Friday, April 15, 2011


Last night near the end of dinner:

Waimea: "Dad, do I look like a beaver?"

Spencer: "Justin Beaver sings like a girl"

Me: "How do you know who Justin Bieber is?"

S: "He's a boy who sings like a girl."

Evan: "Have you ever heard Justin Bieber?"

S: "No."

E: "Have you ever seen Justin Bieber?"

S: "No, dad, it's BeaVER, NOT BieBER."

E: "No, Spencer, it's Bieber, not Beaver."

S: "No, dad, I know."

Who's Justin BeaVER?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Swimming Lessons

Years ago, when I was a swim instructor, long before husband and kids, I never thought I'd have to put my kids in swimming lessons. Little did I know back then how unreceptive kids are to their own parents teaching them. (Well, at least that's how my kids are). I've tried teaching them to swim. Believe me, I have. Spencer can float. Kind of. And he claims he can swim, but he won't let me be more than a few yards away from him. Waimea will kick around in a floatie, but won't willingly put her head underwater. It's been frustrating.

Last summer someone told me about the American Red Cross preschool swim lessons at Mercer County Community College. They are super cheap (for this area, anyway), and their focus is on teaching the kids how to survive in water, more than they are concerned with the form. I like their approach. Waimea didn't.

The first thing they did was dunk Waimea under the water. Multiple times. Waimea screamed the entire first lesson. All 45 minutes of it. No joke. But over the course of the week, before her next lesson, I did a lot of prepping, and bribing with ice cream, so she was ready. She still didn't like it, but at least she did it. And then, when it wasn't her turn, she sat in the tube and giggled and kicked around and had a blast.

She's still a long way from real swimming, but at least she'd progressing now. And better yet, she LOVES it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Let me preface today's story with these two key points:

1) We have a rule in our household that a child can chew gum when they reach the age of 5. No real reason--just an arbritrary age I picked when Spencer was 2 or so. Spencer never bothered us about this as he was approaching the age of 5. Waimea, however, needs lots of reminders, and is constantly asking to chew gum.

2) We keep packets of gum in our cars for "emergencies" (ie: fast sundays).

Today when we came home from Waimea's swim lesson, she asked to play in the car. This is pretty normal for her to want to do. And I usually let her. She just likes to fiddle around with the buttons and pretend she's driving. She's usually done after 5-10 minutes, and then comes straight inside. I check on her periodically while she's out there, and today was no different.

Except that when I checked on her, I couldn't see her in the front seat. So I went out and opened the door, calling her name. As I did so, the disctinctive scent of the gum we store in the car came at me full force. She peered up at me over one of the back seats with an obviously guilty look, and I could tell she was trying to hide the fact that she was chewing on something.

"Did you take some gum?," I asked.

Her response cracked me up so much that I just couldn't bring myself to punish her:

"I'm pretending that I'm five!"