Sunday, August 26, 2012


It is often hard to believe that two children born and raised by the same parents could behave so differently.  My children looked very similar as toddlers.  Both Jackson and Scout had "slightly" larger than normal heads (a Rybarczyk family trait that I, personally, LOVE), bright blue eyes (Wade claims came from him) and golden blonde curly hair.  That is where their similarities came to a SCREECHING halt.   Jackson is essentially an "easy" child to parent.  He is very well behaved, quiet and can entertain himself.  I will also add that Jackson is messy (a trait that I am convinced comes from Wade) and highly anxious.   Now, Scout is a very different story.  She is a "challenging" child to parent.  Scout is not well behaved, quiet, or entertained by her toys.  In fact, if Scout is EVER quiet or entertaining herself something VERY bad is happening in our home.

So, why all the talk about differences.  On our last Friday of summer vacation, I had the "crazy" idea to take three children Jackson, Scout and Tucker (my nephew) to Splashtown (don't worry, I wouldn't embark on such a perilous journey without a little help from Starbucks). At Splashtown the differences between Jackson and Scout were blinding.  Jackson wanted to know where I was at every moment, despite my best attempts to keep he and his cousin informed.  Also, Jackson was fearful of some of the water rides. And, to be honest, I see nothing wrong with a healthy sense of fear.  But, I worry when Jackson's fears reduce him to tears.  I also worry when a child like Scout has NO fear.  Scout wanted nothing to do with me at Splashtown.  She would try to "run" away every chance she got and because Scout is small she could maneuver through the crowds better than I.  You may be asking yourself where Scout was headed when she was running away?  Scout was insistent that she could ride the Tornado.  A water slide that was funnel shaped, about a mile off the ground and appeared to make adults pee their pants with fear.  

I guess the bottom line is that I would like Jackson and Scout to be less different. Jackson could really use some of Scout's no fear attitude, and Scout really use some of Jackson's overly cautious demeanor.  

(I tried REALLY hard to take pictures of the three kids at Splashtown, but I firmly believe that I would need professional photography equipment comparable to that of National Geographic to photograph Scout running around Splashtown; however, I do have a few pictures from the cottage this weekend.)

Jackson "goofing" around in the kayak

Finally,  a photo of Scout without a lollipop in her mouth

Mommy & Scout before our kayak voyage

Monday, August 20, 2012


"Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss... But every once in a while you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare."
~From the book, "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen

So, unfortunately, as a middle school teacher my quotes or references to text are limited to juvenile literature.  However,  the quote still fits Scout.  As her personality continues to develop, I grow to love her more each day.  Whether she is standing on a kick board in the water "pretending to surf," spontaneously kissing a friend's "boo boo" or stripping off her clothes and running around a birthday party naked, Scout is truly iridescent; she shines.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Arrr, I'm a Pirate!"

Aboard the HMS Bounty-Belfast, ME

Ever since our trip to LegoLand last month, Scout has been fascinated with pirates.  It all started innocently enough with the LegoLand show "Battle for Brickbeard's Bounty." At first, I was convinced that Scout would not even sit through this show, so imagine my surprise when she sat so quietly with her eyes fixated on Brickbeard and Sawtooth, the shark.  Upon our return home, Scout was still talking about pirates (and Sawtooth), so my mother sent us a link to a youTube video of the show.  Scout has watch that video everyday for over a month.  But that's not all...she calls herself a pirate, talks like a pirate, and she even smells like a pirate(sometimes)!  And when she's not the pirate, her dolls are pirates.   

So, it was quite fortuitous that a replica of the HMS Bounty (a vessel used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) was going to be docked in Belfast while we were visiting Searsport this weekend.  Scout got to tour a "pirate" ship, and get her picture taken with a "pirate."  Secretly, I was hoping that they would invite her to join their crew, sadly, they did not.

Batten down the hatches and shiver me timbers,  I'm raising a pirate. Yikes!