Wednesday, May 28, 2008

handing them over

Two days of summer vacation and Mama is exhausted. I have kept the peace and put off the boredom, but it has worn me out. But... Nana and Papa come tomorrow. (Welcome Mom. Welcome Dad. I'll be in the other room reading.) I'm actually looking forward to simply catching up on laundry. I must be desperate.

My kids worship my father. He wasn't too excited by them as babies, when my mother already felt close to them. Instead, as they've gotten older he's gotten more involved. He shares his binoculars and they go hiking/birdwatching. I'm sure they scare off any birds he wants to see, but they revel in the attention. He plans projects for them. At his house they cut out wooden jigsaw puzzles on his power saw. Down here he brought all the wood and pieces needed to make treasure chests. Or they hammer together bird houses (which got used this spring!) The smell of sawdust has always reminded me of my dad.

My dad, who gets antsy very easily when on a vacation, usually asks me and CD for our To Do list. He repairs stuff and makes stuff and often has to buy tools which he leaves here for us. My mom will chip in and help cook, clean up, fold laundry and sit on the floor playing with toys. She'd say that she specializes in reading books to the kids. They are pretty easy houseguests.

When Pook was born, my mother promised to babysit him for a week for our tenth anniversary. I believe the addition of Bug didn't negate any previous agreement. I hope not, because I made the reservations today. CD and I are going to head out to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington for a week this fall. Thank you Nana and Papa. Come visit anytime.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Here it is. Summer has started. And I'm thinking about next year already. I've been reading AJ's Clubhouse and Mrs. Spy's concerns for AJ's education. Talking about gifted kids is always tough. You want to discuss the issues without sounding like you're bragging. However, a kid who gets bored with school is likely to find his own ways to be entertained. These are not necessarily good. A kid who isn't challenged may lose the love of learning. They may be unable to tackle difficult problems if they aren't taught to try. To keep them challenged might make them ostracized by their peers. So there are plenty of issues to deal with for gifted education, just as there are for kids who struggle.

AJ's family is trying to get an alternative curriculum for him. She has all the worries I mentioned above, and is doing something about it. I'm wondering if we're doing enough for our kids. Based on testing at the beginning of first grade, Pook started in the gifted program at school this year. It isn't an accelerated program, just supplementary. He is also responsible for any work the class does while he's out of the room. In light of the posts about AJ, I recently asked Pook if school was ever boring. "About half the time," was the reply.

I'm a strong proponent of public schools, whenever possible. I know their limitations and there are many. We made a decision to save for college instead of using the money for private school now. The way I see it, at age 18, kids have the option of not attending college. Since we don't like that idea we hope that the offer to (help?) pay for it would make the difference. I tell other parents that they should try to think of public schools as dinner at McD's. If you want a healthy diet, you probably want to supplement it. It isn't exciting, but it is pretty consistent for children across the U.S.

I really haven't been very involved with the content of the school's curriculum. I was a teacher in our county for ten years, all Before Children, but I taught Special Education, that other end of the normal curve. Since I wasn't yet a parent, I didn't see what the other teachers could teach me that might be useful down the road. Now I wish I'd paid more attention to methods and materials for teaching my own brood.

I do have one great bonus in his education. The Gifted Ed. teacher is retiring and an old friend and former coworker is taking her spot. Nancy is full of energy and ideas and will be fabulous for him. She'll also be a willing listener to my ideas. I had hoped Pook would get her as a second grade teacher, but now I think her move to Gifted will be even better for him.

Homeschooling isn't for me, and my sister's family is "unschooled", which is also not for me, but we do do some "afterschooling". Many dinners involve "Let's play math/spelling!" requests, and we toss in educational snippets often in our daily lives. Both kids love learning and even want to do "homework" this summer. We supplement a lot. But I'm not sure that really makes up for being bored in school.

