2018 Reflections

I usually put down some reflections for the year on how the twins have changed and grown. It’s getting harder to pin down specific changes year to year. Overall, they are both strong in school, happy, healthy, still learning and trying lots of new things, respectful, and responsible kids we can rely on. I’m not aware of any lying yet, and we never get any really negative feedback from school or other parents. We are pretty lucky parents.

A typical week now includes instrument practice, homework, doing dishes and setting table, cleaning up rooms, and generally helping out when asked. That on top of the usual sports practices and games (still one of each per week). Neither of them complains or fights keeping up with their responsibilities, much, and even play their own music when doing dishes to make it more fun.

But when “screen time” comes, off they run. Both kids are still into their iPads for YouTube videos and sometimes a game. XBox gets plenty of use too for Minecraft and sometimes another game. Mom didn’t let them play Fortnight, which is a huge hit for teens/kids, since it is a shooter game but Adam hasn’t complained. I expect that to change soon – he’ll want to do what “all his friends” are doing. Cartoons on TV rate a distant third, they are more likely to watch them on YouTube.

The kids are finally at an age where the typical PG family movie is enjoyable – so I’ve started getting some of the older classics. Besides the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies we binge watched at Christmas break, and the newest Spiderman for their birthday, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean and other “classic” movies. Makes it easier to pick from Netflix. Similarly, both are reading much larger books and series, and they are finding their own material without help from us.

Adam continues to make new origami and paper airplanes every day, the house is littered with them. He still makes electric circuits with his kits, and sometime plays Legos. As expected, he is starting to show interest in coding.

Claire reads and dribbles a ball around the house. That’s the routine. She’s probably read my Calvin and Hobbes books a hundred times, but they still are scattered around the house. She still loves writing, but mostly at school now. She did sit down at the computer to start typing a story into her google drive over break.

Adam wants to play Clue or Exploding Kittens (card game), or Uno. Claire sometimes can be talked into it.

Adam continues to be about “cute and fuzzy” things. he still sings a lot when he’s happy and just around the house, sometimes to put himself to sleep. He’s still not big at understanding the game in sports, but also not playing bad. At this age, some of his peers are really playing a real game, whereas many are still just running around blindly. He continues to develop skills though, and sticks with it. He says he likes his martial arts, basketball and soccer, and now is talking about playing baseball this spring again. He’s not the competitive type like Claire. Adam told me this week he wishes he had a close friend in the neighborhood – he’s been playing with the younger kids but doesn’t seem to want to be with some of the slightly older boys. His best friend(s) are not nearby. He has peers in his grade up the street a ways too, but doesn’t play much with them. Probably too late since they have their own friends/groups, but maybe that will change. He is getting much better at chess (although we don’t play a lot). He has a hard time keeping secrets and not sharing his thoughts with everyone much as he always has.

Claire is quite tall for her age, and continues loving sports with balls and all things cats. She is at the top of the groups in all her sports, and loves to play at home with her whenever possible. She has close friends in the neighborhood, although they have been shifting around over time. She likes to take charge of things and is very competitive still. Claire continues to be outgoing and a good friend, always trying to help people. She talks a lot and is not shy at all. She likes to bug her brother, although Adam is more of a “pest” than she is. She will also sometimes help mom in the kitchen cooking when it’s something special or she’s bored on a winter weekend.

Both personalities seem to be pretty stable now. They continue to get along, mostly, and are very close siblings. Dinner table conversations are mostly Adam talking about the latest video game plays, some facts from YouTube videos (science stuff), inventions or designs, or some “would you rather” questions they make up. Lately he’s been into aliens having visited earth (tv and youtube influences). Claire gets some talking time in too, but Adam tends to dominate. Which makes it hard for him to get eating done.

Christmas and Birthdays, 10 Years Old

With the loss of my job, Christmas became a more subdued one this year. We didn’t spend as much naturally, and didn’t make any last minute flights or changes to our original plans, which was just to stay home. We had seen both extended families a lot this summer and fall, so it was a quiet, mostly green Christmas. The kids got lots of Harry Potter things for gifts, which they loved. We spent time playing Harry Potter Clue, cornhole, and rediscovered Uno. Claire got into a new 500-piece puzzle, then opened a 100-piece and found out it was much harder so I finished it (it was a Harry Potter one). We did a Harry Potter marathon, watching all the movies, and also a Star Wars marathon, also watching the complete series. Kids loved both.

For their birthday party, we invited a few of their closest friends to a movie (Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse) which the kids loved, and then a late dinner at home with cake. Claire continues to play with Annie from around the corner a lot, and Adam still is best friends with Aiden. We also had Maria, Demitria, and both Bryce’s from the neighborhood.

Claire’s 5k

Just a note for a potential future runner- Claire ran her 2nd 5k race today, with me helping pace her, as part of the “Girls on the Run” program.  She finished at 31:20, averaging 10:06 miles.  She was 12th overall in her age group.  Rainy, cold day but she had fun I think.