Monday, April 30, 2012


G is the better sleeper of my two boys.  His crying tore up my nerves a bit, but not nearly like B's.  Bedtime is bedtime, and he usually hops in, says a prayer with me, and heads off to dreamland.  G is two, though, and he likes to test sometimes.  Last night, he tried to give me trouble.

When I went to bed at 9:00, I knew he was still awake in his bed.  He'd been in bed for about 40 minutes.  Still, I was surprised when he showed up in my room around 9:10. 

"Mama, I fall out my Big Boy Bed."

"Well, climb back in, Buddy!  Night."

"And my pillow fall too." Pause. "And I'm too yittle to get it."

Nice try, pal.  "You're a big boy.  Put it in your bed, climb in, and go to sleep."

Off he went.  I assumed he'd go right to sleep.  Instead, I heard Jingle the Husky Pup ask someone to read to him over the baby monitor.  He requested his story several times, but I ignored him.  Then I heard some banging, and a crash.  I had visions of G hanging by his neck from his big boy bed or some other danger I'd missed.  I'm a born worrier. 

I dashed off to his room.  I left so quickly, I did not grab my glasses.  I have really terrible eyesight, so I probably should have snatched them.  As I neared his room, I nearly ran into G, who was on his way to mine. 

"Mama, there's a dinosaur in my room!" 

"G, there is NOT a dinosaur in your room."  I took him by the hand, turned him around, and headed back to his room.

Suddenly, I had a vision of a lizard in G's room.  The kid is two and I'm not sure we've ever used the word lizard around him.  Perhaps he equated one to a dinosaur, a word in his vocabulary.  Fear seized me, and I debated between running back for glasses so I could see a creepy crawly or waking my husband to scour the room for the critter.  Then I noticed a big green blob lying on the floor of his room. 

It was his play kitchen.  The toy had been overturned, its contents spilled on the floor.  A lizard must have done that. 

"What happened, G?"

"There's a dinosaur," he replied, then opened his toddler fist.

I knelt down really closely to his hand.  Adrenaline took over; I was ready to save my child from the creepy crawly.  Inside his chubbly little hand was this:

"G, go to bed."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Looking Forward to Summer

You need to know two things before you read this post:
1.  I am a teacher.
2.  I do not think I am better than you. 
(To prove that statement, read many of my earlier posts)

I cannot wait for summer.  Most people think that, as a teacher, I spend my summers and afternoons relaxing, and enjoying "vacation".  This is not entirely true.  I have worked EVERY summer, except one.  Incidentally, that was the summer when, after much trying and crying about not being able to get pregnant,  B was conceived.  I think it was possibly lack of stress. 

Last summer, I cut back my working during the summer workschedule to one day/week.  This gave me time to take between 2 and 6 kids somewhere once or twice a week (the "extras" were Cassie's).

Here's my philosophy.  As a teacher, I know about the "Summer Slide"--the tendency of students to lose some ground in what they've learned.  It's why kids have to review when they first get back to school.  Also as a teacher, I do not have a lot of money.  I have high hopes of raising some smart, moneymaking sons, nephews and niece who will both be able to afford extravagent vacations AND be unable to dream of a summer without fun-loving me. 

So, my basic rule last summer was to go to Storytime/Library once a week and to visit a museum or park once a week.  This did not always happen, and honestly, at the end of the summer, Storytime/Library WAS the "field trip".  Still, it was a good goal.  We collected a stamp through the Virginia Time Travelers Program.  We'd VISITED other places, but forgot our "Passport".  We also attended a lot of the free programs through the local library like making beach hats, visiting an aquarium-mobile.

Then last night I came across a Summertime Fun Bucket List via Pinterest.  I started a modified version using one of the Thirty-One Carry-All bags I have.  I cut down purple and green slips and put them and a washable marker in the outside pocket.  I then began filling out green slips for places we could GO on a whim, and purple slips for things to do at home for the day.  So far I've listed local playgrounds and free museums on the green slips.  On purples, I've listed Popsicle Sticks,Tent Day,Bake something, Make Popsicles, Train Set,Hopscotch, Board games, ABC Scavenger Hunt,Megablocks,Make jewelry, Paint.  Basically, these are things I'll drag out for a day, but don't want to clutter up the house all the time.  Some are things that are already in their playroom,but that I know they don't play with for extended periods of time (trains, megablocks).  All are things I already have (Did I mention a tight budget?).

Once all the free events at local stores, libraries, and museums are up for summertime events, I'll plug them all into a google calendar that I'll reference in making plans.  I'll copy over what I know I'll do to my personal google calendar which syncs with my phone.  I'll keep the other one separate in case plans fall through.  When the calendar is done, I'll link it on this blog so you can enjoy some freebies, too--and help beat that summer slide!