Post 358: Switch Witch

Halloween got a bit more fun and/or confusing this year. Of course there was the joy/stress of making the costumes. Luke’s was simple as all I had to do was modify an existing robe to help him create “fire goblin”, but Lily offered up a more challenging situation. Initially Luke had convinced Lily to be a sword swallower (??), But, Mom got her off on a better avenue while perusing this wonderful book we found at the library defining every flower fairy you can point your finger at.

Turns out the book and the fairies are all well known, though I had never come across this. Always such a delight to find new found treasures from old school childhood fantasy. (old ways are the best) There is even a dedicated website to the Flower Fairies (of course there is).

As per our routine we did a very short, once around the block trick or treat run, which amounts to a very small amount of candy in the grand scheme of things, yet this is where the fun sort of ends. I will gladly say that both our kids are really great about just having a piece or two a day, (we still have candy left over from last Halloween) there is very little pushing back, but in the days that follow there is a bit of scheming, hiding, counting and re-counting of the “loot”.

a hidden box of dots

Then came the “Switch Witch”

A quick tour of the old interwebs reveals Switch Witch is probably just a marketing ploy, nonetheless there is merit in its concept. The Switch Witch is new to our home. Every question I asked Luke about how the Switch Witch worked, resulted in: “I will have to ask Dashiell tomorrow at school, he knows everything about the Switch Witch”. So, with Dashiell’s help, our version resulted in:

Give up 50% of your Halloween Candy in exchange for a toy of your choice.

The second part was a bit broad, but we were still willing to go with it for one simple reason:

Candy=Madness

As I said our kids do not eat much candy, yet just having that old pumpkin head sitting around the house certainly stirs up a certain level of craziness that I for one do not enjoy.

Switch With, your on!

A quick trip to Target where I found TWO legos sets on-sale (a rare event in and of itself and mission accomplished.

Thank you Switch Witch, see you next year.

Post 357: Equilibrium and Dis-equilibrium

I keep coming back to this page, not having a clear concise parenting moment to capture. Perhaps that is indicative of the way things are around here these days.
I think being a seven year old Luke is very intense. There has been an out pouring of feelings and the ferocity he undertakes most all endeavors is impressive.

I have to remind myself of this odd, yet totally true battle of equilibrium against disequilibrium.

The Gessell Institue has studied child development for literally 100 years. One of the many cycles they observed are the Childs developmental stages alternating in and out of whack. Called the stages of equilibrium and dis-equilibrium.

Well, I think it is safe to say the Luke is in a stage of dis-equilibrium, and it is really helpful to know that.

self portrait

Its not about being negative or brooding, more about being frustrated and filled with energy that is not yet found a path. One of the symptoms (not the right word) of dis-equilibrium is that it comes right before an outpouring of pure development, that there is all this growth energy that has not yet been directed.

What I have been seeing in Luke is an intensity and a short attention span.

As a parent it can be quite confusing. Because it feels like one moment everything is in sync and relatively calm and focused and the next it is chaotic and sharp and kind of icky. Boy can it get icky.

We all love the calm, nurturing moments and it makes for such a better easier day, but life is not that simple, so it is important to remind myself that this too shall pass. That is why I am here, to be available and thoughtful and understanding of my families needs.

Under many circumstances I would rely on caloric intake to help fix this imbalance, my experience has been that 90% of the dis-equilibrium in my family (including myself) comes from lack of proper food intake. But in Luke’s case, right now, it is not always that simple. He is just bursting with life force.


I tend not to whip out my camera at the times of dis-equilibrium, so I will not even venture to display that.

I am also sporadically reading a series of lectures by Rudolf Steiner entitled The Kingdom of Childhood. Steiner is the brain behind Waldorf Education. It can be a bit awkward because of the somewhat odd dated writing style, but the message sings to me.

“The child is curious, but not with an intellectual curiosity for as yet it has no reasoning powers; and anyone who appeals to the intellect of a child of seven is quite on the wrong lines; but it has fantasy and this it is with which we must deal. It is really a question of developing the concept of a kind of “milk of the soul” For you see, after birth the child must be given bodily milk. This constitutes its food and every other necessary substance is contained in the milk that the child consumes. And when he comes to school at the age of the changing of the teeth it is again milk that you must give him, but now, milk for the soul. That is to say, your teaching must not be made up of isolated units, but all That the child receives must be a unity; when he has gone through the change of teeth he must have “soul milk.” If he is taught to read and write as two separate things it is just as though his milk were to be separated chemically into two different parts, and you gave him one part at one time and the other at another. Reading and writing must form a unity. You must bring this idea of “soul milk” into being for your work with the children when they first come to school.”

This really helps me acknowledge again that this is their world, not mine, I am just trying to make it the best possible transit from birth to adulthood. With a splash of “soul milk”.

Post 356: Regicaster

Just a morning impromptu crystal and geode museum set up in the dining room.

Nothing was for sale, but you can look (without touching) and ask any questions you want to the two staff members.

Announcements were made with Lily’s cash register, which she calls a

Regi-caster, which is not only a better name, but even harder to say IMHO.

Post 349: New Scam

A new scam?

The kids have always had a thing for playing in the front yard. It must be a combination of it being “out of bounds” because we prefer to be out front with them and that they love interacting with the world/people who pass by.

There have been many times that we have said no to them asking.

The other day there was a new approach to asking that I thought was quite ingenious.

Luke: “dad, can I go out front to be in the beautiful sunshine?”

Dad: “uh, um, of course”

Sixty seconds later

Lily: “Dad, can i go out front and be in the beautiful sunshine?”

Dad: “yes”

Beyond being charmed, the event solidified a belief that Luke and Lily contrive, practice there methods of getting what they want.