February 26, 2013

i have the best kids. ever.

so, i'm clearly biased. 

let me explain. 
this year, anth helped bernie shop for me for valentine's day. 
they found me a series of teal office supplies covered in owls. 
i have a penchant for office supplies that is slightly unhealthy. 
and, after orange, teal is my favorite color. 
and, owls? 
i can't even begin to explain the obsession there. 
needless to say, there is an entire end-cap in Target just speaking to my heart. 
anth had a reason for each item. 
the pen case for my 483 millions pens. 
the weekly planner because i'm always trying to figure out our days. 
the note pad because it had paper and came with a pocket. 
(yes, i like pockets enough that my poor 2nd grader has noticed.)

also in the gift bag?
the movie soundtrack to Les Mis.
we saw it for our 10 year anniversary. 
since receiving this for valentine's day, i have had Les Mis in my head. 
bernie probably wishes he had gotten me one more office supply instead of the CD.
i've already apologized to most people around me. 

i've been listening to it in the car, and the boys have caught snippets of it. 
yesterday, anth was home with pink eye. 
and he asked me a question about one of the songs. 
so i started to explain. 
if you know the show, you know there is no quick explanation. 
for any of it. 

we started at the beginning. 
before each song, i walked him through the plot leading up to that point. 
and, like the gem that he is, he just sat there and listened intently to each song. 
and asked some really good questions. 
and caught portions i didn't even think to explain. 
like, why did the "poor kids" call Marius "rich" if he was one of them? 
we both agreed that singing and telling a story at the same time is a pretty cool thing. 

we made it through Bring Him Home before we had to stop to pick up ben. 
anth made me promise that we would finish the story. 
so, that's what i mean when i say i have the best kids ever. 
i couldn't have dreamed up a kid who wanted to sit and listen to musicals with me at age 7. 
so, perhaps what i really mean is that i have the best kids for me. 

February 25, 2013

benny's short-lived role as a mommy blogger

tonight at the dinner table. . .

anth: mom! did you hear benny lying?!?
me: no?
benny: i didn't lie! i incorrected! 

how do you punish someone, while also celebrating their creativity? 

note: the boys are currently watching me write this. 
anth is leaning on the desk to my left.
benny is literally sitting behind me in the same chair, peeking over my shoulder. 
as though he can actually read. 
for the last 4 minutes, benny has been begging me to share the rest of the story. 
which i wasn't planning on doing. 

but. . . 
it's kind of their blog. 
so if he wants to offer some thoughts, who am i to stop him?

so, here is benny's big contribution:
"and then, ben tooted." 

note on the note: 
i just read this out loud to benny. 
he is upset. 
because, really, he wanted it to say, 
"and then, ben farted."

he didn't appreciated my editing. 
apparently, there is a reason i don't let a 4-year-old contribute to my blog. 
(well. at least not on purpose. . .)

February 17, 2013

earning a Blue Ribbon in Creative Failing. . .

today, i went to put my whites in the dryer. 
and they were already dry. 
because i never managed to actually put them in the wash. 

the good news?
the inside of my washing machine is sparkling clean. 

. . . pretty much. 

anth laughed at me. 
then immediately looked concerned. 
"but, will i have clothes for tomorrow?"
i informed him that, yes, i would now run the wash with the clothes on the inside of the machine. 

he looked relieved. 
and then concerned again. 
"it's okay that you're a little rough around the edges."

bless his heart for coming to terms with this at so early an age.

February 14, 2013

Siri strikes again. . .

you know your day is off to a good start when the gentleman directing traffic through the Med Center stops to give you a look of concern. 
whether it was concern for his well being or mine is a tough call. 
why would he do this, you ask? 
(it's so convenient that you always ask me these questions that prompt me to enter my story.)
(thanks for that.)

the kind/frightened gentleman looked at me like this because i probably appeared to be operating a vehicle while bawling my eyes out. 
technically, i was crying. 
from laughter. 
and i was laughing so hard, that it probably did look like i was crying. 
by myself. 
in my car. 
while driving. 

either way, this probably wasn't the safest situation. 
you see, i was crying-from-laughing, because i had just attempted to use Siri to send a colleague a text. 
unfortunately, this feature is only helpful for people who slow down enough to make it work. 
i am not one of those people. 
resulting in this exchange:

that's right. 
yesterday, i sent a colleague a text that included the word "boobs."
fortunately, Emily has worked with me for 3 years, and is equal parts friend and colleague. 
this means that she knows to expect things like this from me. 
(the poor talk-to-text part of me. NOT the otherwise inappropriate texting part.)
clearly, the best way to address this is by posting a letter to Siri. 
who is not actually a person. 
on a site that she (the not-actual-person) will never actually read. 
ahem. . .

