Monday, February 21, 2011

#7 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go to the Dallas Children's Theater. I have been trying to promote free (or close to it) things in my 52 things to do in Dallas with Kids and usually you do have to pay money to attend the Dallas Children's Theater but I won an email contest posted on facebook from North Texas Kids and received my tickets for free! I have also attended for free during the Dallas Public Libraries Summer Reading Program.

I booked the 4:30 pm showing on Sunday since naps would be finished and hopefully my 3 1/2 year old son would be ready to sit, watch, and listen for his first visit to the Dallas Children's Theater. The show was 70 minutes with no intermission and after 30 minutes he was getting very antsy, but with promises that it was almost over, just 5 more minutes, just 4 more minutes, etc., he made it through the entire show!

I had bought season tickets last year for myself and at the time my 5 year old daughter and enjoyed our girl time together, but this season we had chosen not to renew. When I purchased the season tickets we were in section B in the back of the theater because they were cheaper. For our free North Texas kids tickets, we were in the front, in section A. I am never going back to section B! The action seemed so close and my kids were more engaged. (Although there really is not a bad seat in the house). I also love that there is no assigned seating, you get to pick your own within a section which encourages you to get there early!

The play, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, was well done and enjoyed by both adults and the children. I was glad that there was no intermission because we did not have to have the discussion about buying candy from the concession stand. The concession stand and gift shop were not even open, thankfully. And the favorite activity of all was at the end of the show when all of the actors come to the lobby and autograph the programs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The ability to get under your skin

My children have an incredible ability to get under my skin. My sweet boy Everett is 3 1/2 and soon after he turned 3 I remember thinking that the terrible 2s should instead be called the terrible 3s. Last week we were on our way to have lunch at school with big sister Madeleine, so I turned off Handy Manny, a show about a handyman named Manny, and noticed that something was on the TV. Everett had hidden the toy saw that Santa gave him for Christmas behind him, and I quickly realized that Everett had used the saw to make scratches on our DLP TV screen. Everett eventually explained that he was sawing like Manny. We have not watched Handy Manny since... These 6 5-inch scratches were in the middle of the TV and did not rub off. The TV repair man came yesterday and said that he thought he could buff them out, and as he loaded our TV into his van I realized that he did not tell us how much that would cost... I am thinking of confiscating Everett's allowance until he is 10...

That same day Everett was "napping," when I heard him using his toy hammer. I was wishing that Santa had not gotten him the entire tool set for Christmas... My sweet angel of a son was banging on his wall with such power that I had to use putty to fill in the holes and repaint.

The tools are now in a cabinet that is so high even I had to get the step stool to put them inside.

This morning Everett was not doing what he was supposed to do and after his period of reflection (the famous time-out), he would not apologize for his behavior. It was amazing how quickly his refusal to do what we wanted him to do got under our skins. We might appear to be calm and rational adults, but we quickly diverted to people who were taking away everything that this sweet boy loves. No TV, no books before bedtime, no gymnastics. Oh, you still won't do what I want you to do... AHHH! My 6 year old daughter, Madeleine suggested that we not let him play Star Wars for a year (he loves his light sabers), but after careful reflection I thought a year might be a bit long. She amended her suggestion to one month.

Everett eventually did apologize, but it was an out of body experience for me to see how quickly our anger came out, how quickly he was able to push all of our buttons and get under our skins. Being a parent is hard, and taking that time to count to 10 and calm down is so essential.

After Everett made the scratches on the TV, we went to have lunch with big sister Madeleine at her school. I had not screamed at him, but instead kept saying that I could not believe what he had done. I was so distraught and did not know what to do, and told the lunch lady what had happened. She told me, "Well, you love him, but you do not love his choices." Such wisdom from the lunch lady.

Yes, I love my son and there are many times when I do not love his choices. And that made me think about God (because you know, I'm a United Methodist preacher and we do that.. :) ) Yes, God loves me, but there are many times when God does not love my choices.

Monday, February 7, 2011

#6 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum. We have been for birthday parties and loved it, and you can also go on your own. It is so fun to walk through the museum, sit in the jumper seat, see a moon rock, climb the flight tower, and talk to your kids about how flight has changed. At the museum I learned the vital role Dallas/Fort Worth played during World War II. There was a flying school in Terrell, Texas where 2,000 British fighter pilots were trained.

From their website, "Dallas Love Field was the base for the 5th Ferrying Wing, including the 601st Women's Army Service Pilots (WASP). These gallant women flew all types of aircraft including the B-24 "Liberator", manufactured at Consolidated's Fort Worth plant, the P-51 "Mustang" manufactured at the North American plant at Grand Prairie, and the P-38 "Lightning" which was modified at Dallas Love Field's Lockheed Mod Center."

This is a pretty cool and educational place to take your kids.

Snow is delicious.

#5 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit a swim class for free. We are big Emler Swim School fans, but all of the swim places will let you try a class for free. Of course, we always sign up...

Madeleine went every Saturday for 3 years (from age 2 to age 5) and swims like a fish. We just started Everett and he is warming to it... slowly.

The first class. We decided not to bring the goggles (or wobble gobbles as Everett calls them) the next week and that seemed to help.

Saddest kid ever.

After 3 weeks of swim class. This is after class in the play pool where they can stand and they play after class. (Shhh, I don't think Madeleine is allowed because she is not taking classes, but she wanted to go swimming.)

The story of two front teeth

When Madeleine was 18 months (January 2006), we took this photo.

The next day she was wearing footed pajamas, fell onto the kitchen chair, and one of her front teeth popped out. She seemed to recover quickly.

Fast forward to 2011. Madeleine is 6 1/2. And the other front tooth started to wobble!

And then, at the beginning of niece Sydney's 7th birthday party, Madeleine came to me ... bleeding...

Lee (daddy) was called upon to pull out the tooth. And Madeleine was thrilled.

She has been singing, "All I want for Valentine's Day is my two front teeth, my two front teeth" all day.