Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An effort to catch up

How far behind does one have to be in blogging before the outings and events become null and void?  Is it one month?  Is it 6 months?  Because it's May and I'm certain I have things to write about that happened in December.  I think I'll go for it.  The blog will seem incongruous for a while, but since this is the place I'll come to when I'm in my 90s and my mind no longer functions up to specified parameters, I have to do it for posterity's sake. 

Post originally written April 15, 2012:
R has been in Hawaii this week.  I'm tired.  The Salad and I got up 10 minutes early to put finishing touches on our first project for school.  It's for a contest.  Winner gets free tuition for a month.  Well, for one child, anyway.

We read "The Empty Pot" by Demi.  It's a book, set in China, about having the courage to be honest.  We showed a map of China, the Salad made a Chinese Flag and we talked about some symbolic colors.  For a craft, S painted an empty terracotta pot and suggested planting sunflowers seed at home.  For science, A colored pictures of what a plant needs to grow - sun, soil, air and water.  She was really stumped on how to draw the air part.  For a snack, we cut up an orange and spread the segments into a flower shape and used sunflower seeds for the pistils.  Finally, for Music and Movement, we described and discussed the symbolism of a Chinese Ribbon Dance and M made ribbon sticks to dance with.

It was only after "ribbon dancing" at home, that I realized I had once again given preschoolers a bona fide weapon.  Let's cross our fingers that no one loses an eye before the votes get tallied.

That 1/3 month's tuition would pretty much rock.

Coincidentally, I tried to explain what the phrase "bona fide" meant to the Salad.  I told them it meant "Like for realsies."  They got it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Twelve Acre Wood

We went on a spur of the moment hike with playgroup this morning.  The weather called for storms all day and we wanted to be close to home, should the skies open up.  Luckily Ms. Carol happened upon the Saul Wildlife Sanctuary on her bike the day before, so in record time of 45 minutes, I changed the Salad, showered, packed lunch, bug spray, water shoes and an extra change of clothes for everyone.

It was a perfect day for a hike, warm enough to go in the water (though cold water wouldn't have swayed this group of kids) and not hot enough to be uncomfortable.  We have to do as much hiking in the next few weeks as possible, before the bugs come. 

The 9 preschoolers caught sight of the creek about 4 minutes into the walk and by 6 minutes in, 7 of them were drenched.  I stood watching them find pebbles, hide treasure in the sand, wade tentatively to the big rocks, race leaves in the current, "fish" with big sticks and I realized just how many times in the past 3 years, I've seen this exact scene - many small children sopping wet on the bank of a stream - and felt lucky that we have amazing, adventurous friends.
We stopped for a snack break just before we left and about 15 kindergartners came along with their school.  It was cool to see how well our worlds collided.  They were friends within minutes, S holding hands with one of the girls, waving heartfelt goodbyes when we had to leave.   

4 hours later we emerged, muddied and happy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Strict or Slack

A while ago, a fellow blogger had an interesting idea to blog about - what are you strict about? (in the parenting world).  I started thinking about whether I am a strict mom.  And as with most things, I find myself hovering along the middle line.  There are areas in which I am rigid.  For example, I still make the Salad hold my hands when we are crossing any street.  I keep a set bedtime of 7:30, for the Salad.  We have limited screen time.  The Salad knows the shows that I will not allow in our home (Tom & Jerry - oh the violence!, Sponge Bob - the unkind tone!, Yo Gabba Gabba - so annoying!).  We have a clean up time before dinner each night.

But, then there are times when perhaps I fall too far toward the other end of the spectrum.

M dangles from a train trestle.

S drives our van down our street. *

Here, M climbs to the top of a 20' tree.

S drives a Road Roller over A.


* Oh, come on, you guys.  Take it easy.  Of course S isn't really driving.  That's not even legal.  OK, she is actually steering.  But that's it.  She's not working the pedals.  You know, 'cause her legs were too short.  Someone else is working the pedals.  I'm not gonna tell you who, though.  Because it's super fun to imagine M squished in front of the driver's seat pumping the gas with his hands.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Drink Up

The Salad's school had Multicultural night last month.  As part of the festivities, they served virgin Margaritas in tiny plastic Margarita glasses.  The Salad took the job of taste testing both strawberry and lime very seriously.  M also told the teacher doling out drinks that it's "just like Mommy drinks." 

Yep.  Sounds about right.

Anyway, when R suggested Mexican food on Sunday, the Salad begged for Margaritas on the car ride to Delaware, where you can get the best Mexican food in the tristate area.  After we were seated and our waitress asked what we would like for drinks, M piped up for the table.  "Margaritas for everybody!"

How have we made it 5 years without even one visit by CPS?  Amazing really.