Dear Siri, 

It seems like time for a carefrontation. 
I find it pertinent to clarify the following:

- I will never, ever, ask you to text anyone I know the word "boobs."
- I don't even actually use this word when speaking. 
- Especially not with colleagues.
- And I don't plan on starting now. 

At this point, I simply can't decide if you have a really good sense of humor, or just a bit of a mean streak. 
Because we both know you have some fascinating auto-correct capabilities as well. 
Either way, please, help me. 
I clearly can't do this on my own. 

Thanks in advance, 

it should be noted that, apparently, when i write letters to not-people, i bother to use proper capitalization. 
i would probably benefit from Apple adding a "read-back" feature to Siri. 
you see, i use the talk-to-text function at times i can't safely look at my phone. 
so the fact that Siri shows me a written version of my text in advance isn't helpful. 
when driving. 
just sayin'. 

the average bear would probably stop using this feature. 
apparently, i am the less-than-average bear. 
because poor Bernie was more than slightly confused when i sent him this text this morning: 

clearly, Siri, i meant "a deer tutoring."
"a day or two during our" would have been downright illogical. 

so, for now. . . 
friends, family and colleagues, please accept my apology in advance. 
because there is likely a confusing, and potentially uncomfortable, text heading your way the next time i get behind the wheel. 

February 7, 2013

loose definitions

recently, benny has decided that he is my backseat DJ.
what, you ask, is a backseat DJ?
it is a 4-year-old.
who has begs for his mother's phone.
then asks her to shut off the radio.
and then  randomly flips through the songlist to play music for all to enjoy during the car ride.

each and every time ben selects a song, he holds up the phone so that i can see it in the rear view mirror, and he asks, "do you know this one, mom?"
ben is exceptionally impressed that, to date, i have known every song.
i have tried to explain that i get to pick the music that goes into my phone.
this concept is a bit high level.
so, if my kid wants to think i have the world's highest level knowledge of music, so be it.
i tried to explain otherwise.

yesterday, benny chose a song called All I Want by Toad the Wet Sprocket.
i included a link, because if you are like some of the students i work with, you were busy being born in 1992 when this song was released.
not in high school.

anyway, per usual,  benny asked if i knew the song.
i said yes.
he was impressed.
he then sat and listened to the music for a bit.
this is actually my favorite part of this process.
typically, after a chorus or so, he does his best to sing along.
even if it is the first time he has heard a song.
after a while, he paused the song.
"mom, what is this song about?"
i stalled for a minute, trying to think through the lyrics.
after a quick assessment, i realized i have no idea whatsoever what this song is actually about.
while i was busy realizing this, ben answered his own question.
"i think this song is about treehuggers."

sometimes it is very hard not to laugh out loud when children speak.
i have no idea where benny learned this term.
even if they were doing a lesson on the environment at child care, i can't imagine "treehugger" was part of the information shared.
so, i asked benny, "what does the word 'treehugger' mean?"

i glanced back in the rear view mirror.
benny looked up at me.
his face was the picture of disappointment.
(whether it was directed at my seemingly poor vocabulary skills, or just the fact that life gave him a mother who needed this definition, wasn't clear.)
"mom. they are the people who hug the trees."

i sometimes forget that life is so much more simple at 4.
benny then flipped to Pride (In The Name of Love) by U2.
i actually could have talked about the meaning of this one.
even tied it back to his more recent enhanced understanding of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
i was ready.
so, of course, he didn't ask.

February 1, 2013

a story from benny to you

this story recently surfaced on the wall in Benny's classroom.
i love the evolution of the plot.

it's a good thing he doesn't engage in hyperbole. . .

it's sweet that he thinks 100 sabertoothed cats would wander his way and choose to eat the snow. . .
clearly a fiction writer.