Pook brought home math papers from the class's assignment book each week. In addition, he brought home "Challenge Math". He didn't need to do the class' math if he did the Challenge work, which was always. But, the Challenge work had nothing to do with what they were learning in class. They take a pretest before each math unit and the three first grade teachers split up the kids based on their needs. But, why, when he's at the Mastery level, wasn't he given Mastery level, on topic homework? I will check on this further and try to improve the situation for next year.

And we'll do it all again for Bug. He has been offered a position in a "Young Fives" class for fall, even though he's a middle of the year Four. We turned it down. We'd rather he stay in a room of same aged kids and play and have fun for one more year of preschool. I wouldn't have skipped him a grade anyway (smart and tall does not equal more mature) so a year of advance work seems like it would just make kindergarten boring. And we don't need more boredom.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I don't do "bored"

"I'm bored."
Not in my job description, Bug. I don't do "bored".

He's been out of school for one day. He only attended three days a week anyway. How exactly can he be bored yet?

I started a list with their help. Actually several lists. (I'm a list maker, I confess. I'm one of those people who writes things I've already done on my list just so I can cross it off.) We now have the Friends to Invite To Play list, the Field Trips Around Town list and the Things to Do When Bored list.

Things to Do When Bored
  • do one of the standbys: read or color
  • play piano
  • write a story (paper or computer)
  • read a magazine
  • wash the windows with vinegar (sneaky way to get them to clean the house)
  • re-read some board books before Mama packs them away
  • do some puzzles
  • take photos with the Little Tikes camera
  • make a magic show
  • do some art (paint, yarn, rubber stamps and much much more)
  • play playdoh
  • play school with old workbooks (translation: teach Bug to write his lower case letters)
  • look at globe and make a list of places you want to go
  • play with an often forgotten toy
  • make a puppet show
  • mop the floor with the Swiffer or vacuum with the Shark (honestly, they do sometimes enjoy these)
  • pick a recipe from the kids' cookbook and make plans for a meal/snack
  • use walkie talkies
  • write an email
  • go biking
  • dress up and make a show (maybe I'll film it)
  • build a fort
  • play a board game (If I'm desperate enough I'll even suggest Hungry Hungry Hippo)

If Mama is interested in joining the Boredom Busters
  • hike around the lake
  • feed the ducks
  • do a science kit project
  • go biking
  • make ice cream
  • put up tent
  • make stepping stones
  • go to Michael's for a new craft
  • cook or bake

We are fortunate to live by a public pool and we will swim every afternoon that the weather permits. The pool isn't included here because it will probably only be the days the weather doesn't permit that they're bored anyway.

Tomorrow is Pook's last day of school. Our first three weeks of summer are open, without any trips or camps. The neighbors are going to be out of town for the first week, at least. We will fill some days with fun field trips around Atlanta, but the rest of the time, they're on their own.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

low battery, no battery

3:30 a.m., Monday night/Tuesday "morning" ("morning" to me implies that it is time to get up; 3:30a.m. is therefore not really "morning"): I leaped awake (like only a parent can) with adrenaline pumping away. I heard nothing. Maybe I'd dreamed it. I tried to relax and fall asleep again. I was close to nodding off when it happened again. This time CD and I were both jolted awake. Someone was talking. It was a mechanical, computerized voice, but someone was talking. It sounded like a kid's toy.

We don't have many battery powered toys around here; we've bought none ourselves, so only a few gifts have slipped in. But those that we do own are evil. Take the Sesame Street saxophone. I can't get rid of it, because Daddy plays the sax, but the dang thing has no OFF switch. If it gets bumped in the storage room (where it lives, hoping to be forgotten) it starts to play Rock Around the Clock- and has no volume control either. Anyway, this was not Cookie Monster's voice.

