Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I Don't Like "Rainbow Fish": I'm Not Alone {and} Why We Will Still Read It {Parenthood}

I was first introduced to "Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister for Virtual Book Club for Kids. The library wait for the hardback was forever and a day, so I decided to go with the board book. After all how different could the board book be? That was my first experience with board books being a slightly condensed version of the actual book. My impression of that book was less than thrilling.

Fast forward a few years. Our MOPs group brought back the Book Club for Kids we started my year as the events and creative activities person. The host picks a book, does a craft, and maybe a snack to go with it.  

The recent pick was the "rainbow fish". 

My son is studying rainbow fish in second grade. I realized in some conversation with him that I hadn't read the full story, or there was something I was missing.

I decided to go and experience the book in a new light. So many people enjoy this book. I felt I must have been missing something.

And... I missed parts talking to some other moms.

I decided to find a reading on youtube. We sat and listened to the whole story. I was let down by the story again. 

The artistry is alluring. I understand the want to teach our kids to share. It's the premise behind the type of sharing that drives me nuts about the book. There was more to it and I couldn't put my finger to what I didn't like. 

So I set to trusty Google to see what else others might have said. I can't be alone in my opinion in this over-opinionated cyber world. I found at least 4 (here, here, here, and here) posts. The rest, several pages were art activities for kids. Yet. I am not alone in my opinion of the book. Thank goodness, at least.

1st issue. overly prideful. I have this same issue with Thomas the Train. Yet, kids are like this. We weren't born void of sin, so that's understandable. The colorful fish would flaunt his scales to the other fish even though they wanted to play with him. Now there is nothing wrong with taking pride in god given gifts, abilities, and traits. Yet, flaunting them is not ok. The rainbow fish wanted to know why the other fish turned their backs? Maybe if he made more of an effort to play. It wasn't the fact that he had the scales and didn't share that was the problem, but the fact that he was flaunting them to the other fish.

2nd issue, the demanding little blue fish. Like so many of the other posts, this one bugs me. The rainbow fish had every right to say no to giving away his scale to the little blue fish. It was not asked of him to give a scale away but demanded. We don't demand things in this house. We ask nicely. At least that is what I tell myself and remind my children when they demand. After the octopus said his thing and the little blue fish came back further irritated me. Starting to not be mad because he only wanted one scale. Again, a demand. Not asking nicely.

3rd issue, the other fish only played with him after he gave his scales away. Like another of the posters stated, what if there were more fish and he didn't have enough scales to give to them all? He is essentially buying his friends using the scales? Are those fish true friends? Taken literally, should we harm ourselves for the sake of having someone as a friend?

My husband found it nuts that he wasn't happy until all the fish were the same, with one shiny scale per fish. He claims socialism undertones.

What I wish was that there was more to the growing happier when giving his scales away. More towards the rainbow fish's change in behavior and attitude and less about the fish taking away the scales and playing with him because they have a scale. Don't get me wrong. Generosity and giving is a good thing to promote, it's the premise behind it that bugs me the most.

Now, I'm not going to shun this book from my house.

The best thing about this book? All the room for this book gives for meaningful discussion with the kids. Life isn't perfect. Stories aren't going to present and solve problems perfectly. This book gives so much for us to use with our kids from the behavior of the rainbow fish to the little fish.

I hope my kids will be better than to flaunt something in front of their friends. I hope they don't demand things from their friends or expect their friends to give them something just because they have so much. I hope they know that it is ok to say no to giving a piece of themselves away, that those people aren't going to be very good friends if they demand or expect that.

All those points you can use throughout the book and talk about. We were lucky. My son brought up the book and a writing assignment he had from their study. What kinds of things can you share with your friends? He didn't know. It also happened to be my daughter's 5th birthday and she picked the meal. My son threw a fit because he didn't want to eat it. She picked chicken wings, tater tots, salad, and rolls and he didn't want to eat the bone-in chicken wings. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the kinds of things that we can share vs. things we might not want to share and don't have to share. Our now 5-year-old chose to share some of her favorite food with her family because it is something she enjoys. My son decided to eat the food despite the bones in the chicken. He enjoyed dinner, and ate more than what my husband and I anticipated. And, he said he had an idea for his writing assignment.

I still don't like the book. It's not a favorite. But we may not have had the discussion at dinner about sharing. I hope that we can read that book and use those disliked elements for developing further meaningful conversations with my kids.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

1st day of School {parenthood}

When you walk your child up to the kindergarten playground for the first time, how did you feel? Excited, sad, nervous? How was your kindergartener?

