The fun thing about taking your kids to work with you is they have a way of bringing a new perspective to what might otherwise be a routine day. My little Realtors-in-training are both coping with learning disabilities so I try to include them in as many life activities as possible to give them real world perspective. I guess all kids can do strange things.
Remember the Blur Minion's attempt at toasting our cell phones? Boys being boys, Hubby has been hooking them up with some interesting Manly-man projects to keep them busy. Now it seems that my kids aren't happy unless I pop the hood so they can "fix the car" before we leave for school in the mornings (LOL). The popping of the hood usually is requested after the weekend. Noah always starts by announcing with great authority that, "the car is broken. Fix it Mommy?" :-)
The men have also been cooking together. Chef of the future stuff in infrared. Remember our first "members only" infrared moment? (It really is a members only post. Sorry for the restricted link, my dear public.) Sometimes I get an excellent meal. Other times the resulting eye candy has me wondering if there's a hot wheel car hidden somewhere in that lumpy mass that appears to be meatloaf. That, in itself, is a whole other blog post. I shall make that one public so my readers can partake of the virtual meal (LOL). Alas, I digress... back to the Spring Fresh Tour. :-)
The cool thing about our quirky, talented children is that they are very hands on, self-directed and curious little people. When they are as young as my pookies and you want to keep them with you, you have to figure out how to make "work" a game. I have collected all types of parenting tricks to keep them interested in taking a road trip and enjoying the industry. Snackage is a must have. Getting them "hooked on photography" is a plus. (You can thank "Hooked on Phonics" for that idea - LOL. What a catchy little phrase, eh? Very useful, indeed.) Teaching them to love the details and adventure of a renovation works wonders as well. Letting them paint a door or nail the crap out of a piece of wood makes them feel very strong, self sufficient and important. Real tools will do that. Can you say Jelly Telly, Handy Manny and Bob The Builder? Gets them working every single time with big cool aid grins. :-)
Turns out they both are predominately visual rather than audio learners, so when I started handing over my Sony and Nikon, I wasn't sure what I'd get. You can get a lot from little kids if you put the cameras on a tripod an let them take aim, then push a button. They catch on very quickly if you turn it into a game. Stephen currently works for M&Ms (must have peanuts), however, Noah has negotiated a raise: miniature toys replicating animals from The Lion King and dinosaurs (LOL).
Working for food and toys seems to agree with everyone. It lends itself to another life lesson: how to shop. Can you say, "Minion Happy Dance?" They love to work. Trust me. Incentive is leverage (LOL) Don't get huffy. It's not like my pookies are working hard. After all, auto-focus makes their life very easy and going completely digital means there's no film to waste. As a result, I have a lot of quirky pics and funky, funny video to share (and toys everywhere). We can take our time playing on location because we control our schedule and the two year old is the boss (LOL). Sometimes, I get a real gem of a shot and people refuse to believe that my learning disabled kids are capable of pulling it off. Fact of the matter is, they do. A lot. Did I mention AUTO-FOCUS? (LMAO) I think I did, but I may need to remind a few of you that means that a two year old can pretend to be A Adams if he wants to. We can also crop what we don't want out - like a finger along the bottom (LMAO).
Sometimes, you can't tell where we, the adults, left off and Noah, our seven year old, picks up. When it comes to video, everyone knows where Stephen starts. He always turns the camera around to look at himself (LOL). At least he's smart enough to check and see if it's on (LOL). Makes us all very proud and gives us a goal to keep trying to improve the family's multimedia craft. The baby likes to sit in my lap while I blog.:-)
We take the kids out with us a lot and I treat them like partners. My boys are each a member of my road crew and I ask a lot of questions that never get answered but they give me very interesting looks, so I keep talking about what we are doing, where we are going and what's about to happen next.
The first time we let them run amuck was with some of the Shea Stadium footage. I drove around in figure eights and let the kids shoot through the car windows. Sometimes, we'd walk up to a fence and take pictures through it. Other times, I'd just let 'em run loose and see what we'd get. Although we haven't posted them all yet, we have a lot of footage and photographs to share. The kids have been going hyper-local with their Mama for quite a while.
Some days, editing with an Autistic and a PDD-NOS partner can make one fantasize about wanting to take a Valium. I've never had one, but I hear they can be a blessing when someone really needs to calm down. Other days, I laugh until I can't breathe and wonder if I should or shouldn't post the footage. Did I mention that my kids are crazy? Love 'em, but they're very unique and brilliantly peculiar, each in their own specific way (LOL). I think that makes my entire family a little crazy. We all seem to fall under that particular definition in various degrees, but I digress...
Stephen, the Minion Blur is prone to clicking on all of the delete buttons at least once. It appears he likes stuff marked in red so I have to make a dupe file so he can destroy actively participate. Other days, it's a real pleasure to have them on board because they can get very serious about which pictures they do and don't like. The cutest thing is when Noah repeatedly asks Stephen if he wants a particular item and the wee one says, "no" 99 times, only to say,"yes" once, making his big brother's day. Of course, insanity is repeating the process so we can get around to adding another photograph into the line-up. :-) Yes, this process can go on for days... The things we do for our children (LOL).
That bit of insanity that I previously mentioned usually means I have to sit in the same spot for over an hour per photograph watching them click, drag and drop files all over the electronic editing decks. When my eyes start rolling up into my head I sometimes turn on iTunes and sing along to Hillsong United or practice my language lessons.
It's Spring, so I figured we do a new thing. We'd take a ride and ask Stephen where he wants to go today (instead of me picking the spot and selecting the eye candy). Dude likes pointing, so we put Mr. Non-Verbal to work by shutting off the navigational system and pulling over near the major intersections to ask him, "which way?" Dude never misses a chance to say, "that way?" He will wake you up in the middle of the night to navigate your bleary eyed self into the kitchen for a snack. Mind you now, it's a very small apartment, but little man will insist that you have to pick him up so he can point you in the direction he wants you to carry him. He also likes to drag you along by the hand. Assertive or bossy? I don't know. Cute? Hell yeah! ;-)
We couldn't wait to see where Stephen would take us. Turns out my soon to be three year old has excellent taste. I think he was trying to find the park. We came close a couple of times, but he sent us in the wrong direction (LOL).
Here's where we wandered off to in Queens County, New York for the last couple of days. The boys were my virtual supervisors for the tour of home joy rides and I am happy to report we collected some very nice eye candy for you. I hope you enjoy the Little Minions Spring Fresh Tour of Homes. We strolled, skipped, ran and rode from Fresh Meadows to Jamaica Estates (LOL).
The tone is a little gray because it has been cloudy and raining off and on. I wonder where we'll turn up tomorrow and what type of lighting effects we'll have to work with. I hear it's going to rain again. It's raining now. Stephen is in his fave window checking out the weather with glee. Ya' think my kids would be sleeping, but noooooooooo. Spring is in the air. "April showers bring May flowers..." Did I mention they were minions? Yup. They are (LOL). I enjoy the wee companionship and the curiosity in their make up... but late nights with the Blur Minion can be a bit much (LOL). Shorty is very demanding and affectionate. He enjoys community walks and loves dancing in the Spring rain. Puddle stumping is mad fun to both of my minions (and their daddy). I'm looking forward to seeing my family play in the rain... Wonder what kind of eye candy we'll get tomorrow. :-)
Stephen, The Minion Blur replaced my TomTom today. I loved every minute of it.
Noah has the Captain Seat tomorrow.
Might be doing a part two...
See ya' in cyberspace. :-)