Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boys & Affection

Today I got a spontaneous hug from my 8-year-old. What a shock. He has reached the point where he only gives me a hug if I ask for one.

I had gone to school to pick him up. He and his friend wanted to know if Tobi could go to the friend's house. The friend's father was there and had already said yes. They were just waiting for me. Knowing that I often say no on school days--especially when no advance notice has been made--Tobi was so shocked that I said yes that it resulted in a spontaneous hug--in front of other people, no less!

I distinctly remember the day he started shunning familial endearment. One day after kindergarten, we were waiting for some fried potatoes, and I casually draped my arm around his shoulders. He gently shrugged me off. I got the message, and I was o.k. with it. My little boy didn't need his mother clinging to him.

I still greatly enjoy my 5-year-old's displays of affection. When I drop him off at school in the morning, he loudly shouts, "Bye Mom. I love you!" When he finishes pre-school for the day, he will run across the playground at full speed and leap into my arms as a greeting for all the world to see.

I'll enjoy it while I can!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tobi's 1001 pages

Tobi's elementary school set up a reading contest among the 2nd-5th grades for the October Break (11 days). The teachers had noticed that students often lose reading fluency over school breaks. The goal was to see which class could read the most pages (at their grade level) over break.

As an avid reader myself, I was really excited about this contest. The first few days we plodded along with me giving a lot of encouragement. Bayo and I dedided to offer Tobi some prizes if he could reach certain levels:

600 pages = a candy bar
800 pages = a small container of ice cream
1000 pages = N1000 (about $8.50) for shopping

Well, he made it to 1001 pages at the last minute. I let him stay up til 11 p.m. the night before school started! Even though it probably wasn't good judgment to let him stay up so late on a school night, I was quite thrilled to see his determination to reach a goal under pressure.

After school I gave him his 1000 naira for a shopping excursion. Here's the breakdown of how he spent it:
N900--3 cans of fruit cocktail and canned peaches!

Last week I had found the peaches in a store, and Tobi was stunned beyond belief at this great treasure!

Tobi's teacher has been conducting periodic reading fluency tests for all the 2nd graders. It will be interesting to see if his reading fluency has gone up after this great burst of reading.