Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Nothing makes you feel more like a real grown-up, I'm told, than going to a parent-teacher conference. An earlier stop on that same path, for us, is staying up late on Christmas Eve to carefully nibble out plausibly Santa-sized bites out of gingerbread cookies and assembling/wrapping/displaying the Santa haul. These are certainly fortunate children, and we are lucky beyond measure too: warm house, healthy family, the luxury of things to give, and time to enjoy it together.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
We were among the first in line to see Santa at the mall this morning so the old man was not yet feeling like a broken-down bean bag chair for fractious children. I completely expected that Calvin would tell Santa just where he could put his sleigh full of toys, but he was actually quite game. Audrey was curious as to how Santa managed to make an early morning appearance at the mall, while also showing up in Somerville last night on the Trolley Tour of Lights at not just one but several of the houses along the route and was also on hand to assist elderly tour-goers off the trolley back at Town Hall and pose for photos.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The shooting star was Audrey's idea (inspired, we think, by TMBG's "What is a shooting star?") and Mom spent most of a day stitching the hat together. Compliments (and tooth-rotting treats) collected all around the neighborhood. I just have to say that I am lucky to live in an age where you can google the words "shooting star costume pattern" and bingo! there it is. (Thanks, Canadian Living magazine!) All I had to do was print the PDF, spend nearly $70 at the craft supply store, and then hand it all to my mother. (Thanks, Gramma Jean!)
First morning of school, Fall 2011. No, the camera's not out of focus-- Kris looks like that all the time now.
Audrey's Fourth Birthday Pancake and Cupcake Breakfast. Because who doesn't want candy sprinkles at 9 o'clock in the morning?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Love that first day of the year when it's time to pull out the fleece for a morning walk. And with the change of season, let's have an edition of our very popular (to all three of our readers!) Overheard column:
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Suburban bliss: an outdoor concert on the grounds of the public library, on a summer evening, a picnic, just me and Audrey and some good friends, and friendly, gum-snapping teenagers doing face-painting. I had such a good, good time just being with Audrey who is, all by herself, a total delight 99% of the time. It's not simple to figure out, but it's worth the extra schedule juggling to do it. I still remember when my mom set aside afternoon to just hang out with me, and sent Janna off to the sitter for a few hours. What a luxury to give all my attention to one kid and let her lolligag as much as she wants, occupy me completely with charming, chattery nonesense, and dance with her in our upper-middle-class Eden with the rest of the 401(k)'d and batik-skirted volk. (That sounds snappish but I had a really, really lovely time.)
This morning, at the New England Aquarium, we went to their fantastic exhibit in which tiny, beautiful manta rays and sand sharks swim in a shallow pool and you can reach in to touch these -- completely safe, small and harmless!-- animals as they sail by. You do need to be gentle though, and that’s why I held Calvin back carefully so that his hands couldn’t get anywhere near the rays or the (again, for the grandmothers, totally harmless!) sharks. For their safety as much as his.
Finding his arms impeded, he simply did a legger over the side of the tank and started climbing in. We left the exhibit before any of us had to be escorted -- or fished --out.
I can already hear the lectures of his classmates’ parents’:
“And if Calvin decided to climb into a tank full of sharks, would you try it too?!”
“Yes, totally! He made it look like the most funnest thing ever!”
In addition to a college fund we are also setting aside money for legal fees. Feel free to kick in around the holidays, or his birthday.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
As with my last post on this subject, I've decided to spare you the visuals. You are welcome.
You would think that in four years of parenting, I would learn to recognize patterns. That I would be quicker on the uptake. But there is a part of me so impervious to the effects of experience and time that it never adapts. It dwells in a timeless place where lessons are never learned, just endlessly repeated like episodes of Caillou. And that part of me asked this morning, “Say... am I crazy or does it smell awful in here?”
One of us-- I won’t say who but it wasn’t me, Scott or Audrey-- had just delivered a payload of doo-doo into a diaper that reeeeeeeeked something awful, but instead of diagnosing the problem like someone who has dealt with exactly the same thing every day for approximately... let’s see...1,460 days, I decided that a sewer main on our street must have broken.
With Calvin standing right there at my feet, a busted pipe was honestly the most likely scenario I could think of.
And I went about my business, assuming that the City of Arlington would be by shortly to deal with it, until the smell became dangerously foul and it finally dawned on me: poop. Of course. Poop! It’s always poop. And so much closer than I imagined. Next time I'll probably think it's some kind of stink-bomb weaponry system being tested on our neighborhood by a covert-ops team, or maybe an invasion of skunks.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I wanted to headline tonight with this absolutely lovely photo of Calvin and Janna, who was hear from Durham this weekend and whom we already miss very much. It was a wonderful weekend. Just look at all the beauty and joy in those faces!
Because now I have to tell you about dinner here tonight. Disasterville.
I don’t mean that the food was bad. The small amount that traveled from my fork to my mouth was a perfectly acceptable weeknight, not-going-to-win-prizes-but-decent rice and vegetables thing. It was the savages-- I mean children-- seated to my right and to my left that made the meal something to be endured.
Audrey whined and fretted and finally left the table having eaten exactly nothing. Calvin picked up his rice and chucked it at us in handfuls, so he was taken from the table, screaming. (No we will not act like that at the table, young man. And get your fork out of my eye socket this instant!) Scott and I looked across the table at each other with a combination of shock and resignation that is the flip side of the parenting coin, the other side being the “How can we be so lucky?!” side. Dinner tonight made us both wonder what on earth we had wrought. How did we get from our giddy first date when we ate barbeque and asked each other, oh-so-lighly, about future children, to this grim scene of pouting, threats and spat-out pieces of avocado?
Now that it’s all cleaned up, the dishes washed and the remains scraped off the floor, I must say I am feeling like the sit-down family dinners are-- for the time-being anyway-- not worth the trouble. Yes, it’s good to teach children about ritual and routine, about manners and healthy eating, but then I look at the facts on the ground and I think it might be better to just put some cold cereal into dog dishes and serve it on the floor. I’ll get down there and eat with them if that would make it more of a family ritual.
I need some sleep before I consider the matter any further.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
“Ride the abigator!” Once he’s boarded the abigator he likes to press the buttons he can reach. Just the fun ones. With pictures of fireman’s hats!
“Hey! Guess what?” Not a question, just an all purpose greeting.
“We’re on da way!” Announcement while riding his toy car across the living room.
“Time out? Me, too! Me, too!” Like all younger siblings, Calvin is protective of resources: food, toys, love, even a “time out” is something your sister might try to hog all to herself just because she mouthed off before you developed a big enough vocabulary to do so yourself. Well, he’s not letting her get away with it. No-ho! He shoves her over on the time-out step to get his share of time out. Whatever that is.
And from Audrey, one for the ages:
“Mom, when you hear yourself think, what does it sound like?” She asked this as I pulled out of the driveway, when it was actually peaceful in the car for once. It’s reassuring to know that if you just repeat yourself enough, the blather will turn into a sort of Zen koan.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Things are a bit different at dinner time when Scott's away. Instead of the five course meal I normally serve, for which I always (but always!) change into a fresh frock, we dine informally when Scott's on a business trip. My spouse has never agreed with me that a meal can be made entirely out of items stored in the refrigerator door, but I disagree. I think that a can opener, a dollop of mustard and an open mind are all that are needed to assemble a week-night supper for your young family.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Is that the mail truck? Wait... I think it's Fed Ex. No! Call the papers! It's the men in brown! UPS! Gramma, if the street sweeper drives by after this I'll be so psyched I'm going to, like, need a diaper change. This is just incredible.