… Because I forgot to set a low bar for the future. I mean, really. When G said she wanted a Star Wars themed party and that she’d already mentioned it at school and some of the kids were really excited about it (“I said I MIGHT have a Star Wars party, Mommy. MIGHT!”) I decided to just invite her whole class of 20-ish children. What else was I supposed to do? Invite only the girls to a Star Wars party? I know Star Wars is for everyone and lots of girls are Star Wars fans, but that just seemed like it would be a bit of a disappointment for some of the boys G is friends with. I didn’t want to invite just a few kids, because some of my daughter’s best friends don’t care about Star Wars … so how do you choose who to invite? So I figured that it would just be fun for everyone to host a short, Saturday, no-meals necessary, low-pressure birthday party. And then we genuinely did have a pretty good time planning it, and the party itself was great, thanks to the fact that I coaxed a few of my friends and my Mother to stay and help run it. Continue reading
We leave the house in the evening and walk to the barn to feed the cows, our family’s regular nightly chore. It’s just the two of us for once, so I don’t have to pay attention to the toddlers or nag your sister to hurry up. You walk beside me and you’re not sprinting ahead or lagging behind; you’re simply walking beside me, like another adult would. You tell me about something that happened that day at school with one of your friends and your teacher, and I’m half listening and half feeling grateful for this opportunity to spend time with this cheerful version of you, and not the argumentative and impatient one I’m seeing more of lately. See, you are definitely old enough now to realize that your parents are not perfect, not even close to perfect, but you’re not quite old enough to realize that your words and gestures matter to others and can even hurt your parents’ feelings. Right now, though, you’re simply happy. Continue reading
By Jac (and her daughters)
It was quite a long time ago, now, when my two oldest daughters let me interview them for a post. They’ve been asking me to do it again for a while now, and considering that I want them to LIKE my blog, I thought it was time to oblige. So may I present to you: the most convoluted review of a movie you’ve ever heard. Side-note if you haven’t seen it: the emotions they mention are the CHARACTERS in the movie. (To remind you: G is seven and a half, and E is almost six.)
E: G, what should we do?
G: I don’t know.
E (whispering): She’s typing everything we say!
E: Blah. This is the best blog post ever.
G: How’s it going mama?
Me: Ummm…. How about you start by telling me about your favourite movie of the summer? Continue reading
I mean that title literally: here’s my best guess as to what everyone in my family was thinking while we walked through the U-Cut tree farm, picking our Christmas tree, just a few weeks ago.
Our thoughts …
One-year-old N: Put me down! I will wiggle and wriggle and lunge for the ground until you put me on the ground like the big kids. Now pick me up! Why am I so far away from you when it’s so cold out and I’m tired? I will cry and reach for you till you do it. Hey! Put me down! It’s boring up here and I want to see what’s down there. No! Pick me up! Continue reading
A few weeks ago, Baby N did the gratitude challenge. I read it to my older daughters, and they thought it was very funny, so we decided that I would interview them for their own gratitude challenge. What follows is that interview. I’ve edited my part out if it because it was mostly just, “And what else are you thankful for?” and, “Stop jumping on the couch, please, and talk to me,” and “Yes, I’m typing all the words!” I think you blog readers can do without those three phrases being repeated over and over, right?
G: I am thankful for television. Actually, all screen time! I love television.
E: I got one. Is it my turn? I’m thankful for my house. Because otherwise I won’t have any food to eat and just live outside.
G: I am thankful for fires. I love fires. Cause they keep us warm. Outside fires, inside fires, every kind of fire. Except forest fires. Because those are TOO BIG, even bigger than our HOUSE.
E: I am thankful for flowers. Because I can smell them and pick them, and have a whole bouquet—that means a bunch of flowers. A BOUQUET. I like dandelions and buttercups and I LOVE … what are those kinds again?
G: That are swirly?
E: What kinds?
G: (Runs away, for no explicable reason)
E: What are you getting? Where did you go?
G: This picture of these roses. Do you mean this kind?
