A collection of our girls' stories and how they continue to keep us young at heart, yet make us gray in doing so.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Peter(ette) Pan

As you probably know, our girls are rather obsessed with pirates. This obsession took a bit of a blow this morning, however. In the wee hours of the morning, Addi comes into our room and leans in so she is nose to nose with me (in the process of groggily waking up).
"Ma ma, is Peter Pan a girl or a boy?"
"(Yawn) He's a boy, and it's too early to get up right now, so let's go back to bed."
A deep, mournful sigh comes from Adelaide. I thought she was getting ready to argue about going back to bed, but instead she just slumps her shoulders down and scuffles back to her room. Before closing the door, I hear her say, "I like girls better."


While I generally don't like to be the bearer of bad news, this was the first time she went back to bed voluntarily, so maybe it's not too bad!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Enter the World of Superheroes!

Kindergarten has been a whole new experience on many fronts ... but all the things I thought would be a concern (not knowing what the heck they're saying any given minute of the day, for example!) are not the least bit of a concern for Hannah. The part that disorients her the most is the boys in her class! Granted, there are only five of them in her class, but they are typical boys in that they are obsessed with super heroes, sports, and spend most of their time bragging of trophies they don't actually have (which their absence wasn't at ALL noticed by Hannah on play dates!) Their behaviour and obsessions are so completely foreign to Hannah that she doesn't even know what to think. Well, until now!

Surfing Netflix tonight, we found the 1967 episodes of Spider-Man. Hannah knew who he was from the picture as a couple of boys dressed up like him for Halloween, and Addi is always game for something a little scary, so why not! We thought we'd try one episode to see what it was like, and the girls have now morphed into the very same deranged 5- and 6-year-old boys that have baffled Hannah up until this point! They couldn't get enough of it!

Some of the story was lost on them because we didn't explain beforehand how Peter Parker came to be, but Jeff filled in some details while snuggling in bed as they were way too excited to fall asleep after watching it!

Nothing like bedtime stories of Spider-Man! Even the cat is interested!

The fact that a man could acquire spider traits, hang from ceilings and have "spidey instincts" wasn't at all confusing to either one of the girls. But the moment he shot webbing from his wrists (not his bottom) Hannah started asking questions and wondering if this was for real! The writer really should have checked his facts on little arachnids before writing the comics, but I'm not sure it would have taken off had it been anatomically correct!

Anyway ... we had a battle of wills tonight at bedtime that we haven't had for a long time because both girls were so fascinated with Spider-Man they didn't want to stop! Addi wouldn't let me close the door and say goodnight until I promised her we would watch another episode tomorrow. They're hooked!

Jeff is saying a few hallelujahs as surely this means less Angelina Ballerinas and Doras for sure! And what's not to love about the 60s?!

Go Spidey!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lost In Translation

Hannah and I tend to have several conversations that seem to loop around and around and around. Adding Spanish immersion into the mix certainly hasn't helped anything! For instance, she jumped off the bus today all excited that there was going to be a party at school. "Only 7 of us get to go! It will be after the school is closed ... Like during night time!" After searching her backpack for more information and doing several laps around this topic trying to figure out what in the world she was talking about, I finally concluded that she was referring to a play that was held at the school ... at 7 at night. The details were all there, they were just left up for a bit of interpretation!

A mere hours after this loop of a conversation, she told us that during computer lab time that afternoon, everyone watched a video on "the man who watches over us with the two pretty ladies by his side."
"The man? What man?"
"The man up high. You know, the one with the two pretty ladies," she says, clearly frustrated at having to repeat herself.
Now, what she does in Kindergarten is still a great mystery, so while I thought showing a video of God surrounded by two angels wasn't exactly something that would be shown at school ... the image below is what popped into mind. Perhaps they were starting a subject on art history!

Clearly frustrated with her mother's inability to understand her, Hannah starts to describe him yet again.

"You know, the man with the short hair and with the two pretty ladies by his side. He's way up high, and he watches over us and helps everyone."

I sneak a peek at Jeff, who looks every bit as bewildered as me, then I look back at Hannah with pleading eyes.

"Can you describe him a little bit more?"

Suddenly, a book we recently read popped into mind.

The Man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood Series #1)
He has short hair, he is one of the "guardians of childhood'" so in a sense, he watches over us all, and he's up high on the moon ... it all fit! There is even a little blurb about the Tooth Fairy and Mother Goose in there, so that must be where she got the two pretty ladies!

Relieved and quite pleased with myself for figuring the daily riddle out, I blurt out the answer. But Hannah just rolled her eyes and huffed in disgust. "No, Mom!"
So, we return to this seemingly never-ending loop trying to decipher what it is she's trying to say. It's so rare that she talks about what she does at school - so I feel we ought to get it right when she does!

