What’s In That Bag?

This morning at breakfast Jay noticed a rolled up brown bag on the kitchen table.  I knew that it contained a take-home portion of preacher cookies from Nana’s house the night before, but Jay had no idea.  I also knew that if the little people in my house discovered the bag’s contents, they would be gone before I got any.  So when he asked about it at breakfast with everyone around, I had to get a little creative….

Jay:  What’s in that bag?
Me:  Ummm….circular…..uhh……carbohydrate goodness….of the no bake variety.

You see, Chica can read now.  And when she really wants to, she can decode fairly well.  So my normal answer that has worked for the past six years, “C-O-O-K-I-E-S,” is no longer effective.  After a second or two he caught my drift, and we both had a good laugh over it.

AND they still don’t know we have cookies.  Score.

So we decided we should start preparing our responses for other common situations where the spelling strategy just won’t work.  Here’s the list we’ve got so far….

Jay:  A package came today.  What is it?
Me:  It’s a parcel to celebrate the delivery of our eldest offspring.

Jay:  Did you hear what Nana just asked?
Me:  No. What?
Jay:  She wants to know if we want to deposit our decedents in her care for the nocturnal hours.
Me:  Of course.

Jay:  What should we do for dinner tonight?
Me:  Why don’t we just patronize our favorite local establishment that specializes in the preparation of circular Italian specialties?

Me:  They’re driving me crazy.  What can they do?
Jay:  Can they retire to the subterranean chamber and make use of the cathode ray tube for an undetermined amount of time?

And my personal favorite….

Jay:  What are you doing after the kids are in bed?
Me:  Why don’t we go recline horizontally in the slumber chamber with minimal distance between us?
Jay:  Are you suggesting we do this with a lack of garments?
Me:  Affirmative.

So how about you, friends?  Have any questions that require vocabulary rich answers?  We’ll work on a reply for you if you don’t already have one.  Please share!

P.S. Jay wants to be sure you know that the rectangular prism in our subterranean chamber is so old that it does, in fact, still have a cathode ray tube.  Ok.  Whatever.

P.P.S.  I asked Jay if our last question in the list above was maybe a bit too much for my usually family-friendly blog.  His response?  “Naaaa…..they’ve got to know it’s happened at least twice.”  Man, that guy always makes me laugh.

 

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What Do You Do?

7:45 a.m.  Fifteen minutes later than I like to be.  Eight things on my to-do list when I get there.  Two kids in the way back seat slowly driving me the rest of the way to crazy.  And I hear one quick story on the radio that snaps things back into perspective.  It went something like this:

A man looking for a new job was in the habit of asking people he met, “What do you do?”  One day he met a woman who told him, “I give people hope.”  When he inquired further, turns out she was a supermarket clerk, but she viewed her real job as hope-giver.  She tried to find the grouchy or sad person each day and give them a little extra attention.  Hope, even. 

Oh.

So I, of course, had to imagine then how I might have responded to the same inquiry…

I teach.
I write lesson plans.  I stay up too late searching for the next big idea.
I carry a bag of papers home each night.  On weekends I grade them.
I assess.  I record my assessments, and then I try to figure out what to do about it.
I often fail.
I write emails.  I write more emails.
I plan field trips.  I fill out three different pieces of paper with the exact same information.
I form stacks of paper that I never end up filing.
I make videos.
I dance.  I write songs.  I sing.  Often.
I run to the bathroom, holding my breath, hoping that I will be fast enough.
I teach self-centered little people how to be a little more other-centered.
I find missing pencils.
I bandage boo-boos.
I mediate.
I call parents when kids miss the bus.
I comfort kids.  I comfort their parents even more on some days.
I fix computers.
I use both sides of paper so we won’t be wasteful.
I hoard staplers and tape and pencil sharpeners and glue sticks.

And then there are the moments that I’m never proud of…

I yell.
I make kids feel bad for something outside of their control.
I shame.
I forget to do things I promised I would do.
I choose not to forget and move on.
I get short with my teammates.
I complain.

So what about the lady at the supermarket?  Something tells me that if she stepped into my shoes, she wouldn’t describe her job in any of these ways.  Her answer would be way better.  So after putting on my perspectacles and thinking about this today, here’s what I hope I do…

I inspire.  I cheer when I see them go home and keep digging for more.
I challenge.  I don’t let them give up on themselves or each other.
I connect.   Math to them, them to each other, them to the world.
I apologize.  I forgive.  I try to be an adult that’s not afraid of those words.
I love math, and I love learning, and I’m learning to love the kids even more than the math.

I love.

What do YOU do?

 

 

When It Rains…

…we make pancakes.  Today was my first day of sleeping in for many, many weeks.  And by sleeping in, I mean staying in the bed (not necessarily sleeping) until sometime after 6:00.  I was still wavering over going for a morning run, but the steady rain outside quickly helped me reach the conclusion that the run was a no-go.  I attempted to get a head start on schoolwork, but Bubba had other ideas.  Eventually I decided, if you can’t beat him, join him.  So together we made pancakes while Daddy and Chica snoozed. IMG_0025

I sent Bubba in to tell them about the surprise once our stack was hot and ready.  I overheard from the other room, “Guess what we made!?  It’s S-T-O-Y.  That spells pan-a-cakes!!!”  The pan-a-cakes of course got both of them out of bed in a second.  Good work, Bub.

…we remember who doesn’t own a raincoat.  Against Daddy’s better judgment, we decided to follow through with our plan to peruse Day in the Park.   It wasn’t raining that hard.  So I put on my raincoat, a green classic (read: dated) L.L. Bean coat I likely got in high school in preparation for my summer as a camp counselor.  Chica has an equally classic (but much less dated) Lands End hand-me-down from a sweet friend.  No worries that it’s probably 2 sizes too big.  This just means 2 more years I won’t have to buy her one.  Jay reluctantly donned his red one.  (He’s the only member of this house with 3+ raincoats, none of which are ever quite right.  I do love that guy.)  And then there’s poor Bubba with just his everyday hoodie sweatshirt.  How many times have I reminded myself I need to get that kid a raincoat?!  Thankfully Chica’s raincoat is green.  If he can wait two or three years, he’ll eventually have one that fits.

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…I get lots of compliments on my footwear.  What else would you expect with these hand-me-down beauties from Nana?

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…there are no lines at Day in the Park.  Our kids hardly ever ride rides because they either cost too much or the lines are too long.  Well, today we had neither excuse to deny them because the rides were free and only crazy people take their kids to play in the park in the rain.  So Bubba rode the train two times in a row, they both tried out the ponies, and all three of us rode the spinning ride until I was afraid I would get sick.  I hope to never forget the sound of all three of us giggling as we whirled round and around.

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…you still run into lots of friends.  Apparently many of our friends happen to be crazy people as well because we still ended up seeing lots of them there.  Perhaps my favorite was seeing our friends together as a family of four instead of their usual weekend family of three. Yay for new a new job as a student that means dad gets to do fun things on the weekend!

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…it doesn’t always pour.  Sometimes rain means just as much fun, or more!

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