Thursday, May 31, 2012

(this moment) and Keeping it Real



A Friday ritual. A single Several photos - no a few words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

 Avi doesn't know who Pooh is. Or Christopher Robin. Or Piglet. We haven't yet read those books to him. We have one pooh bear toy that is called "yellow bear" (even though this kind of thing makes our mothers roll their eyes at us).  Honestly we are trying to avoid as many media driven characters as possible in our home. And this day, outside the library - waiting for it to open, was no different. Avi did not meet Pooh, Christopher Robin or Piglet. Instead he met a bear, a boy, and a little pig. He was thrilled to meet them, stroke their backs, look, with curiosity, at whatever they were looking at, and hold hands. He also kissed them all goodbye on our way out.




I love this gentle child. 




Inspired by Soulemama


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This week, I'm also joining monica with:

Keeping it Real #4

blah:
Avi testing the idea of "pushing"
not understanding the wing ding language my wife speaks
feeling camera envy when seeing a class of 30+ photographers at the farmer's market
 noticing my defense mechanisms (about my own self worth) arise while reading the current issue of Taproot 
our last hurrah with Tim who is off to new adventures in Seattle.
kidney stones -- still



yay:
"Avi (down)stairs do it myself - big boy"
new friendships forming - both grown up and kidlet friends
spontaneous front yard picnics
two quiet hours in the coffee shop in the blogsphere
successfully making lisa's Mexican Slaw - YUM!
going to bootcamp every m/w/f at 6 a.m. even when I desperately want to roll over and go back to bed
the two of us dreaming of winnebagos and the open road




24 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you on the no characters point. We don't have them in our house either and I am so glad for it. However it has become difficult to avoid characters out in the world. THe other day when we went to the doctors office they had posters of tinker bell. Sofia asked if that fairy was "yikes" and I said yes. Luckily she hasn't really asked why yet. I don't know that I am ready to really explain to her all the baggage that really comes with a sexy, child age fairy in a tiny tiny mini dress.

    We've been using "yikes" whenever we come across TV characters. Some how it's working to divert her attention. The other day we were at the children's museum and for some reason they had a whole shelf behind glass of MIckey mouse figurines. Once again she looks at me and goes "yikes?" and I said yes. She then moved on.

    The question becomes when do I stop managing the things she finds interesting? At some point I need to let her make up her own mind, right?

    BTW - that library of your, what a beautiful garden it has!

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    1. "Yikes"... hmmmmm, an interesting idea. I'll have to give that some thought. And yes, as parents, when is the 'right' time to stop managing what they find interesting.... one of the koans of parenthood! :)

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  2. It makes me so sad when I think about how Disney took over the beautiful stories of Winnie Pooh. He used to be a children books classic before the merchandising spoiled it. Like so many others like Pippi Langstocking etc. I hope I will manage to at least read Aaron all those books before he sees them on TV so that the first picture he will create in his head and then maybe he will not even like the TV characters after that.
    So familiar Taperoot makes you feel like that, I thought I was weird because I felt exactly like that, also reading Soulemama does that sometimes.

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    1. Indeed, the classic story books are truly a treasure. We will share those with Avi as he grows and hope, like you do, that he will love the images in his own imagination more than those in the movies. The book is always better than the movie, after all!

      I'm glad I'm not alone in my experiences! :)

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  3. Ah, my mom and dad would be rolling their eyes too, and they do at me :) In the same boat here too. Reece would have had no idea who those figures where, like Avi he would have thought a boy, a bear and a pig...simple.

    Some pretty heavy blahs there, but those yays are pretty amazing, so I think that yays win :)

    Enjoy your weekend Jules.

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    1. yes yes... the yays always win!!!!! :)

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  4. We've tried to do the no character thing, but somehow - Owen finds out about them! Owen loves trains - LOVES them. So, we have trains - we watch trains on youtube, we go see the train in town, ride it, and talk about it ALL the time. . . NEVER have I mentioned that annoying little cartoon train (and I've asked those he spends a lot of time with to do the same) - but one day about 6 months ago, Owen just came out with it, and not just "Thomas", but "Thomas the Tank Engine" when we passed by a display in the book store. Now, he talks about it all the time. Where did he get it? No idea! Really! I think he just pulled it out of the air.

    But, we do the best we can, right? I love when Owen loves things for what they are - not for what they are sold as. I think keeping as many things pure allows kids to experience more without the commercialization. We've lost a few battles, though. My mom showed Owen Kermit and Miss Piggy singing "Rainbow Connection" on Good Morning America and it is his FAVORITE song ever. He actually can sing most of it now. It's sweet. So maybe it's not bad to lose sometimes. I don't know. Finding the middle road, I guess.