E: My favourite kinds are roses. And one time I got you flowers, Mommy, because I love you and I love making special surprises for you. Maybe next time I can ask Daddy to make a surprise for you and get you flowers for a surprise. Remember that one time when I got you prickly roses?
G: My turn. Um, I am thankful for crafts. Every kinds of crafts. Especially origami, that I did in kindergarten. When you fold things out of paper. I’ve made a boat, a hat, a wallet, and a heart. Actually I just made a heart; I didn’t make a wallet or a boat. Ms. O from Japan taught me how to make origami.
E, very, very sadly: Mommy, I want to do a craft. I really, really want to do the craft I’m thinking of and I won’t have time tomorrow! I’m thinking of it and I really want to do it, Mommy. It’s drawing a heart and then cutting out the heart—that’s the craft. And I won’t have time mommy, okay? (Sad sigh)
G: You’re supposed to say what you’re thankful for.
E: I’m thankful for clothes. I like dresses! And tights! And dress-up clothes!
G: Now it’s my turn.
E: And I’m thankful for heads! Otherwise we couldn’t see or hear or talk and … we would look really weird.
G: No, our ears could be on our shoulders, our eyes could be on our neck …
E: No, we wouldn’t have a neck.
G: On our chest, then.
E: We wouldn’t have a neck. We wouldn’t have a neck.
G: I am thankful for being silly. Because being silly is weird and I like being weird, sort of.
E: Weird means silly for me.
G: Being weird means sticking your butt in someone’s face.
(Maniacal laughter from both children for five minutes while they repeated this phrase over and over.)
E: You’re weird! (And then, looking at me and whispering because she knows she’s not allowed to call her sister that) Weird means silly.
G: I’m thankful for E because we can be silly together and pretend we have two heads.
E: I’m thankful for G because she hugs me so tight and we both play and we really do a good time.
G: You mean HAVE a good time.
E: Right. A good time.
And then they started to hug each other while spinning around as fast as they could, with no coordination or planning, and then G knocked her teeth on E’s forehead and started to cry, and then I comforted her and sent them off to brush their teeth before bed, feeling grateful myself for these two silly sisters, and also for the fact that it was finally bedtime.
*Please note that I know how these kids of mine like to give the “right” answer, even if that answer is a bit boring to read about. So I told them that they were not allowed to say that they are grateful for family or friends or God or love, because I KNOW they are grateful for those things and I wanted to be surprised by their answers. Which I certainly was, in the end.
Summer can be long, and I’m very much looking forward to getting back to the routine September will bring. Last year, my oldest was in a half-time Kindergarten program, so she only went to school two or three days a week. E (my second oldest) was in afternoon pre-school, which ran the same days as G’s Kindergarten. “How nice!” I thought to myself as I signed them up, “I’ll only have to worry about driving them anywhere two days a week, and I’ll be able to keep my Littles (the toddler and the born-in-October baby) on their nap schedules the other days!”
Well. Hopeful Jac was so naïve, wasn’t she? By the end of the year, “half-time” Kindergarten was actually “not-nearly-enough” Kindergarten, and my bored and housebound older children were quite literally bouncing off the walls (we had an old, bouncy couch and lenient jumping rules). And then the long Summer break began with an even more full-time wall-bouncing schedule.
Approaching this school year, I am hopeful again. I will have a full-time Grade One kid and a full-time Kindergartener, and I will have just the Littles to parent all day long, five days a week! I think I will actually get to enjoy a quiet time every afternoon!* So I’m excited about sending my darling, lovely Bigs off to school, where they will learn important things from their trustworthy teachers.
But, luckily for me and for E, G has already started sharing many of her Kindergarten lessons with her little sister, including this little gem, overheard from the back of the van. (Note: my daughters have a cousin their age—M, mentioned below—who was adopted from Sierra Leone, an older cousin they adore who is from Ethiopia, and an Uncle-like family friend from Cameroon whom they have known their entire lives, plus they watch Sesame Street, so they take it for granted that people just have different-coloured skin and/or are muppets. We have talked about skin colour before, but I guess some of the terminology didn’t quite stick when it was coming from me.)
