Friday, August 20, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Today I took Avee to Kindergarten. Tiny, sweet, Avee. I started blogging on her first birthday. Granted, it was about Bo--but he was this hilarious little two-year-old at the time.

As I walked away from her classroom, she was sitting on an alphabet carpet with her little princess lunchbox in her lap, and the tears started to flow. I was entirely unprepared for that. ENTIRELY. I have felt some nostalgia and some pangs of sadness at this chapter in our lives ending, as a new one begins, but I did not expect tears.

My letter to Avee on her first day of Kindergarten.

Dear Avee,
You have been apprehensive, skeptical, and outright uninterested in going to school. This attitude about school is somewhat foreign to me. You are a perfectionist in some ways---some really strange ways, so I guess it makes sense. You like to be sure of yourself, you like to have the answers, you don't like feeling shy or facing the unknown. But you also don't believe us when we tell you that very quickly you will see just how many answers you have, how many friends you will have, and how you will love going to school every day. You absolutely think we are lying to you.

Today when I woke you up for school (do you know how much it kills me to have to wake a child up?!) you threw the pillow back over your head like a hung over college student. It totally cracked me up.

You had a new pretty outfit to wear and that got you going a little bit, but once the cute outfit was on and the shiny new shoes were on, the thrill was over.

We were in a rush, I wish I could have pulled you on my lap and snuggled you just a little longer. I wish I could have whispered just a few more times in your ear what a great kindergartner you will be. I really wish I never had to let you go.

Here's a little secret Avee. I want you to stay home with me just as much as you want to. I want you to "be my baby for 80 years" just as much as you want to be. I want to hold you, snuggle you, rock you, never let you go. But one of the difficult parts of growing up is doing things you may not want to but are the best for you. You are growing up!

You don't know that tears streamed down my face as I walked away from your classroom this morning. I know if you had seen that, it would have been all the evidence you'd need to never go to school again. I knew you were okay. I knew you were in good hands. I know that your teacher will love you and protect you and teach you. I know without a doubt that you will love Kindergarten.

I felt silly crying, but everyone around me knows how it feels. Someone told me "College is worse!" and another said, "You still cry even when you are a Grandma" And one of mom's friends called out to me and it was nice to have a friend who knew I wasn't a big baby and knew what it was like to let a little girl go to Kindergarten by herself. Then another friend gave me a hug and reminded me that you would be just fine. Even though I know this, and I tell you all the time, I still need to be reminded.

From the moment you were born you have brought me new life experiences. You were a tiny, perfect little bundle of sweetness. You scored a perfect 10 on the Apgar. We only kind of knew what that meant, but the doctor and nurses said with some incredulity, "She scored a perfect 10, that hardly ever happens!"

We knew you were a perfect 10. We weren't surprised at all.

As a newborn you insisted on being near me, even when you were asleep. If I left the house while you were sleeping, I could almost count the seconds before I'd get a phone call, "Avee's awake and inconsolable."

You have always known what you wanted and have always managed to get it, one way or another. When we implemented a "eat your dinner or go get ready for bed" rule, you made getting ready for bed at 5:30 pm the new hot, cool thing to do. When you broke your leg, you made other kids wish they had a cast. You made cast walking a new art form and could slide a good two feet down the hallway of the YMCA. You are sweet and kind-hearted and strong-willed and hot-tempered. You don't get mad easily but when you do, you really blow. It's really quite cute. But I usually don't tell you that.

You didn't want to turn three because you wanted to wear diapers forever. You insisted you were four "pour" because you wanted to be able to use markers at the YMCA childcare center. You potty-trained in a day without any help from me because you wanted a bike. You still ask to sit in high chairs at restaurants. You love and nurture and care for Danyo like he's your own child, but you whacked him good yesterday when he kicked you in the face. You adore Daddy, but not when he tells you what to do. You are obedient, opinionated, smart, hard-working, funny, and quirky.

Every day is like a little surprise with you. I think I have a handle on you, and I never really do. You keep the rules to the letter on some things, and you make rules up on other things. Like, how many days in a week is arbitrary, and whether or not I should go to work really should be your decision. But you brush your teeth like a champ without being asked, always put on pajamas the first time you are asked, know how to clean the living room like no other 5 year old, and get annoyed when we leave lights on at night so you won't be scared.

