First Day of School

I don’t usually take “first day of school” pictures. I don’t usually make a big deal of that day at all, even if it is kindergarten. Maybe I should. But for me, our life just flows naturally from non-school days to school days. Yes, suddenly, there may seem to be a set time or a more firmly directed exercise. But it’s not like I never read to my kids before kindergarten, or never have them draw or color or practice writing, or listen to music. It was probably a bigger deal for Fritz, but for all the others, this is just life.

But yesterday, the moment was too precious to not record. The joy, the excitement, the anticipation of his very first day of kindergarten. I can only imagine his thoughts of the fun he might have or the things he might do or the stories we might read.

Or perhaps, he was simply thinking, “Does she SERIOUSLY expect me to get up this early?”

Yesterday, in photos

Fritz said, “Mom, look! My hair is half brown and half blond!” I told him people actually pay good money for highlights like his. No chemicals here: that’s sun bleaching. I wonder what it will look like when he gets it cut.

This is a jig-saw puzzle that Fritz completed with a little help from his sisters and me. He took the picture. Notice the conquering hero’s planted foot…on the kitchen table.

Peter said he was too tired to clean up his toys. And then he proved his point by passing out on the kitchen floor.
Jenny got an early Christmas present: her two front teeth.

Five years old

My littlest boy turned 5 years old yesterday.
He wanted a high speed chase/crash cake.
I put the cars in the dishwasher the night before and it destroyed the paint finish (these cars are several years old anyway). Of course, the peeling paint just added a certain realism to the whole crash scenario.

Then he picked these champagne bottle candles (which we used for an adult cake many years ago). Nice touch. Notice the dripping gel used to write “Happy Birthday Peter.” I’ve been trying to get rid of that stuff for a long time.

Happy birthday, my little man.

Little Ears, Big Mouths

Bill met me at the hospital where I was to have a needle stuck in my foot. Rather unpleasant experience. He took the kids to get haircuts (the boys) and to buy Mother’s Day presents.

I met him when I was done and we argued discussed the parking over by his office where I had to go for a meeting. His parking lot is tight and there are few free spaces. And my van is big. He wanted me to just pull up behind his car. I whined about how small his lot was, and suggested he drive the van and I would drive his car.

He agreed, although he teased me mercilessly. I believe the term he used was “pathetic.” You see how he loves me?

An hour later, after the meeting, we loaded the kids up and I pulled away. Peter pipes up from the middle row. “Mommy, why were you uncomfortable parking Moby?”

Just when you think their minds are like sieves, they prove how closely they really do listen.

Just when you think they are growing up

Peter was the last one to brush his teeth. I checked on him after a few minutes expecting him to be done. Instead of brushing, he was fastidiously cleaning his siblings’ toothpaste droppings off the counter and the sink. Once the job was completed, he then retrieved his toothbrush and took care of his bedtime hygiene ritual.

Finally, I thought, one kid gets it. One kid sees how disgusting it is to find toothpaste on the counter. One kid cleans the mess instead of leaving it to others. Hooray. My Mama’s Pride was pleased.

He scurried off to bed, and I stopped in to turn off the light (another thing that drives me nuts about my kids – leaving lights on). I looked down expecting to see a sparkling sink. Wrong.

I guess it’s one thing to approach a dirty sink, and quite another to walk away from one. He left his own trail of blue gel for the next person to see.

No man (or little boy) left behind

I don’t know how the little boys (two 4 year olds and a 2 year old) got into the trampoline without a stool or chair, but they did. And they bounced and bounced and bounced and had fun.

Then Mary came along and wanted in. The 2 year old lay on his stomach and stretched down his hand. His brother got out (with help from Peter) and knelt down so she could climb on his back. It was adorable, although somewhat alarming from my vantage at the kitchen window. Fortunately, Mary was distracted by some dirt on her foot and everybody gave up. I turned away before I saw how the boy got back in. I assume Peter helped him.

