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3 kittens

Unanimated gifs

Posted on 2014.09.14 at 10:51
Hokey Pokey has started peeing standing up. "Miguel started it," he explains. I don't care who started it; my little baby, all growed up.

On the other hand, he's started leaving his bedroom and crawling in bed with Jammies and me. He lays perfectly still (as opposed to Hawaiian Punch, who would compulsively fuss and mess with Jammies or me, escalating in intensity until we throw her out).  Sometimes if I am up and about, I'll say to Pokey: "Who put this small child in my bed!" in faux-consternation, but then I'll mug on him. It's all very mushy and sweet.

He's having some anger problems at school - his temper spikes, and all of a sudden he's a tornado of throwing toys, biting, shoving anyone nearby, etc. It spikes briefly and then he calms down, but it's still a problem. In my muddled thinking, the sneaking into our bed and cuddling will help refill his cup so that he can tone down the explosive temper.

Sept 14, 2014 (10)

There was a chicken in our pecan tree. Cluck cluck cluck.

Hawaiian Punch: "I don't like this new school."
When pressed, it's because there are too many rules and too much structure, compared to daycare. I'm sure she's basically right. There's a whole lot of "Everybody be quiet, so that we can be quiet during lunch, in preparation for being quiet while we walk quietly back to the classroom, in order to be quiet while you sit in your chair." It's probably excessive. (On the other hand, consult me when I'm required to teach twenty five-year-olds. I'd be huffing valium by the second day.)

Here are the kindergarten rules for coloring:
1. Stay in the lines.
2. Only true colors.
3. No white spaces.
"But when I'm at home, I can color however I want, right?" Isn't that woefully poignant? Don't worry, Hawaii herself enforces the first two rules naturally, so I think it amounts to "do I have to keep coloring in the boring background?" No sweetie, it's the weekend. Live it up.

She has a new friends named Mercury, which is a word that is hard for me to say. You know how you pronounce the second syllable to rhyme with "pure" and not "purr"? Somehow my brain wants to apply that to the first syllable and not the second: myur-curry. Which is not right.  Anyway, Myurcurry comes over and kisses my belly and talks about the baby inside whenever I pick Hawaii up from the after-school program.  Five years old might be the upper bound of how old you can be, and still kiss your friend's mom's belly.

Hawaii to me: "If you were younger, and skinnier, and not pregnant, and your skin was darker, you'd look like Pocahontas." I think there's a compliment buried in there? Of the form "you have long dark hair"?

Also: "Dry cleans up wet, wet cleans up sticky." Somewhere Hawaii has learned this aphorism, and quips it professionally as she goes about cleaning up messes. She's right, and has also surpassed my degree of sophistication for cleaning shit up. Quite right, never better.

Wee Ace with a scratched up nose:

Sept 14, 2014 (2) Sept 14, 2014 (1)

For 9/11, they were invited to wear red, white, and blue to school. Hawaii tried about five different outfits before declaring them all unfit and returning to her regularly-scheduled outfit.

I told them all about 9/11 - the four planes, the box-cutters, the hijackers, and so on. They were fascinated. I kept it pretty matter-of-fact. They asked me to re-tell it several times. I included a bit about going to war afterwards.

Later, on the local mother's board on Facebook, someone posted a question about how to discuss 9/11 with your kids. My approach is not a popular choice. Most wanted to preserve the kid's innocence. A few had answers like "I emphasized all the positive things that came out of that day." (Huh? Like the groovy war?)(No, like the cooperation and how it brought us closer as a nation.)(Sure, why not. Is that's what we're pretending?)

The mothers all seemed to think that since we adults found 9/11 very scary in 2001, that it will be super scary for our kids in 2014. Which seems like nonsense to me. Nothing from before you were born is scary unless you get the idea that it could happen again, imminently. Otherwise it's just history.

