Happy 2014! So many amazing things happened in 2013, but the one thing I resolve for 2014 is to take more time outs to stop and think and post. Didn’t have the chance to sit down and blog much in 2013. Going back to school gave me an excuse to take off from writing, but I realize that I can always take a time out to write if I need to… and I need to do that more. I am so thankful and grateful for all that I have and know that because of that, I have much more to give back. So thankful for having such a supportive family and network of friends and colleagues. Malachy continues to be a source of inspiration to be the best dad that I can be for him. Not so easy sometimes when the patience is low and lack of sleep is high. So, in 2014, I will need to take more time outs to:
3) Spend time with family
4) Get Organized
That’s just the beginning, as I could probably add 10-20 more things to the list right now… Time out… 🙂
One of Malachy’s homework assignments has been to say grace during mealtimes. It’s quite simple. “God is good. God is great. Thank you Lord for our food.” With that, Malachy adds, “Enjoy!” It’s taught me what a blessing it is to be able to eat together. Of course, it helps to have the best chef in the house prepare such wonderful meals for us. Thanks, Mommy! YUMMY.
We have always been wary of allowing Malachy to watch too much television, especially Mommy, but I always felt that there were some sound educational programs out there that could provide some enrichment. When he was first born, he was exposed to lots of baseball, football, golf, and the news. And guess what? He doesn’t seem to like playing sports at all. BUT, he does like watching Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on the evening news. They are his “friends” and when they are absent from the show, he notices and will sometimes even say he misses them. He does recognize Obama, Clinton, Bush, and other politicians he grew up with. As for regular programming for children, we found some programs to be of great educational value, and I think it has helped him to become a reader. He has watched every episode of Word World and Super Why many many times. He enjoys Sesame Street and Ni Hao Kai Lan. He enjoyed Thomas the Train, but watching full episodes never seemed to capture his attention the whole time. His latest favorite is Special Agent OSO. He has watched a lot more PBS than any other station in terms of children’s television programs. These programs don’t go crazy with the flashing and quick shifting from scene to scene. They provide a literacy enriched environment and teach lessons. We often watch them with him and make references to them when there’s a conflict or a problem that needs to be resolved. The key is not to let him watch hours at a time, as it seems so easy at times to just plop him in front of the television. I think that’s what gets some kids overstimulated or superstimulated, where they then need that constant visual stimulation in order to sit still and focus.
I remember speaking with a colleague of mine one evening, when I was in the Aspiring Leadership Program. He had a daughter just a few weeks younger than Malachy. He told me about how he read to his daughter every night since she was a “baby.” Here, at 4 months, I was thinking I had missed so much time reading to Malachy! What was I thinking? I was a teacher, too, and I wasn’t reading to my child! So, from 4 months onward, we have missed only a handful of nights. (And the only excuse was that we had come home late from a gathering, and he had knocked out.) Before bed, and after brushing, we have read to him and with him EVERY night. The book of choice? The one we read the most? Goodnight Moon, almost every night, for over a year. We also read The Very Hungry Caterpillar many many a time. He loved it, and we loved it. And, before age 3, he started to read! I never would have thought that was possible.
because Dads need to take time out to STOP and THINK…