Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bridging the Winter

Today the weather is hot and sunny.  And I know someday soon the rain will start. Then stay. Part of what helps me get through the dreary days of February is anticipating when our bulbs will start poking up through the dark, wet soil. Daffodils, narcissus, hyacinth and tulips brighten my day like mini suns.

With the yard remodel (I'm still brewing up before and after pictures) and the bulldozer that raked out huge swaths of grass and yard, I assume most of our bulbs disappeared.  So when the kids and I were trolling Costco this week and came across the racks of bulbs, we loaded up the cart. Vowing to have the bulbs all in the ground before Bill returned from his business trip, I took advantage of the glorious September day.

My bulb planting technics fall into the category of "good enough," developed through a combination of web surfing and watch squirrels. I open all the bags and place handfuls of bulbs strategically around.  Then I grab my shovel, lever open a wedge of dirt, stuff the bulbs in the hole under the shovel and then drop the dirt back down over the bulbs. Stomp on the little mound, chase away the dog and move onto the next pile of bulbs.

Satisfyingly, I planted all 8 bags of bulbs today.  Here's what I will be dreaming of in February.
- 25 narcissus
- 150 tulips (pink/yellow, red/white, red/yellow)
- 28 hyacinths
- 3 giant allium
- 80 crocus
- 50 daffodils

That's 336 spring flowers during the April showers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thinking about Boredom

"Mommy, I'm booooored" is a fairly common refrain around here.  I used to celebrate it as a sign that my kids were about to pass through a zone of discomfort and come out on the other side with some new fantastic project.  Which happened sometimes, but not always.  Maybe not even often.

Eventually, I figured out that "bored" usually stands for an unmet need, and I refined it to tired, hungry or lonely.  My new definition works better for both kids, they can usually identify one of the 3 issues, but it still doesn't always get us to resolution.

From Gordon Neufeld's blog aka "editorial page" one of his faculty, Jonas, writes a lovely perspective on seeing and handling a child's complaint of boredom.  I'm going to try out his tactic of collecting and connecting.  I'll bet it is the best "solution" yet.

Being Bored (read the full text here)

“Daddy, I am bored,” my six year-old son comes into my home office complaining. I have a feeling of déjà vu. I have heard this before. In fact all my children around this age have shown up with the very same expression: “Daddy, I am bored”. I used to think that they lacked for ideas of what to do. And so, I used to come up with at least a dozen suggestions. It never seemed to work though. My children left seemingly unsatisfied with my suggestions. I used to brush off my discomfort by remembering what I had read in popular psychology columns, that it was a good thing to be bored. As the years passed my two older home-schooled children are no longer in this stage. I never hear them complain about being bored. They seem to have found that never ceasing inner-well of creativity, filling them with endless curiosity. Yes, they show up at my home office, but more likely with precise questions like, ”What is a black hole?” or ”What is the difference between government and parliament?” or ”Why does a car have a gearbox?”
After studying the Neufeld paradigm I obtained words to many things I knew intuitively, and I also received confirmation of others things of which I was not fully certain. But I never understood the meaning of “Daddy, I am bored” until taking one of the Neufeld Distance Education courses.