Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

I just read Cheeseboy's blog about Easter Egg Hunts and having spent the past hour with my kids at an egg hunt I am inclined to agree.
This was just a little local egg hunt, the kids from maybe ten families.  I'm guessing there were close to 20 kids, give or take a few.

We were invited to bring over a dozen filled eggs per child earlier in the day.  I dropped off 28, just to be fair.

As the egg gatherers gathered it was recognized that some distinction needed to be made between the toddlers and the sixth graders.  Where do you draw that line?  Finally the dad in charge announced; "All those seven and under start when I say go.  Eight and up, run to the corner and back when I say go, then you can start looking."  
Okay, at seven years old Thing 2 is one of the older of the little kids.  She might actually score some eggs this year. 


The older children sprint off to the corner, Thing 1 trailing half heartedly in back.  The little kids toddle off to look for the obvious eggs they can see right in front of them.  At this point Thing 2 comes over to me and asks, "When are you leaving?"  When am I leaving?
"Honey, go gather some eggs!"  I say urgently, waving stupidly toward the front yards where I can see eggs peeking out of the bushes.
"But how long are you staying?" She asks.  I'm watching the little kids pick up all the obvious eggs.
"We're all staying until it's over," I tell her.  "Go over there, no one's over there and get some eggs!"
She glares at me, she doesn't want to go over there.  But she does.  I watch her wander aimlessly.  I turned to talk to another parent.  Thing 2 wanders back.  I peek into her basket to find not a single egg.  Other kids wander past with several layers of eggs in their baskets.  Thing 2 wanders off toward the herd.

In the end, she had five eggs.  Thing 1 had about eight.  Neither seemed terribly upset.  Several older children dropped a few more eggs in Thing 2's basket as they walked by.  She hugged them happily, either not recognizing it as a pity gesture, or not caring.
The trading ensued, and both girls were happy with their eventual haul.  

In general I do not enjoy the neighborhood egg hunts.  It makes me too tense to see the other kids dashing from place to place gathering eggs while my kids float around, occasionally finding something... though in the end I'm happy there's that much less candy coming into the house.  I expect there will be plenty tomorrow to make up for whatever lack they had today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blue Ribbon

For the past three years Thing 1 has entered a Lego creation in the local library Lego Creation Contest.  Each year including last year she got a blue ribbon that says "AWESOME" on it, and each year she thinks she's won some special blue ribbon prize.  I have told her that every kid who submits an entry gets the same ribbon, but she has assured me I'm wrong.  Blue ribbon means winner, and she's THE WINNER!  I've decided to smile and nod.
Always before there were maybe four or five entries, displayed under a plexiglass dome on the end of one of the bookcases.

This year there were entries all along a ten foot bookcase.  There were some pretty impressive entries, especially the Lego Taj Mahal, which Hubby told me was a kit.  I don't remember any others specifically, but some were interesting enough.

So finally after it was all over someone called me from the library to tell me that Thing 1 could come and pick up her creation.  I was told there was a 'little something' for her.  I thought cool, another blue ribbon.  Thing 1 will be pleased.
I suspected it was the same thing as always, but they've never said that to me before when they called for me to come get the Legos, so because they had said that, I suggested she go with me to pick up her creation.  Instead of just bringing out her Legos, the lady at the desk said we should follow her  into the staff room.  There was a box of the several Lego creations that hadn't been picked up yet.  Another staff member was back there too.  With some ceremony, the two library ladies explained to Thing 1 that each year the staff members vote on which Lego creation showed the most creativity, and best use of the Legos.  Their favorite gets a special "Best In Show" blue ribbon.  Thing 1 got it this year.
Thing 1 was terribly excited, to say the least.  She carefully huddled over her ribbon and her creation to keep the rain off of them on the way to the car.  She carried them both as she didn't want me to bend the ribbon, or knock the legos.

I apologize for the fuzzy phone pictures, but my camera stopped working.
I was extremely proud.  I am sure her talent with Legos is just evidence of her start at greatness.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

But Today was GREAT!

I was watching "Precious" on Netflix tonight while I was folding clothes.

Then I read my post from yesterday and I am humbled.

I am so freaking lucky, I (and my kids) don't know what despair is. 
Thing 2 got a big part in the class play.  She and three other kids are playing The Grass.  They're on the stage from the beginning to the end. She is thrilled. Yesterday is a distant blip.

Life is good.
My kids are amazing.

Life is good.

Writings from the black pit of despair

Sometimes it's hard to maintain a positive attitude about things.  Sometimes the bad stuff knocks you down like a snowball and just rolls downhill with you,  picking up other stuff along the way until it crashes at the bottom in one big heap of badness.