G: E, did you know that you’re white?
E: (Looking frantically at her arms) What? Where?
G: No, that’s what your colour is called! White!
G: Yes. I learned about that in Kindergarten.
E: Really? I’m white?
G: Yes. And you know M?
G: She’s black!
E: No she isn’t!
G: Yes, she is.
E: She is dark brown.
G: I KNOW. But I told you, you call her black.
G: I don’t know, but I learned it in Kindergarten. Man, you really need to go to Kindergarten, E, so you can learn that you’re white.
E: I really need to go to Kindergarten. I didn’t even know I was white! I can’t wait for Kindergarten.
So, on second thought, maybe I should just keep them at home? Because apparently G can teach E everything anyway, and maybe they both know more than enough already.
*Yes, I know this is not going to be true. Shut up.
When the two fun moms get together to have a playdate, we bring our six fun kids together too! Last week we went to have a swim in Jac’s parents’ pool, and because we try to make the most of the time we spend together, we of course decided to post about it.
We took a picture of each of the four “big” kids making their best silly faces, and then we interviewed them about what they thought of their Mom’s blog. Each child was supposed to answer the same question in his or her own cute and hilarious way, but—in a development surprising to absolutely no one—none of the kids behaved as they were supposed to. But it’s okay. We fun moms can make it work. We’ll just tell you some things they did say.
Juli: So, you know how I’m writing all the time? Do you know what I’m writing?
Juli: What do you think we should write about? What would be a good story idea for us?
A: Um … A banana with a moustache and nothing happened!
Juli: Nothing happened to him?
Juli: So … He’s just hanging out and enjoying life as a banana with a moustache?
A: Yeah! Um … A banana with a moustache jumping into a swimming pool!
A: And then it could be about Spider-man, who loses the fight, and throws a moustache into the swimming pool, then jumps out of the swimming pool and jumps into a bucket of bananas, and then gets out of the bucket of bananas, then he’s covered in monkeys, and then he gets chomped by this giant Pac-man.
Juli: Um. Okay!
Jac: Yes, honey, you know, when I’m on the computer all the time? Writing?
G: Um… No.
Jac: And you sit right beside me, and ask what I’m doing, and look at the computer, and there’s a drawn picture of me and Juli and all you kids, and—
G: Oh! Twofunmoms.com.
Jac: Right! It’s called a blog, remember? And we write about our lives and our kids and stuff? Do you have any ideas? What should we write about? You can say anything at all!
G: I don’t know.
(And when I want her to be quiet, she’s FULL of chatter. Sigh.)
Juli: S, how about you? What do you think mommy should write abo—
S: CAN YOU GET ME SOME WAAATER!?
Juli: Uh, okay. (Gets water). Okay, what do you think we should write about, if we could write any crazy or cool story in the world?
S: Um … (chugging water) … um … um … Frozen, goes in a pool, he saves some superheroes, and then, he jumps into the pool, and then, uh p-, uh, a giant monster came and … hurts the girl, and then the superheroes comed and saved the girl.
(This didn’t make much sense to us, either.)
All E would say when we asked her anything about the blog, or Mommy’s writing, or story ideas, or computers, or absolutely anything was “I don’t know.” So we’ll just share something else funny that happened.
Jac’s sister-in-law arrived after we got home from the pool and the kids were playing. She peeked into the playroom, and said hi to the kids in there.
E saw her and started to jump up and down with excitement. “Hi! Hi! Hi! This is my friend A!” and then she bent down to where he was sitting on the floor and KISSED HIM ON THE HEAD. Oh, and did we mention that this was the first time that they met? A was perplexed, to say the least. But he kindly went back to his block tower without comment.
Finally, I’m sure you want to know what we snacked on while we were together. We of course had fresh, home-made baking. Presentation is key.
So there you have it! A glimpse into the minds of our six (well, four) fun kids! You’ll be pleased to note that we will likely not be writing the stories that our children have suggested. Unless we get really desperate, of course. In that case, a banana with a moustache may start to sound like a pretty good idea.