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Gulp

woman-screaming-bwToday is LTD’s last day of Preschool…ever. In a way whenever anyone says the phrase, I can’t believe it, in these situation you wonder if they really mean it because if he is only growing in one direction and is now five the next logical step is kindergarten, so sure I believe it, but man oh man is it weird. The days are long but the weeks fly by. The real adventure begins….

Caped Crusader

adam-west-batmanAs long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know BB only speaks a few words. Sure, he babbles in complete sentences but no one but him knows what he is talking about. So in addition, to car and ball and the occasion daddy or mommy sprinkled with some animal noises (moo and woof) we now have a new random word to add to his lexicon. The Batman. It all started a few weeks ago when we went to a 75 anniversary event at the Barnes & Noble and then the comic store and now whenever he sees an image of the dark knight we are treated to “ba-ma” Trust me it is clearer than I wrote and it is obvious he is saying Batman. In conclusion, how do I feel that BB says Batman but doesn’t really ever say, daddy? I feel pretty great.

Kids Say The Darndest Things BTCS Edition

mmFor this story you only need to know that Joe is one of LTD’s classroom friends. Tonight as LTD was putting on PJ’s for bed, for the second night in a row, he didn’t put on a shirt. This being summer I didn’t question his choice but he offered up an explanation anyway. “Joe doesn’t wear a shirt to bed either because dude’s don’t wear shirts and we want to be like dudes.” This also makes sense in light of the fact that he has been calling me dude all week.

Book Review – Little Elliot Big City

LittleElliot high res cvrLately, LTD has been staying up wicked late and so I always enjoy reading him short stories and Little Elliot Big City fits the bill nicely. The story focuses on the elephant Little Elliot with the catch being that this particular elephant is, as his names suggests, little. The art is amazing and the tale features many wonderful splash pages that give the book a movie feel. Mike Curato’s work shows a love for New York of yesteryear and the images create a nice sense of nostalgia. As keeping with Beyond the Car Seat policy I won’t spoil the ending and will only add that Little Elliot’s size plays a “big” part. 

A Mydal Moment

bedSo in the crazy world of raising two boys things happen fast. This Saturday things happened really fast. We had previously removed bins from the boys room as BB was using them to get on to LTD’s bed. We didn’t really care that he was getting on the bed but it was concerning that he was going from the bed to the changing table/dresser. However, this Saturday we discovered that BB can get on to LTD’s bed without the aid of any bin or object. The Mommy and me thought we could just move the dresser away from the bed and this began a chain of events that in retrospect was predictable. We placed BB in his crib so we could move the furniture around and he quickly let us know that you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Thankfully, we stopped him but he basically was prepared to re-enact The Great Escape as he put one leg over the crib wall. Throughout the day as The Mommy was researching options, he tried to summit the bookcases. To make a long story short, we made an emergency trip to Ikea and now the boys have bunk beds. 

Kids Say The Darndest Things BTCS Edition

71UVBOGArWL._SL1500_Yesterday, The Mommy noticed her shoe had a loose thread on it and so she grabbed a pair of scissors and began trimming it while wearing it. LTD spied her and the following exchange occurred. 

LTD: What are you doing?

Mommy: I’m cutting off this loose thread.

LTD: But you will cut your foot off.

Mommy: No, I won’t

LTD: Well, if you cut your foot off, that’s on you.

If You Build It…He Will Take It Apart

hotwheelsBB consistently says the word, car and very little else. So for that reason we give him a lot of cars to play with and when he isn’t throwing them at my head he seems to be enjoying them. The other day I saw that they sell race track pieces separately. BB is still a little young to do anything with a track piece besides whip it back and forth and use it as yet another object to try and hit in the head with. The real reason the individual track pieces caught my eye is that it is very cool to be able to custom your racing experience to your environment and it is the kind of thing that is so simple, I can’t believe they didn’t have it when I was a kid. Of course, they probably did but the only thing I used my matchbox cars for when I was young was to re-create episodes of Chips. I don’t know if BB will still be into cars when he is old enough to build his own track but if he I will be excited to see what cool thing he designs and hopefully his race track will not involve anything hitting me in the head. 

hotwheels (2)

Interview – Lisa London

BookWe all think our kid should be a star and in that regard I spoke with author and Casting Director Lisa London about her new book, From Start to Stardom.

