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Sat, 17 Apr 2004
DaddyCon: Day 2
The arrangements for a conference excursion can certainly be interesting. Since the attendees at DaddyCon are usually in bed by 8:30, the excursion was planned for this morning. It turns out that today is the new session of the Park Dept. gymnastics programs, which have become a staple of the 18 month - 5 year old stage of each girl's life. Today was Elisabeth's first ever gymnastics (which for 18 month olds consists of free run of a gym full of gymnastics equipment for about 45 minutes), followed 15 minutes later by Michaela's class (Abigail have moved on to bigger and better things). So the challenge was to get all 3 kids to class by 9AM, and figure out how to engage the two children who would not be participating in a particular class. For Elisabeth's class, this was straightforward, since the older two can sit for quite a while given an ample supply of books. For Michaela's class, this was less straightforward because 5 1/2 year old Abigail has to manage 19 month old Elisabeth. One of the instructors was quite skeptical that Abigail would be able to manage Elisabeth, and I have to admit that I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to work. But Abigail was game to try, and this was the only way that the kids were going to gymnastics today, so we went for it. All I can say is that Abigail and Elisabeth demonstrated convincingly that their presence in the class was not a problem. I did walk over to check in on them from time to time, but they pretty much did everything themselves for 45 minutes, while surrounded by older kids doing dancing and various gymnastics maneuvers.

Another issue at conferences is typically the menu, or what is supposed to pass for the menu. Kids have such a different frame of reference from adults on this issue. While I was concerned about variety in the menu, the girls have their priorities set quite straight. The want to make sure that there's enough "veggiebootie". When queried for today's lunch menu, they were unanimous in selecting cheese sticks (yesterday's choice), and every day I've been asked the question, "What day are we eating hot dogs"? (The answer is tomorrow.) If only all conference planners had it so easy.

Like all modern conferences, we had guests joining us via electronic media. This afternoon Julie joined us via the AIM/iChat backchannel from BloggerCon, which resulted in a trio of children climbing on me (imagine monkeys in a tree) as Julie and I IM'ed briefly (during which I did some MoveableType administration). Abigail did a good job of narrating her mother's IM's for her sisters.

We're adhering to a weekend schedule, which basically means as much free time as possible until the kids get bored of activities. Today we were out and about (gymnastics and a trip to Battle Point park) quite a bit. (kids will sleep well). We also did good mileage in the crafts department as well. Abigail constructed a house out of construction paper -- she is quite good at building things out of paper. Perhaps there is an engineering gene that is passed down or something. I'm quite certain that she doesn't know that her daddy is an engineer or what an engineer ever does. It's interesting to examine a child's innate gifts and tendencies. The great challenge is figuring out how to allow them to blossom -- to become a reflection of who they truly are. As a parent, it's easy to have your own notions about what/how your child ought to be, and try to enforce/implement/(some other verb) that in the child's life. It's much harder to try to learn and discover who your child is and then figure out if there is anything that you can or should do to help them to become fully themselves.

[22:48] | [people] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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