Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Story by Stella

We're on vacation this week; please enjoy the following guest post from Ms.3

Once upon a time there was an alligator. We read about the alligator book, and I'm a boy, and all the teachers are boys. We get our names to play. We sit in a circle. We do like this, to sit in the circle. We cross our legs like this to hear the story. We put our names back in the basket. And Miss Babs, our teacher, and Miss Jackie, and Miss Daddyboo. Miss Daddyboo's teeboo is down on the ground. The End.

The author:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hm, the wheels fell off

We're going on vacation next week. We're going to miss teacher conferences (first ever conference, and we're not going to make it) and the open house and the very beginning of the alphabet themed weeks (not to leave you in suspense...'A'). We are making exceptions for ourselves and our kids because this trip is what's right for our family right now. I couldn't stand another trip so soon without my kids, and we're headed to the west coast which means it's just a short jaunt (ok, 15 hour train ride....something tells me that this is a bad idea but one we are too excited about to pass up) up to grandma's house for a long weekend. Vacation. Yay! Our leaving-work routine was crossed up, dinner was late (how a chicken that's been defrosting for a week can still be frozen is beyond me, but there was no way I was putting it back in the freezer after....thawing it for a week). But I say that the wheels are off because I just heard a little voice....downstairs....which means Ms 3 is not in bed. Tomorrow is not going to be fun.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Girl and Her Whale

There's a rule at school -- don't bring your toys. Well...yesterday, little Ms. 3 took her latest favorite toy -- a blue plastic whale -- to school. A little boy took it from her, she forgot it when we went home, and all night and all the next morning....she was sad about the whale. We may need another one of these, but it doesn't seem to have any sort of recognizable brand...just a nice size and weight, smooth curves, fitting perfectly into her preschool hand. It reminds me of the whelkies that Nathan Lowell writes about in his 'Golden Age of the Solar Clipper' series (Quarter Share, Half Share, Full Share, Double Share, Captain's Share, Owner's Share) -- I first discovered it as a podiobook, but it also exists as a regular book as well. Mr. Room Mother found the stories engaging but he couldn't follow the audiobook format as well as he wanted to, so he bought the ebook. I *heart* new media, don't you? At any rate, this is not about the Solar Clipper series or podiobooks (although free audiobooks are a nice thing that everyone ought to know about).

Whelkies, in the Solar Clipper series, are little hand-carved totems which provide a sort of comfort and strength to their owners, matching their spirit in some way. I'm not sure what it means that my child's whelkie is a dolphin which she calls a whale, but her attachment to this cute little toy is very sweet to see. I hope if we recognize it as important but don't emphasize it excessively we'll avoid a power struggle or obsession...she's never been one to need a pacifier, or carry around a blanket, or drag a stuffed animal with her everywhere, so this relationship is new territory. I think we picked it up at a rummage sale along with some Fisher-Price animals, but it's not a Fisher-Price animal as far as I can tell. She lost it at CVS for a while a few weeks back...we combed the store and recovered it....but then the story pauses. It must have been floating around the house or the van for a while before resurfacing in her affections. And now it's gone to preschool, been taken and recovered and left over night. Lots of adventures for a little blue bit of smooth, hard plastic.

The whale came home. I hope it stays home! Does your little one have a whelkie?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Round 2: Three Free Things Worth Grabbing

It's TFTWG time again -- here's another roundup of free items that might come in handy for all the room mothers out there....

First Preschool Potluck

Lesson #1 of the preschool potluck: Whatever you bring, people will love it. Real food is particularly appreciated.

Lesson #2 of the preschool potluck: It will be crowded and cluttery and no one will be able to play or socialize. But somehow it will still be fun.

Lesson #3 of the preschool potluck: Those are cool decorations, but layered on top of the chaotic preschool-ness...hard to notice :(. Make 'em big and don't overwork yourself making them. I was not on the decorating committee, but I don't envy them the challenge...

Lesson #4 of the preschool potluck: It doesn't matter what you signed up for...stay after and help clean up.

Book Orders Redux

A big box of books came my way yesterday...and this morning, out they went into all the little cubbies. Hooray for book orders! It'll be a week or so and then the whole process will start all over again, I guess. I'll have to ask the head teacher when she returns from her trip. Also, I still have Not Made a Halloween costume Yet. We did swing by the store and pick up all the requisite ingredients for the quesadillas, however. Plus some chips and salsa that I've been wanting to try (pumpkin chipotle, what could be better at a halloween party?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oops, I Forgot to Feel Inadequate

Here I am, happy bouncy mommy, getting all excited about her shiny new Room Mother blog and the fun of playing with kids and school supplies and art projects and field trips and kids and kids and learning and books and parties and yay.

And then I think oh, people are NOT going to want to just listen to me ramble about my emoooootional journey. We needs us some original content, some infos, some relevant something or nothers on this here blog, just like the big girl bloggers. And I briefly have some ambitious notions. And then I think oops, I have five minutes before I should head to bed. I know! I'll Google!

Little did I know, this room mother thing is supposed to be fraught. It's supposed to be filled with competition and angst and comparison of self with other people. Like this poor soul. But there's a problem.... although I really, really, really want to be sensitive to the uncertainties about the path we take in life and the difficult choices that all of us mommies have to problem is that I'm pretty much totally okay with me. I'm good at some stuff, great at some subset of it even, and terrible at some stuff, but I'm at peace with my choices. And I think this might render me totally screwed when it comes to relating to other parents. I think I'm supposed to feel freaky, and either tiger mom it or dwell in the dark night of the soul. All the time. No sunshine for you, momma!

I should've known this would be another battleground in the mommy wars. Remember that bumper sticker (ok, maybe you don't, because you didn't grow up in Eugene Oregon) -- "What if they had a war and nobody showed up?". If you're Martha Stewart, great, be your Martha bad self all over the place. I will sit here, cheer you on, and eat your muffins. If you're conflicted, I will sit with you and talk, we can coffee and agonize and wonder and find some peace or at least some company in each other, as long as you're okay with the fact that I'm okay. If you're a doctorlawyerpastrychef, fan-flipping-tastic, that means more muffins and you can tell me either what that rash is or who I should sue because of it. But seriously. What if we didn't show up? What if we were just okay with it all?

Eh, fine, I am not in bliss every minute of every day. I don't like feeling set up to feel awkward for who I'm not. And no, I don't want to mess up other people's sunshine, inspiring bad feelings by being "too much" or "not enough". I'll try not to be obnoxious. But sometimes I'm the mom sending my kid to preschool with half a breakfast in her hand and stains on her shirt, and sometimes I am the one with a project plan for the distribution of book orders and yummy quesadillas at the party. And while that gorgeous hand-embroidered storybook feltboard might briefly give me a flash of "eek, it's been way too long since I sewed anything"....and when you run about interrupting other people's conversations about Not You to tell them that it was soooo easy, I might just roll my eyes. But I am not going down to the mommy wars. I'm already winning by refusing to show up (nothing wrong with declaring victory and running away). Screw the guilt and the envy, live with your choices, sing in the rain, ya ya ya.