Not getting to be with you all day every day is sad for me. I love to be with you. I love your hugs, your kisses, your rule making ("If I brush my hair, then you have to buy me some chocolate today at the store") your insistence that you haven't had breakfast so you can't have lunch yet, your tenderness with Danyo, your tv addiction...

I know there are so many good years of wonderful in store with you as my daughter. I am sad that the "baby" years are officially over today. You will always be my baby, but now I have to share you.

You've been in school for an hour and a half. I got an email and a phone call telling me that you have a big smile and look like you are just fine. This is what I knew would happen, but I'm so happy to have confirmation.

Happy First Day of Kindergarten my little love!
Love, Mom
p.s. I really got a kick out of you saying over and over that today was Bo's 2nd day of 2nd grade.
p.p.s You probably won't remember this, but Bo was SO excited for you to start Kindergarten today, it was really tender. He knows you will love school and he's so happy to have his sister at his school.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Leopards and Haircuts

I was just coming out of the bathroom this morning after my shower. Danyo rushed past me stating his urgency in washing his hands. "I need to wash my haaaaaans. I need to wash my hans right nooooow."

A 3 year old boy that willingly washes his hands is a little bit of a red flag. I was curious to find what he'd gotten on his hands. I watched as he rushed back out of the bathroom and into Avee who was sitting on my bed holding a little beanie baby leopard. "I washt my haaans Avwee!" She promptly handed him her baby leopard.

I laughed out loud. Only Avee could get a little boy to wash his hands to hold a beanie baby. It's been a long time since we've been around a "wash your hands first" baby, but I guess the principal has stuck.

This is where a segway would go.

J is growing out his hair. I say this with a slight eye-roll for a couple of reasons. When we first got married, J was constantly asking me to cut his hair. I don't know how to cut hair. I didn't even know how to handle clippers. It was a bad idea all around. He would assure me "You can't really mess it up" and "I'm not going to care how it looks." I pushed that easy-going attitude in him to the limit. And then some.

After one particularly um, unsuccessful attempt---my friend called me as I was driving to work. At the time J was working a temp job and caught the bus just down the street from our apartment.

She said, "I just drove past your husband, a skinny white-boy looking like a skinhead. Maybe you should take a bus and he can have the car; because quite frankly anything that could happen to you standing at a bus stop can't be as bad as what could happen to him in your neighborhood looking like that."

Periodically over the years I've suggested that J let his hair grow a little, just to see what happens. He could never get past like 1/2 an inch in length before it was driving him crazy or he felt frumpy looking.

Suddenly he decided to grow it long.

He's been "growing" it for probably six months now. I think people just started noticing last month. He's got miles to go before he's got the hippie-do he's hoping for.

And he still doesn't really like hair touching his forehead, but he's hoping that will change.

Yesterday, he got his hair "cut". He "consulted" a "stylist". He's cleaned up and has an action plan for this long hair growing endeavor.


He bought product.

He walked in the door and announced that he'd gotten his hair cut. Which, he had to do, because I was sooooo the male in that conversation---I did not notice.

He held up a big silver can of...something.

"I got this too."

I burst out laughing. "Really J? You just can't say no?"

He cast his eyes down. I'm sure he was thinking of the bottle of unused product in the bathroom. The one that was going to revolutionize the way his hair looked and totally worth the $27 an ounce he'd paid.

"How much did it cost?" I ask him.

"I'm ashamed to say," he admits.

I look at the bottle. It's skinny and it can't be much in volume (but oh! the volume it will give his hair!). I guess that it was $10.




Yeah, I was laughing, and pointing and ridiculing without mercy.

He stood there and took the abuse too.

This man can is so tight he can get a booger out of Lincoln's nose. But apparently talking to him with his chopped hair on the floor is his kryptonite.

Heeeeeeey, maybe I should start cutting his hair for him again and THEN ask him for things when I'm done, before we've cleaned up.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Working For The Weekend 'Round Here

Several months ago I was on the phone with my sister that lives in England and I was relating a current funny from my kids. She encouraged me to "record it all". She doesn't really read my blog, so I thought that was funny. I did however start a blog specifically for kid quotes. That was in November last year. I have exactly one story for Avee and one for Bo.

