Day 54/365 {Brave}

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One day a few weeks ago, I got an email from Josh’s teacher. She said, “Dear parent, your child had signed up for the lip-sync contest at school. Here is the performance schedule…”

I figured the email came to me in error. There’s no way Josh would have signed up for a lip-sync contest. Well, he came home and told me he is going to be in the lip-sync contest and he is going to sing the Pokemon song.

Wait. What!

We don’t come from a family of performers. Where did this come from? Well, I couldn’t get to the bottom of the story. He was so excited to tell me that he already picked the song, I didn’t want to sound like a calloused bitch. I just held back my surprise and smiled and nodded.

So on Thursday, he took the stage with his cardboard guitar, and lip-sync’d to “I want to be the very best”. I ran out of a work meeting so I can attend his performance.

Being the youngest contestant, his choreography was the most basic. But I was just beaming with pride through the entire 4 minutes and 8 seconds. He signed up for this contest, learned the lyrics, and choreographed the moves himself. He got on stage, performed, and came off the stage all with his cool and calm presence. The first thing he said to me was, “That was my first lip-sync contest. I did all the moves I wanted to.” I couldn’t help but look at him and smile ear-to-ear.

He is so much more brave than me!

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Monsters & farts

“I am scared of zombies because they take your brains. I run away from them.” Art work by Josh. Age 6.

josh-zombies

When Josh was 3 years old, one day he told me he couldn’t sleep because he was afraid of monsters. I had no idea how to respond to that, so I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind: “Oh don’t worry, baby, we don’t have monsters in our house. You fart so much, and the monsters stay away.”

I don’t know where that came from, and I was grasping for straws, but it worked. He took comfort in the fact that he farted constantly, and it protected our home from monsters. Over the past few years, I had to repeat that a few times, and also make sure Cliff tells the same story. I always wonder how long this story will last.

Two nights ago, while snuggling with Savanna in her bed, she said she was afraid of monsters. I said, “don’t worry, Josh’s farts keep the monsters away.” She asked if I was sure, I said absolutely. I also asked Josh to confirm that he has never seen a monster in his life. She then was happy to change topics.

Today, I saw Josh’s teacher post a blog on the kids’ drawings and writing. Josh wrote on his, “I am scared of zombies because they take your brains. I run away from them.” On one hand, I am relieved that he didn’t say he farted so much and the zombies ran away. I wouldn’t want to have to explain to the other parents how we teach our kids at home. On the other hand, I’m a little sad that he didn’t talk about using his farts to scare away the zombies. It makes me wonder if my fart-and-scare-the-monsters story is going hold up much longer.

Money sense

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Counting up his money

When I was little, I had a piggy bank. I loved hearing coins clinking each other when I put money in it. I remember my parents calling me an “iron chicken”–you can’t pluck a feather off of me. I have hidden all my money and gave none away.

Josh has a piggy bank too. He is a lot more generous than me. He has offered all of his money to me so we can buy a backyard. Too bad that we still can’t afford a backyard in Vancouver with all of his savings.

Anyway, Josh is in Grade 1 now. We figured it’s time to give him an allowance and teach him about money. We broke open his piggy bank that had just over $97 in it, and set up 4 jars for him:

  • Save
  • Spend
  • Give away
  • Invest

We explained that “save” is to save up for something big like a motorcycle. (Did you see how I slipped that in there? Yeah, teach them while they’re young that bikes are cool.)  “Spend” is money he gets to spend on anything he wanted, “give away” is to give away or buy food for someone who doesn’t have food, and “invest” is putting money away and mommy+daddy gives you 10% interest on anything in that jar. I can’t take credit for this idea. It was stolen off the internet from some genius dad.

There is one rule: Something always has to go in the “give away” jar.

He will get $5 a week allowance to split up among his jars. It’s completely up to him how he wants to split up the money and how he wants to use it.

Then, I held my breath.

I was afraid he’s going to realize how many Pokemon cards he can get for $97 and head straight down to London Drugs to lose himself in aisle 12.

To my pleasant surprise, he put some money in each jar. When he put money in the “invest” jar, we added the equivalent of 10% in that jar for him. His eyes lit up. He realized that his money grows. He allocated more money in that jar than any other jar. He found a quarter under his bed and quickly threw that into the “invest” jar too.

The next day, Cliff took the kids to London Drugs. Josh used his money from the “spend” jar to buy some Pokemon cards, and also bought Savanna a toy. He was so happy with his new Pokemon cards. I was so happy that he felt independent, and didn’t forget to share his fortune with Savanna.

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josh-working

Josh also worked (taking the recycling bin to the garbage room and sorting through stuff to recycle) to make a quarter. FYI: The black and blue stuff on his face is face paint that he applied to himself. We did not beat him and make him work.