Last night, the kids and I went out to dinner to celebrate some great grades the Bee got on her mid-terms, and the fact that the Potato got onto the honor roll.
I raised my glass and made a toast to the two of them, and told them both that I was proud of them.
The kids, being goofy, giggled. The Bee did a fake cough and muttered, “yes, here’s to me for being amazing!”
The Potato, without missing a beat, said, “I think you’ve got opposite cough.”
The Bee and I laughed hard for a solid minute.
The Potato turned 7 this week. It’s a measure of how distracted we’ve been this summer that, in addition to the fact that the day went by unblogged, both landisdad & I had to go out and do emergency shopping the night before his birthday. We’re also not having his party until next weekend, because we didn’t get it together to invite people in a timely way.
The Potato at seven is an interesting kid. He is obsessed with Legos, Wii and fart jokes, like any good 2nd grade boy.
He’s also developed a real affinity for Asterix this year, as we have most of the Asterix books–a remnant from landisdad’s childhood.
In many ways, he’s coming into his own personality—smart, asking a lot of questions, occasionally driving me crazy with his ability to turn his opinion on a dime. He’s also by far the sweetest member of our family, though I worry that his big sister is driving that out of him, sometimes.
Anyway, Happy Birthday, Potato. May you have a wonderful year, in second grade and at home.
Potato: “What do they call gym in middle school, PE or PC?”
Me: “PE for Physical Education”
Potato: “oh, right, because you can make the eff sound with a ph, not just with an f.”
Potato: “but the normal way to make the eff sound is with an f.”
The Potato recently brought home his second first-grade journal. They do journaling in his class every morning, and a lot of the Potato’s journal entries revolve around Wii games.
He really enjoys writing, & he’s been regaling us with some of his favorites. This is one of mine:
“Yesterday Ms. G said, ‘I’m going to put this note on the wall.’ Today I can’t believe our substitute doesn’t know when she came as our substitute in kindergarten. Another thing I can’t believe our sub wrote the morning message on the chalk board wrong. She knows nothing. I just don’t like our sub.”
He sure is an opinionated little cuss. Can’t think where he got that from…
Lately, the Potato has been making sure that Mr. Bear knows he is still loved. Two of my favorite Potato-isms?
“I love Mr. Bear because he makes me feel like I’m not the smallest person in the house.”
“Mr. Bear is my Potato.”
melting puddle of Mom
I realize I’ve been posting a lot of pictures lately, but I had to post this one, even though the photo quality isn’t that great since I took the picture with my phone.
On Saturday night, I developed the vapors and took to my bed. The Potato decided to come and keep me company, and when it was time for him to go to bed, he said, “Mom, can I just go get changed into my pajamas and brush my teeth and then come back in here with you?”
Of course, I said yes.
And here he is, asleep next to me.
The thing I love about this picture is that the curve of his cheek makes him look like he did when he was a baby. He’s become such a big boy now, but when he’s sleeping, I can still remember what it was like to have a newborn Potato in the bed.
The Bee came home today after school and told me that she had to go to the PTA meeting tonight. I groaned with anguish, because I have to go on a trip tomorrow morning that involves leaving the house at 6 a.m. and then driving about 300 miles. So tonight, what I really wanted to do was pack, maybe watch a movie, drink one small glass of wine, and go to bed early.
And besides, I have been to my share of PTA meetings in my life. Being as I was the f’ing PTA president. I was even feeling really over myself, because I was one of only three first grade parents who made it in for the Valentine’s Day party today.
So I whined at my kid, “why do you have to go to this meeting? Why can’t someone else go?”
She looked at me levelly and said, “because someone has to go talk to the PTA about our bake sale for Haiti, and none of the other kids’ parents will take them.”
“Okay, I guess I’m going to the PTA meeting.”
So we went to the PTA meeting, and the Bee & her best friend, the Peony, who along with two other fifth graders are organizing this bake sale, went up to their classroom to practice what they wanted to say. Then they came in and showed us the posters they have already made for the bake sale, and talked about their plans to sell pretzels & bottled water at the annual Talent Show.
The Bee is a more confident public speaker than many adults that I know. I could not be more proud of her than I am right now.
On our walk to school this morning, the Potato found a pebble. He put it in his pocket, to add to his rock collection.
Just now, he asked me if he could wrap it in wrapping paper so he can give it to Mr. Bear for Christmas. Then, he had to figure out where to hide it in his room, so Mr. Bear can’t find it while he’s at school. My heart grew about three sizes.
Has there ever been a cuter boy?
I was lying in bed this morning, wishing that my brain would let me sleep past 7 a.m., when the Potato walked into our room and asked if he could have a cuddle. I pulled the blankets aside, and after a few minutes of whispering and wiggling (landisdad, to his credit, does not have a brain that insists that he wake up early even when it’s not a work day), he toddled out of the room to get a book.
He came back in with a book I had recently gotten him from the library—Porcupine’s Pajama Party, or something like that–and proceeded to tell me the whole plot, as he had read it the previous night. Then he left again, and came back with Horton Hatches the Egg. As I sat there watching him read, I realized that the thing I’m most thankful for, this Thanksgiving, is that both of my kids have inherited my love of reading.
The Bee, on a daily basis, is almost late for school because she’d rather read than get dressed. She walks to her safety post, and then pulls a book out of her backpack and stands on the corner reading it, stopping only to help younger kids cross the street. As an inveterate reader myself, I never thought this was a particularly noteworthy behavior—until many other parents in the school made comments to me about how much they like seeing her there, reading, which made me realize that none of the other safeties do it.
She went through a phase of trying to read Jane Austen a few weeks ago, and it warmed my heart to see her wanting to make sense of a book that’s a few years out of her reach—she’d gotten the idea from reading some other book where the main character (a 12-year-old girl) read Emma & Pride & Prejudice. Ultimately, she didn’t make her way through the dense thicket that Austen can construct, but she also didn’t hate it—just wants to try again in a year or two.
The Potato has also turned into an adept reader. He’s moved into early chapter books—lots of Nate the Great and Little Bear. I was a little worried, for a while, about his ability to concentrate long enough to consume a whole text, but his ability to focus on lego construction should have assuaged those fears. He’s not yet the book addict that the Bee is, but I think he just might get there.
I’m glad that we’ll always have this to connect us. I like to read about life in Jo(e)’s house, and imagine what my living room will look like in 6 or 7 years–and I’m always hopeful that I too will have a living room full of laptops and literate kids.
Girls crashed on the couch, after “not sleeping at all!”
We got the sit & spin out of the basement for a two-year-old who attended—she had no interested in it, but the Potato (seen here dressed as the Boy in Black) found hours of entertainment in whirling it around.