Thursday, June 21, 2012

Early BFFs

We have entered a new phase, and that's the "friends" phase. A is now obsessed with playing with his friends and when I offer to go to the park or do other fun stuff, his first question is "with whom?" ( well, he doesn't have a perfect grasp of grammar yet, but that's what he means) and if I say "just us" he loses interest -- I don't take it personally though, there's still plenty he only wants to do with me. If I tell him we're going to see one of his friends that day, he gets so excited, I can use that to get him to do pretty much anything, including napping!

Seeing him have so much fun with his friends is a true pleasure! Right now he clearly has two BFFs, one from school and one who is the son of our good friends and whom he has known forever. Last week, we even had him sleepover and it was great! A was soooo excited and the two of them behaved perfectly, they played until it was time to sleep, and then they both fell asleep without a problem! (I don't think it would be as easy the other way around though...)

The craziest part is that A cries when I leave him with family (even with his own father), but doesn't care on bit when I take off if he's at his friend's house. (he does cry when I pick him up though... nothing's perfect)

I really enjoy watching him enjoy himself with his friends, because to me, there's nothing better than friends. And I know from experience that early friends can turn out to be some of your best friends for life. I met one of my very best friends when we were 3 1/2, and more than twenty years later she was my maid of honor!

How early did your kids really develop friendships? When did you meet your best friends?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Starting Soccer

A few weeks ago, I saw a groupon for little kids soccer classes.  We did basketball and baseball classes at the Y before. He enjoyed basketball, but wasn't as fond of baseball. However, almost since the day he could walk, A's been running after a soccer ball, so I thought it would be fun to try soccer (or football as we Europeans call it).

So we started going three weeks ago, and our neighbor decided to try it too. When I first told A it was a class and that I wasn't going to be playing with him, he wasn't thrilled, but as soon as the class started, he didn't care one bit. The class is 50 minutes long, they mostly do games that involve running with a ball, and A loves every minute of it.
 It's so great to watch him have a blast, and laugh with the other kids! At the end of the first class, A said he loved it, but that next time, he would like a "shirt with a number, like the other kids". The other kids got a jersey when they enrolled, but since we're only doing the 4 groupon classes right now, we don't get one. So I went on a quest for the said "shirt with a number". What did I end up with? A Derek Jeter shirt from Target.

I know, it's the wrong sport, but A doesn't know that. I should add that I am not a baseball fan, and that my husband is a Twins fan (they don't like the Yankees too much...), so it makes his Yankees-soccer t-shirt even more comical. If we stick to soccer, I'll work on getting him a French team jersey, because they ARE the best (when they don't fall apart, call their coaches names, or head-butt Italian players.. ah!)

The biggest problem now, is that we only have two classes left. I will think about enrolling him when we get back from our France trip this summer. I hate to spend money on top of our Y membership, but A enjoys the class so much, it would be a shame not to do it. I guess they know what they are doing when they offer those groupons....

Trying the MOST again..

Syracuse doesn't have a ton of indoor things to do for kids, and A has been a bit picky about which of those places he actually likes. There is a Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) downtown, and it offers some activities for kids, including a fun climbing/sliding structure. I took A there a few times when he was little, but he never really liked it, mostly because that structure has a 'ball blaster' in it that makes a really loud noise and freaks him out. This, combined with the fact that parking downtown is hell, and that the entrance is not cheap ($8 for adults, $5 for kids), made me not try it again in over a year. But it was raining this morning, and since A's three now, he's able to enjoy more things than he used to, so I decided to give it another try. I also thought that since it was a weekday morning, it might not be too crowded and we could enjoy the place without too much noise and mayhem... guess I was wrong on that one...

A was very excited about going. It took us a while to find a parking spot, and I started regretting my choice when I saw at least ten school buses parked nearby. My whole plan of having the place to ourself was falling apart. When we went inside, he was definitly taken aback by the noise level, so I offered to go look at the model trains. (in truth, just one model train going around)

 That kept him busy for a while, I even wondered if we were going to be stuck there the whole time, but he evetually agreed to go explore the rest... but every time we got to a new part, a big group of kids would show up and we had to move on.
We eventually made it to the climbing structure, and he seemed to be enjoying it quite a bit, until a lady told us we had to wear socks to be in it..oops!

It didn't really matter, because one of the school groups was just about to climb in, so we made a quick exit and headed to the toddler area. A enjoyed building a little house for a while and tried a few more activities.

he picked a space shuttle from the gift store

Overall, it was an improved visit, but still not worth the $15 I had to shell out (not including parking--$2-- and a toy from the gift shop --$5). When I asked him if he had fun, A said yes and that he would like to come back with a friend. I may sound like a spoiled brat, but when you've been to really cool kids museums (like the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia -- see trip to PA post) or to "real" science and technology museums like we have in Paris, this place seems a bit lame (and very loud). I think I'll wait a while until we try it again.