The selling of my seven year old / a contest!

Oh yeah, this is Luka in a self-portrait created on the Mac.

The contest comes at the end, but you need to read the post first!

So, back to that panic of the approaching autumn, and school, and the new crisis challenge of finding after-school care for my seven-year-old son. Last year’s arrangement, going home with his best friend and his best friend’s mum, has changed since the family moved too far away (many tears from my guy and much despairing that he would “never have a best friend again!”) (much parental agony on my part, watching him be so sad).

So, I composed an email to send to the parent list from last year, asking for any help, information and thoughts from them, figuring that since I’ve never seen any unattended gangs of Grade Twos roaming our neighbourhood, there must be a lot of different solutions out there.

In the making of the email, I thought it best to describe Luka in a nutshell—I can admit I don’t know the disposition and hobbies and interests of every child in his class, so why should I assume the parents know him?

Talk about a difficult job. Describe the light of my life in 30 words or less? After spending seven and a half years + nine months together, attending to his every need, making and reading umpteen “books about me,” the experience was humbling.

This is what I sent:

Luka is fairly quiet, loves Nintendo, the climber, Lego, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, drawing and writing stories, etc. No allergies. Thrilled to watch cartoons when all else fails.

I tried to concentrate on his interests because that would be the bridge between little kids. He sounds so nice. I’d have him after school! I’ve had two replies so far, and figuring that it is summer, that seems pretty passable—two days ago I made eight phone calls within one organization between 10:45 and 11:15 and got eight voicemails! But, the response rate has me wondering. Would I have more responses had I written:

Luka is fairly quiet, takes pride in finishing all his homework before dinner, shares his love of reading with friends, likes keeping places tidy. No allergies. Loves watching smaller children.


Luka is fairly quiet until he is comfortable, then he loves to sing. Expert at all gaming platforms, comes with his own DS, GameBoy and PSP. Loves indoor gymnastics and gum.

I think it might have helped to have added:

Mother does write daily blog on national consumer magazine website. After-school care of Luka carries with it a sworn statement that NO INFO ABOUT YOU, YOUR CHILD OR YOUR FAMILY WILL BE DISCLOSED.

What do you think?

CONTEST QUESTION FOR YOU: how would you describe your child in 30 words or less? Give it a try—it’s a tough exercise, but really neat to try and put a personality in a couple of lines! Post it here and the winner will get a $10 Tim Hortons gift card! Winner will be judged on the picture she or he creates in 30 words or less. Write on! Winner announced August 26.


10 Responses

  1. JWV – would love to hear from you. LM

  2. Wow, I have 5 kids I could do that for, but I’m sure I’d be here all night trying to shortlist all their qualities!!! And over the years those 30 word descriptions would sure have changed.
    I may do that when I have a quiet moment (or day…), create descriptions when each of them was Luka’s age and now, ages 18 to 26… makes me proud to think of the changes… I’ll pass along these descriptions if I get them done.
    I hope you and the kids have a great weekend
    : )

  3. Wow… great contest! Love the concept for the contest & hope you find excellent child care for Luka. I have 3 grown adults for “kids” these days but I also now have 3 beautiful granddaughters …. who should I attempt to describe ??? I think I’ll start with my oldest son & work my way down …

    A ~ Hard working but really enjoys to relax with video games. Enjoys his family and friends, likes to be creative in most any form. Don’t be fooled he loves to argue for the fun of it! (male,age 29)

    S~ Insightful, considerate,take charge or sit back & follow whatever the situation needs she can handle it … can have moody times, but generally a most enjoyable person to be with day in & out. Fun loving, creative, and everyone who meets her usually loves her! (Female,age 27)

    J ~ Quiet, quick witted, hard working. Loves his family & friends. For his free time he perfers to spend time in the pool if that isn’t possible then reading by the hour or watching tv relaxes him greatly. (Male,age 25)

