Monday, November 25, 2013

The Rules of Friendship

About a month ago, I was watching Hamslice after school as he was playing with some of his classmates. It was a little uncomfortable to watch him because he didn't entirely seem to understand the purpose or nature of play, and it seemed that it was more of an exercise in self-aggrandizement.

That afternoon, we sat down and talked about friendship and "How to Do Friendship" and we made a list of Friendship Rules, which I will list below.

I told my Dad about it, and he helpfully reminded me that this was more like the blind leading the blind, because historically I haven't been very good at friendship either. So if you have suggestions for additions to the list, please let me know. Leave a comment maybe.

Friendship "DOs"Friendship "DON'TS"
Give friends fair choices Brag
Listen Interrupt
Let friends finish talking Grab
Go slow Argue
Take turns winning
with new friends
Work together to decide
the rules of the game
Claim you won if there is no game
Make sure you know the rules
(and agree with them)
before you start playing
Try friends' ideas

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Construction Safety Tip #27 - Using the Man Lift

Here is one more safety tip by Marci, as learned on the job at the new house; How to use the Man Lift

When using a man lift, always keep the engine running. It might initially seem like a good idea to save fuel by turning off the engine when you feel like you'll be in the same spot for a while, but it is actually not a good idea.

Here's why:  While the man lift may start up again reliably several times in a row, there will be the one or two times when you can't start it up again from the controls that you have in the bucket waaaay up in the sky.

And, while the man lift DOES have an emergency horn, it turns out that nobody on a busy job site will actually come to your aid. In addition to honking the horn, some other unsuccessful methods for getting help include:
  • waving your coat around 
  • hollering HEY
  • saying YOOOO HOOOO in a loud, but cloying voice
  • letting your hair down 
  • jumping up and down 
  • rocking the lift back and forth violently
Other unpopular moves in the man lift include driving it axle-deep in the mud.  Apparently the only way to get it out of that kind of mud is to push it out with an excavator.

Just FYI.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

SPD in the Lunchroom

This school year has been a 100% turnaround from last year in terms of Hamslice's academic progress. He is now reading fluently, and is a little math rockstar.

Even so, we were alerted three weeks ago that he had "two out of three strikes" and was about to be suspended. Oh here we go again, it seemed. So I dug deeper, and asked Hamslice what was going on. Apparently he was having trouble during lunchtime with controlling his behavior and emotions.

Hambone and I were determined to keep his record clean and developed a plan. I started the ball rolling by "just showing up" for one lunch, and I saw kids running in circles around the tables, slapping each other and stealing lunch items. And it was SO LOUD! It was as loud as a nightclub at midnight.

I looked over at Hamslice with his hyper responsive hearing and visual perception and he was obviously miserable. Indeed, even I had a tension headache after just being in there for a few minutes. I sat with him during that entire lunch period and we read the dinosaur book that AB gave him for his birthday. Some of the other kids came over to see it too.

Then we stared a schedule: Hambone would go during lunch on Tues/Thurs and I go on M/W/F to manage lunch. Taking a page from AB's playbook, I bring about 15 books with me, and have established our table as the quiet table where people who are finished with their lunch can read. The books I bring have lots of flaps and holes and fuzzy sections so they are more like toys than books.

More kids are coming to the quiet table these days. Not all of them, but enough that the room is a little more manageable. Hamslice still hates lunch, but he's not getting in trouble anymore. This will be a long haul, but still less intense than last year. Stay tuned.