We heard it again, more clearly now that we were both awake, "Low battery." Huh? We have some stupid battery powered item in our house that can talk to us? We need to hear it again to locate the source of the sound, but the delay suddenly feels longer than it did when I was trying to fall back asleep earlier. "Low battery." In our office/storage room area. CD is kind enough to get up to investigate. I'm pretty sure that whatever evil toy is talking to us is a toy that will go to Goodwill very, very soon. "Low battery." I hear him removing something plastic, taking batteries out. He returns to the bedroom with our carbon dioxide detector and puts it on his dresser. "Who thought of THAT safety device?"

7:15 p.m. Tuesday night (which meant it was still very light out, but we refer to it as "night" so we can persuade kids to go to bed.) Storms were predicted. The house was hot. The windows were open. The kids were both in the bathtub with bubbles. Not washed. Suddenly the temperature dropped and wind blew through the room. I glanced outside and saw tree branches blowing wildly. I quickly turned the bathing over to CD and went to check the radar on the computer. Red flashing light: "Tornado Warning, seven miles north of Dunwoody, heading southeast at 40 mph." That means headed here! I dashed upstairs and tried to relay the information to CD without starting a panic. We got the boys out of the tub, wiped down most of the bubbles, grabbed handfuls of pj's and both loveys (I am so a mom) and hurried everyone down the stairs.

We have no basement, and no room in the entire house without a window, but our half bath's window is into the garage so we consider it our best option. Four people were not going to fit, but I sat in the doorway. CD got the throne. He'd grabbed a couple of (long) books. The boys seemed to enjoy the adventure without getting too scared. Plus, they were up past bedtime. The storm calmed, but another cell was on its way, so we stayed put. Richard Scarry entertained. (Can you find Goldbug?)

On his way downstairs, CD had grabbed the weather radio we'd gotten from our local public radio station at a previous pledge drive. (See, you ought to ante up!) We'd never used it. It has FM, AM and shortwave, a cell phone charger, a light, and optional siren (no, thanks). I fiddled with it and got good enough reception to listen to storm reports during the Braves rain delay. Best of all, it takes no batteries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

growing my dinner

We're having our first meal of swiss chard from the garden tonight! We already thinned the onions and eaten them, plus using a couple mid sized ones last night when I found there were none in the pantry, and we've supplemented farmer's market lettuce one night too. Although there are many blooms, there is only one snow pea that I've found so far - I forgot how much I disliked veggies that camouflage themselves. At least six green tomatoes are growing already, making me wonder if we'll get a really early crop. That'd be great since we usually get cherry tomatoes until after Halloween. The more, the merrier. Most of my parsely is bolting, but there is a bit that is a year younger, so I'm letting it self seed for next winter. Parsely is really a winter crop down here anyway. I've got lots of my other herbs though: sage, marjoram, oregano, chives, rosemary and maybe garlic. (I can't remember if I planted it, but it looks more like garlic than mature chives, so it probably is.) Cilantro is like parsely, so it may or may not make it through this summer's heat. I've got two types of basil planted- sweet and purple. We all love pesto, so I'll make lots and freeze it in ice cube trays again. I love the idea of serving the kids purple pasta!

Pook isn't impressed by the garden but Bug can't wait to eat our foods. He's practically a vegetarian, only we don't cook vegetarian meals. He dislikes meats unless they're highly processed - he likes sausage, pepperoni, salami, hot dogs, ham,... (you know, healthy meats) Pook started to like tomatoes after I grew Sweet 100's one summer. Maybe he'll go for something new after getting to pick it himself. And I'm happy to give away that prize; the mosquitoes are now out.

Atlanta has these horrible, monstrosities called Tiger Mosquitoes. They're big (1/4 inch long?) have striped bodies, and the worst of it is, they're out all day. Pook is immune to any bites. They may drink his blood and leave the possibility of lime disease, but no mark is visible and there's no itch. Bug, on the other hand, is a magnet like his mama. He scratches till he bleeds, although there are so many scrapes and bruises on those little legs that one can hardly tell.

