Archive for February, 2011



I almost cried today when I dropped Dillon off at school.  Had to do some of the deep breathing I’ve been trying to learn in yoga class to compose myself a little.

He’s leaving with his classroom (and the rest of the 4th through 6th graders) to go camping at Nature’s Classroom.  He’ll be gone for a week.  And while I’ve been mentally and literally helping the kids to prepare for this (completely unprompted this morning Rose said she was going to really miss her big brother) for a couple of weeks, it just felt like the first day of three-year-old kindergarten again.  You know that he’ll be fine but it seems like such a big step.  When both kids started K-3 they were pretty solid.  They weren’t really the kids you had to rip from their parents and the teacher hauled them, screaming, into the classroom.  There were a couple of tears from them, but I am pretty sure I shed the majority of them when I got back to the car on that first day.

While I’ve obviously left the kids for five days when I’ve been at a conference, they were home with Charles.  When he and I went away together for a week to a wedding in Mexico, they were with my parents.  I missed them, but it was nothing like this.  Dillon seemed totally fine, like he’s such a big guy all of a sudden.  Though he did let me give him a kiss, which has been slightly less acceptable these days.  I determined to hold it together, and it helped to see that when I was telling him to get organized and put his gloves in his coat pockets, that he already had a pair in there and that made us both laugh, particularly since I had thought those were MIA.

So maybe he won’t need someone to remind him in the morning that his shirt is on backwards and inside out.  And that he should probably put on his socks before his boots.  He might just be capable of handling all that himself.

Though when I turned around to sneak one last look before I left, I saw that he had slipped his hand inside his teacher’s as he was earnestly telling her about something, and I saw that little three-year-old guy again, just for a moment.

The Chalk Hits the Fan


Report cards came home a couple of weeks ago. And some concerns have been surfacing since Rose began first grade that really solidified in the report card. Basically, we need to be doing a lot more work at home with our beautiful child.

Unfortunately, with Rose being on the gymnastics team she wasn’t getting home until after 8pm three nights a week, and her bedtime is at 7:30, so we really weren’t able to squeeze in any reading or math practice on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. She was at the gym more than 10 hours per week (not including meets or performances on weekends). The hard decision was to take a break from the gym for the rest of the school year.

And while I am not happy that we had to go that route, Rose took it really well. I really tried to present it as something we were going to do – spend more time together and read every night – rather than a punishment where we were taking away something she really enjoyed because of school. Since we all know how well that works to engage a kid in their education.

Of course, last night she was doing her floor routine in the living room (as she is prone to do if she hasn’t gone to the gym in a few days) and she asked “Shouldn’t I be at the gym tonight, Mom? It’s Wednesday.” And I had to remind her that we were taking a break, but it occurred to me that the reason she took it really well is because time can be really amorphous for Rose, and I am not sure now that she really understood what the implications of “taking a break from gymnastics until the summer” meant.

Her teacher asked if she could just cut back the hours or whatever, but really if she came home earlier from practice we’d just feed her and try to get her into bed on time. And she wouldn’t really be practicing enough to be on the team, or do well, and those are the things that matter most to her. She really likes her teammates and friends. I think, ultimately, that taking a break and starting back will be easier on her in the long run, because once she catches up with school I think it will all click into place and she’ll be on track and able to handle school night activities.

But in the short term it kind of hurts my feelings to see her working on her routine in the living room, knowing that she misses the gym.

Tinker Daddy


Rose is in bed, and she says to me: “Pretend you are Tinkerbell and you are my mommy.” I say, “I am your mommy so I only have to pretend to be Tinkerbell.”


Charles pops his head in the doorway and says, “I am Tinkerbell!”

Rose says, “No, you are my daddy. But you can pretend to be my daddy Tinkerbell.”

He says “I am your daddy. And I am Tinkerbell… Wait, are there any boy fairies?”

Rose says, “There is Clank.  He is fat.  Just like you, Daddy!”

… and I have to leave the room promptly because I am not sure I should be crying with laughter at this statement.  She clearly wasn’t trying to be mean, and said it as sweetly as can be.  But it took me a minute or two to compose myself before I could kiss her goodnight.

Super Bowl and Quidditch Robes


Quiddich RobesI got over my disappointment with the webertubes and dug through my old patterns. I decided to take the pattern I used for Dillon’s Frodo Halloween Costume (when he was 3) and edited it a bit to turn the middle earth ring bearer into the Griffyndor seeker.  It was fairly challenging, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it prior to commencing the project.

Obviously the first step was to redesign the robe, which is maroon outside and gold inside, hooded, with a Griffyndor patch and a tie-closed front (we’re going with the Sorcerer’s Stone uniform here, they’ve changed over the years).  So I figured out how I’d do the lining (basically make the same robe twice and sew the unfinished sides together), and then sized the whole thing up seven sizes or so as he’s grown a bit since he was three.

I worked on the robes all Sunday, and continued during the Super Bowl (pausing to make and consume some guacamole and a beer in the spirit of the evening).  Rose and Charles sat and watched the first half of the game, eating the rest of the chips and guac and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  After the halftime show, I told Rose she had to go to bed.  She asked, “Is Daddy going to keep watching the game after I go to bed?”  I told her yes.

She asked, “why can’t he pause it and we can finish tomorrow?”   My kids do not understand broadcast television.  We never watch TV on the TV.   We used to watch PBS when they stayed home sick, but these days they are well-versed enough on the PS3 menus for Rose to give her grandma a Netflix tutorial and show her how she could turn on an episode of the Backyardigans.   So I had to explain to her that the TV was going to keep playing the game whether we had it on or not.  (We don’t have any DVR situation so we’re just going to leave it at that for now.)  And she was okay and went to bed.

Here’s a picture of where I stopped with the robes for the evening – I still have to finish the sleeves and attach the hood.  And hopefully the patch I ordered on eBay comes before this party, or I don’t know what I am going to do.