Soldiering on, she gives me the description yet again.
"You know, the man who watches over us, from up there, with the two pretty ladies beside him."
Dead silence from Jeff and I.
"You know him ... I just can't remember his name," Hannah says.
"Is this from a book we read?"
"A video?"
I think it's safe to say I was at a complete loss in this conversation!
Then she chimes in, "you watch him on the news sometimes. You know, the guy with the short hair and the two pretty ladies beside him. He's the one who watches over us and helps to keep us safe."

Light bulb moment!
Tee hee!! Happy President's Day (a bit late!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Learning Democracy the Night Before Election Day

This afternoon I was telling Hannah that tomorrow would be a special day because we get to go out and vote. She instantly dropped what she was doing and jumped up and down in excitement!
"Yay! I was hoping we could do that again before winter!"

Hmmm. Winter is a bit out there, but ... it's Hannah, so some comments are just like that. I was just thrilled she seemed to be so excited. Who knew?!
Hannah then asked if Daddy is going, too.
"Yes, Daddy gets to vote," I say. "But voting is only for adults. So I promise to vote for people I think will do the right thing for you in the future, but you and Adelaide don't actually get to vote until you're 18." 
The look on Hannah's face was as if she had just gotten smacked.

"But ... but ... why? Can we at least come with you?"

"Yes! I was hoping you would! You guys can come with me in the morning, and Daddy will probably go after work."

I was met with yet another look of disbelief.

"Umm. If we can't vote, why can you? I think only strong people should be able to go. Maybe we should ask Caleb to come with us if Daddy can't."

Now the look of disbelief jumped to my face. What?! Images of Women Suffragists rolling in their graves raced through my mind, coupled with pictures of riots from those around the world who sacrifice so much, yet are still denied the right to vote. I was speechless!

Thankfully, and as always, Hannah was not at a loss for words.
"You always say it takes two people to get it up on the van, and what if the cold wind makes you tired and we get stuck out on a lake?!" 

Oddly enough, that comment made perfect sense. Phew! It's those tricky letters "v" and "b." This whole time I had been talking about going to "vote," while Hannah had heard "boat." Few things compare to a boat ride in this house, and I'm pretty sure standing in a polling booth will fall terribly, terribly short!

So, after my heart stopped racing and the confusion was sorted out, I tried to explain what va-va-voting was. We used our rather dated daily schedule as an example of what the girls would vote for in regards to all of our activities tomorrow. From picking what's for snack to picking what we play throughout the day, they thought it was great fun putting a check mark by each of their votes.

While it's not going for a boat ride, maybe voting won't be a complete fail now! No surprise my votes of easy breakfasts and healthy dinners (not to mention taking a nap!) did not get the majority, but it looks to be a fun day anyway! Hannah then made it very clear that she did not vote to have salad for dinner tonight, and that we should consult this chart every day so the majority's voice is heard.

Whoever said democracy is always a good thing couldn't have been a mother! :)

Democracy at work

Happy voting tomorrow!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You Might Be Raising A Liberal, When ...

A friend mentioned Jeff Foxworthy's list, "You Might Be a Redneck" the other day, and this is what popped into my mind:

You Might Be Raising A Liberal, When ...

* Your kids refer to the card game, "War," as "Higher/Lower." (that's a Heuiser thing, actually!) "Killers" have recently been re-named to the "Line Running Game" now as well.

* Your 5-year-old tells the Sunday School teacher that it's better to let the winner of each game sit out, rather than the person who lost. "That way, everyone has a chance to win and it's more fair."
(Even the Sunday School teacher was taken aback by that one!)

* When asked how many days are in a week, both Addi and Hannah answer with the Beatles' song, "Eight days a week ... I loooooooove you."

* The day Hannah learned that the big vans with pictures of ladybugs and other insects on them was actually a lawn insecticide service rather than a traveling bug show, she was so horrified that she wanted to move out of the neighborhood. She continues to shun the house which receives such services. Not to mention, she often stands on the edge of the yard and beckons all the bugs to follow her to our yard where it's safe. ;)

* This is what you see waving out the school bus window every afternoon when your daughter heads to school. My heart still melts ... which is why I don't have an actual photo!

* When the kangaroo began taunting Horton in the play, Horton Hears A Who, Addi stands up in in her seat, shakes her tiny finger and shouts, "You're not bein' nice, ya Big Bad Meanie! You leava him alone!"
(Hats off to the actors for not even flinching on that one! A thousand apologies were sent the following day!)

* Adelaide instinctively knows to look at Mom and wipe a tear away while listening to Peter Yarrow sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" with a bunch of kids on stage - sweetest thing ever!

* Hannah wants to marry her best friend (who, of course, is a girl), and is blissfully ignorant of the fact that such a thing is in jeopardy right now. I hope she never has to learn of such hatred.

Oh to keep them young! I have a feeling this will be an ongoing list, so more will come later! ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bedtime Vanity

What does a shiny silver platter and two clothespins have to do with one another you ask? They are Hannah's latest stalling techniques when going to bed!

I walked past her door last night 45 minutes after bedtime, and noticed light coming from under her door. All was silent, so I thought she had fallen asleep with the light on. But when I opened the door, I find Hannah bent over the silver platter, intently gazing at her reflection, while braiding and twisting her hair into numerous buns on top of her head. She then fastened them with the clothespins!

