It takes a village to raise a child

Or does it? I have to keep reminding myself of the affirmative.

We live on a quiet cul-de-sac bordering a very large green area (think “Tellytubby” hill) and it’s a wonderful place for my kids to run themselves tired. We often go out there on the weekends before dinner – we bring out the bikes, the scooters and skateboards, not to mention bats and balls, sidewalk chalk, water guns, and various other assorted playthings.

Here’s the village part – I’d say about 75% if the time, another child, I’ll call him “A” walks over to where we are (which is right outside our house). Now, my kids are 5 and 2 years old. “A” is 9 (I think) but he’s also mentally retarded. He’s a big kid too. He lives on the other side of the hill and I have no idea how he senses when we’re outside. More often than not he’ll ride his battery-operated jeep over (you know, one of those cars you can sit in that goes about 5 M.P.H.) and start playing with my kids. His mom is a single-mom and usually nowhere to be seen. That is concern #1 – that this boy, who has limited cognitive abilities is roaming around by himself. Granted I believe we live in a safe neighborhood, but still. Now, he knows my kids and they know him. He even goes after school to the same daycare the twins are in. I don’t mind so much that he always seems to arrive just as we are getting settled outside in our play, but that I feel like I have to be his, what…his “watch-parent”? When he’s playing with my kids, I feel like I have to watch out for him, make sure he doesn’t get hurt or inadvertently hurt one of my kids (he’s more than twice the weight of Foster). Then of course as I’m paying attention to “A” that leads me to pay less attention to my own kids. But, then again, he’s a distraction to them and they seem to be genuinely happy to see him. Still, his mom is nowhere to be seen. I have no idea if she knows where he is. I think he probably tells her he’s going to play near Foster’s house and she knows where that is and feels okay with it, knowing we all kinda watch out for “A”. I feel for his mom. He can be a handful; he can be stubborn and difficult to manage. Maybe his mom welcomes the respite when he “goes out to play”? I know I’d welcome it if I were a single parent too.

And up to this point, I don't really think Foster knows there is anything "wrong" or different about "A". Just that he acts like him - like a 5 year old. I bet there will be a time that Foster (and the twins) may question what is wrong with "A" and that will be one of his "learning about diversity" kind of lessons. But until that time, he doesn't question and we don't bring it up, it doesn't seem necessary currently. But also, eventually, there will probably be a time when Foster outgrows playing with "A". Guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I guess that’s where the village comes in. I guess it does take a village to raise a child after all huh?

Stay tuned for the next installment where you'll find out what I'm doing on the floor with Kermit the Frog, Curious George and a big purple dragon.


Okay, Okay - picture time

Foster's first day of Kindergarten. My, my, my - doesn't he look like a happy camper?!?

More later...


Yup, me a bad, bad blogger

It's been a while but it's late now.

Gotta fill you in on Foster's first week in Kindergarten.

He got a green "Dino-Mite" card every day (that's a good thing) so he got to pick out a treat today in school. ;-)

He also got about 7 pages of homework due next Friday. We already did two pages. Whew...this Kindergarten thing is hard work!

More later (including pictures)!


California Adventure

Since so many of you have asked - here it is! See picture link below the blog-entry.

Disney’s California Adventure!

Before I forget I wanted to tell you all about our recent trip!

We went on August 30th and had a great time. The crowds were manageable. The heat was another story - it was hot but not unbearably.

We left home at 7:50am and arrived at the gates at 9:50am. The gates were already open (they are supposed to open at 10am) and we headed straight for Soarin’ Over California. Foster really enjoyed that one. Bubbe wasn’t too sure and had her eyes closed most of the time. Then we went to Grizzly River Run which Foster enjoyed until he got wet. I loved that one. The off to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail where all 3 kids enjoyed running around and exploring. We watched the "Brother Bear" show as well. Then off to lunch at the Pacific Wharf CafĂ© (YUM).
Then to the Paradise Pier where we hit the Carousel first. Then we explored the Sun Wheel. Then off to Jumpin’ Jellyfish and the wee ones played on the SS Rustworthy. Foster and Laura rode the Golden Zephyr twice (no lines). Then Foster went on Mulholland Madness rollercoaster 3 times! He loved it.

Then we headed up to the Hollywood Boulevard district where we got in line to see Disney’s Aladdin. All was going well until the line started to move and I had the diaper bag, my bag, the cameras, and I realized that nobody had Logan!!!!!!!! I raced back to the "waiting area" and I swear, it only took me maybe 25 seconds but that was long enough for my mind to go from A to Z. I pictured Logan wandering around California Adventure crying, screaming, totally upset - looking for us. I raced out the gate to the last place we were and lo and behold, he was totally fine enjoying himself climbing on the gate! Whew! I was pretty shaken up though. I grabbed him and hugged him and thanked G-d he was fine. Then we rejoined our place in line. It was one of those times where everyone thought that someone else had him! After that mini-disaster we went into the show. It was excellent! I highly recommend it. It was almost worth the price of admission to the park!!!!!

After that we headed to the Monsters Inc. ride. Foster really enjoyed that as well. Then - knowing the park was closing in 30 minutes (it closed at 6pm) we raced over to A Bug’s Land where the kids ran in and out of the water areas. Then we took all the kids on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train - Seth was particularly excited!

After that Foster and Laura and Amy rode Soarin’ again while I did a little shopping. Then the park closed and we went to the Downtown Disney area for a late dinner.
Made it home in record time and all the kids crashed fast asleep.

I, unfortunately, had to get up early to go to work the next day. Bad planning - I was pretty useless that day.

All in all, we had a great time. The lines were so much better than at Disneyland and the park was smaller so that made it easier to walk thru the whole thing. We did everything (almost) that I wanted to do but we plan to return again.

Enjoy our pictures at:



10:54 a.m. September 2, 2001

I became a mommy for the very first time!

Happy Birthday Foster (AKA: Fos-man; F-man)!

And since I know you can't read this yet - YES, you ARE getting a skateboard for your birthday!

I love you baby boy!