We went to an awesome Halloween Party called, "Creatures and Pumpkins"
Our great friends hired Creature Encounters to offer hands-on learning about animals...creepy animals! Each time he brought out a new animal there were squeals from the kids and adults, too!
Lizards, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and giant cock roaches, our son held every one!
He even held the 48 lb python!
He was more brave than we were! It was a great time for all!
Home made Darth Vader costume
One morning my son wanted to make a Darth Vader costume. I remembered that I had a black pillow case that would make a great cape.
Cape: Two cuts, no sewing!
I cut a slit in the short closed seam of the pillow case for his head to go through. I cut up from the opening of the pillow case about two feet, so it would be open like a cape. I didn't cut all the way up so we wouldn't have to use ties or anything to fasten it. His shoulders fit nicely in the already sewn corners of the pillow case, but it looked a little boxy so I tucked them in behind his shoulders to make it look a little more rounded. So that was it! A cut for the head and a cut to open the pillow case part-way. Not professional looking, but it was good enough for him!
For the mask, we painted a Transformer mask with acrylic black paint. We happened to have an extra mask.
My son put on black sweats and turned his black t-shirt inside out because it had characters on it. Black Sunday shoes and black gloves made him feel official.
He danced around with a 'light saver' and I had to pretend fight him. It was so cute to watch him pretend to be Darth sneaking up on me.
My favorite part was when we were discussing different Star Wars characters. He said he liked, "Bobey Wan Fett" I love that name! I think he morphed Obi Wan Kenobi with Boba fett.
Ha ha, Bobey Wan Fett.
I love this picture of my son and husband trying to light the candles in the middle of my cake without getting burned.
I hope I never forget moments like these. He was giggling. He sat on my lap with his arms around my neck. They sang 'Happy Birthday'. He kissed my cheek after every line in the song.
Nothing in the world is sweeter!
Somewhere recently, I read about a study where they found that telling someone to 'calm down' does not help them to calm down.
What helps them to calm down is to be calm yourself. Speak in a gentle tone. Use soothing words. Find positives even if the world seems to be crashing down.
Did you know that is what paramedics do in an emergency?
When they are rescuing a bloody, immobile, rock climbing victim who has just fallen 30 feet, they talk calmly. Most of the time they encourage the patient to talk about their hobbies and even laugh sometimes during the rescue! I am amazed at their skill! Accident victims are so appreciative of the calmness of the paramedics in a crisis.
Trying to calm children down in the middle of a crisis is like trying to rescue them from out-of-control emotions. We can be like the calm paramedics trying to make the best of a bad situation.
When the crisis is over, my son is always grateful and more loving when I have managed to remain calm.
For example: (not really a crisis)
On Monday night we decided to play miniature golf. Our son was so excited to see the Halloween decorations they put up every year. When we got there, it was way too crowded for my husband and I to enjoy playing. We made three different offers instead of playing: let's go get a shake, go get a toy, or play in the ball cage and rock climb.
Our son gladly chose the third option. We stayed until it was bedtime. My son was hungry and thought that we could get a shake on the way home. I said it was too late but I would make him a home shake. He hung his head in sadness all the way home.
The 'old me' would have taken his sadness personally. I would not be tolerant of his mood. I would have said, "How can you be upset? We just took you to rock climb and play in the ball cage and on the trampoline. Maybe we won't take you next time if you are going to be upset about it." But I didn't say that.
We acknowledged his sadness. We didn't lecture or judge his moodiness. Everyone has moods sometimes, I know I do. I don't like to have to justify every mood I have. Why make him? We didn't try to distract him out of it. We didn't try to fix it. Who knows why he was this moody? I think he was tired and hungry. My husband and I talked about the car we might buy.
When we got home, I helped my son out of the car. He was acting too sad to move, hanging his head and not answering me. As I gently guided him out of the car, he put his head on my shoulder and was limp as if he was asleep. I said to Dad, "Look at him." My son giggled. I said 'look at him' again. He giggled again. I was happy, because I half expected my son to wig out and get mad that he didn't get what he wanted and had to go to bed.
My son said he would have made a different choice if he knew he could only do one of them. Sorry, honey. It got too late.
We were able to quickly have a little homemade shake and get to bed.
My husband and I were happy that his little mood only lasted about 15 minutes and we averted what could have been an ugly scene. Instead we were hugging and giggling. Emotion Coaching. It works!!!
P.S. So what would I have done if I had five kids and couldn't cater to one of them? Same thing. (Except for physically helping my seven year old out of the car.) Acknowledge the emotion. Express empathy. Avoid lecturing, or judging the mood. State expectations. "I know you are upset, but I need you to get out of the car, come in the house and get ready for bed." I know, easier said than done. I admire you moms with many kids! I wish I was you! Keep up your great work!
Watching Return of the Jedi the seven year old says:
He is a real Jedi now, right Mom?
(After Darth saved Luke). See Luke, that's what families are for, to save you, right Mom?
Parents love their child the most, right Mom?
Ok, that movie made me sad because Darth Vader died. I don't like it when people die.
We are enjoying this book: Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-wrestling Smackdown. It gave us this great idea!
The last page in the second chapter suggests how to draw your own mask. Of course, my son saw the page and said, "I want to do that!"
I was hoping my son meant he wanted to simply draw a mask. Of course, my son wanted to create a thumb costume out of felt like Stink did in the second chapter.
I am leary of trying to get glued felt to stick together around a thumb, especially when my son's hopes of success are high.
So we decided to cut the fingers off of an old baby glove. We hot glued googly eyes and drew mouths and hair. It worked! He was satisfied! They were easy! And cute!
Then we thumb-wrestled of course! The object quickly became how fast his thumb costume could knock my thumb costume off! It was a nice little project!