He and I perused the front yard, looking at new blooms. The initial spring flush is gone, and even phase two, the iris, are finished. But my daylillies have lots of buds and my roses are covered with blooms. Last fall I transplanted one I found in my side yard- a scrawny thing with no blooms. It has done well in the new location, but the purple color clashes badly with the others, so it'll have to pack up for another move next winter. I love the idea of having a twelve month garden down here; it is possible to have something in bloom at all times, even without annuals. I should put in some snapdragons to bloom next winter; pansies bloom in the winter and can even take snow, but I really don't want to be stuck watering anything in this drought. (The one that has given us rain about once a week since January.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

coming soon to Bejing

I have my favorite new word since "Burpday" was recently retired. (In December 2002, at her birthday, my sister said that I should enjoy Pook's word since it would probably not last. Turning seven last week was the first time it wasn't a Burpday.)

Bug woke up excited and eager to go to school. Today is his last day of class, class party and a "Mini Field Day". However, that title just wasn't up to Bugs standards. He likes things B I G. And so he has declared it to be the "Aklympics" instead. I suppose since he does live in "Aklanta" that this is quite appropriate.

He found a shirt with a number on it. (Perhaps so the tv commentators could identify him?) It was important. Then some fast shorts. "Are these tall socks fast?" He settled on short socks. "Do I have to wear my regular shoes?" (I could tell he really wanted to wear cleats but knew better.) The answer was yes, regular shoes.

After breakfast I got into the shower. He was hanging out in the bathroom with me. Suddenly, "I need an Aklympic flag!" Well, go make one dude. He runs out, returning when I was drying off, holding a light green flag, cut from rectangular paper into a rectangle (these things are always important) and decorated with green stripes and some adorable orange stars that looked like suns. After negotiating my way out of sending the handle of my Swiffer to school, I helped him tape his flag onto a dowel flagpole. He waved it around and started humming. I asked if he had Aklympic music too. "No, but I can write some!" He ran off.

He came back, beaming with excitement, holding a paper I must, must, must scan if I can get it back. It looked a bit like this:



"What does it sound like?!" I hummed an Olympic theme. The scowl led me to believe I had read the music wrong. (Reading this type of music is not my forte and I've been in this bind before. It is similar to the "oijt What does that spell?" phase. I recognize the trap.) "Just read the letters," he says with impatience. I tried the tune of my Olympic theme again with letters: "A D K IO...." The telltale signs of a meltdown were showing around the edges. Maybe, just maybe he'd hum it for me. Otherwise I was in trouble. "Bug, can you hum the music that was in your head while you were composing this?" Thank goodness he agreed. Great tune he picked for the Aklympics too: What can you do with a drunken sailor? I hummed along. He was happy. He packed his flag and music to take to class.

I'm bringing the drinks to the Aklympics today. I'm sticking with juice boxes because I worry about having drunken sailors participating in Aklympic sports. Could be messy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

parents morning in

Pook has eight days of school left. I'm invited to two of them. Bug has four days of school left. I'm invited to three. Since I don't get to add the eight and two to give me ten more days of kids in school, but I do have to add the days I'm supposed to be in attendance, I'm in major countdown mode. And not the same way the kids start counting down either.

It isn't that I had anything particularly exciting to do today. However, I usually go to the YMCA for yoga on Wednesdays-- and I will be sorry to miss it. I'd rsvp'd "no" to the class "Parent Appreciation Luncheon" until I found out I was the only selfish parent in the class, including the mom with the 12 day old baby. So, I'm going. It is cold and damp today and I'm not really in great picnic mode, but I'm trying to remind myself to appreciate the truly important things in my life. And Bug does squeeze in above yoga. Then he has a mini-field day Monday and a stage performance next Wednesday. (No yoga then either.)

I'll be scooping ice cream for the library's Something-to-thank-kids-for-reading Day on Tuesday at Pook's school, and have promised Bug he can put sprinkles on the ice creams for the kids. Then Thursday Pook has Step-Up day where they spend a day in class with next year's teacher. I'd like to meet her but I won't stay there long and am not even counting it against my free days. Friday will be his class party and I was suckered into helping. I have a strong sense of guilt. And, of course, I'm reminding myself to "appreciate the truly important things in my life."

