Two Right Handed Parents, One Left Handed Kid

When Lady C was 2 and half years old she started reading independently. At first we thought she was just memorizing books so color us shocked when she started reading book after book without having it read to her first. She is now 5 and can read pretty much anything she puts her hands on and is enjoying chapter books. We don’t say this to impress you because all kids have SOME special skill where they accelerate and then lack in some other area. Our kid is an early reader and our kid’s area of concern is HANDWRITING!

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CAUGHT ‘EM! They put themselves in this position…

So while Lady is reading books left and right (pun intended) including reading to her sister, we noticed that she was not holding writing utensils well… we noticed that she was holding them in her left hand. Neither of us are left handed and it proved to be difficult to show her or teach her the proper grip. Couple that with over use of tablet devices and by the time she was in Pre-K her teacher referred her to the in-school Occupational Therapist. She was assessed and sure enough, the report came back that her hold is weak as compared to her fellow students. I know I know — some of you are probably out there thinking, she’s 5! What’s the big deal? And… that’s what we thought when she was 3 and when she was 4 but we started to get more concerned as the year passed particularly because she did not LIKE writing and drawing.

After hearing that report we have focused more on encouraging her to draw and write as much as possible and found ways to make it fun! Practice makes perfect and handwriting would only improve with practice.

Here are some of the things we are doing:

1) We have Lady C write birthday cards for all of her friend’s birthday parties. ALL. She LOVES this and now she looks forward to drawing and is a pro and writing her “To: and From:” greetings. We (un)fortunately go to a lot of kid parties so this happens often. We also encourage her to write and draw stories because her imagination is wild and she always has a good story in her.

2) We encourage her to write on an easel. Holding a writing instrument upright forces a better grip because of the position of the arm.

3) We actually went back to cursed electronic device and got an App called Wet.Dry.Try but we have her use a stylus instead of her fingers. The app provides a progress report and makes writing fun and a game for kids.

4) And this summer we went a step further, we enrolled her in an occupational therapy gym called SPOTS in Brooklyn. We realized that we were holding her back because of our tough time trying to teach her how to write and in 6 weeks of attending she has come around sooooo much. We are so grateful to her Occupational Therapist, Barbara and we made Barbara a card to thank her as well. Lady C looks forward to occupational therapy and is sad that she will be leaving soon.

So – that’s our story. Our kid is not perfect (ha!). Two right handed parents… one left handed kid!

Any other righties raising lefties??? Any lefties raised by righties???

Let us know some tools you have used to improve handwriting!

Daddy Problems #45: Two girls, one dad, and a bathroom dilemma

I hang out with my girls without their mother all the time dating all the way back to when there was only ONE girl! Back then I had to figure out how to take Lady C to the bathroom. I figured out the technique for taking her to men’s room and making sure she didn’t touch anything in those disgusting facilities.  However, going to the bathroom myself was a horse of a different color. I am hyper sensitive about my daughters seeing my genitalia. Mom and Lady C take showers together and they have all the same bits and pieces. I wasn’t ready to have a discussion about why daddy has a penis and she and mommy don’t. So going to the bathroom coupled that need for modesty with the need to stay sanitized. Figured out the whole get a stall, turn the kid around, and do your business. Fast forward 3 years and now there are TWO OF THEM! I hadn’t had an occasion to figure out relieving myself yet. Either I have been close to home or just held it until I was around more people. However, I had an incident recently and had to pee with two girls in tow, one of which is the busiest 15 month old EVER! I needed some advice so I went to the modern day oracle: Facebook! The answers were helpful, hilarious, and thought provoking. Observe:

Shima G. You have to use a stall, keep them sequestered, and tell them not to touch anything. When Rhys was small, I would keep her strapped to me while I used it. Now, she knows…she even says, “No toca nada!” (our specific bathroom command) whenever we enter a public restroom.