The boys bounced and bounced and bounced, and I thought, “Wow, they must really like that trampoline!” About a half hour later, the other boys’ mother returned and we went out to where they were still jumping. As soon as they saw us all three said, “Mommy, help us out!” I guess they stayed in because they couldn’t figure out how to get everybody out. Ooops. But great sticking together, boys!

I wanna wish you a merry funeral

I was running errands with Peter yesterday because I always run errands with Peter. It’s our “thing.” I asked him if he was going to come with me after Daddy came home, or if he would stay with Daddy.

“Stay with Daddy,” he said. Of course.

I will happily relinquish my crown as Most Favored Parent tomorrow.

While waiting for our turn at the gas pump, the song Feliz Navidad was on. I sang, because it’s a catchy song, and I tend to sing along to songs if I know the words. Sometimes even if I don’t.

When it ended, Peter asked me, “Did she die?”

“Who?”

“Felice!”

I could not convince him it was Spanish for Merry Christmas. Nope, somebody is be-boppingly happy that Felice has died.

My Parrot

“DOG-nacious!” exclaims the four year old.

Dognacious?” I repeat, inquiringly. I look over at the boy, down on his hands and knees, sweeping the leaves into the dust bin, his afternoon chore.

Dognacious? From the root dogno meaning I walk on four legs?

“Oh! PUG-nacious,” he corrects himself.

DOG – PUG. I get it. He’s just repeating his older siblings’ vocabulary words. No big deal. I’m sure there are many preschoolers who randomly exclaim words like pugnacious all the time.

One day this child will write things, and I will need a dictionary to read them.

Because having only one kid with me IS a break

I hired a girl to come over once a week to watch the kids so I can get out. She came last week. And she came this past Wednesday.

Last week was fine. This Wednesday, Peter decided he wanted to come with me. I was less than enthusiastic about having his company, but I know very well the determined look that was on his face. Fighting him was not going to help the situation. I tried a different tactic.

“You don’t want to come with me, Petey. I’m going to church.”

“I want to go to church with you, Mommy.” Ah, such sweet devotion. He would walk through fire, or sit quietly in church, for me.

“I’m running errands, Pete. You don’t like to run errands.”

“I want to run errands with you, Mommy,” he insisted in a tone that betrayed his suspicion that I was on the verge of saying no.

Instead, I relented, and welcomed him. Really, a four year old is not as difficult as a two year old, especially if he has my exclusive attention. Besides, if I happily took with with me, perhaps he could see just how boring Mommy’s errands were and decide staying home building houses from leaves with his siblings was an infinitely better way to spend the afternoon.

And so we went. First, to the library where we looked only at grownups books since we had gone the day before for kids’ books. And then to the dry cleaners, a place devoid of entertainment. Then briefly into a tent in the parking lot that advertised furniture. Nothing interesting there. Then to the PX.

First, we explored the hair product aisle in search of some magic potion that would render his sisters’ tangled messes comb-able. And we looked at hairbrushes, since they constantly misplace theirs. Then we looked at lipstick. As I stared at the seemingly endless ocean of color choices, Peter kept busy a few feet away. When I looked over, I realized he was neatening the display. Instead of tubes of lipstick arranged in apparently random order, he had tidied it up and placed all the lipstick to the far left filling each slot before moving to the next column.

We put them back.

I did let him pick some chocolate in the checkout line, provided he share with me. He picked Lindt milk chocolates. Excellent taste.

Then off to a friend’s house to return some things. This was the only fun part, and I tried to keep it as brief as possible.

Then to Bed, Bath & Beyond for miscellaneous items, including my own stocking stuffers, which Bill will not be home in time to do. Buying one’s own stocking stuffers has certain advantages. I’m pretty sure I’ll like what I got.

Finally, off to church for as long as he could bear. OK, as long as I could bear.

Last night at dinner, I cheerfully asked him if we had had fun. He agreed. “And you’re coming with me next week, too…right?” I said with enthusiasm.

“No!” he stated, emphatically.

“Aw, come on. It was great. You have to come with me,” I insisted.

“No!” he said again.

Success! I thought triumphantly. And then Jenny spoke up.

“I’ll go with you,” she offered. Uhhh….

“We’ll go to church…” I warned.