Alex’s B-day The big 13

Alex’s B-day this year was at a hotel.

 Pattie got the idea from a friend at work. I don’t know – but I had never heard of doing this and thought it to be a bit odd. Alex had three friends spend the night with him and Pattie and (yes) I played chaperon for the night. We picked a business hotel knowing it would be cheap and thinking (wrongly) that the place would be all but vacant. The pool hours went until midnight so the boys would have fun swimming until late. There was also a game room and pool tables to keep them busy.


To my disbelieve, we were not the only ones having a party for kids at the hotel. I am obviously not up on things. A number of giggling girls of all ages were wondering the hallways all night because one of them was having her birthday party at the hotel as well. The real surprise for me was how packed the pool was at 11:30 pm. With families. Is our family the only family that tries to go to bed at a reasonable time? Even when we stay at a hotel we try to get our kids to bed. Well, this time we let the boys stay up until late to enjoy the time at the hotel. It was less expensive than taking them out someplace and it was something new for all of them. Although Melinda spent the night at grandma Judy’s, so as to not bother the boys, we of course, know what Melinda is expecting for her 13th b-day.

Frogs and Museum’s

The time has come for the great frog dissecting.

Yes – Alex has been finding this very exciting, though I am not convinced that he has been doing much learning. I think he and his lab partner have used this as an excuse to act more goofy than normal. If that is even possible!! Melinda has found this to be completely disgusting. At least it is something he is doing at school that he wants to come home and talk about. His class also went on a field trip for the purpose of dissecting a sheep’s heart. I do not remember getting that opportunity when I was in school.



On the subject of of field trips

– I went on a field trip the to the art museum (with Melinda’s 4th grade class) . Some of the things were rather interesting, including the building itself. And I enjoyed a day of being with Melinda. I do not know what particular exhibit had the most impact on Melinda – however, there was one in particular that grabbed my attention. This room had all of the walls painted – a mural of sorts – an almost abstract mural – not enough of an abstract. It did not take but five minutes before a couple of the boys in the class noticed a man in the image with a penis shaped like foot and another man that was – shall we say over sized. I was not sure how I was going to explain this to Melinda if she asked, not to mention the women that had body parts well out of normal proportion. The person from the museum that was showing us the exhibit was trying (in vain) to redirect their attention. She talked about some of the other images in the mural and how there was symbolism in all the images in the painting.. I was not getting all of the symbolism!!! And the images I did get, I did not want to talk about. I realize I am a bit behind the times but………

So the real question – do I bring it up with Melinda or do I not say anything unless she brings it up. I know it was suppose to elicit some emotional reaction, and it did, the reaction was – is this appropriate for fourth graders??? I must be out of touch.


How much help is too much help?

Alex had a long two week graphing project for math. 

I spent a little time the first week getting him started with some data sheets so he could get a good start.   Not keeping on him about it he slowed down to the point that Thanksgiving weekend had to be spent working on his project.  Pattie and I helped him a lot.  I think we made him work on it to the point that he was learning and understanding the basic idea of  the various graphs (some I had never seen before).    At times we had some high tempers as I tried to get him to be neater to try harder to care more.   I would get upset with him and he would get upset with me but we worked through it.  I just do not wont him to give up and not try.  I want him to see how good it feels to do a good job and to see how good it feels to learn and understand something new.   Later he thanked me for helping and he told me some of his friends at school do not get any help  from their parents at all. 

This brings up the question – do I help him too much with his home work?  

Back to school again.

Tonight was spent listening to the teachers that Alex will have next year as thy told us about what we can expect.  To intense us to go to this event an offer of 10 extra credit points was on the table – we should have tried to negotiate for more points. We could have gone for 50 points and than haggled to someplace in the middle.  Of course they also offered a free dinner and I could not pass that up so we went even though Melinda (and myself) felt that we had other things to do. Pattie claimed that it would not take long – she was wrong!!!    The food was good and it was ok to hear about next year but I think that it could have been more condensed.   We need to keep working on Alex’s reading but it sounds like he will enjoy the science classes a lot.  He will even get to do some dissecting of frogs and hearts.   Melinda was getting very anxious and obnoxious as the evening dragged on.  On the way home she and Alex had to get into a fight, we should have left sooner as I knew their time limit of sitting still had been pushed to the limit like a bungee cord that had been pulled to far and had to snap back.  Ultimately we all survived and it was probably a good thing that we went.

He was at school???? Wasnt he????

 Getting home we check our voice mail and there is a voice mail from Alex’s school wanting an excuse for Alex because he missed his first and second period.  We also received an e-mail from the school.   I asked Alex about this and he had no real answer as he claims that he was there.   So I try to think about the possibility of this happening because we cannot get in touch with the school until next year.  I have no way of contacting anyone that can tell me whether they saw Alex in school or not.  On Alex’s side he is dropped off at school with his sister and their friends and Melinda said nothing about Alex not going in to school.  Than tonight we get and automated call telling us we need to ask our son where he was. Knowing that he was in school I have to wonder where he could have been and why didn’t they know.  He was in their school, in their care and they think we need to know why he wasn’t in attendance.  Than Alex pipes in: I gave my teacher his Christmas gift so he had to know I was there.   I do not think he would lie about that because he had worked hard on that gift and was looking forward to giving it to his teacher.  The most likely answer is that it was some sort of over site but as I said I cannot know this until school is back in session after the first of the year.   For some reason this bugs me even though it is most likely nothing.  I will have to let it go until the new year