Great Expectations

Lately, I've started to get frustrated with all the little things in my life and my children's lives that I am working toward but to which I never seem to be getting any closer. I decided to make a list of things I wanted accomplished by the time we wrap up 2014. I figured a little over 3 months is a perfect amount of time to clear up some of these little things and get some larger things in motion.

Personally, there are a ton of things I would like get better about by the new year but at the top of the list is blogging more often, setting a consistent and committed schedule for studying Japanese, being more consistent and dedicated about my exercise regimen, and to begin teaching myself to play the ukulele. Basically all of this revolves around finding more time in my life and not about lack of motivation or desire. I am still working on finding a solution to balancing all of the things I wish to do in the tiny scraps of time that are left over between caring for the children, the house, and working. I don't really do extremely structured routines and time slots, but it almost seems that I will have to start adopting some kind of strict daily planning to fit what I want to in my life.

Though my personal expectations are usually on hyper drive, I am definitely no Tiger Mother. I think my expectations of the kids are fairly realistic but sometimes I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of life skills that I need to teach them before the can possibly be confident and capable human beings. For the time being, William and Rosie are the lucky ones since I don't really have any grand expectations of them at all. At least not anything that I have felt like I am slacking off as a parent about. William is speaking a lot more now, in both English and Japanese, not that I really had any control over that anyway, and Rosie is finally starting to sleep consistently through the night with very minimal effort on my part to put her to sleep. Both of them eat fairly well and healthily and William has been potty trained for over a year and Rosie is too young to start. Nothing to do for the time being but to watch them grow.

Meanwhile, Theo's English reading ability is still pretty shaky. We usually try to fit in 15 minutes of English reading/writing practice into the evening on weekdays but some days he just has so much Japanese and math homework (sometimes over an hour of work in first grade!) that his attention span is just shot by the end without tacking on any extra. Also, Dustin has decided he doesn't have the patience to teach him and signed off on the whole endeavor which means that nothing happens on evenings that I am working. I really wish that someone could just take this cup from me, but seeing as Theo gets no English in school that is not an option. In the past few weeks he has been improving significantly so I am pretty hopeful that in the next three months he will be off and running and reading independently. I really can't wait until he discovers how magical and wonderful the world of books really is!

Theo's homework stack
Another thing on Theo's list was teaching him to ride his bike without training wheels. Theo and I put in a lot of bike riding time over the last half of summer break, going on one hour bike rides each day, but I never got around to actually taking the training wheels off until two days ago. It doesn't help that Theo is the size of an average 9 year old here, so on our bike rides we would often get some person giving him a strange look and one old man even told me to take his training wheels off already. Sigh. On Monday we heading to our neighbourhood park sans training wheels and on his first try he kept his balance and cruised around the park with no problems at all. He was absolutely brimming with pride and self accomplishment and kept singing Queen's "Bicycle" at the top of his lungs.

I'll let you know how many of my personal goals I actually crossed off my list by the new year!


Anonymous said...

Hi! First of all, I love your blog!
Since you mentioned William speaking japanese,i was wondering how good Theo is at speaking japanese?:)

Laura said...

Thanks for reading! Theo's Japanese is pretty great. Basically the same as any other 6 year old in this country. He went to two years of Japanese kindergarten and now is going to public elementary school, so he has to speak Japanese for at least half the day. He has a habit of talking in our local Bingo dialect though, but most people think it is really funny and cute.