The night before school starts,
and mom writes my name.
On notebooks, and pencils
helping me to lay claim.
I’m not a poet,
that’s as far as it goes.
The rest of this blog post
is thankfully in prose.
My Sharpie is no longer sharp after writing “Lily-Ann” on 12 markers, 24 crayons, 24 pencil crayons, various notebooks, folders, and a scrapbook, as well as on shoes, pencil cases, glue sticks, erasers, a pencil sharpener, a bottle of white glue (with a no clog lid), and a backpack. Gotta love the night before the first day of school. Pre-k was easy all supplies are communal, but as kids enter the regular school system labeling everything quickly becomes the norm.
I remember my Mom scrawling our names on everything… And with so many of us it was no quick task. As our pencils and pencil crayons were wore down into little nubs, and all that remained was a letter or two, I’d still think of Mom writing our names every time I saw mine. It was a reassuring thing, though it didn’t register as such on a conscious level until many years later.
I hope, as Lily-Ann sits in her classroom this coming school year, that seeing her name spelled over and over again brings a sense of belonging and love. That she knows how treasured she is, not just by her Mom (who wrote her name so very many times) but by everyone who knows her. She really is such a special kid, and her joie de vie has left many with grins where previously there were none.
Girl is ready to be a “school kid” whether or not I am ready for the same.
I keep a wipe off marker board with four markers and an eraser in the car. It helps keep the girl busy when she’s tired of being cooped up. It’s got a number of slide in sheets that can give it a different look, and allows her to switch out the background whenever she likes. The sheets have things like lines for practicing her writing, tic tac toe graphs, blank open space, grids… and she can flip them out and around all on her own. It’s a perfect thing for in the back seat. I love it!
Today we were in the car for a total of about twenty minutes. We had to get groceries and then stopped for slurpees at the co-op convenience store on the way home. During this time she did four different drawings, and asked me to share them. They are all of different members of “Team Avatar”. And for those of you who are fans of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, you should have no trouble at all identifying each character. She still has a couple she’d like to add, but here are her creations thus far:
I love all the detail she put into the Cabbage Merchant… she even passed the board up to me in the front seat so I could add text into her speech bubble. It says “My Cabbages!!”
I don’t know about you, but I love the “crappy pictures” blog. It’s a pretty good look inside life as a parent, and has a way of capturing those moments you need to laugh about so you don’t start crying. LOL One particular drawing that I picture quite often, that I first saw ages ago now… or, well… what feels like ages ago in Mommy to a young child time, can be found here: http://crappypictures.com/2011/06/what-it-is-like-to-not-sleep-at-night-illustrated-with-crappy-pictures.html
Now, I have that link set to open in a new window. So go take a peek if you haven’t seen it before, and then get your butts back here for the rest of my blog post. I’ll wait.
See? This is me waiting.
Are you finished yet?
How about now?
Just about done?
Back to me.
Well, when the kid fell asleep last night, as usual I wrote my blog post… it was pretty boring, but it had been a “sick day” and my brain was pretty much toast. The girl was still sick today, but I actually got to have a small bath break in the evening while her Daddy and her each played games on their respective mobile devices, next to one another, in the same room, rather than playing WITH one another (I wasn’t going to complain, I needed the break). Okay, now I’m getting off topic (seriously, I hadn’t had a mommy-only bath in MONTHS, it was SOOOO good… just me and the only grown up reading material I could find – a Readers Digest from last year). LOL
Okay, so anyway… After writing in my blog, the Daddy and I turned on a couple of episodes of Community to wind down for the night. It wasn’t long before THIS happened:
And yes… that is the kid, taking up the entire top half of our family bed. So, while Amber so perfectly illustrated the baby starfish in her crappy pictures blog, this is what it’s looks like when a four and a half year old starfishes across the entire family bed.
Gotta love it!
I loved the scholastic book orders when I was a kid. Mom and Dad always made sure I could get a new book (sometimes two or three) every month. I looked forward to going through the brightly coloured pages of the order, searching for the right one. Something that piqued my interest: often it would be something about unicorns, or wizards, or fairies. So You Want to be a Wizard was one of my very favourite books, and I remember with fondness the Unicorn Queen series as well.
I absolutely love that the kid being in school means we once again get the excitement and joy of a monthly book order. She loves looking through the pages as much as I did. And her teacher always makes sure to find us a copy of the “big kids” book order sheets too. After all, the pre-k book order is all picture books and board books – and we generally like to order chapter books.
Normally we get a book or two, or if there’s a really good deal on a pack of books we’ll get that. This last one though? Eeeps. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on a book order. But honestly? It was something we couldn’t pass up.
The best time to teach a child about ANY topic is when they are passionate about it. And right now, thanks to first reading a book about Odysseus and now reading the Goddess Girls books, the girl LOVES learning about Greek myth. So when a four piece children’s encyclopedias all about mythology showed up in the last book order, what else could we do? We figured out the money, because one doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
So soon, we’ll be sitting down with the girl’s very first encyclopedias. And she couldn’t be more excited about them. It’s going to be really cool, and I love that this is a topic that enlivens her. Learning can be so much fun – especially when you are allowed to follow your passions!
Monkey Wraps are something I came up with several years ago now. Others have come up with similar ideas (I’ve seen something like them called a breakfast wrap once about a year ago now), but any way you slice them, they’re an excellent breakfast, lunch, or snack table staple for little hands and mouths.
Now that Lily-Ann is four, she makes these herself – with supervision… which makes them even better than if I’d done them. And seriously, if a preschooler can put them together, you know you should be able to.
This is a four ingredient meal that is excellent in lunch boxes, for an after school snack, for breakfast on the go, or for anytime you need something simple yet relatively healthful. All you need are 8″ wraps, bananas, peanut butter, and a chocolate spread. We really like using organic bananas as they taste WAY better, and we prefer peanut butters that are nuts ONLY (without the extra ingredients). The chocolate spread and the banana give plenty of sweetness without needing a peanut butter with sugar in it.
Above, you can see what the inside of the kid’s wrap looked like before wrapping it up. Put as little or as much of the chocolate spread and the peanut butter as you like. I usually leave the bananas whole, but Lily-Ann likes to break hers into pieces. Either way works.
This one is mine… part way closed. Take a look at the edge – it’s a trick I use when making ANY type of wrap. Use a little bit of peanut butter (or in a savory wrap use mayo or cream cheese) along the edge. When you wrap it up, it will help seal it closed so it doesn’t pop open when you let go.
Slice them into pieces. I find thirds works perfect for little ones – but for a bite size snack on a tray cut them into one inch thick rounds and serve them with a variety of other finger foods. And enjoy!