I made a list last May of all the things we could do over the summer. And we crossed off many, but not all of the items. I kept the list and saw it not too long ago in my desk somewhere. If I can put my hands on it, it'd be fun to add to it/amend it some and try again.

I didn't plan last summer very well. We had too many weeks of swimming lessons which were inconveniently scheduled for 10 and 11am. It kept us from doing much at all if I wanted Bug to nap. Which I did. So, mostly we swam last summer. There was a visit to my parents and a week of camp at our church, but it was pretty boring overall.

This summer I've tried to scatter the events a bit better and I don't know if swimming lessons will fit in or not. We can swim every day regardless, since the county pool is literally across the street from our house ($35 for a season pass!). We've got a new birthday chemistry kit to mess with, invitations to three different farms (eggs, blueberries and cows, and general veggies), a plane ride to my parents again, two camps each (only one overlapping), a vacation to the Outer Banks, and memberships to Stone Mountain, the Botanical Gardens and the Atlanta Zoo. I've also got plans to swap kids with friends a few times. I hope that does it and gives us balance. Primarily I want them to be outdoors with the neighbors, swimming, running around, biking and generally enjoying their freedom. Freedom I will crave after about a week of full-time Mommying. My mantra will be to "appreciate the truly important things in my life."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

blood sweat and tears

Two other blogs had posts last week that have had me thinking. First, Dutch at Sweet Juniper! discussed how much attention he gets when, as a Stay At Home Dad, he takes his two kids and a dog out for a walk alone. Suddenly he is "Superdad" despite the fact that he has done it a thousand times. Mary P. over at It's Not All Mary Poppins, is told that she's "lucky" that the five toddlers she cares for are so well behaved in public. It has me ticking off of all the things my children do for which I am proud. Proud of me. Yes, I'm proud of them for many things that they do. But some of the things they do are the product of my blood, sweat and tears. I am neither "Supermom" for accomplishing them, nor "lucky" for not having to work for them. I earned them.

Pook has always been a good sleeper. I'll give him that as a basic character trait. I'd be on the phone with my mom during his nap and tell her I needed to go; he'd be awake in a minute. How could I know that? Well, he usually slept between 59 and 61 minutes at each of his three naps: 9am, 12noon and 3pm. Bug didn't exactly fall into that pattern. I worked my butt off to get him to nap at all. Irregular sleep is probably more typical for a child, but I made naps available to him regularly. Pook continued to nap or at least rest alone quietly for an hour until about Christmas of kindergarten. Bug is four and still naps daily. I am not lucky. I gave up a lot of activities. I made sure my children were home and in their own beds every day. I was as consistent and routine as is possible. And now I reap the benefits.

Bug will eat anything. He is curious about foods by nature. He wants to taste the baking soda, the raw onion, the salsa. Pook has been skeptical about new foods since he started to eat them. Bug was a great influence on him for a very brief time. Quite soon after watching his baby brother enjoy spicy foods and, mostly, vegetables, Pook simply wrote him off in that department. But I persist. I think that if left alone he would have been a buttered pasta eater. I was a very picky eater, so I understand, but I do insist. He must taste new items and he must eat "his age" in some type of vegetable. And he does. He might not want to eat something, but by trying them he has added many, many items to his repertoire.

They come with inborn traits. Some things they learn from us. The rest we shape. We form the raw material and we get to be proud of what we create.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

a little bit big

My child is seven years old. I've been a mom for seven years. Unbelievable to me. He's so wise and so amazing. He had a couple boys over to spend the night to celebrate his birthday. I enjoyed listening to them as they talked baseball, Star Wars, and the Revolutionary War (a current interest around here.) They watched The Sandlot, ate pizza and pineapple upside down cake, opened gifts, had a pillow fight, and had Matchbox car races. He was given a chemistry kit and the board game Risk. Sometime after we'd hoped they'd be ready to sleep, CD went in the room and was asked the very important question... "What is 18x4?"

