Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Funny (translated:ODD) Week as a Kindergarten Parent

Two weeks ago Ike did his first oral presentation to the Kindergarten classes and the parents who came to "Cultural Heritage Week".  Last week he had a "lead" role in his class play "Horton Hatches an Egg".
He played Maize, the lazy bird who didn't want to sit on her egg, and instead, convinced Horton the Elephant to sit on the egg for her so that she could vacation in Florida.

Several thoughts occur to me regarding this:

*In Kindergarten, I memorized the pledge of allegiance, learned to tell left from right (mostly), learned to color and count, and some other basics that I vaguely remember about being a 4/5 year old.  I'm pretty sure I didn't memorize a 12 minute long play, nor give an oral presentation.  In fact, I'm feeling both a little jealous and a little relieved about that even now...

*Ike's teacher is a funny woman.  She will definitely have a hard time figuring out Ike's parents.  Really, I think we are an odd pair in her world or she and I just have some different assumptions about the world.  Example:  After the play was over Miss A. sidled over to me and in a hushed voice said that she was worried Scott and I might be upset about Ike playing a "girl's part" in the play.  She then explained apologetically that he was the only one willing to play Maize, none of the girls would play her and he really seemed to want to... so, she hoped Scott and I weren't upset.  This caused me to give a "Courtney-esque" out-loud cackle of a laugh.  I'm hoping I said something appropriate after I laughed, but I'm not sure that I did.
Seriously.  Playing a "girl part" is not a concern for us.  Not even a little.  And we have lots of things to be concerned about for Ike: his short attention span and the trouble it gets him into in school, his offbeat sense of humor, what jr high will be like for him (and us), getting him to occasionally eat a protein at dinner and to go to bed on time once in a while...  These are things I am concerned about.  But playing a "girl" part.  Why would I be worried about that?  And I just gotta say that IF I thought it would turn him gay (I assume this is what the parents who would be concerned are worried about??),  well IF I thought it would turn him gay-- then we'd enroll him in a girl's parts only theatre group!   I didn't tell her this because I didn't want to scare her (yet).  But if I were to explain our thoughts on this I would tell her how very much I'd love our son to turn out like any one of the FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC gay men I work with and count as friends... Mark, Cody, Kendal, David, and the list of amazingly strong and gifted gay men in my world goes on--- but--sadly---playing a girl bird in a play WON'T turn him gay... really.
And again, let me add that playing a "girl" part or a "boy" part doesn't matter to Scott and I nearly as much as the amount of homework we have to do with him due to the number of public speaking engagements this 6-year-old has had at school these last two weeks.  Sheesh!  And let's face it-- whatever part he plays, he will love it, especially if he gets to wear a multi-colored feather boa--and we will love to watch him because he's ours.

*Finally-- I think that Maize bird the lazy bird was onto something.
Flying off to Florida and letting someone else do the work and then also get the credit, well, that doesn't sound so bad to me...
yeah, I know, in the end when the egg hatches, it looks like an elephant-bird, and I guess that Horton has to, is forced to, gets to keep it... but I'm not sure Maize wasn't getting the better end of the deal.

I am not talking about my kids here- I sat on those eggs and hatched them myself (with a little help from my friends) and wouldn't trade them NOR the work and growth I experienced during those pregnancies for anything-----but I am thinking about my actual work.  I think I can honestly say-- I'm almost ready to give up my work, even though I know that this will mean some serious loss.  I think I am getting ready to bless someone else with the joy of this ministry and all of the amazing opportunities it affords.  It's like- reverse nesting... I'm dismantling my own nest and hoping to make the pieces available for the next bird if they want any of them.
Soon- someone else will nurture what was a bird into an elephant-bird and it will be something wholly new and exciting-- with a bit of what WAS in it, and a bit of something completely NEW!  That's exciting.
And, i really am ready to fly off to palm beach!!!

Maize-- pour us some Daiquiri's honey... In July- I'm headed your way....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A few things I learned at the manicurist...

In January my thumbnails started splitting back really far. It was awful, and painful and I wanted it fixed and I also wanted my nails to look long and pretty like they used to... So I started going to a local strip mall "Nails" place to get acrylic nails.  I'm not sure if it even has a name-- it may just be "nails/OPEN"...
They are near my starbucks and in a relatively comfortable setting, so, that's where I go.
But now that I've been going to get my nails done for the last 8 or so weeks, I've learned a few things.

1.  Pretty things sometimes cost money or take time or both.  Be prepared to pay and lose your most precious commodity: time
2.  Sometimes you are caught in a vicious cycle- either accept it, or don't, but there's no point in bitching about it unless you are trying to change it (fake nails need maintained- every two weeks- ugh).
3.  If you've spent a lot of time choosing something and planning and you've picked a nice safe color that is appropriate for meetings and your job, and you go there on a cold and dreary night--- then you should probably NOT stare at the pretty, bright, fun, easter,spring colored, shiny, pink bottle that the person before you used and that is sitting there next to your "business casual" mauve.  Cause at the last minute your stupid -whimiscal-split personalitied "P" type self might take over and when she says "this you color? "- you'll say-- "... ummmm.....NO!  let me try THAT one!"
 and then you will end up the next day having regrets about the hideous, 1980's, neon, pinkish, weird, obnoxious color you are stuck with until you want to pay $6 to get the boring mauve you'd originally spent 10 minutes choosing put on in place of the "sluts of the 80's pink" you'll be wearing to teach youth ministry this week.
Oh yes,  morning after regrets are for more than just sex. Really-- I can regret ALL SORTS OF STUFF!!
like this:
and they're even tackier in person...
Back to just a few more lessons:

4.  Men who come into get their nails done at a strip mall in lancaster, pa,  are only there to hit on the pretty asian girls, not because they really like manicures...
5. these men are creepy..
6. and gross... so... avoid them... cause... ICK!!!