"Won't this make my hair look pretty tomorrow, Ma Ma?!"


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Miss Congeniality

With a few days of Kindergarten under our belt, I can safely say Hannah is doing great! I should also say that no one is more surprised at this fact than me! ;)

At the end of each school day, I expected Hannah to be overwhelmed, beyond crabby and wanting space from her number one fan, Adelaide. I had a list of distractions a mile long in an attempt to keep the peace each day before bedtime.

But then school started, and I don't know what on earth they did with my Hannah! Alien abduction, perhaps? She bounces off the bus, smiling ear to ear, and invites everyone at the bus stop (which consists of SEVERAL kids) to our house to play and have an after-school snack. It's as if she's morphed into this sorority girl! Here I was worrying about all these trivial things like making sure she gets on the right bus, finds her way in the wide, wide world, blah, blah, blah. But apparently, she's switched from, Most Likely to be Living with Your Mother at 40 to Miss Congeniality!

When she came home the first day, she talked of tapping fellow classmates on their heads to get their attention, then leaning over to ask if they wanted to be her friend. Ha! I find this hard to believe coming from the girl who spends more time with her face buried in my legs than actually conversing with strangers! She also said she winked at fellow t-ball players she recognized from her team this summer. Winked? WHO IS THIS GIRL?! I'm even shocked she recognized anyone from t-ball as most games were spent either sobbing uncontrollably or tightly clenching my hand as I tried in vain to drag her tiny little body into the ready position. 

Mind blown!

On her second day, I asked if she made a new friend that day (as preschool required MUCH prodding in this area). But I was met with a resounding "no," and an eye roll to go along with it. 
"Well, maybe you'll meet a new friend tomorrow. That will be fun, won't it?"
"No, Mom. I didn't make one friend today, because I just really couldn't decide. I made like three or four new friends," she coolly remarks. 
(I dropped the plate I was holding with this one!)

Something else that is absent (but certainly not missed!) is the attitude that seemed to infect almost every moment during the weeks preceding the start of school. Looking back on it, I think it was Hannah's attempt to become more independent and convince herself that she could be away from me, but MAN it was ugly! Argumentative, precocious ... just the tip of the ice berg! After one particularly rough day spent arguing and complaining, I overheard a discussion Hannah was having with Jeff. 
"Mom says that numbers keep going on and on - that there's never really an end. Ha! She is sooo silly!"
Standing out of sight in the hallway, my blood began to boil, but Jeff kept his cool and told her that this was true. "You can always keep counting higher and higher. Mom is right."
Well, that didn't sit well with Hannah! She stomped out of the room, found me in the hallway and huffed, "You are on the other side of the world from me!"
"What does that even mean, Hannah?"
"It means that everything on the other side of the world is the opposite from where we are. It means I am right, and you ... are wrong."

Oh boy! I thought we had a few more years before teenage hell began! Needless to say, this attitude of hers helped me get ready for Hannah to go to school! ;) Turns out, the anticipation of school was more stressful than actually going, so the dragon has retreated back into her cave. Thank goodness!
On the other end of the spectrum is our Mello Miss Adelaide, who has not really thrown a tantrum of Hannah proportions in her entire life. That is, until Hannah's first day of school. She even had an encore the second day! It would seem Little Miss really likes the spotlight and one-on-one time with mom for 3.5 hours in the day, and still has many more things left on her To-Do list when her big sister steps off the bus. So that mile-long list of distractions hasn't gone to waste - just reassigned! I think we may have found our new groove by playing with trains and basking in the spotlight of being a temporary only child. Never a dull moment!
Now that we have our emotions under control, maybe we can start to focus on something called education! The teachers don't want parents correcting their kids - for obvious reasons as Spanish is not our native language - but when Hannah skips through the house singing "Dwaynos Bartays" rather than "Buenos Tardes," I'm finding it hard to bite my tongue! 
Small steps, I suppose! ;)
* Disclaimer: I realize those of you with school-age kids are probably chuckling right about now thinking, "just you wait!" Ha! I'm sure Hannah will have meltdowns of gigantic proportions in the weeks/months/years to come, but I will be forever grateful for such a positive start to school! Any tips on dealing with delayed meltdowns would be much appreciated, however!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kindergarten Champ!

She did it! No tears and even a few smiles - whoo hooo!!! With some school bus cupcakes to celebrate, these star children had a great day at school! Next year, we'll get Caleb to wear a coordinating outfit, too!

Our future Dolphin Trainer/Artist/Olympic Medalist/Entomologist!

She (or maybe just me!) had a little bit of nerves at first, but she pulled through!

Hannah was also quick to note that they DO speak some English there, contrary to what I told her.
"They said our names in English, so they must be able to speak English there sometimes!"  :)


A call to her dearest Hannah Nguyen wrapped up the end of a perfect first day, and made her seem even OLDER - ufda!

Big sigh of relief by all tonight!