we've never looked back.

We'll have Halloween pictures next week. Happy Scaring!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Haunted

You may recall that Avey has long been fascinated with ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. This year has been no exception. For her birthday just a few weeks ago, she had requested a model haunted house, and now wants little monster figures with which to fill it. She even bought a plastic skeleton with her own money to decorate her room!

As all good parents do, we try to encourage her interests by allowing her opportunities to explore. After all, maybe she's destined to make scary films someday, or write a best-seller about zombies, or fall in love with a swamp creature.

So when we learned of a kid-friendly haunted house at a nearby business, we thought Avey would jump at the opportunity. And jump she did. We planned out our day to end with the haunted house as our finale, and worked to make it happen. With everyone bathed, house clean, and errands run, we ventured to the fun.

We spent some time playing the arcade games until the haunted house opened at 6pm. When the time finally came we waited our turn in front of the tent wherein the haunting took place. Avey stood with anticipation and excitement - that is, until she caught a glimpse of what was inside. She had the tiniest peek of a scary head on a table inside and that is where her interest ended. She changed her mind and did not want to go in. We had already forked over quite a bit of money, were certain that she would enjoy other parts of it, and the party could not enter with her playing anchor, so I offered to carry her through the whole thing to help her feel brave. She finally agreed to that.

From the moment we stepped in, she had her hand pressed firmly over her eyes and asked if it was over with every breath. We encouraged her to take a look at some of the more mundane things, but she refused.

I suppose it's a good thing that she knows her limits. At least she didn't wake in the middle of the night with images of plastic spiders in her head. And at least for our lost money's sake, one of the workers is my student and pleased enough with my course that he gave us a free pile of tokens to use in the arcade.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Negativity

I'm the first to admit that I am an unabashedly proud father. Once I start talking about my kids it can be very difficult to stop. While I do often vent about their difficulties in growing up, I especially look forward to that most joyous of parental pastimes: bragging about what they do well. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, for just such an occasion has presented itself.

Last week, Avey approached her mother with a mathematical dilemma. She wondered about this strange number zero and what was to be done therewith. In brief, Kira told Avey about negative numbers. As are most children when introduced to the concept, Avey was rather resistant to it. After all, how could one have less than zero of something? It's a silly idea (maybe I should write a letter to my student loan lender explaining how silly it is.). After a little coaching and some argument, the numbers began to speak to Avey. She tried out several different problems, and appears to have grasped the principle. Even today while she was eating, she announced to me out of the blue, "Dad, four minus six is negative two." I checked it out on my calculator, and could not argue with her conclusion. 
It would be difficult to overstate how impressed we are with her. I honestly do not believe that I understood negative numbers until I was around age 9 or 10. I think in the future I will collaborate with her on my statistics homework.

In other news, Carver has officially budded his first tooth! The little thing finally poked through his gums after a couple of nights waking up to party at 2am. Needless to say, we are very relieved that he is now sleeping longer, and excited that he is moving to a new stage!

He began baby food a few weeks ago, and was on board from the moment the spoon hit his tongue. Although he had some trouble navigating the mechanics of eating with a spoon, he was clearly intrigued by new tastes. You would think we hadn't fed him since birth - he gulps down the spoonfuls, then in between spoonfuls he lifts his bib to his mouth to slurp up any stray drops. After we've scraped the bowl clean and get up to warm his next course, he wails despondently as if every second his mouth is separated from sweet potatoes, life is draining from his body. I estimate he will plump up quite a bit over the next few months.

More news is in the making...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Decisions

Avey was invited to a birthday party that took place yesterday. It was a costume party, which left her in quite a predicament; she had to make a decision. She quickly turned to her bookshelf, looking through any pictures of ghouls or monsters. She located a Halloween-themed book and turned page by page telling me how she would do her costume. "Daddy, I want to wrap my left arm like a mummy, make my right arm look like Frankenstein, make my left leg furry like a werewolf, make my right leg like a zombie, make my middle look like a skeleton, and paint my face green like a witch. Oh, and have vampire teeth!" I'm sure monsters everywhere appreciate her desire to represent them each, but with only a little time and small budget, her plan was less than practical. 

We told her we could try a scarier costume for Halloween proper, but suggested a costume from her current selection of dress-up stuff. She got excited about being a bride (no surprise there), so quickly gathered the accessories and immediately fell into character. Needless to say, Carver made a helpless stand-in groom. Here you see him, resigned to his fate:
The Happy Couple
I was fortunate to visit Avey at school this week for a special "Doughnuts with Daddy" Day. Yes, they know the way to get dads to show up. We were entertained with a song and presented with hand-decorated picture frames. It was a lovely break from the normal routine, and enjoyable to have her as a tour guide to the classroom. 

We hope all is well with you! Thanks for reading!