The title of the newspaper article caught my attention because it sounded like something several family members would be interested in. It changed when I realized that the writer was speaking about his toddler son, not his grown firefighter son. It soon became apparent that 'raising his son to become a fireman', meant that he was using his son's current interests to help him develop and learn.
It's always made me cringe when I hear of parents not letting (or highly discouraging) thier son's to play with dolls and with 'girl' toys. That doesn't mean that you need to force them into nurturing a doll, but if they choose to spend 10 minutes or 10 months with a doll interest, so what???!!! You use that doll to teach them how to dress, use the toilet, feed themselves, and yes (gasp!) be nurturing. All the same things you could teach them if they had an interest in fire trucks and rescue heros.
It's funny, because this is not a revelation that I came upon when I became the mother of boys. I once (I as about 11 and he was 7) made my younger brother a doll to give him for his birthday. It was a boy doll, and I thought it would be good for my brother to have a doll. I don't think he ever picked it up again, but hey, that's alright because that wasn't where his interests were. My other brother came out of the womb playing football and I truely strongly disliked going to his games. Not because I had absolutely no interest in football or that I didn't understand the game, or that I had to sit for hours on a bleacher bench, or that I had to watch my father pace up and down the field yelling suggestions to the team or chew his nails down to his knuckles. It was because someone was going to lose. Not just lose, but be crushed. Tears, sweaty, tired, little boy tears. One ecstatic team, one barely able to drag themselves off of the field. Granted, most of the time, it was my brother's team on the winning side. I was happy for him, but equally sad for the other team.
Anyhow, I digress, I just hated unfairness. I want boys to be able to play with girl toys, I want everyone to feel good about how they played the game, I want girls to be able to push a race car along the floor. When Autumn was old enough to start playing with barbies, a few times I found Russell happily engaged in their world. Was I stunned or mortified? Heck no! I didn't say a word to him. I thought it was great that he could put down his pokemon and star wars lego's for a moment and put together an outfit for barbie, or set up her house, or facilitate a conversation between her and Ken. He once came to me and said some kids were making fun of him because they saw him playing barbies with his sister. I reassured him that it was perfectly fine to him to play with his sister's toys. He was happy for the reassurance I gave him, and it was never an issue. Now I can barely pull him away from a computer game that is nothing more than pure testosterone disguised as a military game. But for that moment, I was happy to have the opportunity to let him know that it was OK.
As William has developed and learned (yes, he actually had to be taught) how to express and use his imaginagtion, he has been all over the map with pretend play. Everything from tea parties with Dora, to wanting a race car themed room. I am just THRILLED that my son finally can pretend play. He loves his Dora doll that grandma gave him for christmas. That dang thing is one of the most annoying toys because he constantly pushes the button to make her spit out some spanish phrase, but he loves her because she is carrying around two little baby siblings and feeds them a bottle and holds them in a carrier. Cool. I never thought about it much until the day he took it to school. That afternoon he got off of the bus with dora in hand. The bus aide, an lady probably in her sixties, pops up and comes to the bus door to tell me how great it is that he plays with dolls. I was taken off guard and all I could say, was - yeah, we let him play with whatever type of toy he likes. That's fine with us.
Disclaimer - we have never allowed violent toys - no gun toys, or really yucky looking evil type figures and some 'doll's' have been highly discouraged because of representation.
Anyhow, what I got from that article was that you use what your children come with to teach them and love them. If they come with a passion for power tools, you use that teach mathematics in measuring. If they come with a passion for cooking, then you use that to teach them mathematics in measuring. I have learned (painfully at times) that you CANNOT pick your children's interests. But you can choose to use their passions to help them grow into happy, well adjusted people. :)
*I'm not going to re-read this. I didn't do a spell check. And some of it probably doesn't make sense. Time to move on for the day now though, so take from it what you will*
Tuesday started off pretty bad for Tim. His headaches have not let up and that morning he had a bad one. So he spent the day pretty wiped out after I drugged him up on pain killers to take the edge off. We pulled it together enough to go on with our plans when the kids got home from school. First stop was OT for Will, then we headed to Build a Bear (long story short - Will earned a reward and it happened to be on this day), then we met Bob's family for dinner at The Ram. We had a good time and it was nice to be out and not worry about headaches, although Tim is always pretty anxious that one will hit at any time. After dinner we all came back home for cake and presents. The day started off rocky, but in the end it was all good. :) The God of the mountain is still the God of the valley.
For the past few weeks, Will has been spending time on the 'superman' swing. This is a major deal for him because of his sensory issues. Some of you might remember when he was a baby how terrified he would be if you tipped him back or lifted him up. But, in occupational therapy he has been working on these issues and making huge progress.
I have pictures to share of Tim's birthday today. But it's late so I'll do it tomorrow. Had to post this video because I wasn't even sure I could host it on You Tube, so this is exciting!! If this works out good, expect to see more video action here! :)
Yesterday was really nice. I think it may have reached 70 and the sun was out. Which brought everyone out of thier house to enjoy the sunshine. We spent most of the afternoon outside. All the kids were out playing and even the big kids played a little!
With daylight savings time, we had some extra light for our first BBQ of the year. It was awesome!
I decided to make rice the 'real' way and LOOK mom!!! I think it had to be the best one yet! I just had to share this with you. I was so amazed at it and I think everyone else was too. Though Russell did say the rice needed a little work. HMPHH. Tim couldn't get enough and for a moment I thought we were sitting at your table.
It's better than chasing boys at recess. Jump roping is BIG with the fourth grade girls. Single jumping, double jumping, double dutch, jumping at home while bouncing on the tramp. We searched several stores in the treasure valley to find a double dutch jump rope. Finally, someone told us that we could only order them online. Thank goodness I didn't have to trek through another sports store. It came in the mail on Friday and soon as Autumn got home, she had to try it out. For some reason, Russell was inclined to join in on the activity. When he was this age, it was all about handball. Anyway, he did pretty good, though I think it was a little tougher for him to get his increasingly long legs to do what he wanted them to do. Autumn still has short little compact legs that make for easier jumping. ;)