Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Preschool parting gifts

Baby 2.0 is in preschool (and is "not a baby!" he would say). I love the preschool, but find a lot of the other parents daffy. The teachers recommend going to a quarry, and they dither about whether preschoolers would really enjoy a rock quarry.

Hello? The educators you are paying to be experts in your child's development and growth are suggesting a field trip they know is great. Kids looking at big trucks; kids throwing rocks. Please don't pretend that one more outing to the New Children's Museum (where most of you already have passes) is going to be the same enriching experience.

Today's daffiness: one of the moms brought in extra eggs for everyone to color! Because it's not like I don't have two dozen uncolored eggs in the fridge since I didn't get my act together enough to get Paas dye and the fancy Japanese dye I have didn't work! So when I picked L up from preschool, I was given two hard-cooked lovingly pencil-scribbled eggs.

I still had to go to Trader Joe's. And it's lovely warm here today, so I put the eggs in my purse. I was not permitted to throw them away, even though L will not eat the eggs. It was my jeans pocket, or my purse. And there they were, through the whole TJ's trip and the incredibly backed-up traffic I hit coming home.

I got home, unpacked the groceries, remembered the eggs, and pulled one intact and one cracked-shell egg out of my purse. Lovely. I'm keeping the cracked one to put in the offending family's cubby tomorrow. He'll be back on Thursday to pick it up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dental checkup for A

A had a cleaning and exam today, including X-rays. A had some staining on his teeth. No cavities, but staining. The hygienist said, "I usually see this on grownups who drink coffee, tea, or wine." 

A said, "Oh, I drink a lot of tea." (He drinks jasmine tea with me in the morning, as does L.)

She asked him, "What kind of tea, hot or cold?"

He said, "Oh, I'll drink it pretty much any way. I drink a lot of tea." He means, of course, that sometimes he drinks it straight from the pot and sometimes he lets it cool in the cup before drinking it. I don't know what he'd do faced with actual iced tea.

Friday, August 09, 2013

End of First Grade

It's catch-up day. So here's a guy with perfect attendance, honor roll, and 26 timed miles under his belt. He's going into second grade.

Preschool 2.0

I have not clarified how much Baby 2.0 likes preschool. He went for four weeks of summer session and he loves preschool. We had preschool angst since the lovely (free) IB preschool that Baby 1.0 attended lost its funding and re-emerged as a private preschool that I was not terribly impressed with. The books disappeared. Preschools need books, abundant, overflowing bins of books.
Brother's class at school, not preschool.

So I did preschool research (again) and put him on wait lists. We had a fantastic first choice and a pretty good backup. When we were on vacation in April, he got accepted to his fantastic first choice and we did a happy dance. Then the chance for summer session popped up, three days a week, 9am to 1pm, and we jumped at it.

Because Baby 2.0 was bored with me and we were irritating each other. Can I say that and not get in trouble? I could not provide the social/intellectual stimulus this kid requires. So he needed to go to preschool.

He loves preschool, holy cow. I was concerned that he would be a thug, but with the usual amount of direction that every kid who has never attended school needs, he did great. I'm waiting to see how he does in the fall. He loved it so much we moved him from the three-day plan to the five-day plan.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Potty Training 2.0

I haven't gone back through the blog to see if I detailed how we potty-trained Baby 1.0. As I remember, eventually we just sucked up a couple days to a week of accidents until he understood the sensations and could get himself to the toilet. We realized after the fact didn't need pull-ups or a little potty seat or any of that; we needed a portable kid-sized seat and a lot of pairs of underpants and shorts with elastic waists.

But what I didn't realize is that Baby 1.0 has always had a fundamental dislike of wet pants, at one point within the first week of life culminating in three diaper changes within five minutes, much to the consternation and shock of his father.

They tell you when you have Baby 2.0 that Baby 2.0 will be completely different than Baby 1.0. And it's mostly true, or at least it seems like it when I try to do whatever we did with Baby 1.0 and Baby 2.0 has a complete meltdown.

Or in the case of potty-training, complete indifference. A would have hated to sit in wet pants. L would happily sit in wet pants for hours. He would sit in wet pants until they dried out again. He did not care. Bribes of new underpants or being like his big brother, who hung the moon? Nope. Stickers or checkmarks on the hand? Promises of toys in the future? Fierce celebration every time something was successfully landed? Nope. "I need my privacy," L told me. And then took out all the bath toys, and peed on them and the floor.

A lack of motivation equals a lack of potty training. And one day, folks, I decided I was done. L is going to start preschool in July and he needs to be potty trained by then and I was totally over diapers. Completely. I felt like I needed a half a Valium and a rye-and-coke every time we approached the diaper changing station.

The day I was completely over diapers, a classmate of A's had a baby sister born. So this is what I told L: "Buffy has a new baby sister. And that new baby sister needs diapers. For every new baby born, someone else has to stop using diapers, and this time, it's you. So when the current box of diapers runs out, you're out, so it's time to start using underpants."

"We can just get another [box of diapers]," L offered. "At Target."

"Nope," I said. "We're not allowed to buy any more diapers. The people at Target will throw us out if we try."

Then I offered him bribes: an episode of a TV series for peeing successfully, a movie for pooping. One laundry-intense weekend later, he mostly had it. It's been a few weeks now and I can say, pretty confidently, that he's got it. Dry at night, dry in the morning, dry during the day. He got sick and accidents happened, but they do when he took unexpected, unanticipated, long-lasting naps.

So we're potty trained, and all it took was my imagining an elaborate nationwide conspiracy to maintain the diaper sale status quo. He'll have a future in talking-head news.

Monday, April 08, 2013

And so it begins...

A has been through his first set of standardized tests now as a first grader. His school doesn't get into a tizzy about the first graders; his teacher explained that test writers are mean, sneaky people trying to trick kids so that they see it as a game.

She had a copy of his tests at his last parent-teacher conference. He'd missed one question in the reading comprehension section. It was a story about a girl who went to run in a race. She and her dad went to the five-lap race, her dad cheered, and she won first place. She got a medal. So the question he got wrong was:
A at the end-of-trimester awards ceremony

Why did Kira's father clap?
a) because Kira ran five laps
b) because Kira won the race
c) there were toads in the road
d) equally unlikely answer

A picked a, because Kira ran. The correct answer, according to the CA Board of Education Mean People Who Trick Kids Dept. was b, because she won. I'm just bursting with pride that he got this one right and the people who wrote it got it wrong.

He's right. Kira's dad should have clapped because she ran, not because she won, or Kira's dad would be a superjerk.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mad Skillz

Mr. L is obsessed with sunglasses, except he doesn't call them sunglasses. He calls them DJ glasses.

So this is how he looked when we went to go pick up his brother from school. We were stopped by his brother's kindergarten teacher, who said, wow, you're a pretty cool-looking guy today, L said:

"I'm a DJ with mad skills."

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"I am thankful for my family!" A announced at dinner, and yes, we all agreed. Young Masters A and L do not care for sweet potato pie or cream puffs with warm chocolate sauce (although they both did like the chocolate sauce and whipped cream), and so I am not sure whose children they are. A still does not eat mashed potatoes, so I'm really not sure where he came from.

But they are blissfully asleep, C is cleaning our kitchen as he has been doing all day, I have a cat purring in my lap, and we are happy.

We are heading out right now to shop. Kidding! We are heading to bed. The only thing on schedule for us tomorrow is a playdate and some elving, that is, some present-making.