1. I had the following conversation with Ella this week:
Me: (talking about the dog we've been dog-sitting) Sofia is a girl.
Ella: She's not a girl, she's a dog.
Me: Dogs can be girls or boys. Cats can, too. Sofia is a girl. Tuck and Tutu are boys.
Ella: (in the quintessential 'aha' moment) Oh! So dogs are girls and cats are boys!
2. For the first time ever, I cleaned two of my childrens' mouths out with soap. It had been a day of unkind words and bad attitudes, ending in a rally cry back and forth of "I hate you!" and "No- I hate you!". And that was enough for me. As I got them to the bathroom and had them stick out their tongues, I realized that was kind of as far as I had ever pictured this in my head. What should I say now? How do I explain this? I told them that words are strong and powerful, and that there are some words that we will not speak to each other even in big anger. "Hate" is one of those words. Three days later, there have been no repeats of the phrase, and words have improved in general.
After the soap exchange, Ella turned to me (always the strong-will!) and said, "I can still say whatever I want."
I replied, "That's right, you can. But it doesn't mean you don't have consequences for what you say."
She sighed, "I don't like consequences."
That's kind of the point, I guess.
3. This week we signed up for the summer reading program at the library and the rush is on to meet the milestones. With our new bag full of books, we have found some very delightful new reads. Two books I really like:
In Carmen Learns English by Judy Cox, Carmen is looking back on her kindergarten year. It tells how Carmen overcame her fears to speak English, make friends, and stand up for herself. I really like it because it illustrates so well an experience that most white American kids like mine do not understand: that speaking a new language is extremely difficult and frightening. Carmen is kind and brave, using her new knowledge to in turn teach her little sister so that she will be ready to face kindergarten when it's her turn.
The other book I like is Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio. Chloe is a young elementary schooler who knows what she is about: crafting. She sews and beads and cuts and pastes all manner of crazy little projects. When it's time to come up with a birthday present for her best friend, she draws a blank! (Nothing like pressure to stifle creativity- I feel you, Chloe!) She comes up with the perfect gift, and, in the process, has the chance to prove herself one classy little lady in repaying cruelty with kindness. Fun book with very silly pictures.
4. I heard a rumor that Newsies was on Broadway. Woah. (Can I please get an AMEN that Newsies was one of the best flicks of the 90's?) As I was telling this good news to my husband (and affirming my sincere commitment to see Newsies should it tour Omaha) I began to sing a very stirring rendition of "Santa Fe!" My husband, yawns, looks at me, and says, "Is that from Newsies?" I thought, once again, How in the world did we end up together? The man has not seen Newsies. So sad.
5. Does anyone had any family traditions that center around Memorial Day and its meaning? I'd like to talk to our kids about it and remember it in some way, but it would be a first. Any ideas?
Well, that's about all. Wishing you a great Friday and holiday weekend.