As Seen on TV?

I was shocked when my little son came to me reporting a commercial he liked on TV. It came on between cartoons so I expected it to be about a new toy he wanted. This happens a lot. But it was a different animal–an ad about a metal detector. Why on earth was he interested in this device? He didn’t know that gold is a valuable commodity and that daddy would love to have a few coins. He had no idea why anyone would want to find it lying on the ground or at the beach. He knew mommy had gold jewelry so he was guessing this was why. He liked the idea of making her a necklace for her birthday and thought this would help him with the DIY project. He loves to make things out of clay, construction paper, and crayons as a rule. He had no inkling about jewelry making any more than precious metals. My mouth hung open as I asked more questions. He already had a design in mind and he draw an awkward rendering for me to inspect and approve.

His reply was short and sweet. “I want to know how a metal detector works.” Okay, I would oblige. I would show him a video on Facebook. That was not enough for his curious young mind but I was not about to go out and buy one for a personal demonstration. I told a neighbor about this strange request. He told his cousin who happened to own this device. I could borrow it and take my son on an outing to find “gold.” He wouldn’t recognize it if he saw it, so any coin in the ground would do. It might be fun—and instructive. Kids like learning new things, but usually they have to do with the human body, how to make a papier maché mountain, or the best way to make cookies (particularly his favorite kind).

We went to the park as I assumed that some kind of cast-off metal would be there or perhaps a few fallen coins from a jogger’s pocket. We set the detector as I had been shown so it would pick up most anything. We didn’t adjust it to a fine setting as this would limit our catch. I was bound and determined to show how this odd object worked. We shouldn’t be disappointed given the public nature of the location.

We spent a lovely afternoon exploring together and had a nice picnic lunch. We hadn’t found anything yet as we had just begun. Now it was time to get serious. I let my son turn the metal detector on and taught him how to hold it out in front of him as he walked. In no time at all, a sound beeped and he stopped cold. He was transfixed as I bent over and dug into the barren lawn. Out came a quarter in pretty good condition. “It’s gold,” he cried, totally thrilled and excited.

A Non-Building Interest of the Kiddo?!?

It’s all about bricks in our house—yes, for the entire family. It has thrown us a bit now that Kiddo Brick wants to play on a friend’s soccer team. I am worried that this will new activity will infringe on our communal building time, something we have been doing for a while now. We went to a lot of effort to get our child interested, and now he has a non-building interest all his own. I am going to have to get into soccer mighty fast. There are enough children and plenty of matches on TV. We can still have a group hobby, so I am not going to despair.

I am a little worried about the intensity of the game and the problem of headaches and concussions. I hope it is true that they have banned headers for youth. I need a good introduction to the sport and the basics of what to wear, how to hone one’s skills, and all the basics. Mom and Dad are going to invest in some training equipment from to start the kiddo out right. Maybe we may have to hire a personal coach. I look online and it says you can find an “experienced coach by age and city who can help you improve your athletic performance and reach your individual goals.” That sounds so serious for a young one under ten. I think a teenage player from the local high school might do just as well. We need someone who will teach our son youth simple soccer drills. They must be appropriate to his skill level. Do we need a practice goal net? As my Uncle Jim used to say, “all shall be revealed.”

While they have loads of coaching videos online, I want the experience to be more real for my child. I want to set up a lifelike training regimen that will prepare him for the real deal. Training is important in any sport and it is not just a few warm-up exercises. It means learning the actual moves and techniques, just like they occur on the field. A backyard system will be a mini version that will expose Kiddo to soccer as it is played on a team. Using it for training will tell me his level of skill and if he really takes to the game. I am going to order a few things and I hope they do not have any assembly required.

So many kids play soccer nowadays that you can discuss it with almost every parent around. Your offspring will have lots of play dates if you have the training gear. Why not have soccer parties for the neighborhood? A theme could be “getting in shape for soccer” or “soccer kids challenge.” We can have a few competitive events and soccer-themed prizes like gift certificates to use at the local sports emporium. Our family hobby will now be shared with everyone. Making friends is easy and fun.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

No one dies from not sleeping enough, or so I am told. When I was a new mother, my newborn kiddo kept me awake most of the night. There was to be no catching up during the day! I adore my son and he is so talented and blessed; the memories are stacking up in my brain. While I like to reminisce about the early days of his sweet life, the lack of sleep had me worried. How long can someone actually stay awake safely? I read on this web page – – that said people who are forced to stay awake as a form of torture suffer severe anxiety. If it due to a natural cause such as worry, too much exercise, a sick child, or too much daylight, it is not a cause of great concern. Most of the time you fall asleep out of exhaustion. But I suppose there is a limit to what the body can tolerate. I remember how my son would make noise all night in excitement over a birthday party the next day. Sometimes, he would poop out before the cake was presented.

Many studies have been done in the area of sleep. There are special labs that do this kind of work. We have data and can reach many conclusions as a result of the interest in what we do a great part of our lives. I have seen lists of bad reactions to a lack of sleep such as poor physical appearance, grumpy mood, a propensity for accidents and injuries around the house or office, drowsiness and impaired driving, lower brain function (including poor judgment), and a variety of health issues from high blood pressure and diabetes to stroke and heart attacks. Sleep deprivation is the culprit when it comes to sexual activity. It is also associated with insomnia and depression and is likely to make you more forgetful. For those who want to preserve their looks, sleep loss affects the body’s ability to produce enough growth hormone while it prompts it to release too much stress hormone cortisol. Both impact the quality of your skin. Sleep is the best anti-aging remedy.

On the really negative side, as if there weren’t already too many problems, insufficient sleep can cause you to gain weight. I love the saying “if you snooze, you lose.” Lack of sleep stimulates hunger and appetite. People who get only a few hours of rest are prone to obesity. Thus, quality sleep is a huge health issue in this country. We all have to put those cell phones away at bedtime and turn off the TV and the lights. Taking care of yourself is more than good nutrition and a daily workout. Analyze your sleep patterns now and see if you are falling victim to a terrible, often unrecognized, ailment.

Not wanting to end on a negative note, I feel that it would be remiss not to mention the effect of lack of sleep on the mortality rate. This was my original concern with kiddo. I felt I would die of fatigue. While it is not likely, as mentioned above, sleep problems imply a greater risk for fatal health issues like cardiovascular disease.