1: If your child expresses an interest in performing, what are a few things on any parent’s “must” list?

I would first recommend that the parents get their child involved in acting class or a performing class (could be a singing class, an improvisation class or a scene study class). This is a good way to see if their child really likes it and will follow through with the commitments of a class.

If they do like it, and continue to be enthusiastic about acting, they can check out their local community theater and see if there are opportunities for their child in that arena. Then they could look into agents for kids in their area. We do not encourage families to pack up and move to LA in the beginning of their journey, just because their child keeps saying he wants to be on TV.

2: Is there a way to make a child understand the difference between art and fame?

This is certainly a challenging concept to get across to a young child. But it is so important for them to understand you can’t study to be famous. I think it is important to work on your talent first and foremost. Fame comes in time if that is what is meant to happen. You can only work hard and become the best actor you can be.

3: Is it possible for Hollywood insiders to tell when it is the parents who actually want the fame and not their child?

We discuss this in the interview with an agent. We strongly encourage parents to be sure the desire to pursue a career is their child’s goal and not a lost one of their own. Because sooner or later the child will come to resent their parent for pushing them to do something they don’t like and it will not turn out well for anyone.

I have experienced auditions with kids who really don’t want to be doing this and you can tell by their performance and what they say because they aren’t giving it their all.  They would rather be doing sports or something else besides acting.

4: What advice would you give parents on how their children can/should deal with rejection?

Parents should discuss this with their kids upfront before they go on auditions. Don’t take it personally!! What is most important is that your child does the best audition they can, because, as Casting Directors, we always remember a good audition even if they don’t get the role.

A child should have the attitude that it is a fun adventure to meet someone new and have a chance to show their talent…And then after the audition, it’s off to do something else! The last thing a parent wants to do is grill their child on the audition and have them go over and over why they didn’t get the callback or the role.

5: Are there certain steps that parents should take to keep their kids grounded to avoid the pitfalls that many child stars find themselves in?

If they are so fortunate to have such a talented child, it would mean the child has been getting parts and building their career for a while. This is when the work needs to be done. As they are becoming successful, it’s important to stay in very good communication with your child and the rest of the family, so you don’t get caught up in all the hype!

Being on a set, child actors are given lots of attention and special privileges. They have candy and junk food available to them all day. If a parent doesn’t run good control over what the kid can have, or keep their head on their shoulders, it can be disastrous. Putting in this discipline early will create an atmosphere of care and attention from the parent that will ensure them to be the voice of reason to their child and help keep them from making disastrous choices later in life.

About Lisa London:

Lisa London Blue shirt for WebDaughter of one of Hollywood’s most successful TV directors, Jerry London, Lisa London grew up on her father’s sets, experiencing the demands of directing and acting first-hand. She has worked with major studios and networks, including Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Happy Madison Productions, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, VH1 and many more.

Story Corps

storycorps_logo_10_yearsI always enjoy listening to Story Corps and today I heard one about a pretty cool dad. Here.

 

Hell No I Won’t Go

distraction-quoteBB has taken to the belief that the sixties still exist and the time to protest is now. He isn’t trying to stop a war or get the vote. He simply does not want to go in his car seat. He has taken a page out of the Gandhi playbook of using non-violent forms of protest. His signature move is to go rigid as a board requiring the use of not an insignificant amount of force to bend him. Another tactic is to grab on to the side and employ a jaws of life style grip on the arm of the car seat. Finally, he uses his sonic scream to try and drive off anyone who tries to simply take him anywhere via automobile. However, all of these methods eventually fail when any one of a 1000 simple counter measures are used. That’s right folks, I’m talking about distraction, the scourge of the toddle protest. I now never go near the car without a toy in my pocket or frankly anything in my pocket. The only draw back is that the same idea loses its power and can only be used a few times before it is taken out of rotation. I have the best luck with Matchbox cars but have used a bottle of sunscreen, house keys, empty iced tea bottle, receipt and a shoe. He puts up a good fight but in the end nothing can compete with something new, no matter how valueless to a grown up it is. Unfortunately, I still lose to his stubbornness one time out of 20 when I simply have nothing to distract him with having exhausted my usual rogues gallery of items. In those cases it is time to walk.