I was exhausted yesterday.  I cut the dog's walk short and came home and laid down.  I slept about 2 hours. I had to get up and go to Costco.  Got home just in time to unload the car, grab the dog and his leash, and hustle off to get the girls from school.
Walking home Thing 2 offered to take the dog's leash from me.  She wasn't paying attention, the dog trotted ahead to try and get the stick Thing 1 was holding for him, and the leash popped out of Thing 2's hand.
She started screaming.  She said it scared her.  My asking "what's going on?  Why are you upset?" was like throwing grease on the fire.  She kind of calmed down by the time we got home, partly, I think, because Thing 1 and I basically ignored her.  But she was primed and ready for trouble.  She told me later she'd had a horrible day at school, too.

Tuesdays are our busy days.  We don't have much time between walking in the door from school and hustling out the back for gymnastics.  For several reasons I had decided to take the dog, and went out to load him up.  The girls were dragging their feet, stopping to converse about something or other.  So we were just a little bit late out the door to Thing 2's gymnastics class, and as we were leaving Thing 1 announced she was starving.  Add a couple more minutes to our lateness.
After I dropped Thing 2 off at gymnastics, I had to take Thing 1 to art.  Only they weren't meeting at the regular classroom, they were having a special out door class.  Stupid me forgot the map.  The last outdoor class they had was at Sugarhouse Park.  So we went there.  And drove around, walked around, looking for the class.  Finally 5 minutes after the class started I loaded her into the car and we drove to the classroom, where the art school director gave us a map to where they would be.
By the time we got there it was nearly 1/2 an hour late for art, and nearly time for me to be picking up Thing 2 from gymnastics.  Thing 1 was sobbing because she'd missed her favorite part of art class, and she was embarrassed to have been crying, and she assured me several times she wouldn't want to stay to the class even if we found it.  The favorite part of her week, totally ruined.
We pulled up and saw that class was being held at the dog park.  She changed her mind.  She wiped her tears and sprinted out to the class.  By the time I'd exchanged phone numbers with the teacher (in case there was a problem) it was already time for me to be picking up Thing 2.
I drove like a madwoman to the gym, but by the clock I was 12 minutes late picking her up.  I went into the gym to get her and found her sitting on one of the mats.  She held it together until I hugged her, then she burst into tears.  She cried that she was worried I wouldn't come, and was embarrassed that she was there all alone, and she knew everyone was staring at her.  She had several other laments but I forget what they were. She was beyond miserable.
I drove back to the dog park, since we'd left the dog there with Thing 1 and I figured she should be drawing, not worrying about him. It had gotten cold, Thing 2 wiped her eyes and decided to play at the playground for a minute.  The other kids in the art class came over to the playground and started playing.  Apparently it was too cold to draw, but not too cold to play.  I went into the dog part to fetch the dog and talk to the teacher for a minute.  The next thing I knew Thing 1 was running to get me because Thing 2 had gotten hurt.  Thing 2 was standing outside the gate, which she let swing open. I'm watching as a dog went trotting toward the open gate.  I lunged, missed, sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the gate, the gate swung open and bonked Thing 2 on the head, and the dog trotted out into the grass.  Luckily the teacher was right behind me and she called to the dog, who came back into the dog area.  Thing 2 was really sobbing by now.  She had been on the teeter totter, and had gotten bumped halfway off, and the other kids hadn't stopped.  She was hanging half off the teeter totter and they'd kept going.  She assured me they were "SMILING" and earlier one of them had told her to GO AWAY.  She was way past miserable in some horrible black pit of despair, gloom, and never ending agony.

Usually on Tuesdays with everything else going on, I take the kids out to dinner somewhere so I don't have to cook.  But Thing 2 was still sobbing, and I wasn't going to take her anywhere like that.  Since part of this was my fault, with me forgetting to get the map for the drawing class, I told them we were skipping dinner, going right to dessert, and I would make some "Bad Day Good Cupcakes."
Since my only cake mixes were flavors the girls didn't like I ended up making cupcakes from scratch, making a mess of half the kitchen, and the cupcakes came out of the oven around 7:30.  Sigh.  The kitchen's still kind of a mess.
The kids had to have a bath, and got to bed around 9:00, and the only reason it was that early was because I was standing behind them half the time reminding them of what they should be doing.  (No, not nagging... reminding.  Nicely.  Repeatedly. That's not nagging, is it?)
I went to bed myself at 10:30, which if you know me you know is amazingly early.
Hubby called at midnight as he landed in Denver.  I barely woke up enough to talk a little before I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I told the girls that sometimes bad days are actually good because they remind us how good the good days are.

But sometimes bad days are just bad.