Sunday, October 29, 2006


Thanks to B's busy day yesterday he slept right through the "fall back" hour this morning, rather than waking up really early as in previous years. He seems to have hit the pre-adolescent "I don't wanna" stage of life, so upon remembering it was a church day he made the usual protest, which was duly noted & then we moved onward. He was pleased to have leftover pizza for breakfast (from last evening's dinner with Paula) & that cheered him up a lot. We allowed him to show us 2 more of the bookmarked YouTube videos of Weird Al songs before church as well. :) Usually B reads a book during choir practise (we arrive 1 1/2 hours before the service for practise as C & I are both in the choir- B has been invited to sing, too, but has declined so far) & the first part of the service until kids & teachers go up to Sunday School but today he found our minister's son playing "Adventure Quest" on the computer in the Lounge, so he decided to stay & watch. He didn't join us for church until choir practise was over, then asked for his book (he's still working on "Artemis Fowl & the Opal Deception"), which he read until Sunday School. The choir was sponsoring a fund raising lunch after the service, but B didn't mind staying at all because he (& eventually a whole group of kids) just watched the Adventure Quest game while the adults ate & chatted. It was the first time in a long time that C & I have been able to hang out (well, actually, I helped serve lunch) & talk to people after church. B even requested some soup & ate it while watching the game. He arrived home with the instructions for signing-into the game at home, & C watched it for a bit & said it was no worse than the bionicle game in terms of violence, so we got B logged-in & he played until it was time for japanese lesson. Tomoko had been at a conference last weekend, so we missed last week's lesson. I had written a whole list of phrases that I wanted to know how to say in japanese, like "watch out!" & "have fun!", & Tomoko brough another neat InuYasha-based lesson. B learned how to say "I'm not doing anything bad" (a phrase often used by her nephews, according to Tomoko :) & we we learned the verb form for "I don't want to...". B did very well, but eventually burnt out & was allowed to go back to his game. When we got to my phrases I learned that Japanese moms don't say "have fun" to their kids when they go off to play in their rooms... only if they're leaving the house. Tomoko finally figured out an appropriate phrase for me to use ("tanoshindeneh"). She also taught me the common phrases used when entering or leaving someone's house, all based on a sort of "pardon me for bothering you" sentiment which is very different, culturally, than here in the States (I have trouble imagining being invited to someone's house for a visit & then apologising for bothering them when I get there... ). I need to practise these, though, to prepare for our trip. Tomoko has also started to include some ear-training in out lessons, where she says a sentence & we have to figure out what she's saying. Watching anime in japanese has been a big help with this. B's favourite part of the lesson, I think, was when Tomoko was helping him come up with names for swords for his lego characters, like "shiromizuken", meaning "white water sword". She was impressed with his eagerness to put words & concepts like this together, & I told her that I've heard him yelling in japanese as he's been playing with his legos. Pretty neat... :)

We had a pretty mellow afternoon, after lesson. B focused on his new game, getting stuck at one point, obsessing about it for a while (I tried to help but there wasn't much help available at the site for getting stuck in specific places), then we persuaded him to help carve the pumpkin & decorate for Halloween with dad. He did a pretty darn good job of switching gears, considering that he was really frustrated at that point, & usually the frustration makes it even harder to disengage him. After decorating he decided to start the game over & avoid the place where he got stuck until he understands the game better. Over dinner B kept interjecting info about the game into C's & my conversation about church this morning, which made the conversation very dis-jointed, so we explained to B that it would be good if he would listen to us for a bit (or ignore us) rather than pulling the conversation back to the game every other sentence. We acknowledged his excitement about the new game, & both C & I had spent some time with him this afternoon while he was playing, so the info he was giving us wasn't all new to us. We have been trying to help B sort out the difference between "listing" & conversing for the past few years, & it's interesting to see how the "listing" has evolved from literally reciting a list to his making it seem more like conversation (as he was doing at dinner). I am aware that listing can be a soothing thing for him, so we are trying to make him aware of when we are open to listening to him recite & when we'd like to have a conversation that includes a give-&-take sort of spirit.

After dinner it was bath time, a bit more game, some play time with dad, then I read some more "Greenwitch" to him as he was falling asleep. He zonked out really early (before 9:00), probably because of the time change. This week is going to be very different, as B is off school on Wednesday & Thursday for conference days, & they have a Halloween party on Tuesday morning. He's certainly looking forward to less school this week. I have some projects up my sleeve, with the holidays so soon upon us, so we should have some productive fun... :)


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