Sunday, September 27, 2009

New School Year

The school year is in full swing, now. We're finally at 5 days/week! Elisabeth absolutely loves it- her new teachers run the classroom a lot like kindergarten. Just like last year, every kid has a job every day. The jobs that I know of are: sponge helper, librarian, line leader, door holder, bathroom helper, pack-up helper, letter finder, number finder, and chime ringer. Last year, the teachers assigned the jobs. The kids ended up rotating through the jobs once every few weeks. This year... the teachers made the jobs first come-first served. We used to leave the house at 8:30 and get to school at a perfectly reasonable 8:42 for school starting at 8:45. But now - NOW - Elisabeth wants to be the chime ringer. Apparently everyone wants to be a chime ringer. So we leave at 8:15 and run as fast as we can to the door only to find 5 other kids IN LINE because the door doesn't open until 8:45.

On Thursday, my crowning achievement as a mother, I got Elisabeth to school in time for her to fake out her 4 other friends in line and sneak in and steal chime ringer. I should probably be ashamed of myself for not pulling her back out of the room, but no. I am immensely relieved that I can deny her the joy of being chime ringer for another three weeks and have a good conscience about it. She thoroughly enjoyed ringing the chimes, as you might imagine. It does seem like the best job, far better than anything termed "bathroom helper."

And Charlotte, my dear Charlotte, she should hang up those signs that you find on bulletin boards with their number on them usually advertising tutoring or babysitting services. She should hang one up offering lessons to other two year olds on the proper form and method of throwing a tantrum - because that kid is good. We're talking flat on her back, kicking her legs, screaming good. In the library no less! All because, well I'm not even sure. I think it was because I made her stop pulling books off of the shelves and throwing them on the ground. I'm really mean like that.

Today she threw a blanket at me and yelled "spread it out" angrily over and over again, in increasing volume levels. And this was when she was in a good mood! But, darn it if that kid isn't the cutest thing on Earth when she tells you, quite emphatically, that she won't be scared when we go to Disney World and she'll walk right up and hug Mickey Mouse! Or when she comes running through the front yard hollering the whole way "DADDY DADDY DADDY! BUG in my wing! Bug in my wing!!!" (she can't say words beginning with "s," and is terrified of bugs).

As for me, I'm really enjoying my new job. I love the part time schedule where I get to spend entire days home with my kids. And, truth be told, I equally love the fact that the day after I spend a whole day with my kids - I get to go sit in a nice quiet office and be a lawyer. I will tell you that on my inaugural walk to the Courthouse, I walked by what was definitely a rabid fox. OK, sprinted. I'm not sure what that says about my future lawyer career, but it certainly was an interesting first walk to the Courthouse. Later that week there was what appeared to be a rabid squirrel outside of our building.

And with that, I am off to watch some mindless TV.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Some Sports Use a Coin Flip...

Thursday evening, Elisabeth got all dressed up in her soccer gear and we played some soccer. First we played outside. Then on the porch. After I forced her to eat some dinner (still in soccer gear), we went upstairs for bath time. We usually let the kids play before bath time, and so obviously Elisabeth chose to play some indoor soccer with her Daddy.

As they're getting ready to play, Elisabeth says, "Daddy, I talked to Jesus. He said that I get the ball first."

Doug asked her how Jesus knew who got the ball first, and Elisabeth replied "He asked God, and that's what God said."

We weren't quite sure how to respond, so we let her have the ball first. And we're hoping her "relationship" with Jesus doesn't continue to revolve around getting stuff.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And.... we're back

Whew - today is my first day home with the girls in what seems like ages! We've run 8.2 million errands, which as I'm sure all of you parents know, kids really love to do. They often beg me mercilessly until I find errands to run. All I have to do is bribe them with milkshakes...

Today's first errand was outfitting Elisabeth with soccer gear for her first soccer game on Saturday. We walked into Sports Authority and wandered around somewhat aimlessly. After passing the shoes, the tennis section, the hunting supplies, the baseball section and the basketball section I heard two mothers talking to each other.

Mom 1: Do these pad thingies go over or under the socks?
Mom 2: I have no idea, I never touched a soccer ball in my life.
Mom 1: Do you know, Ryan?

Ryan did not know. Ryan was 5. As was the other little girl in the store. And there we three mommies stood in the soccer section. Over the course of the next 30 minutes we would become fast friends, and also be joined by 4 more sets of moms/kids all on the annual (?) quest for soccer gear. In Elisabeth's soccer league there are 3200 kids. That is ridiculous.

I helped the other moms out with the proper placement of shin pads. Then I grabbed a pair of the "extra small" shin pads that were part of the "$29.95 everything you need for soccer" deal. The shin pads came to Elisabeth's thigh, which, as the sales person ever so helpfully pointed out, is too high.

Clearly I am not the only mother with this problem, and in fact the other mothers of five year olds near me looked at their kids' legs and said "oh.... that's too high?" So the sales guy said that he thought he had some smaller ones for girls. 10 minutes later he returned with the smallest shin pads I've ever seen - I mean, really, they were sized for a newborn Pele. He encouraged me to at least try them on Elisabeth, who after quite a bit of shoving and pulling finally said "Mommy - these are TOO small and you're hurting me!" Off he went to find something in between 6 mos and 4 yrs in size. Thankfully he came back with something that fits, and is unbearably cute when worn. Oh, and that $29.95 deal? Right, that doesn't actually work if you have to get micro-sized shin pads. Thanks Sports Authority.

Next was socks, which as all of us mothers quickly found out, are still too big even at XS. But not so big that we couldn't use them. We found a size 3 ball, teeny tiny soccer shorts, and thought we were on our way until I decided to research cleats. I thought we'd just borrow some from neighbors who have offered, but since they had 2 pairs for just over $11, I thought I'd look. Turns out that if your kid wears a size 10 shoe, in one kind of cleats they need a size 13, in one kind they need an adult size 1, and in Nike cleats - well they just won't ever fit a kid with a wide foot. So after shooting at a moving target for far too long and never finding a shoe that actually fit the kid, I decided to revert back to the borrowing plan. How hard is it to make a size 10 shoe that fits a size 10 foot I ask you? Apparently very hard, if you're a manufacturer of $11 soccer cleats...

We got out of the store for $40, which I guess isn't hugely more than $29.95. It was worth it to see Elisabeth clutch her soccerball with great affection in the car the entire way home. I felt like it was a right of passage as a Northern Virginia mom. And, at least I knew how to put shin pads on.

(I hereby promise to post a picture of Elisabeth all decked out for soccer...)

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Elisabeth was looking over my shoulders as I typed an email last weekend. She said, "Mommy, do you have any giraffes?" A bit perplexed, I said... "No?" She said "No Mommy, do you have any giraffes? You know, emails that you haven't finished yet??"

I said, "No, I don't have any giraffes" and left it at that. She doesn't say many words incorrectly anymore, and if she wants to call drafts "giraffes" - I am going to let her.