Monday, October 28, 2013

Swimming Pool Games: Winton

Mommy!  Mommy!  Let's play Baby Policeman Seahorse again!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Inexplicable Customs

Also this week I attended Winton's school's field trip to a pumpkin patch.
Hallowe'en is an exciting time, what with the pumpkins and the promise of much candy to come.
But it's hard to get a straight answer from anyone about why we do these things (Ok sure, ghoulish things around an old festival for departed spirits . . . but why the candy?).

I wound up driving there with a new parent and her daughter, both from Burkina Faso, both only in the US for 3 weeks, and both only speaking French.

Trying to explain with inadequate vocabulary and a complete inability to conjugate verbs into the correct tenses left me telling this poor woman something about kids and faces on pumpkins  . . . baffling.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Volunteering at the Elementary School for recess, lunch and library

Oh sure, you say: pick a day when the weather is gorgeous to stand on the playground.  Tss.  Piker.
Shut up.
At least I went.

Things I learnt on the playground:

1) everyone is obsessed with those rainbom loom bracelet band things
2) even the boys
3) you can make the bracelets on your fingers
4) little girls are very bossy teachers when there's a parent trying to learn how to make a bracelet out of tiny elastic bands on her (massive, sausagey) fingers.

Also: lunch rooms are very sticky.

And libraries can be, like my bookshelves at home, arranged as much according to the librarian's inner logic as by the dewie decimal system.

I'm smug about the elasticy bandy necklace I just made for my son though.  I'm enjoying a brief shining moment of understanding the zeitgeist of the under sevens.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carrying Too Much Stuff

I carry around a large backpack every day.  It contains: a laptop; my purse (with wallet weighted down by nickels and pennies); a large nalgene water bottle, my lunch (generally in a heavy glass pyrex container), a binder for miscellaneous papers, a notebook, a datebook, my ancient cellphone, a million pens, and a cache (large) of sanitary supplies because you just never know.  Also often: yoga clothes, children's toys and the childrens' snacks for school pick up.  Combined weight: probably 30 lbs or so.

The kids' father carries around a bookbag.  Contents: I don't know in detail but the bag is heavy.  Probably 30 lbs or so of books.

Today Clara went to "work" in DC with her father for the day, and packed her own backpack.  Contents: a 300 page volume about James Audobon which she can't read (it's a textbook) but whose pictures she is fond of; two blankets, several soft toys, all of her Pete the Cat books, a shoe box full of My Little Ponies and a pillow.  Weight: too heavy for a little girl.

That apple didn't fall from the tree, did it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parenting Sloganeering: a homework assignment in the style of Grade One

It's not a competition.
It's not about me.
It's my issue.
It's a marathon not a sprint.

Draw lines between the above and the below to match each slogan up with the topic to which it applies:

parenting (vis-a-vis other spouse or other parents)
parenting (vis-a-vis defensiveness, guilt, anxiety, fear or loss)
parenting (follow through)

Prizes for most correct responses, and most inventive ones.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


It's a weird thing to miss someone (or someones).  Sleeping children are almost certainly not missing me, but while I grade essays and read South African Literature, I miss them. 

It's an uneven business the who misses who and when.

Meanwhile, I remembered Winton once proposing he name a pet "Eyeball."  Perhaps Hallowe'en has brought this to mind.  It is a great name, for any kind of pet.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cooking for kids

French Toast requested: 7.40 AM
French Toast served: 8.10 AM
French Toast rejected in favor of pickles: 8.11 AM