Strongest Family Member

I'm playing with Vian and Sempi. Vian comes at me swinging a plastic sword. I stop it with my hand and hold onto it, to prevent further assault.

Vian: Appa is the strongest in the family.

Sempi: No, Amma is the strongest.

Vian: But Appa is bigger.

Sempi: He is bigger but Amma has more muscles. So she's stronger.

I've got nothing to say, that's just the truth.

Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated

Vian (3yo) is in the bathtub and I'm trying to get him to come out. Sempi (7yo) is already out and changing his clothes. I am losing my patience with Vian and he is losing his patience with this toy that he's trying balance on the rim of the bathtub.

After pleading with him for a while, I lost my patience and stormed out and turned off one of the lights in the bathroom. Although this didn't plunge the bathroom in darkness, this did darken the room just enough to cause Vian to yell and scream. Suddenly who comes running but Sempi. He asked in a compassionate tone "Vian are you ok? Is there anything I can do to help you?".

Clearly ashamed by my actions, I went back to the bathroom and got Vian out of the bathtub. I told Sempi that I'm proud of his actions and I wish I could learn from him. Sempi said in a serious voice, I could teach you. Here's his teaching:

Sometimes when things don't go according to your plan, you'll be tempted to do something bad to hurt the other person. But the way to control that is to remember that you should always treat others how you want to be treated.

He said the best way to practice this is to go to someplace new that I've never been to. In a new place, things won't go exactly as planned and I'll find myself often frustrated or angry. That's when I could practice being nice and not mean to everyone. He offered to go with me, so he can be there to support me.

I am speechless. My son is awesome!

Monkey Bar

Sempi is a big fan of Leonardo Da Vinci. Ever since we got back from Italy he's been talking about the various inventions of Leonardo.

Earlier today he was playing in the park after school. Apparently, he fell down from the monkey bars trying to do something brave. Yoshi took him to the ER and the doctors announced he has a small fracture and put his arm in a sling.

He's quite despondent about the whole ordeal and told me that he wished he hadn't tried that special monkey bar maneuver. I reassured him that his sling is a badge of honor, it is a sign of bravery, it shows that he is someone who pushes the boundaries.

Me: Do you know who else is the kind of person who pushed boundaries?

Sempi: Who?

Me: Leonardo. I bet he wore a sling many times in his life.

Sempi: Yeah. But he probably knew how to use a monkey bar though.

Me: LOL!!

I have to agree with him on that one.

Good people

Sempi and I read bedtime books together and discuss the story before he goes to sleep.

The story we read had a mention of illegal drugs. Apparently he didn't know what drugs were. So we discussed what drugs were and how some bad guys can sell drugs to victims and why it is illegal.

Suddenly Sempi drops this nugget of wisdom.

People are always born to be strong and good. No one is born to be weak or evil.

Friends who know me well, know that I strongly believe "people are generally good". I guess that belief is a genetic trait.

Got Problems?

Sempi (my 6yo son) and I have this tradition of sharing our problems and asking each other's opinion on how to solve it. We do this while we walk to his school. We've been doing this since he was 3. Here's an example from Portland.

Me: When I bike to work, I have to wait a long time for the elevator.

Sempi (3yo): You should just build a ramp to your 28th floor, so you can just bike all the way up.

Me: Alrighty then.

Back to present day, I was discussing a problem with him about my work.

Me: I have this big presentation coming up and I'm nervous.

Sempi: Why?

Me: There's going to be VPs and an Executive attending this presentation. So I'm anxious about it.

(Sempi thinks for a while)

Sempi: There is a fire pole at the playground and I get nervous about going down that pole. What helps me is, I don't think about it, I just do it. So you should do the same. Don't think about it, just do it.

Me: Whoa! You know that's actually pretty good advice.

I'm happy to report that I took his advice and I kicked butt.