Monday, September 10, 2007

Jacob's Night

Jacob has had such a rough time lately with all the transitions at church. He's getting better because we aren't forcing him to go to Sunday School if he doesn't want to (he sits very quietly in church with us). I think the next thing he really needs, though, is more alone time with Mom and Dad. I don't know why we've let "Special Nights" fall by the wayside, but I decided to start them again tonight. Each child has a "Special Night," and on that night the other three kids have Roomtime beginning at 7:30. During Roomtime, the child of honor gets to spend 1/2 hour of uninterrupted (at least "no interruptions" are the rules anyway) time with us doing whatever he wants to do, with the exception of TV and video games. When I told Jacob tonight would be his night, his eyes sparkled and he shared one of those adorable, timid smiles with me.

Jacob has had an all-around good day today anyway. He started the day by requesting that he be first to have one-on-one school time. Usually Jacob goes last because he doesn't yet do independent work and therefore doesn't require the extra time in the day that Alex and sometimes Michael require. So he got to go before the other two, and his first request was that he wanted to read 8 of his Bob books. I wondered why 8, and he quickly explained that 8 was all he had left on his reading chart. Clearly the boy wanted some ice cream! I actually wasn't able to accommodate his request right away to read 8 books because we got a late start today, and we had to eat lunch so his reading was interrupted. We also had a trip to the store. But he didn't forget, and he finished his 8 books late this afternoon, resulting in a yummy ice cream dessert.

A Completed Reading Chart!

My boy also earned a dollar for the "Disney World Bank." I must digress to explain what this is since, in an earlier post, I mentioned that our cruise was to take the place of a Disney trip. Saturday was really not a good day in the Pierce household. If there was misbehavior to occur, it took place on Saturday--poor manners, attitude, fighting. Then there was the whole pee and poop in a cup incident. Yes, the boys peed in one cup and used another cup to scoop some other "stuff" out of the commode. Long story short, there was a long shower, a scrubbing of the bathroom, and then a lengthy lecture on Common Sense. As Mark was delivering said lecture, I could see his mind working to come up with some sort of incentive program to whip these kids in shape. And as he began to explain to the kids that good behavior could earn "dollars" and once $100 was accumulated, we'd go to Disney, I shot him an Are you forgetting about the cruise? look but then thought to myself, Why would I turn down another vacation? So the Disney "bank" is on the fridge with its lonely $2--Alex earned one today for behaving so well on our shopping trip.

The Disney Bank

And back to how Jacob earned his: We studied China today in history--the Tang Dynasty and how China flourished during the 300 years that were this dynasty and that became known as the Golden Age of China. We learned about how the Chinese invented stamps (the ink kind, not the postage kind) so they could mass produce opposed to the Monks we studied a few weeks ago who would meticulously copy books page by page by hand. So naturally after history, we got out the many stamps I have so the kids could create whatever kind of book they wanted to make. After they were done playing, Jacob cleaned up all the stamps--by himself! He certainly deserved to contribute to the Disney Bank!

Stamp Explosion!

Jacob's Stampin' Hands (the red ones!)

Jacob's a sweet little guy, sometimes misunderstood with his timid ways. We're trying to make a concerted effort to pay him special attention which hopefully will build his confidence. Hopefully soon we can get some days out with Daddy for both of the boys. In the meantime, Jacob will, I'm sure, be asking tomorrow how many days it is until his next "Special Night."

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