Whitney PWhat Shima said too. I put the fear of God in mine about touching stuff in the bathroom. My daughter (5) gets it, but my three year old…I turned my back to help my daughter and he was literally rolling on the floor. I wanted to strip him and hose him down right there. Luckily it was relatively clean, but still…*shudders*

Derek F. Brooklyn usually has plenty of savory characters showering in one of the bathroom sinks. Have one of them hold the toddler…wait…..

Vinny J. Step one: Don’t miss.

The comments made me laugh (which didn’t help on a full bladder) and some were helpful. I was going to put Lady H on my shoulder and tell Lady C to turn around in the stall. Luckily, I found a hidden family bathroom in the mall and was able to roll Lady H in her stroller and make sure Lady C was in the corner. The last bit about this experience was some of the unexpected backlash about the fact that women navigate these issues all the time and don’t need to ask for help. I think there is not enough credit given to moms and all of the amazing multitasking superhuman tasks that they perform. However, it’s a dangerous slippery slope when we diminish the efforts of a man trying to be active in their child’s life. There are far less resources for involved fathers than there are for moms. Cut us some slack. Telling us that women can do that with one hand tied behind their back, while jumping double dutch, as you’re booking the family vacation on line, and changing a screaming baby’s diaper. We get it. We’re trying. We’ll never be moms!

Hope you enjoyed my peril. Stay tuned for more Daddy Problems! Next up, the play date!

 

Hayden

Incest, Gay Marriage and Arranged Marriage: Convo With A Five Year Old

Lady C: Mommy did you know that girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys?
Aisha: I did know that, where did you learn that?
Lady C: Pre-K… I can’t remember which classmate. So that means I can marry a girl if I want to?
Aisha: You sure could. You should marry someone you love.
Lady C: Great, so does that mean we can get married?
Aisha: No… you can’t marry a member of your family.
Lady C: So I can’t marry grandma either?
Aisha: Nope.
Lady C: Fine. I will marry a boy. Mom, can you find me a nice boy to marry some day? I don’t think I will be able to find a boy to marry.
Aisha: I sure will. That would be my pleasure.
Lady C: You’re the best mom.

 

And…. that was a conversation I had with Lady C the other night out of the blue. Lately she is quite intrigued with family compositions and particularly intrigued by gay and lesbian families. I was not surprised that she mentioned she learned about different families in her Pre-K class because her school embraces diversity in all respects including family composition.

It’s an interesting discussion though and layered because first she starts with the idea of marrying someone of the same sex. But when I told her she should marry someone she loves, her mind immediately went to family which I thought was ADORABLE!! That’s what love is to her… family. Best part though, her asking me to find her a husband – ha! I’m keeping this blog forever so that when she brings home that person that I don’t approve of when she’s 22 I can tell her that I have right of refusal… I hope she buys that.

Anyone else having conversations with their little ones about family composition and marriage? What would you say if your child asks if they can marry someone of the same sex. Are you ready to have that conversation? 

 

Safe…

Sleeping hard

There are few things more peaceful than a sleeping child. Especially a child as talkative as my eldest and one as busy as my youngest. When they finally fall asleep, a hallowed hush falls across the house and Aisha and I take a collective breathe. Don’t get me wrong: we love that our daughters are talkative but every parent of young children looks forward to bedtime!

At any rate, when children fall asleep at home, in a protected loving environment, they completely knock out with abandonment. It’s a manifestation of the trust they have in their home and that their parent(s) are going to protect them while they sleep. It brings me great joy that we have been able to provide that level of solace for our children and sometimes I just watch them sleeping and envy their ability to completely relax.

Now it’s a horse of a different color when your child falls asleep outside of the home. At least for me it is. Think about: your child becomes sleepy (afternoon nap or headed home after normal bed time). Children will not fall asleep until they feel safe so when they fall knock out on your shoulder or in the back of the car, that feeling of security is directly attributed to you, not their surroundings. For me, it is the greatest affirmation of trust that I can get from my children: “Ok daddy. I’m going to go to sleep now. You got me right?” My children see me as Daddy the Brave, Shoo-er of Flies, Vanquisher of Ants, Protector of Sleep (having a bit of a Game of Thrones moment)! And there are few greater feelings than that in the world.

