happy sticky fingers

a place where hearts, minds & creativity are encouraged to soar

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A Passion for Winning

Hayden had a wonderful first season of soccer. He is incredibly agile for his age and has a passion for winning. The latter, we need to work on a bit as his winning spirit occasionally leads to a tantrum if he actually isn’t winning. I usually can see it coming as a seemingly innocent question precedes the change in mood. Am I winning, mommy? Ah….deep breath.

Shear determination

Shear determination

Even with a gentle touch, “You are very close but, your brother is slightly ahead at the moment,” the monster seed is sprouting. “No, I AM winning, mommy”. Huh, change the course and lie or do the right thing? How tired am I today?

Of course by my third child I know, avoiding the lesson lead to prolonging the stage – more whining, more tantrums and inability to navigate in the real world. Lately we have closed down a few games mid-stream proclaiming it simply not fun to play a game with someone who is crying.

I sympathize. No one likes to lose. I certainly don’t like to lose. And in the US, we are raised from birth to value independence and the concept that hard work leads to success. Lately I have noticed a very important nuance has been lost.  We don’t all get to win every time. Hard work doesn’t immediately lead to success every time but, it certainly leads to more success over time though.  It’s a fine distinction for a 4 year old but, one that it is better to learn early.

The flipside to this phase in his life is the shear elation he expresses when he does win.  Recently we were playing a family game for ages 6 and up.  Amazingly my little loving four year old WAS winning – and winning by a large margin.  “Am I owning you?  I am owning you mommy.”  I can only assume his brothers taught him that phrase but, it made me laugh out load.  That night, he WAS OWNING us!  I chose to save the ‘graceful winner’ lesson for another time and let him revel in his glory within the security of our own home.

And, as a side note, there are days that I envy my 4 year old. I would love to kick, scream or quit on days when I don’t win.  Ah, to be four again…

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ACME Birthday Blast

I agreed to sleepover party to celebrate my son’s tenth birthday. Ten 10 year olds – What was I thinking? And what could we do to keep that many boys occupied all evening?

Last year, I found that a movie was not enough.  Half the kids had seen it and the other half just wanted to run.

I remember yelling, DON’T and STOP a lot last year.  “Don’t jump on the bed.” “Stop slamming the doors!” “Don’t jump off the top bunk.” (Did I really have to articulate that?  Yes, and still someone fell from the top bunk. It was my son which was stressful but, at least I didn’t have to explain it to another parent)    Aurgh!

So this year the game plan was different.  Keep the kids occupied and running for as long as possible so they would collapse from exhaustion at the end of the night.

ACME Air Rocket Launcher

Finding a theme was challenging.  Ten is too old for Power Rangers and we’ve tackled both Batman and Godzilla before.  I found inspiration on the Silhouette store – Wile E Coyote.Blowing something up was out of the question of course.  The next best thing to blowing something up is a rocket, right? We got lucky – very lucky – as we had a friend with an air compressor rocket launcher.  The boys had to construct their rockets – which only requires paper and tape.  Then we raced outside to see how high they would fly.  Some easily went 250 feet into the air. The boys had so much fun, I may make a launcher myself!

Paper, tape, compressed air – lift off! Click here for Instructions to make your own rocket launcher.  Good luck if you try it!Rocket Launching