    On to the granddaughters 🙂

    K~ Very bright with an active imagination. Lots of fun and high energy ~ she can & does sit & play quietly on her own as required or needed. Loves to read or make up stories. Loves to run and jump, dance around and especially loves to laugh.
    Can be sensitive to loud voices. (age 3 1/2 belongs to the 25 yr old male)

    A~ Quiet until she decides she is comfortable in any given situation. Once comfortable she loves to play. Can be bossy. Coloring, reading or games & puzzles. If necessary she can & does handle playing quietly by herself. (age 2 1/2 belongs to the 29 yr old male)

    K~ Curious, fun loving, demands constant attention or at the very least supervision (due to her age). Likes to explore her surroundings and surprisingly will sit for some shows and some stories. Perfers to be on the move likes her freedom to move from room to room. Don’t let her climb stairs alone!
    (age 1 1/2 sister to the 3 1/2 belongs to the 25 yr old male)

    That is so very difficult … I’m sure if I had loads of time to really fine tune those descriptions might get much closer to the whole picture … I did try to keep them balanced, honest without leaving off the some times unpleasant side of each one but even that can be so subjective to mood/ time of day or circumstances that you need to be extremely selective on how to describe that aspect.
    Anyway I’m glad I had a chance to play 🙂
    And good luck to those in the contest!
    Hope my descriptions were fun for you to read.

  4. They are both loving, kind, well adjusted and have a great sense of humour. A good understanding of life,themselves and of others.
    (ages 20 & 24)

  5. Cameron, 6 3/4, aspires to be an NHL Defenceman, Environmentalist, Golfer who plays drums for AC/DC. Is compelled to enforce the rules, but changes them to suit his needs. No allergies.

  6. Interesting….it is really hard to write a description of your child in so few words. I have two children myself and could not find a sitter. I ended up leaving my full time day job to work retail in the evenings and weekends. You gotta do what you gotta do.
    My oldest son is almost 10. A soft heart and all around great kid. Loves legos, tv and the wii. Hates vegetables, cleaning up and homework. A little bit hyper.
    My youngest is 18 months old. A very old soul, but snuggly little guy. Loves apples , teddy and Elmo. Dislikes sleeping and rice milk. Highly allergic and sometimes crabby.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  7. Okay so I know that the blog was not meant to make me feel guilty but since I’m the one that moved away and we’re the family responsible for the tears I have to say I feel kinda sad for him. Since I saw him almost ever afternoon I would have to describe Luka as:

    Fairly quiet, good listener and well mannered boy who likes to play Nintendo, Lego and LOVES oranges. Well mannered, adapts well to rules of the house and really is a pleasure to watch as his quiet nature doesn’t really get him in much trouble.

    I know it’s over the 30 words but I had to write it all. I hope your search turns out well and Luka finds a good fit! Or move closer to us and all your problems would be solved!!!

  8. Interesting exercise! I too have just finished arranging after school care, for the first time, for my 6 years old son and 4 year old daughter. Our school’s sk/jk progam is half days (actually only 2 1/2 hours) which is challenging as a parent who even wants to work part-time. Thankfully, we have found a good program.

    Benjamin (6yrs) – loves insects, reptiles, dinosaurs, science. Very inquisitive. Shy at first but when comfortable can be very talkative. Wants to be a paleontologist. Caution – loves sugary foods but becomes “busy”!

    Savannah (4 yrs) – Kind, sweet, loves little children. Adores all things “princess”. Favourite game is Candyland. Gratefully, eats almost everything – especially red peppers. Will help with housework, wearing her plastic high heels of course!

  9. Karea is a 6 year old girl who is quiet, independent, helps take care of her two younger siblings, sweet to everyone and the environment.

  10. “Joey is a busy 4-year-old boy who always knows exactly what he wants and can negotiate you out of your grandmother’s jewellery. Loves Spider-Man and imitations of same. Will bore you to tears with Scooby-doo imitations. Cuteness and vivcacity in spades which makes up for all of the above. Before long, you’ll be paying me for Joey-time.”

    Sold? Can I post my phone number here?

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