Avee has been a laugh a minute for me today and I started thinking about this blog I never kept. The story on there needs to be shared.

But first, today's recordables:

We went to a drive-in movie last night. Everyone knows the best part of the drive in is all the crap food you bring. We overloaded. This morning, Avee who has been recently conscientious about what is good for you, announced as she walked toward the bathroom, "I gotta go poop all this gawbage outta me!"

Right now she is on the phone with her friend and they both had something "the same" and her friend said, "we're twins!" and Avee said, "Yeah, in God's way!" I do not even know what that means.

"Mom, we aren't allowed to say 'What da heck' because it says 'duh'. Right? See, whaaat duuuuuuuuh heck!"

For some reason bratty kids saying "duh" to each other is way more disrespectful and rude than the phrase "what the heck" is. So "duh" isn't allowed at our house. In fact, I downright love it when Danyo says "what da heck!?" You probably would too.

Okay, so, for last November. Most people who know me have heard the Avee one. It's probably my favorite Avee story of all time.
(she was 4 and a half at the time)
Avery has decided she doesn't like her freckles. It might have to do with now being in preschool and having a friend that she compares appearances with. So in an effort to convince her they are wonderful, I told her that her freckles were angel kisses. And that when she left heaven to come be in our family, the angels were so sad to see her go because they were going to miss her, they kissed her over and over and over, all over her face. She really loved that story. Her face lit up and she got a cute little smile she gets when she feels favored. I really thought that story did the trick.

About a week later I heard her muttering about her darn freckles. I assumed it was a habit and I reminded her where those freckles came from. Then I hear her grumpily complain, "I hate all these freckles, I wish Jesus just kept his hands to himself!"

Bo got caught eating a second chocolate from a box of chocolates I received as a gift. I started griping at him because he would have eaten the whole box without batting an eye. I said, 'This is why I hide stuff and don't let you have my things, because you would have just kept eating all of my candy if I hadn't stopped you just now."

I prepared for his objections, I mean, honestly---who wants to be accused so blatantly of such gluttony?

He responded kind of slowly, "Well.........yeah..........that's true."

So very Avee, so very Bo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Of Course It Had To Be Gibby

Avee just told me she prayed last night that her and her friends wouldn't die. I bet that was a terribly cute little prayer she said. I asked her why she thought she would die. This conversation ensued:
Avee: When I get old. We're all going to die someday you know.
Me: Yes, I do know. But you don't have to be afraid of dying, when you die you go to heaven and live with God--you don't stay dead.
Avee: Yeah, yeah, I know. But...will I be able to come back here to Iowa after I die?

I believe I've heard it all.

Shortly after that cute little conversation she added, "You're gonna die fohst because your the oldest!"

I spanked her and sent her to her room.

This morning Danyo flooded my bathroom. Full on flooded, 2-3 inches of water streaming out. I've always been afraid of that happening and today it happened and I hardly batted an eye. Okay, that's a lie, I wigged out for about 2 seconds. Literally. I realized he put an entire roll of toilet paper down there so I could remedy the situation fairly quickly. That was a waste of about 75 cents and 5 clean towels though.

Pretty much that's the most exciting thing that's happened all day.

Avee who wore a sundress all last winter keeps coming downstairs in the morning wearing jeans and long sleeved shirts. I laugh every time. It reminds me of how when people have newborns they say, "They have day and night confused" which, in and of itself, makes me laugh. Poor newborn, can't quite figure out when in their 24 hours of sleeping, pooping and crying, they are supposed to do one more than the other. Avee can't quite get her seasons figured out. I think that might mean we are supposed to live in California.

Although, today is the second day in a row she has been "Gibby". Of all the characters on all the tv shows and movies in all the world, this is who she wants to imitate? In case you don't know Gibby, he's a character on ICarly. Gibby's trademark is not liking to wear shirts.
I promised Bo the computer and I'm pretty sure I can hear Avee upstairs hammering nails into the wall. I wish I was joking.