    I love you! Can't wait to see you!

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    1. Karen, I think you overlooked that Owen must be a genius reader! wink!!! Right, where do they get it?? and good point.. sometimes it's not bad to lose! :) I too miss and love you and I'm thrilled for your visit!!!! xoxo

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  5. Sweet pics of Avi bird. We need to see you! I'm on the fence about the characters thing. As you know we have no TV and we don't plan on getting one any time soon so it goes without saying that Z's exposure to media driven things will be limited. And no, no, no to any t-shirts, etc that have tv characters on them. But here's my question: When reading a book that hasn't become a movie or TV show, do you also delete the character names? Does Priscilla from the Potty Book just become the girl who's using the toilet or does the Lorax become the friend with funny hair who cared about the forests (oh, wait, he's in a movie now...)? I wonder if deleting or editing the names of some characters and not others will only have the opposite effect of bringing MORE attention to them once he realizes what's happening? The stories of Pooh are o.l.d. and they are special characters that have been around for a long, long time (we have an original copy around here somewhere) and oh, what sweet stories they are. I think when Avi figures out the whole name thing (Orange :) ) he'll be asking more and more about who these friends are. In my opinion it's not the names that are the tricky bit, it's the fact that the average kid gets 7.5 hours of screen time per DAY. You guys will never hit that (since you also don't have a TV) so is it that bad to know the names of these little characters that he sees in books? I agree with KC "The question becomes when do I stop managing the things she finds interesting? At some point I need to let her make up her own mind, right? " It's a new frontier, this parenting thing.
    Hope you all have a great weekend! And let's play next week!

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    1. And it makes me think too about how we approach other things that we don't really want to introduce... like candy. some of her book have pictures of candy in them and I find myself calling them by their shapes... that's a circle or a rectangle. Just a moment ago she was looking in an old Mothering mag and saw a kid eating a candy cane. "Mama what's that in her mouth?" she asked. Um...er... it's a... I ended up calling it peppermint but gosh, it sure does look different than the peppermint in our garden. Maybe I just need to say - it's candy but we don't like that. It's gross.

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    2. I agree with you Lisa. We have all the old Winnie the Pooh stories, which are some of my favorites of all time. I think it's the strategic marketing and media pinning our favorite childhood characters onto clothes, lunch boxes, pencils, diapers, food, etc that we are trying to stay away from.

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    3. Lisa....

      yes yes. good points. I too have turned cupcakes into muffins and cookies into crackers and candy into shapes when we are reading books. Today a Richard Scary book that we checked from the library had "pretty stewardess" and "handsome pilot" in it. Of course I overlooked those. But I still love Richard Scary books. As I walk this road of parenting I find I want to write books of my own... and maybe, someday I will. But until then, I will continue along this beam trying to keep balance.

      P.S. I like your idea for candy. "it's candy, but we don't like that. it's gross". lol!!!! maybe we should try that.

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    4. Hi! Sorry for butting in, but I do the same renaming thing and it's so good to hear that others do it too! I too, have been struggling with how to introduce things that we don't have around... like candy and cookies and (oh man - i really don't want to go there) guns. A friend of mine did the "we don't like that" thing with her son (whose now 5), and it sort of backfired on her. It worked for about a year, but when he started to form his own opinions (well, I do like it), she lost some of her leverage. She had created a black or white situation - she liked it and he didn't - and in that she lost some of her ability to communicate the pros and cons and to help him build his own ability to make good decisions. She had to backtrack a bit to get back into a more level place where she could meet him in his own thoughts, desires, and needs, and work with him from there. Still, I find myself saying to Owen "eww. . . that's gross", trying to sway his opinions to match with what I hope to see. Ahh. . . yes, it is an amazing, confusing, and fun process we are involved in!

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  6. My boys were introduced to characters....from the books. They knew and loved all the Dr Seuss character's but that was because they were alive in their own imagination...as was Pooh, Piglet and Christopher Robin. They did see a few movies, but not all of them - so it was a very special treat. We tried to find a happy medium. I will say that my oldest, who leaves for college in the fall, feels a great affinity for the Toy Story series because of the way he "grew up" with the character...however he didn't see the final movie until a few weeks ago and he got a little choked up.

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    1. How sweet Melissa. I love the idea of movies as a special treat. I remember when Wizard of Oz came on once a year... and Sound of Music and how we got to stay up late and watch them. Special treats!! But for now, no screen time for this little one!

