Tuesday, February 28, 2012


So...hypothetically speaking...

Say that you live in a modest home with modest cars. You make a decent income but not enough to cover everything. You pay most of your bills. But not all. You accrue debt nearly every month  not by overspending on anything but just by being short. But you refinanced recently and are making some changes.

Say you really value education. You want the question to be "where are you going to college?" and not "do you think you will go to college?"

Say you send your daughter to White Meat school.

But you attend UU church on Sunday and have progressive liberal politics.

Say that you go to parent events at school and just feel like you don't belong. At all.

Say you hypothetically can't stand what is going on in the school. Daily watching of videos. That have nothing to do with school. A lack of books in the classroom. A lack of creativity among certain teachers. Union issues. A 10 day strike that has divided a community. A total lack of organization and structure.

But say, despite all of that, you have a daughter who loves to learn. And who likes school. Who taught herself how to count in 5s. Who is reading everything she can get her hands on.

But whose teachers do not seem to not know it. Or care.

But you can't afford to move to the "good district". Not by a long shot.

Do you try to pay for private education? Even though you really can't afford it. Should you attend Catholic school even though your family has attended exactly one mass ever? Should you home school? What would that mean? Should you continue to attend and justify that it is "only" first grade? And maybe it is just a tired teacher and others will be great. Do you talk to the principal? What do you say? Do you move out of state where homes are more affordable and the schools are better? Do you move to a small box in the good district and just fix it up? Do you sell your home and rent in the good district? Do you just realize that you are still your kids' best teachers and hold on?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.


Bigger Boats

Wyeth is playing us.

We are being played hardcore.

About two months ago we started to enforce the "sit on the potty" twice a day rule.

He got a sticker just for that.

He got bored.

We got bored.

Then one month ago, as I was bathing him in the bath, he stood up, grabbed a plastic red boat that we use for bath play and peed directly into the boat.

Are you kidding me?

I praised him and dumped the pee in the toilet and flushed it. With much bravado! GOOD JOB!

The next few times when I asked him to pee, he responded that "I already peed in the red boat."

As if this was a one time deal.

Sam wrote about it  here.

But now when I put him in the bath every other day he refuses to pee in anything but a plastic boat. Or a tupperware container. He loves peeing in any of those things. And does every time we take a bath.

What the hell? How do we move from peeing in a plastic boat, standing up with remarkable control to I don't know, say, a TOILET!?

I did give him a M and M the first time he peed in the boat to make the correlation that we liked him doing that and to give him some credit. So last night, when he peed in the little tupperware container, I told him he wasn't getting an m and m until he actually peed in the toilet.

We'll see.

Send  help.  And as Sam would say, 'send bigger boats'.

We are so being played.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New "Friends"

Weyth's imagination over the past two months has exploded! He has amazing adventures these days! He shops at imaginary shops (Stock'N' Shop) that offers anything anyone could want. He has playdates with friends that don't really exist. He rides a magic carpet to go places. He has an apartment. With an elevator. He even has another family! Another whole set of relatives. And he takes all of this very seriously. He isn't joking at all when he says that he has to go to StockNShop. When Seren giggles, he gets very angry.

Pretending is VERY serious business.

Last Thursday he informed us that Jolly (a boy) and Toothpick (Jolly's sister) were spending the weekend at our house. They came early in the evening and would be staying with us.  So periodically this weekend he would say something like "well, they just woke up". Seren is a great trooper with this sort of thing. "Wyeth, are they done eating? Can they play."

"Yes, they can. They can come play with us now. They are done."

And so it went.  Seren also had these friends, pink elephants.They showed up right before she turned 3.

It is good to know that Jolly and Toothpick aren't big eaters!

Monday, February 13, 2012

As if I didn't feel old enough already

Children help us mark the time. We vividly recall (nearly) every moment of their young lives. We remember when they couldn't reach the counter top. And when they fit into newborn diapers.

So just looking at our growing children already tells us that they are growing and by extension, we are aging.

We don't really need too much 'help' to realize that we are aging.

Wyeth recently really brings this home.

His favorite stuffed animal, by far, is Webbie. Pictured here.

And here:

Webbie is his 'son'. And he is his Dad. Of course. Seren is the mom. (Ignore the incest in that statement) And me? I'm the grandma.

At least once a week, when I put Wyeth to bed, and he needs something from me, he will yell from  his bed,  "GRANDMA!!! WEBBIE NEEDS YOU! GRANDMA!"


I will now go and pluck out the grey hair.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Elevators and Alligators

When we were in Michigan back in November, Wyeth and Seren wanted us to read a sign like this to them over and over every time we got into the elevator.
Last night we were in a shopping store and took the elevator. Wyeth notes, "Mom! Remember! In case of fire, do NOT use the alligator."


Seren's initials are S.A.A.

A few months ago, she wrote the following on a piece of paper and said, "Look! My initials!"



The Wallet

Last Saturday our family was out hiking. And by hiking, we mean partly walking. Partly digging for 'bones' in the dirt. Partly nagging our kids to walk a little more quickly.

Regardless. We were out.

And we found this gorgeous wallet. Right there. In the path.  Social security card, all his credit cards, the works. Beautiful leather.

After our hike we put his address in our GPS and found his home.  I walked up to the home, as the designated wallet returner, and knocked on the door. As soon as the door opened up, the woman said, "YOU FOUND IT!"

She was in her late 50s. She was so excited! It was her husband's wallet. She immediately hugged me. Asked me to come in. Offered to buy me coffee. And then proceeded to tell me about her husband.

"He has done this before! I could kill him!" She then yelled to her daughter to call both her husband and her other daughter to call off the search.  "They are out there looking. And my husband knows he will be eaten alive if he comes back empty handed. Oh! He is having a midlife crisis. He bought a mountain bike! A mountain bike! So I told him to take some ID with him. He is 59! He should have ID! So what does he do? He takes the whole wallet! And then drops it! And this has happened before. He travels for work and once I had a policeman call me from Kansas City. My heart nearly stopped. The police? They had found his wallet. My husband was fine. Didn't even know he lost it. Oh! I could have killed him!"

And on and on. And I was just laughing because this woman obviously loved her husband but was clearly beside herself. And she was my kind of woman- the hugging kind!

She insists on getting my phone number and address. I give her both. She leaves me with the following words. " You saved our marriage! I'm not kidding! You are going to heaven!"

When I laughed she added, "Ok! You are going to heaven but not soon!"

I get back in the car and we head home. The kids are full of questions. As always. 15 minutes later, the wallet man calls. I didn't pick up because I didn't recognize the number. He leaves an equally hysterical voicemail, "Thank you. Thank you so much for your kindness. I don't know what to say. Thank you. My family thinks I'm a dumb ass. But thank you."

What a riot!

Fast forward to Wednesday. I get a card in the mail. Beautiful penmanship. And in it? 75 dollar gift certificate to Olive Garden!!? WHAT!? Are you kidding me?  I couldn't believe it.

AWESOME. Totally, totally unnecessary. We did the right thing! But so so so much appreciated!

As my father would say, "I'll be damned. How you like them apples?"