7. The Asian women who are looking at you and talking in Vietnamese (?) and giggling are not necessarily talking about you. or laughing at you..

8. well not necessarily, but probably. yes, probably they are...

9.  people who are paranoid and insecure should learn to speak vietnamese before going to the "nails/OPEN" store.

10.  I am signing up for Vietnamese lessons next week.

Good night friends-- and stop laughing at me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hola and a whole MESS of Scones, from England.

So, This week Ike had his first school project due. He is in Kindergarten. When we were in kindergarten we didn't have homework, and we for sure did not have any major projects due, but these are different times I am told.

So he had to research his "cultural heritage." Can you say "mutt?", yeah, I knew you could.

We do know for sure that my father's side of the family came over on the Mayflower and one of the ships shortly thereafter (our descendant from the Mayflower was Richard Warren and his daughter Elizabeth is my great-great-great, keep on going, great grandmother. She married a Richard Church who came over several boats later and "Voila!"--- a dumbass family of hillbillies is descended out of England (oh, be proud Brits, be proud).

On my mother's side we knew that her dad claimed some Scotts-Irish heritage (last name Moore-- sounds like Scottish or Irish to us) and so-- I like to claim those sides now that we have a red-head. Did you know btw- that Scottland has more red-heads than any other part of the world? Yup! So says culture grams, which brings me back to Isaac's project.

Because we (ike too) have been to England, we decided to go that route for this project. Could have gone to the Young's German side, but no- we went to jolly old England...
On Monday we had to work at home in the evening on facts about England (or the UK? I'm still not sure what the assignment was)... and then Ike had to work at school several days this week so that he could give a verbal report today to the whole kindergarten class and several amused parents. Intense project for kindergarten in my opinion.

Isaac did a great job speaking, in fact, the video is at the end of this post-- but -- there are two things to note about this fun-for-all (sarcasm) project:
1) I have not been home all week and had NO IDEA what he was going to say or what our responsibility was
2) My spouse wasn't sure what the details were- but we knew I was supposed to bring scones. Cause he's signed me up to bring them.

So-- last night we made scones. Not thousands, but a big batch. A pod of scones? a herd of scones? a colony of scones? A murder of scones? well it was a whole MESS of scones. And they turned out great. I used an Ina Garten recipe that you can find here:

and I used zante currants instead of cranberries cause that's what we had. They were delicious..

But back to point number 1. Isaac hadn't told us what he was going to say, and last night I found out that he thought the name of the country was London. Really.
I don't even know how that could be since he'd spent at least 3 DAYS working on this!!! But- sure 'nuff, I spent last night teaching him to either claim England or the UK and stop saying he was from the country of London. We were both confused by the end of it and I had no idea what he might say today.
So this morning- -he gets up in front of the 3 kindergarten classes and he is the first of the Europe II group to speak, and he does a FANTASTIC job speaking.
He knew it was England, he described that they eat fish and chips and haggis, and the little foodie even remembered what haggis is (thank God we didn't sign me up to make that!!!! YUCK!)

He did a great job with one funny little exception. When he had to tell people what language people speak in England, he told everyone English... AND... wait for it..... wait for it.... Spanish. He then told everyone that in England they say Hola, and he made them repeat it.
"hola friends!", from the English. That's right- that's what my kid knows for sure.

Later I get to the "Cultural Heritage Luncheon" and find that one of the other mothers of one of the other 3 kids who claimed English heritage had also made scones. ugh.
She also happened to be ACTUALLY English. For Real. Born in London. Had the most beautiful accent and everything. For as insecure as I am - this was a moment for me.
I was like one of those knock-off Coach bags standing next to the real thing.
I was feeling pretty low at that point- what with the real british scones and her kid having told us all that the British say "Hello" and all--
until she told me two things that made my whole day--
First of all: She used a mix to make her scones that she bought at the grocery store. Yup. she bought a mix at safeway and she thought mine were better (love)... and she then won me over completely by saying we both should of just saved ourselves the work and bought a tin of biscuits (cookies ya'll) anyway.

Secondly-- Isaac had apparently gone up to her and told her that London was the capital and she said "I know I was born there"- and he said "great". I apologized to her for his weirdness and for the whole "hola" thing- and she said-- "no worries". Apparently all week her daughter has been telling the whole class that SHE had met the Queen of England and the queen had given her a bracelet.

Turns out that had happened this summer -- at a Maryland Renaissance Faire. :)
Her mother could NOT convince her that she hadn't met the actual queen. (again- LOVE!)
We commiserated on the brains of 6 year-olds and how lame both of our scones looked next to the Somosas, Fried Mangos, Swiss Chocolates and Sushi-- from the "cool cultures" and we called it a day.

So-- I'm going to go have myself some tea (no joke) and watch me some Dora the Explorer. Maybe she can teach me some more words to use the next time we are in England.
Hola friends!

Here's the video if you have a moment and want to see for yourself...