I think this picture sums up our feelings about the weekend. Daniel was soooo full of energy & we were not. It would be nice if it didn’t rain for a while too 🙂
In other news, we are ordering new couches & a mattress! You know you’re adults when purchases like that make you happy 🙂
A combination of cold rain canceling a much-anticipated holiday activity and subsequent, ever-present parental guilt led me to a snap decision in the grocery store over the weekend: we would build a gingerbread house with Daniel! I selected a kit with what looked to be a simple house with a straightforward assembly. It would be fun, right? A bonding moment! A holiday memory we would all cherish.
It took only 5 minutes for the doubt to creep in. I carefully removed the gingerbread pieces and the candy. I studied the instructions closely. It was cutting a hole in the bag of icing and treating it like a pastry bag that did me in. This was going to be messy. And take a lot of time and attention to detail. Could I and an excitable 5-year-old handle this project? And then I cut the slit too wide on the icing packet and had flashbacks to my ignominious cake decorating class. This type of activity is NOT a core competency for me! I am not crafty. Nope, not at all.
We managed. It was fun. And messy. Very messy. Daniel consumed some of the decorations, but he took the craft very seriously and had a ton of enthusiasm. After an hour, we both looked at the house and declared it done. He wanted to draw. I wanted to do…something else.
I told Twitter that it would be my first and last gingerbread house, but now, a scant day removed, I’m thinking that maybe if we made a few modifications to the icing situation, it would be more feasible. And less messy. So maybe we can re-engineer this project for next year.
This is what memories are made of, right?
Our kit and its potential
Our gingerbread house
Last week, we discovered Daniel has shark teeth. That’s what it is called when your permanent teeth come in before you lose your baby teeth, giving you a double row of teeth. Two of his lower front teeth are almost completely in, but his baby teeth show no sign of being ready to come out.
We were rather shocked to see the new teeth and a little freaked out, especially since the baby teeth are still firmly in place. Fortunately my cousin, a dental hygienist, looked at them over the weekend and said it would be fine to wait because the new teeth had plenty of room.
I guess I shouldn’t have been very surprised by the appearance of the shark teeth given our family’s dental history. All four of Daniel’s 6-year molars came in months ago. I myself was a precocious teether: a tooth popped through at 1 week old and the dentist pulled it when I was 6 weeks old. I also have 4 molars without enamel.
Parenting: never a dull moment.
Daniel loves words right now. He asks me to spell everything. And we think he’s reading. If not 100%, he’s close. Very close. That amazes me. I feel like I’ve waited 5 years for him to read, yet now that he can, I’m awed at all that it takes to be able to read.
Today Daniel and I arrived home a little early, and Jimmy was sitting outside with his laptop. Daniel was fascinated and wanted to type words. The two of them played on the laptop for a while, Daniel intent on typing sentences.
It was honestly one of the most adorable things I’ve seen and a reminder of how quickly Daniel is growing up. He looked like a natural in front of the laptop screen.
We love our cats. Truly. But then you roll over at 4:30 and realize you’ve been sleeping in cat vomit. And then you are just starting to drift off when you hear the delightful sound of your other cat hacking up a hairball all over the bedroom floor. And then it is 6:30 and from the monitor, a little voice chirps, “is it morning? Can I get up?”
Happy Sunday! At least we had cinnamon rolls. And we needed to do laundry anyway.
I know better than to depend on the Internet for parenting advice or solace, but I came across a few articles and posts this week that were truly wonderful.
First: this post about “that kid” from the teacher’s perspective. Lots of hugs: http://missnightmutters.com/2014/11/dear-parent-about-that-kid.html
And this post from a mother wanting to protect her daughter’s spirit while the world seems intent on crushing it: http://www.schmutzie.com/weblog/outside-voice-the-pain-of-wanting-to-protect-my-daughter
Next: kindergarteners, standardized tests and developmental readiness. It really makes me rethink what I want out of early-education: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/06/a-really-scary-headline-about-kindergarteners/
And for fellow boy moms, this post on what this mother has learned parenting boys. All true in my experience as well! http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/11/12/5-things-i-learned-about-raising-boys-so-far/
And saving my least favorite for last, this lady is pretty certain we’re parenting small children incorrectly and is out to school us: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/11/10_things_parents_should_never_say_to_their_toddlers_partner/
What is the best or worst thing you read this week?
Poor Jimmy spent most of it in bed because the antibiotic was rough and the tetanus shot after effects were just as bad.
Daniel got lots of time to play outside and enjoyed every moment, which was the bright spot of the weekend.
Grocery store is done. Chicken baked for our multi-day meal. Laundry folded and put away. Clothes out and baths had.
Cuddles and kisses given.
It wasn’t a bad weekend, but it was definitely not what any of us anticipated with Jimmy slicing his thumb and having to go to the ER Friday night!
And tomorrow starts a new work week. Yikes.
Each night after tuck, Daniel usually calls out for us once or twice. Sometimes he wants permission to go to the bathroom despite us begging him to go before bedtime. Sometimes he has a question about what we are doing and why we are making so much noise (the joys of a one-level house!). Mostly, though, he just wants an extra cuddle, which we are thrilled to give. Tonight when I went into his room, he asked for a cuddle and told me, “I’m going to cuddle you forever. Is that OK?”
Is that OK? YES! And then I was a puddle of KeAnne goo on the floor at his sweetness.
Daniel has been playing with the concept of forever lately, and it’s often sweet. He has started telling us recently that he is going to live with us forever and wants us all to retire (yeah, I wish!). While part of me thrills at the fact that right now, in this moment of his young life, he loves us so much that he wants to stay with us forever, I know that’s not likely. That’s not reality. I know that in a few short years, he’ll be trying to get away from us as quickly as he can and frankly, we’ll probably want the same. That’s the natural course of things.
He’s on that cusp of being a big little boy and a little big boy, and it’s oh-so-bittersweet.
Daniel and I listen to music on the way to school every morning because Daniel is not a fan of “the talk” as he refers to NPR, etc. My compromise is that we will listen to channels I like, so that means Lithium (90s alternative), the 80s and 90s channels.
It’s led us to have some interesting conversations: “Mommy, what’s this song about?” when Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance” came on (alas I wasn’t quick enough to tell him it was about Humpty Dumpty, stuttering something about it being about dancing). And telling me he really likes Ben Folds Five’s “Brick,” which is a tad awkward given the subject matter of the song. Daniel seems to prefer the 80s channel, so my work is done.
A few days ago, an Eminem song came on and he asked about it. I told him how Eminem got his name and he giggled. Then he said, “You can call me Skittle!”
Last night as I was tucking Daniel into bed, he told me he wanted to see how fat I was. I stood up because I wasn’t really sure where he was going with this, and he giggled and said, “you’re fat” and started patting my stomach. I told him that wasn’t nice to say and left the room.
I was crushed. But even more than the hurt and embarrassment I felt was my curiosity about what prompted that exchange. We are diligent about not talking about weight or body issues around him but maybe we aren’t as diligent as we thought. Was it something from school? “Fat” was one of his spelling words a few weeks ago.
It’s likely that he doesn’t really understand what he said and why it was hurtful. Now to figure out how to talk about it. My mother laments that once your child starts school, “they’re never really yours again,” a statement that is actually kind of horrible, but maybe it contains a grain of truth: the more they experience of the world, the less control you have; from that point on you are fighting to fit in these new experiences with your family’s value system and world view. And ours definitely does not include calling people fat!