Pook had a pretty short list of ideas for birthday gifts, but I spread them around. My parents got him walkie talkies, we got him a watch, and I figured I'd share the name of the Lego kit he wanted with my sister and her very-Legoy brood. His other grandparents give a magazine subscription and his very-organized-aunt brought his birthday present to Thanksgiving and so didn't need help with ideas. (Yes, you read that correctly. She had his May birthday gift wrapped and ready at Thanksgiving in November. We are not related except by marriage.) My sister, the not-at-all-organized-aunt called me, two days before the event and in the car on the way to Toys R Us, and wanted to know what he'd like. Lego. A Milenium Falcoln kit. Laughter ensued. All she had to do was mention the name of the kit to her very-Legoy children and they knew it. The kit is not available in stores and sells used for $500. Not the kit he'll be getting. But, she and Priority mail (for which she must have some large quantity purchasing deal) did send a Lego gift which arrived the day of the birthday.

He shook it. "Lego! I bet it's the Milenium Falcoln kit!" I decided to try to avoid disappointment. Your aunt says the kit isn't available, I explain. The boys have solutions at hand, quickly. "My cousin could get it." "Maybe you can get it from the computer." I tried to explain again. It really isn't available any more. The stores aren't selling it. You have to get it from someone who wants to sell it and they usually ask for a lot of money. "How much?" "I have $16." "I have $25." "My cousin probably has it." For about $500, I tell them. (silence for a moment) "Well, you could ask Santa for it." "Yeah, Santa could get it. He can do anything."


Sometimes so grown up. Sometimes still my baby.

Friday, May 9, 2008

joy and responsibility

Pook was responsible for making me a mom. (CD could argue that on technicalities....) There are two moments that I remember as When I Became A Mom. CD may have become a Dad the moment he cut the cord of the pink, crying baby laying on my chest, but it was about four hours later for me. I was exhausted and ready for bed by about 8:30. CD and I brushed our teeth and turned out the lights, getting ready to finally sleep. Then that-thing-in-the-bassinet cried. I had an "Oh crap" moment. I realized that I couldn't go to sleep until he did. I was a Mom.

The second moment was the first morning in my own bed after coming home from the hospital. It was Mother's Day 2001. We placed Pook between us in the bed, content and fed, and I looked at our family. I swore I'd remember that moment forever. Happy 7th Birthday Pook. I should celebrate your day of birth and allow you to celebrate making me a mom.

I can't slight Bug here. It amazes me when suddenly they reach an age where they remember things that have happened only rarely, and possibly a year ago. Or they're told something will happen and they remember a week later without prompting. Last year, when Bug was just past three, he popped into bed with me the morning of Sunday, May 13, and whispered in my ear, "Happy Mother's Day". I must have looked at him with huge eyes and a big grin, because he was smiles ear to ear. How did he know? "I just did."

Clearly my joy was visible to him, because every time he wants to make me happy, such as after a meltdown or when I'm clearly annoyed, frayed, crabby or otherwise irritable, he comes to me and quietly whispers, "Happy Mother's Day." I gladly accept the wishes.

To all the moms out there: Congratulations

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


May is an impossibly busy month. Bug finishes school on the 19th and Pook on the 23rd. They have performances, award ceremonies, field days and end of the year parties with school. I'm invited. What the ....?! These are my last days of freedom and you want me to bring my favorite teddy bear and a picnic blanket for lunch? You want me to scoop ice cream in the noisy cafeteria for two hours? Applaud for kids who don't deserve awards on Awards Day but who receive them so their ego won't be damaged? Enjoy a volunteer appreciation luncheon? Who are these people kidding? When will I accomplish all the things I wrote on my To Do list last August?

