Archive for the 'kids' Category

Scary father’s day

Posted by mikedaum on June 18th, 2007

Lately Jacob has taken to authoring elaborate presentations to commemorate the various special days which come about.  My first whiff of this one was last Friday when Jacob told me right out that incredible things were happening upstairs for Father’s Day.  When I told him that the actually day would be Sunday, he rushed upstairs for about 15 minutes performing unknown actions of hiding and preparation, and by the time I was upstairs there was no trace of anything amiss.

Sunday morning came about, and Jake came trotting downstairs beaming with two bright red crepe paper packages in tow.  He wished me happy Father’s day and handed me the packages.  Opening them, I found two exquisite picture frames, decorated with carefully chosen bits of hardware.  Jake explained that Sophie had needed a bit of help gluing hers on.

Fathers day picture of Jacob Fathers day picture of Sophie

Jake then cryptically mentioned that my bed was under attack by monsters!  He ran upstairs, giving me looks to indicate that I should follow immediately.  You can imagine the shock I felt when the following tableau revealed itself:

Monsters Attack!

The chest at the foot of the bed had been colonized by an enormous variety of KNex monsters which Jacob had laboriously constructed for maximum scariness and POWER!  He proceeded to walk me through the collection, explaining the details of each — including the inspiration behind the monsters as a quick sketch of the more interesting difficulties in construction.

Jacob explains the monsters

We then proceeded to “play monster” for about 30 minutes, breaking a few in the process, and building some new ones.

My little boy is the sweetest, best boy a father could ask for.  He made my Fathers day one that I’ll remember for all time.  His optimism, energy, and creativity are an inspiration to me that I can’t even begin to describe.

Baby fighting to stay awake.

Posted by mikedaum on June 18th, 2007

Not much to add to this video, but I know how this boy feels. Worth watching.

read more | digg story

Mr. Wizard is no longer

Posted by mikedaum on June 13th, 2007

Mr. Wizard

I read on BoingBoing this morning that my old pal Mr. Wizard has passed away. Jer and I used to watch Mr. Wizard quite often, and it was just a great show. The experiments were always exciting, but the thing that made the show different from anything I’ve seen since were the descriptions he gave to the kids. Nothing was ever glitzed up or oversimplified; all questions were answered with straight, correct talk. When Jacob asks me science questions, I often find myself patterning my answers similarly, sometimes even stopping to think “What would Mr. Wizard say?”. It’s sad that he died, but even more sad for me that his show is not in syndication, and that none of the current kids’ science offerings come close to this level of quality.

Link to the BoingBoing post

Link to the L.A. Times obituary

Update: Wired is running Mr. Wizard’s last interview 

OMG!! They buried my son!

Posted by mikedaum on June 1st, 2007

Yesterday at Wellesley Park Jake’s friend Eli seems to have buried him in the sand. Leaving only what Jake described as a “live ball” (his head I think). Eli’s Mom Janis caught it all on video thankfully, so even though I missed the action, I was able to appreciate the drama.

Jacob’s Spring Concert

Posted by mikedaum on May 17th, 2007

Jacob at the Spring Concert

Today was the day of the Spring Concert at Winchester PS, where Jacob goes to Junior Kindergarten!  We were treated to the musical stylings of each class in Jake’s school.  Jake’s class dressed as flowers and performed a spectacular rendition of “I’m a little teapot”.

Sophie was there to cheer her brother on.  She seemed to really enjoy the show and tried her best to play along with the different moves she saw going on onstage!

Sophie at the Spring Concert

Debt Slavery For Kids

Posted by mikedaum on May 8th, 2007

Every time my bank offers me “cheques” to write against my Visa card I feel my blood pressure start to climb. So you can imagine how much I enjoyed hearing about the new Visa branded version of the game of “Life”. I used to play the original game when I was a kid, and as I recall, it was questionable even then. I suppose it would be impossible to prevent the game from validating certain life decisions and knocking others. But it was at least fun. The new version sounds less fun. In keeping with its backing from Visa, the new version rewards the children for acquiring credit card debt. No, I’m not kidding.

Kindergarten Science

Posted by mikedaum on May 4th, 2007

Just thought I’d link to  this very funny post on Cosmic Variance.  She’s talking about discussions about science with kindergarten kids, and how their minds are time-shared between the rational and the not-so-much.  Priceless quotes from the latter slice…could have came straight from the mouth of Jake the Snake!

Jacob makes the grade!

Posted by mikedaum on March 29th, 2007

Just a quick note because tomorrow’s the deadline for my UIST submission.

Jacob came home this week with his first report card!  Of course I didn’t need to read it to know what a terrific guy he is, but some might say I’m biased.  Nonetheless, it was great to read all of the great things that Ms. Lundy, his JK teacher this year, had to say about our little man.

The central theme of the report seemed to be the classroom’s “Big Blocks” area. Jacob was observed to seek out the big blocks, to use complex strategies in organizing multi-child big-block designs, to share the big blocks well with other children, and to organize and perform excellent big-block cleanup activities.

Ms. Lundy also spoke highly of Jake’s reading, and general love for and good care of books.  He was encouraged to continue participate heavily in the classroom’s “borrow a book” program.

For his father there was only one sour note:  Jacob seems to really enjoy using the computers.  After the big blocks, this was his favorite activity.  He particularly enjoyed the “computer buddies” program in which he and an older student collaborate on various electronic pastimes.  Let me be clear:  I won’t stand in his way, but I know this path well.  Danger.

So in a nutshell, Elena, Imelda, and me are very very proud of our little guy.  His first foray into the realm of judgment by authority has gone smoothly.  I look forward to many to come.