Jack doesn't have many "activities." I don't relish the thought of driving him to soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, tae kwon do, KidzArt, swim team, T-ball, so on, and so forth. Not to say that I don't recognize the value of these activities, but I witness firsthand the toll a full schedule takes on little ones. On Monday nights Jack and his cousin participate in Young Champions of America Karate, which is more about learning discipline, respect, and self defense than it is about martial arts.
Recently we've picked up a new activity, which is also about learning discipline, respect, and creativity: Tucson Lego Club.
He was invited to join by Nathan and Lucas, friends from church who also attended the preschool a few years ahead of Jack. Here he sits between them, at a table surrounded by 6 other boys, each of them building a lavish Lego creation.
Members spend an hour building and fraternizing, sometimes more fraternizing than building, but at the end of the h…
Over the summer our preschool offers what's called Summer Camp, which is simply a subtle reworking of our offerings during the academic year. Last year we both took the summer off; this year I can't afford it. This year, I'm working my usual part-time hours, but in the afternoon instead of the morning. Though Jack's on the cusp of being too old to attend summer camp he comes with me anyway, and I daresay he's enjoying being the Big Man on Campus: one of the oldest, most mature children attending.
Jack usually chooses the book we read at circle time after we come in from our last playground time of the afternoon. Today he chose Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle. He put it on the chair for Susan to read to the group. I said, "Jack, you could read that book to us yourself."
And he did.
It was hard for him to manage reading the book while holding it up for us to see the pictures. On this one he said, "I'…
Last Thursday I went shopping at the mall, something I rarely do. I had a $20 mall gift card from a student last year, and a $25 Old Navy gift card from a student two years ago. I spent $8 at Borders on a set of 3 small Moleskine Cahier notebooks, the pocket-sized ones. I'm obsessed with these little wonders. I adore blank books but never write in them. I plan to tote one of these in my purse or my pocket to scribble revelations, epiphanies, or snippets of overheard conversation.
Then I went to Old Navy and spent $42.16. This is what I bought: 2 tank tops, one purple and one black 1 light blue camisole with lace edging 1 black knit skirt On Saturday I went to $1 clothing day at St. Vinnie's and also a church rummage sale around the corner. I spent $22. This is what I bought 2 dresses 1 pair of shorts 1 skirt 1 hat 17 shirts (including a lovely black knit Chico's tank) 14 books 2 puzzles 1 file book full of Pokemon cards 1 purse This is why I shop recycled, at thrift stores and rummage sa…
I love freecycle. If you watch the postings closely, you can pick up just about anything you could need or want: a travel trailer, say, or infant formula. Clothing, shoes, and toys. Or rats. Pet rats, not feeders. Fancy rats.
We'd been considering an African Giant Millipede as a camp pet for the preschool, but when I saw a freecycle posting for several rats, I reconsidered. Got approval from the director. Got the rats.
Jack and I brought them home, nameless, last Sunday night. Coincidentally, the very same day we found their habitat new in the box from Goodwill for $12.99 (were my planets aligned or what? those mothers cost around $80 at PetSmart!). Jack promptly named the brown hooded one Sneaky, and the hairless one Tiny. They spent the night comfortably enough, I supposed. But when I checked on them Monday morning I thought something was horribly wrong. Sneaky dug in a corner, hurling bedding behind her, and what looked like a body part. Oh my stars, that'…