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  7. Oh, I especially love the third picture - so wonderful :)
    My daughters don't know Winnie Pooh etc. because we live without TV and so they don't meet these characters. If my Oldest sees Winnie Pooh on a t-shirt etc. she says that there is a bear ;)
    I also wanted to thank you for your comment - throughout that weird translation... my friend Annie from the US (who lives here in Austria) once tried with the translation and told me that you have to WANT to understand what I wrote with that translation - otherwise it's really really difficult (and funny). So I thank you very much for understanding me :) - my English is not the best so I don't manage to write in English too on my blog :(
    Thank you for your words, for your understanding... everything. I am really thankful I got the chance to get to know your blog here and I'd love to comment on every single post but I hesitate because I am not sure if I use the right words... but I hope you understand what I want to say even if my spelling is not the best :(
    All the best!!!! maria

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    1. Maria,

      thank you. and please, never let "right words" prevent you from commenting. Language is a funny thing, but let us not let it be our barrier! hugs!!!

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  8. Those books are the best! My husband and I laughed the whole way through re-reading them to Audrey. I understand the media thing. The movie(s) are definitely not the same. Aaron's parents are Disney nuts and it's been a bit of a touchy subject. We have no cable, just an old TV that we watch occasional movies on when the kids are sleeping. The kids occasionally watch ballet productions and cirque du soleil when we're all sick or it's been raining for weeks.

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    1. ballet! love it. I'm sure when Avi starts watching t.v., it will be ballet if my partner has anything to do with it. :)

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  9. I'm pretty practical about most things and this is one of these. We don't do the TV shows, characters on toys, clothing, etc. My kids don't go to school yet, so they don't get it there either. But when it comes up, we use their names. Pooh is Pooh, Pluto is Pluto, just like my childhood stuffed dog is Charlie. My boys don't know where I got the names from - a book, TV, or my own mind. As far as they are concerned, I named broccoli and bathtub too. We call candy candy, etc. When Evan was learning to use the potty, we didn't make up stories about where the poop went when we flushed. We just told him it went to the wastewater treatment plant. And that was as natural and understandable to him as just about anything else I could tell him. I don't think it is the names themselves that are the problem...or even the characters in most cases...but the commercialization. And I think it is actually pretty easy to separate the two.

    Wonderfully interesting discussion, by the way. You know how I love moments when bloggers actually speak their true, though occasionally differing opinions. Go Jules!

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    1. It's been fun Katie, listening to everyone speak up about how they handle it. I think that Avi knows that you named broccoli and bathtub too! :)

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  10. Sweet, sweet boy. Good job, Mommas!!!

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  11. Maybe we can blame it on the fact that my kids grew up in Orlando, or maybe something else, but we have chosen not to shield our children from exposure to media, commercialization, etc. It is a shame that classic literature has been exploited and abused for monetary gain, but the children don't see these things, what they see are stories, stories that bring them joy, excitement, and inspiration. We have had our share of mistakes in our journey through parenthood, but what we have come to learn is that we need to help our children mediate and understand what is happening in our fast paced, technology driven society. We do our best to teach them moderation, balance and have tried to lead by example. We aren't the family that watches hours and hours of tv or even have the tv hardly on, but we do have a tv. We also have computers and plastic toys like Pet shop and Lego. My son has a classic pooh bear that he has had since he was one, since before he even knew what pooh was. And once he found out who Pooh was, he could have cared less, because it wasn't about the commercialization, it was about how this bear makes him feel. As far as I can tell, my children's imaginations have not been damaged by characters, commercials, marketing, tv, movies, videogames, no more than my own from whatever I was exposed to or played with as a child. One child is an outdoor nut, and enjoys building, brain puzzles, reading and writing, the other loves stories, characters, fantasy, drama, and thrives by her imagination. Both have been exposed to the same, but have very different interests.

    I do know this by experience, denial creates want, so we have evolved into using a partnership approach by respecting each of our needs equally. I have been through quite an education on separating my needs from my children's and respecting that they are individuals with their own drives for certain things. We talk constantly about our feelings, our opinions, our choices, and how we respond to what we see. We have limits but never without reason, and everything is negotiable. We can only hope that we are continually laying a foundation that is built on trust, honesty, and openness. I guess only time will tell :).

    I write this wondering if you will ever want to come over to our house now, lol, but I will say that our children have known from a young age--different strokes for different folks, and that the greatest gift we can give others is respect and tolerance. We all have our journeys to learn what we are meant to learn and I am proud to be a part of a blogging community that can share openly about their beliefs, their gains and their losses...
    So cheers!
    xo

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    1. holy sh-- I wrote a book, sorry!

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I really do LOVE reading your comments. Thanks for visiting.