Post 378: If you…

I don’t want to finish the post title as it might sound contrite, but I trust after reading this you will agree it is the only appropriate description.

When Luke started school, one thing happened immediately, he came home talking about playing baseball at recess. Now, for many schools, this would not seem at all out of place, but you must remember that Luke’s (and Lily’s) school is not one made from heavy team action, no Friday night lights here. There regular team sports are Frisbee golf and cross country running.

So, when Luke came home so excited about playing baseball, I was truly curious. Then I found out that he was playing with just one other boy, a stick and a rock. I was impressed and aside from the rock, it all sounded like a great plan.

A few days later it was:
A stick, a wood chip and four players.

Then:
A stick, a wood chip and a full infield.

Then:
Full teams, including the teachers, REAL bases and a REAL bat.

About a month goes by and all I know is that the entire class plays baseball pretty much every day, even the teachers. They have umpires and some sort of a “review” system in the event of a close call.

Luke just loves it all, its the first thing I hear about when I pick him up after school (hit a grand slam today Dad!)

So, like I said:

If you build it…

 

Post 377: Keep Out!, but stay close…

So much transition, hard to know whats what these days.

Since we moved across the country, Luke has been spending a LOT of time in his “grumpy duffers” mode as we call it. This can involve very heavy stomping around, complete disregard to either parents request, usually attenuated with an “I am NOT going to do it!” clause and possibly a jag or a toss of some object towards Lily. Culminating in a complete removal to a “safe space”, such as the now moniker-ed “Keep out!” room. (which is a hall closet)

What we realized after re-reading some of the dated, yet totally applicable Your Eight Year Old  is that he is truly in the throws of the sinister nine year change.

Good to know, take a deep breath and surround him with support, that’s what we can do as his parents.

Meanwhile developments continue, one of my favorite is the “fake phone call” in direct response to listening to his mom and dad on the phone talking to who ever. Lily does it as well. Actually Lily may even be more into it as she dug out one of the lego iphone highlighted way back in post #331 and walks around the house in complete conversation with imaginary tel-marketers, friends, relatives, you name it. I LOVE listening to these conversations, they are complete with lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” and “uh huh?”

I was able to record a Luke call surreptitiously, it is far from his best, but still has some great moments. He is using the regicaster as the phone.

Post 376: A Yard for the boy

We have been in Maine for a wee bit and there is one thing for sure. Luke finally has a place to go hit a ball, a baseball, a golf ball, a “you name it ball”.

It is a yard big enough for a boy.

This made me go back to one of my other blogs and retrieve a draft post I created years ago, but never finished.

A long time ago I had the privilege of watching David Mamet direct his play Oleanna over the course of many weeks. It was an unforgettable experience to be a fly on that wall but this post only has to do with one line from the play that has always stuck in my head.

..and a yard for the boy

So, when Luke started getting really industrious in our small, trying to be functional yard in Los Angeles I wrote this:

I have been working feverishly to have a yard for my son Luke that is a place where he wants to explore, work, play, hide and discover. I feel I have done pretty well.

He never ceases to amaze me in his own exuberance over things to do in the yard.

It is an interesting process keeping up with Luke’s interests. He likes to work hard at just about anything and is quite adept at doing things on his own. Recently he broke one of his plastic play tools and I realized it was time for a functional (ie real metal)  tool kit, it was a blast putting it together and the only stumbling block thus far is the “saw”. He wants a saw and I want to give him a saw, so now he has a saw and it is just a matter of making sure he does cut his finger with it.

He is building a house. He told me that it will be the same size as ours, but have a second story on it and he will use his saw to cut the wood and his monkey wrench to connect the water pipes to the main lines.

Each endeavor seems to bring a lovely and direct approach. The other day he asked about baseball. I said I would be happy to get a bat so we could practice. He ran away and came back with a 1 5/8 inch wooden dowel that was lying around, and you know what, we practiced some baseball!

So now, many years later here we are. Luke loves baseball, dreams about it, plays games by himself about it, follows the stats about it and has a yard big enough to play ball in! So, if nothing else I feel I have accomplished that.

Post 369: Olympics

We don’t have a tv, but we love things like World Series’, Super Bowls’ (which the kids call the brain damage sport) and of course the Olympics.

So I signed up for some streaming service in order to watch the 2018 games in Pyeongchang. Little did I know, or more realistically, I was completely fooling myself that the screen exposure would come at great cost.

This morning before school I heard no less then four comments made between Luke and Lily about Jack in the Box, Shaq, Big Macs and Oreos. The Oreos commercial was even played out after school eating real Oreos while both kids mimicked the commercial with incredible accuracy.

I watched too much tv as a child, there is no doubt. So much so that I memorized the tv listings between 3:30p when I got home and 7pm when I guess it was time to start getting ready for bed. I spent pretty much every afternoon glued to the “idiot box“. Did it rot my brain?, no, but other than a vast amount of useless trivia and a small amount of relatively useless pop culture memories, it certainly did not add anything good for my life except keep me company. The time spent mindlessly watching could have been put the much better use.

So I decided to “pause” the Olympics. I expected some push back from the kids, but instead a wonderful thing happened! The Olympics didn’t stop! The kids just kept on going with their own.

  • 1. One man bobsled on the front lawn (which is totally flat) using our plastic snow sleds.
  • 2. Curling in the hallway with brooms and marbles
  • 3. Ice dancing in the living room, singles and doubles and I am so sorry to say that I was unable to capture any movies of this, because it was glorious, especially the part where Luke was picking up Lily and twirling her.

The games did continue another day and I decided to go a little overboard with the documentation, as is my style. Below is some “live” coverage.

Post 366: Luke and Lily’s cooking show

There has been a long history of Luke cooking his own concoctions in our kitchen. It started so many years ago when we literally found him all alone in the kitchen, knee deep in flour and eggs. Low and behold a cake he had indeed made! We gratefully donated it to a friends birthday celebration.

Cut to about two weeks ago when Lily decided to start her own baking creations. “Can I make a cake?

This has turned now into a routine activity.

We even had Luke and Lily cakes for desert the other night. Mom and I were very full and opted for just a bite or two, but Luke dutifully ate quite a slice, god bless him.

Today’s seminar took on a feverish pace, with a constant checking and Re-checking of levels of sweetness and a very specific attention paid what the other baker was doing and adding. Your adding chocolate?, I’m gonna add chocolate!

It all reminds me of this bugs bunny clip so much I can’t help but post it, so you can better understand the intensity of the whole affair.

I sat and watched as the amount of cleanup grew, and grew and grew. I thought fast, because what I was expecting was “I’m done” and a speedy exit. So before that happened I made some new house rules about the baking show.

Counter top needs to be be exactly as how you found it.

It worked!

Cakes were finished, some looked better than others, life goes on until the next episode of:

The Luke and Lily Cooking Show!