(That said, the full question asked was "At school today, they showed the first-graders the video of the towers being hit...how do you handle explaining 9/11 to your kids?" Showing six year olds the actual footage is a whole 'nother kettle of fish from talking about the facts. That's like comparing apples and lightbulbs, as an old math professor of mine would say. I think he said it in a Russian accent, but I'm not sure. Definitely an eastern European accent.)

Sept 14, 2014 (4) Sept 14, 2014 (3)

State of unpacking

So: I can be pretty sociable, but also be pretty awkward. (Just like you!) Lately, it takes me longer to warm up socially. Like the neural pathways are a bit overgrown, and have to be re-pruned each time. By "awkward" I mean: someone tells a story, and I'm only paying half-attention, and I'm wearing a perplexed expression that matches the digression in my mind, but is nonsensically mismatched for the charming story I'm being told, about buying new mixing bowls, or whatever.

When I'm in a social groove, it's easy to pay attention. Funny stories and rejoinders spring to mind. During the awkward warm-up period, it's a struggle to pay attention, and I can't figure out things like "if I sit down, will it be odd and I'll immediately want stand up again? How do people hold cups without slamming their drinks? Are we still talking about Pyrex?"


Right now I am helping Hawaiian Punch make a cootie catcher. She had one, and used it until it fell apart. She alternates between explaining to me, authoritatively, how they work and asking me for my expertise in making a new one. The disconnect is amusing.

Question: how long does it take for a public school to initiate fundraising drives?
Answer: in the second week of school.
We got a shitty catalog full of shitty items that nobody wants, and an incredibly enthusiastic (exploited) kindergartener telling us that if they sell ten items, they get to squirt the principal with ketchup and mustard. The logistics are fascinating to Hawaii - are they allowed to squirt his clothes? Will he be naked?

We filmed Hawaii explaining about the catalog and the prizes, and sent the video to our exploitable-relatives, who dutifully bought wrapping paper. The consensus seems to be that the only useful thing in that whole goddamn catalog is the wrapping paper. I think Hawaii will get her ketchup and mustard dream.

Let's go to Taco Cabana, where we shall all cram in the same chair. An unanimated gif:

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Susan Dennis
susandennis at 2014-09-14 16:05 (UTC) (Link)
Your journal entries just make my day. Your kids crack me up. I cannot imagine what it's like to mother small ones. So it's fun to hear snippets of what it's like. Thank you for sharing them.
heebie_geebie at 2014-09-20 22:47 (UTC) (Link)
Well thank you! I'm so glad to hear that you find the minutiae charming. Unrelatedly, I adore your knitted teddy bears - they are phenomenal and adorable.
panisdead at 2014-09-15 01:53 (UTC) (Link)
Hoss's kindergarten had the same coloring rules, which makes me think they might be, like, standardized State of Texas coloring rules? The Hubster would occasionally bring them up just because he enjoyed my "why don't they just put them in little tiny straitjackets" snit.
heebie_geebie at 2014-09-20 22:49 (UTC) (Link)
That is really funny. It is kind of impressively soul-deadening. It vaguely reminds me of having to put my head down on the table until everyone had made it through the lunch line, and then having ten minutes left to eat, just in the sense that that became my yardstick for needlessly inflicting rules on kids who sometimes need to be noisy.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-09-15 12:54 (UTC) (Link)

Coloring Rules!

Those were the same coloring rules my kid had in kindergarten back in 2003. She hated, hated, hated the "no white space" rule. "But I like white space!" she would wail.

You interior monologue is just exactly how I feel at parties. ALL THE TIME.
heebie_geebie at 2014-09-20 22:50 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Coloring Rules!

The white space rule is kind of funny. I'm betting it's just to keep the kids occupied for longer, so that they don't whip off a drawing in ten seconds and then demand more paper.

So you don't warm up after a while? Even with alcohol? I really find alcohol to be key, but either way after 30-40 minutes I'm generally able to chat happily and leave the monologue behind.
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