We have a make-up baseball game this week-- one practice and three games between now and Saturday. And a soccer practice and game. And "Family Day" at the ballpark with all the inflatables and ring tosses and junk foods on Saturday. Friday night we're hosting two kids for a birthday sleepover for Pook's 7th. And then come the end of season soccer pizza party and the end of season baseball pool party.

I'm going to blame the scribbles all over my calendar as well as the medication I'm taking for yesterday's spaciness. I'm trying to stay organized so I won't drop any apples, but some are doomed for applesauce. Yesterday was a draw- Target, Kroger, Costco - pick two. I truly hate going to Costco and I only do it about four times a year, but I knew it had to be done. Since my beloved farmer's market opens on Wednesday, I decided to postpone groceries and deal with Costco. I was good there; I avoided samples, didn't impulse buy (much) and stayed under $200. I did, however, buy a couple of their rotisserie chickens.

I shoved them in the fridge at home, dashed to Target and then picked up Bug in the nick of time. Got him home and the furnace guy was in the driveway to check the A/C. Ok, I can handle this, we'll postpone nap a bit. The furnace guy mentions that there are "some men" in my backyard. Oh! The landscape guys came back for measurements. Everyone's in the backyard now. Bug is swinging, enjoying my distraction. As soon as everyone leaves, I read Bug a story, get him in bed, and make it downstairs in time for one piece of Dove chocolate before greeting Pook from school. We get homework done, Bug wakes, LK and BK come over to turn my house inside out play. Mom-next-door (of LK, MK & BK) pops over to see if I can watch LK tomorrow. We start chatting and suddenly it's 5:30 and I have no food even started. I frantically try to thaw some chicken. Water, microwave, oh-just-cook-it-frozen. Pour on some chicken broth, add some paprika. Potatoes. I know I have those because I just pulled out one that smelled bad. Yikes! Many are bad, there are only a couple tiny red ones that are worth eating. I run next door to borrow her potatoes. (I love having friendly neighbors! Good trade: potatoes for LK?) Things get calm just about two minutes before CD walks in. I open the fridge to pour milk.

Two rotisserie chickens.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

what the ...?

Oh, yes. The things they say.

Pook went through a phase of saying "What the --" often. He only had the two words, stopping with that I'm-about-to-say-another-word sound but not saying more. Finally I had to ask him to stop saying it. I explained that many people would think that he was planning to say more words even though I knew he wasn't. Because those people might think he was going to say a bad word, it might just be best not to say the starting portion. I asked if other kids he knew used a final word. He said yes, sounding uncomfortable already. I went for it, and asked what word they used. He got very quiet. He leaned over to whisper in my ear: "heck"


The more I'm around kids from Pook's school, the more lucky I feel that I've got him. So innocent. I want to keep him that way even though I know he'd just be beaten up for it if I did. So, my opinion on foul language is that I simply don't want to hear it. But I don't care if he uses it. I told him there were "playground words" and "Grandma at the dinner table" kinds of words. If he thinks he shouldn't say something in front of his Grandma, then he shouldn't say them in front of me, teachers or other adults. Those are playground words. I understand that there will probably be (if there isn't already) some playground cred to using words I'd rather not know he uses. I'd hate to be the one to keep him from any coolness he may have. He certainly won't have inherited any from me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

the things they say

After a bike ride around the neighborhood with his dad. "Yeah, we biked so far. But... we were still in Georgia."


"Ring ring! I'm on my cellophone!"


Bug was outside with LK and they both had sticks (because they're 4yo boys and that's what they do). He held it up and announced, "I'm Mary Poppins! No... I'm Mary Popper, Mary Popp... Mary Potter...... Oh! I'm Harry Potter!"


"I think Dad needs to come out and lawn the grass. And mow over that anthill."


To me, after repeatedly trying to get my attention away from the computer: "Can't you just do work, play, work, play?" (Point taken.)