Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dalton in his Roanoke College colors

OK, so the title is misleading. The wig isn't actually a Roanoke College wig. The color, however, is a good match. Dalton and I spent the afternoon at the Virginia Tech Math Emporium Mall. In case you haven't seen it, this place has all the features of one of those small malls that everyone forgot. Except that it is adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus and the school filled one end of it with computers and desks. I guess they run their math labs online in this area which is aptly named the Math Emporium. At the other end of the mall, is an official VT bookstore. In between is a private gym, a really good coffee shop, and a series of other shops and restaurants that you wouldn't recognize. It's likely that most of those indistinct shops would not exist if it were not for the steady stream of potential customers strolling by on their way for their daily dose of math. Even with this potential audience, the shops don't seem to prosper.

Regardless, we're pretty glad the mall is there. It has a number of fountains and some good space to run around. The bookstore has a children's section where we read books and bathrooms to go potty (critical). Dalty loves to throw pennies into the fountains. I used to ration them out to him to make the experience last several minutes. Of late, he has been holding the pennies and so they tend to go in handfuls at a time. Dalton is not much into delayed gratification.
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The mall also has a number of large ceramic turkeys that have been decorated in various different ways. I took several pictures of Dalton in front of the one covered in Legos (his favorite) today.

We've also had some success in getting Dalty interested in words of late. My trick has been to start watching MY videos. Dalton gets to choose two videos to watch on the computer in the morning and two at night. These are short things of five minutes or less. When the word videos were new, he chose those. When they were displayed on Grandma and Grandpa's huge TV, he chose them. At home, he chooses some ABC music videos put out by They Might be Giants. I've managed some traction by watching my word videos separate from his videos. So far, he has sat down and watched my videos with me. He has resisted (as always) the reading of the words at the end of the video. However, if I read them incorrectly, I can get him to correct me on the ones that he knows. We will see how long it lasts.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Legos

This isn't an epiphany to anyone who knows Dalton, but it was obvious this weekend that he hasn't avoided the "Industrial Movie Character Complex". We've been building a Lego fire truck that I received for Christmas this weekend. I've been holding off getting it out in hopes that the "sensitive period" for Legos would end and be replaced with a "sensitive period" for reading. In the meantime, Dalton has been pointing at previous sets we have put together and started asking if we could take them apart and put them back together. I had been thinking about this and decided that the whole philosophy behind sensitive periods is you go with them rather than try to change them to preferred topics. Besides, if he ends up an engineer instead of a writer, I’m not going to complain.

Having made up my mind to get out the fire truck this weekend, I was surprised to find Cathy and Dalton playing with it when we got up. We were working on it yesterday when an interesting conversation took place.

Dalton: Why did Bana and Papa buy you this fire truck?

Me: I asked them for it because I thought it would be fun to put it together with you.

Dalton: Why do you ask for presents?

Me: Well, people who want to buy you presents like to know what you want so they buy something you like.


Dalton: I want the Lego set with Woody and Jessie for Christmas.

This would be the first time he’s asked for a specific gift for a holiday. It took a few questions to figure out what he was talking about. The Toy Story Lego set he’s asking for is one that we saw with him in Walmart.

That was an interesting experience.

He was running out of Legos so we stopped off at Walmart on the way home to pick up a Creator set for him. We had our eye on two of the small ones. He immediately ran over to the Toy Story set. After some intense negotiation, we talked him into two of the small Creator sets.

Wait a minute, we won. How did that happen?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Big Bird goes caving

We've been playing hide and seek in various forms at Grandma and Grandpa's house. One form involves taking the Fisher Price figures and hiding them somewhere in the house. Dalton hid Big Bird in an opening in the brick wall behind Grandma and Grandpa's wood stove a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, there's a space between the real wall and the brick that protects it from thje stove. I'm sure there's a design reason for this. It probably involves water. I'm going to hazard a guess that the holes in this wall aren't even decorative.

Ok, I gave in and included a picture below that was taken by the in house security cameras before the incident.

In any case, when Dalton went to retrieve Big Bird, he accidentally bumped him into the space behind the brick wall. Dalton was upset although not meltdown upset. Cathy, who is the only adult with small enough hands to reach in the holes, tried to retrieve the fowl fellow. Unfortunately, the bird wasn't game. Several kilograms of mortar later, Cathy gave up. Dalton was worried about his feathered friend and wanted us to talk for him. Dalty asked questions like, "Are you alright down there?" "Are you cozy?" "Do you have a blanket?". It was quite touching to listen to his concern. I was thinking Dalton was going to start asking to throw supplies into the crevice after him, but he didn't think of it. I also avoided the temptation to suggest it as it has been my experience that my sense of humor is not always appreciated. Big Bird likes bananas, no?

Dalton did decide to stuff a washcloth in the hole so that no one else would accidentally fall down it.

Later in the day, Cathy's parents came home and Grandma and I took Dalton to the park. While we were out, Cathy and her Dad mounted a rescue mission with mirrors and Romex. I'd relate the details, but it brings back memories of our rewiring our house. I don't think we can afford the costs of therapy and marriage counseling involved in reliving that experience. We at least cannot afford that and sending Dalton to college and going to the local coffee shop five times a week. One must look out for the important things in life.