Shooting Stars


Sometime over the last few weeks my little boy has become obsessed with wanting to see a shooting star.  This obsession magnified during our very warm week here in CT because we were actually able to stay outside at night and look at the stars without feeling the least bit chilly.

Unfortunately, in our neck of the woods, we don't have the ability to see a lot of stars.  We can point out the North Star and the big and little dipper on most nights, but we don't actually have the darkness or clarity to see the stars beyond that, much less shooting stars.  Having traveled to places like Lake Tahoe, I know the difference.  When my husband and I went there in 2005, we spent over an hour one night looking at the sky and were amazed to see not one, but many shooting stars.  I, personally, counted up to eleven that night!

As my little boy looked up at the sky each night last week with anticipated wonder, I desperately wanted to make something happen.  After all, how can I keep his fascination with shooting stars alive if he can't actually see one?  My first thought was to lie; you know...make up a harmless fib and tell him that if the stars appeared to be twinkling, they were "shooting stars."  Okay, well that thought only lasted 10 seconds.  He'd eventually learn the difference and end up feeling disappointed.

So, after some thought and a little research, I decided to take Lewie to a small science museum near us that has a planetarium.  In the early afternoon, they have a show reserved for smaller children (age 7 and under) called "The Little Star that Could"--surely, he'd be able to see a shooting star there!

Lewie's first visit to a Planetarium.

Pretending he's driving a rocket ship before the big show.

"The Little Star that Could" did not disappoint.  Not only did Lewie get to see some shooting stars, but he actually got to pretend like he was one as "the little star" soared through space to see if he could find himself a planet.  In the end, "The Little Star that Could" actually turned out to be the sun all along.  (Sorry if I'm ruining the ending for you...)

Now that the chillier temperatures have returned to CT, Lewie is not spending his time looking at the night sky, but I'm sure his little hobby will return once summer is upon us!  For our next trip, we may have to go camping :)

"I Don't Want to..."


Almost a year ago, I decided to write a post about Lewie's "no phase."  Every kid has it, though I believe it comes with varying degrees.  The "no phase" didn't last too long, thankfully, but a new phase has creeped right in...  Instead of saying "no" to everything, my little boy has expanded his expression of resistance to the simple phrase "I don't want to..."

I hear "I don't want to..." about three or four times per day on good days.  On bad days, my little boy will say it non-stop.  Just today, I've been told the following:
     "I don't want to watch Calliou.  I want to watch Scooby Doo."
     "I don't want to get dressed upstairs.  I want to get dressed downstairs."
     "I don't want to go shopping."
     "I don't want to go potty."
     "I don't want (the traffic light) to be green.  I want it to be red."

The list can go on and on...  Finally, if this isn't enough, my little boy likes to barter with me too.  "Give me two minutes" is one of his favorite responses when he doesn't want to do something--take a bath, go potty, leave for preschool, etc. etc.  At first, I'd actually give him the two minutes, until I realized there's no sincerity behind the comment.  The two minutes would just become four minutes, to one hour, to just about never if it were up to him.  "Two minutes" in his vocabulary means very simply....I don't want to...all over again.

What do you do when your little one is being resistant?



I won't lie.  TV has had a big influence in our house this winter.  At times when Little Lewie's home with a cold, I have to squeeze in a shower, chores have to be done, or I'm making supper, TV has become our ultimate babysitter.  I'd like to say that I plop Lewie down with a craft or a coloring book, but I find that neither holds his attention for too long...

With that said, the results have been bitter sweet.  There are times when I'm proud that he's actually learned something important from watching his shows.  For example, one of his movies taught him that blue and yellow make green or red and yellow make orange.  To me, that's simply amazing since I don't think I learned anything about mixing colors until I was in high school!  (Yup. I definitely didn't have the sophisticated education that kids have now-a-days.)

However, then there are the days when I cringe at what he picks up from his cartoons.  For example, he loves to watch Wow Wow Wubbzy, and as a result, loves quoting from the show.  I frequently catch him yelling Widget's phrase, "Whoops, that wasn't supposed to happen!"  (Cute.)  Although, he's also learned some phrases like, "I win. I win. I win"--a gloating type comment that Wubbzy likes to make when he's beating someone else--or the phrase, "Boring, boring, boring"--a comment Wubby makes when, you guessed it, Wubbzy finds something unexcitable.  Since he uses these phrases at home, I can only imagine what his teachers at school must think when he announces loudly to the entire class that something's, "Boring, boring, boring."

Finally, on nights that I work late, my mother has introduced Lewie to the world of Scooby Doo.  He is such a fan of the show that he's constantly asking to see it, and now lovely words like ghosts, creepers, mummies, and phantoms have become part of his ever-increasing vocabulary.  (Thanks Mom.)  I suppose kids already have an inborn fascination with monsters and ghosts.  After all, many of Little Lewie's friends like to pretend they're monsters themselves.  Still I can't help to wonder if introducing some of this stuff at an early age could have some potential negative side effects, such as developing an unhealthy fascination with the supernatural...

So, in closing, I end this post where I started.  I have mixed feelings about TV, and wonder what other fabulous moms like you have to say about the issue.  
 How much TV does your child watch during the winter?  
Are there cartoons that you ban from the house?
What activities do you use in place of TV?