Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making the chaos worthwhile

Sometimes, we have glimmers that remind us why we had two of them. And an argument for not overscheduling. You need to have time to make pizza.

It doesn't look like much, but there was a pizza kitchen in our front yard this weekend, and two busy pizza chefs, gathering sauce and "spicy stuff" and cheese and pepperoni from the nearby plants and trees and my weed bucket. There was cooperation and planning and a good time was had by all.

Bitty Girl's Combo

The Boy's Wood or Veggie options

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


That's me trying to swallow the huge lump in my throat.

Watching The Boy run down the path ahead of me, playing "Jump," (his game where you have to jump over everything in your path like leaves or sticks or bird poop) and turning back to check if I'm jumping.

I'm looking at this boy ahead of me, with these long almost-gangly legs, the beginnings of broadening shoulders and a skinny frame just like his daddy, with his ears sticking out from his baseball hat and his tanned neck and I can't believe it's here.

We just went to a kindergarten orientation meeting, where they asked him to count and cut and write some letters and did a vision and hearing screening. (For inquiring minds, he passed the vision and hearing, says he knew all the letters, and they stopped his counting at 100, although he could have gone on all day!) But back up - KINDERGARTEN.
I was in a school library, talking with the principal and filling out some huge health information form that asked me for details about my pregnancy, his birth, and developmental milestones, asked me to describe him in three words, tell them his hobbies, interests, if he had any talents?

Like that he's a champion swimmer or speaks three languages or can juggle while riding a unicycle?
I wrote that he can count way past 100, tell jokes, and hit a ball out of our yard.
It's fine that they're gathering information about kindergarteners. I understand they want an idea of who will be walking in on September 2. But I was literally sweating while I filled out the form. Asking me to dig into the memory files back to 2002 was dangerous, because all the while I had to keep my happy brave face on for him, put up with his nervous, slightly annoying behavior while we waited. And I had to do it without sniffling or crying or collapsing into a heap, screaming, "Where did my baby go?!!!??"

On the way out, we stopped at the school playground where he proceeded to swing across the monkey bars. These weren't any new fancy "build your self-esteem, child of the 21st century" monkey bars, these were OLD SCHOOL. It's the older part of the playground, serious metal, high up, and looooong. And he did it. About 10 times. With the callouses to prove it.

Take that, monkey bars. Kindergarten, watch out!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


That's Bitty Girl's new term.

"That's my cracker, actually."
"Actually, my dolly goes here."
"I want some i-fream (ice cream) actually."

She uses it with this funny little finger point with her head cocked to the side. Hysterical. And sometimes she gets the context right too.

Last night we had dinner with my grandma, in the dining room of her retirement place. We always create a stir since most of the people light up like 200-watt bulb when they see kids. And all the ladies nod in appreciation when we introduce her--they like the good old-fashioned name.

Bitty Girl sat in a big girl booster chair like she was on the royal throne, barking orders at us through dinner. When the server came to take our order, she grabbed a menu and really seemed to read it, pointing her little finger and running it over the letters. She responded emphatically "RICE please!" when asked for her side dish choices and "PINK I-FREAM" for dessert order. She had to hold her OWN chocolate milk and get the ice out of her water glass BY SELF!

Next morning when she told Daddy on the phone about her dinner, here's what she said she ate. Jellies (jelly beans), chocolate raisins, i-fream and brownies. I had to throw in that she ate some ham and a breadstick with a pound of butter, clam chowder, sunflower seeds and croutons from the salad bar, and a little fruit. No wonder she stayed up chatting to herself in her bed for an hour before she fell asleep. She was flying on a sugar high, actually!

And on Sunday, when she was digging in Papa's garden and I tried to take her picture, she ACTUALLY held up her finger (see below) and said, "No pictures, Mama. Busy digging!"