…now if we can just get them to take a nap at the same time, we’ll be GOLDEN!!

From the Greene House…

Are We Raising An Obnoxious Kid?

Children should be seen and not heard

Speak only when spoken to.

Because I said so.

Early on we decided that we wanted to mutter these phrases that we heard a LOT as children as little as possible to our own children. We decided that having outspoken children with opinions was ok and we want to encourage conversation among ourselves and our children. We both realized that leaders tend to be people who question authority and are not always compliant. Our desire for this type of child has led us to choose a school for our oldest daughter which believes that children are authentic human beings with views and opinions that should be valued almost as much as adults. They allow children to be active participants in the classroom in every way – including curriculum decisions. When we visited the school we were impressed with how much bravado the students had, how mature they were but we also smirked a little and said… “man, these kids are a little obnoxious”…

We want to raise leaders.

We don’t want to raise obnoxious kids.

Lady C (now 5 years old) is … very vocal. Real talk… we know that to some (especially to old school adults), she is a bit obnoxious. Oh yes — we’ve seen how some folks just glare when she corrects adults or asks for proof of their statements. We’ve even had people say they were “surprised” when we’ve let her get away with some of her questions or sassy talk. In her recent school end of the year report, her Pre-K teacher wrote:

“… she sometimes speaks for the sake of speaking but doesn’t really know the context of what she is talking about” …

Yep. We know that kid! We’ve got to pull it back a bit!

While we want her to have a “voice” we know that, of course, there needs to be balance because SOMETIMES it is ok to ask question after question (after question after question) and disagree with a grownup. But SOMETIMES little ones need to close those little lips and open those little ears and not.say.a.word. Leaders are vocal but leaders should know what they are talking about too. And you can learn by listening and doing. Other than moments of danger though, the question is… When is that SOMETIMES??? How do you pause the questions and ‘back talk’ in THAT moment? What is THAT moment? Is it when you are just plain tired of the fifth time they have asked “why?” Or is it when the back talk gets a little too sassy? Do you use a code for when enough is enough… a secret family word or phrase perhaps?

We are struggling with the balance of raising a kid who is not in the shadows, speaks up and asks questions versus a child who talks back too much and has driven us to the point where we yell “BECAUSE I SAID SO”.

We don’t want an obnoxious kid.

Thoughts? Give it to use straight (but don’t be obnoxious about it!)

Introducing the GreenEs….

Welcome to “That’s GreenE with An E”… a family blog about marriage and parenting in the city.

This is not your typical parenting blog featuring only the female voice. This parenting and marriage thing works because it involves two of us so we will share the perspective of both of us with you.

We are going to give you a glimpse into our family which is filled with tons of comedy and reality while we raise our two daughters in the city.

familE

family photoDad: Hayden
Mom: Aisha
Children: Lady C (the school kid) and Lady H (the toddler)
We are… the GreenEs!
All of us will be pretty involved in the blog and have a presence. Most of the content will come from mom and dad but from time to time you might be see quotes, photography or artwork from the GreenE kids.

comedE

Seriously – not sure how anyone does this family thing without a huge dose of humor. So on this blog expect a little lot of sarcasm and humor. On a bad day – we hope we make you smile or laugh.

realitE

Our family is not perfect – this blog won’t be perfect. We won’t be dishing out advice so much as discussing our reality and quite often, we will be ASKING for advice and feedback.

Also, if you are looking for a blog with magical crafts that you will share broadly on Pinterest… you are in the wrong place. That’s not the GreenE’s expertise.

cityE

The silent member of our family is New York City, our home sweet home. We try to take advantage of all the things that our city offers and weave adult city fun with our kids in tow. We are always on a hunt for fun things to do with our kids. So if you know of cool things to do – please TELL US!

We look forward to journeying with you!

The GreenEs

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