I think having been a teacher help facilitate my excitement when I walked my first up to the kindergarten playground for the first time. Though this year, with my second, I was apprehensive. So many concerns ran through my head. Will she be ready? Will she follow directions well? Will she learn what she needs to in order to progress to the next grade level? She is such a young kindergartener, only turning 5 three days after the first day of school (meaning tomorrow!). I was not as sure of her starting kindergarten as I was of my first starting. 

It's hard to get over that apprehension. 

Wait. Back up a sec. School started already? It's only July! 

I know that's what you're thinking. How in the world have you started school already when it is only July. Haven't most districts just ended their school year?

We are in a district that sets up a "modified year-round" schedule. We love it. The kids were rowdy and ready to back right when it was time to go back. They missed their friends. They still have the same 180 day school year, but longer fall and spring breaks. If we were to travel, it would work out perfectly.

Still. I let them go despite my own nerves. The kids loved their first week. I was nervous. But as the week progressed I felt much better.

My kindergartener wishes it was full day kindergarten instead of half a day and my 2nd grader? Well, he is a second grader and ready for the weekend to play with his siblings.

The best way to overcome the apprehension? Time. I'm still nervous my young kindergartener will fall behind. I'm worried my play focused 2nd grader will end up needing remedial work in reading. But, only time will tell. I just need to let them be them. It's such a hard thing as a parent. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 Finish-A-Long: Quarter 3 Goals {2018 FAL Q3}

Motivation is a good thing to have but so hard to come by! My motivation to do anything is extremely limited.

Having accountability through friends, link-ups, you, my readers, is great too. On something like the Finish-A-Long, it is very one-sided. We, the crafters and bloggers, post and share what we are working on, making, sewing, creating and that's it. We hope for comments and responses but those are not all guaranteed to take place.

So, here I am hoping to keep my motivation up to complete at least 1 more quilt this quarter during the finish-along!

Samara's Quilt

I got the grey border added during the last quarter. I just need to:
  • finish the last border (green fabric)
  • baste
  • quilt
  • bind
  • label

abacus quilt

I did not do anything with this one last quarter. I am really hoping I can get more of my craft space cleaned and organized. In my daydreams, it makes it easier to work on a project at this stage.

I need to:
  • cut pieces
  • sew remaining blocks
  • assemble to top
  • border if necessary 
  • baste
  • quilt
  • bind
  • label
Band Shirt Memory Quilt

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-A-Long: Band Shirt Memory Quilt

I am adding this in, though I am sure that I will not complete it this quarter. I'm debating another border or calling it good. The black large notes is a flannel and have since decided against that. The backing will be Jazz Jam from Andover Fabrics. The colors and notes are perfect for this quilt!

I need to:
  • baste
  • quilt
  • bind
  • label

First and foremost is Samara's quilt, since I haven't made her one in her *almosr* 5 years of life. My time is quickly running down since the baby is due in about 7.5 weeks! fingers crossed! 

I'm hoping I can keep up the momentum with even 1 finish a quarter!
What do you have to finish? how do you keep the momentum going and the motivation when your discussing them others is extremely limited?


Thursday, July 5, 2018

2018 Finish Along: Finishes {18 FAL Q2)

Can you believe the year is halfway through already? The kids start school in about a week and a half!

This summer has been crazy with the kids losing their minds inside because it's just too darn hot to play outside and the only time it's cooled off is ... never! Usually, by now we have had a monsoon storm or two, but not this year. So we have not even gotten the respite from heat a storm gives.

I have managed a finish this quarter! (yay!) I only listed three in my FAL goals for this quarter.

Labyrinth Lap Quilt

You can check out the details here.

One is better than nothing! yay!

I added in the project planner from Sew Of Course into my bullet journal to keep track of all the finishes I have and what I have left to do for them. She has a pretty neat printable. I like the accessibility of having it in my bullet journal. Which I will have to move soon since I'm running out of pages in this one. LOL, but that's ok!

I am color coding by quarter what I have completed. orange was prior to joining back in, the pink was quarter 2, blue will be quarter 3. I've only listed 3 projects since those are all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure once I go through my craft space and organize it some (one of many nesting projects in the works as well), I will find more and write them down as I come across them.

How'd you do this last quarter?

Linking up to the Finish A Long!