Friday, February 22, 2008

Depeche Mode

A day doesn't pass that Margot doesn't play dress-up in her princess clothes. The storyline alternates from day to day - sometimes she is headed to a wedding, occasionally she is going to a birthday party, and some days she's simply going to the grocery store. (Grocery store trips don't include her ball gown, but do usually include high heels.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Breath of Spring

Today is one of those days when 52 degrees feels almost warm and offers a promise of Spring. Margot and I went to the park after lunch, and I was astounded that we were the only people there. The daffodils have started sprouting beneath the trees; unfortunately, tomorrow it's supposed to be freezing (literally) again.


After practicing ballet this morning, Margot finished with a big Ta-DA! for the camera.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Little Miss Chatterbox

When I picked Margot up from school today, Mr. Scott was the teacher on duty. Mr. Scott is Margot's favorite teacher in her new classroom although I haven't figured out why she admires him so much more than Mr. Brian (the other lead teacher, who is equally engaging and kind).

At any rate, Mr. Scott always has something nice to say about Margot when I pick her up (hmmm...maybe she likes him so much because he's a good at building her self-esteem). Today he told me he wished she came to school five days a week (she only attends three days, although many kids in her class attend all five days).

"Really?" I asked. "That's a nice thing to say."

"She's the only one who holds real conversations," said Mr. Scott. "She just chats and chats and chats with me all day long."

This is just further confirmation that a career at NPR may be in Margot's future. I always suspected as much. Margot is truly enamored with her ideas and asking questions and, clearly, her own voice.

A different observation: Margot's new class is very male-dominated. Both of her lead teachers are male, and the assistant teacher is male as well. (Coming from Catholic elementary school, I never had a male teacher until high school, except for the gym teacher [Mr. Albano]. Who knew there was a whole world that exists in which male teachers play a role?) The majority of kids in her class are boys, although there are a handful of girls in the class and a few more will be moving in during the coming weeks.

I think all of these boys are a challenge for her because I've noticed that, as a general rule, she is more comfortable speaking to women/girls and interacting with them as compared to males. But she is learning how to break into the boys' games at school and I am glad she has this experience. Her teachers focus heavily on science (which she loves - she's been building a solar system with her class) and athletics (bi-weekly ice-skating outings). Her assistant teacher, Mr. Scheie, gave me pause on Margot's first day of class since he wears a do-rag (remember: my teachers were all nuns or homely ladies until I was 14!) but she's really bonded with him. He always finds a job for her: door holder, or line leader, or caboose (end of the line).

Final observation about Min's school: Today is Valentine's Day, and Min came home from school with enough candy to rival Halloween. I was surprised - it's generally considered bad practice to send candy/junk to kids' classrooms these days, especially in well-to-do urban areas. I sent Margot to school with plain Valentines to hand out (no candy, just cards). She returned with 6 or 7 small, homemade bags of candy. Has the backlash against sugar for kids been overrun by their parents' desire to provide the best-wrapped bag of treats?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pushing the Season

Margot is still listening to Christmas music (muzak) daily. She just won't shake the habit. Each night at bedtime, I ask which CD she'd like to listen to:

Me: "Would you like to listen to Schoolhouse Rock?"

Margot: "No, Christmas."

Me: "Oh, Margot, it's not really Christmas season anymore. How about Sesame Street? Or 'One was Johnny?'" (Her name for a Carole King CD.)

Margot: "No, Christmas. I want Christmas music."

So Christmas music it is. She's still singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" most days, and is working on "Deck the Halls." She really has a knack for learning lyrics - she memorizes all the stanzas and sings them proudly.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

I have no good excuses as to why I haven't written an update in a while. Margot provides us with some little anecdote over which to laugh every single day. We haven't been on an extended vacation, and I'm working less right now than I did in the fall. That said, the past three weeks have just flown by. The quarantine was lifted weeks ago. Margot is happy and healthy again.

One change I'd like to note is in Margot's sleeping habits. We were very spoiled for the first two and three-quarters years of her life. She consistently napped and slept right on schedule. She logged almost 12 hours at night and an hour or more in the afternoon. It was lovely. I was sure she would be one of those kids who naps right up until they leave for kindergarten.

And then, one day, it ended. Now, while Margot would love to take an afternoon nap, I have a new challenge: entertaining her all afternoon so that she doesn't have the opportunity to fall asleep. That means we can't be in the car in the afternoon, and I can't give her quiet time in her room or she'll crawl into bed. 'What's the matter with that?' you say. Well, if she naps, then we can't get her to go to bed until 10 or 10:30 pm, which just does not work well in our house. I believe in children going to bed by 8 pm. This provides Brodie and me some much-needed sanity and time to hang out together. Completely exhausting her is the only way to get her to go to bed after dinner.

In addition, Margot developed a habit of crawling into bed with Brodie and me sometime back in December. Too exhausted to protest (usually around 2 am), we just let her do this since she usually went right to sleep. But then she started bringing 'friends' in bed (Babi, Bun, Clover, etc.) and then she started pushing me to the edge of the bed (not Brodie, just me) and I said "Enough!" One night in January, I pulled my sleeping bag out of the closet and threw it next to the bed with a pillow. It's been there ever since. And every night, sometime around 1:30 or 2:00 am, Margot comes upstairs with Babi and goes to sleep in the sleeping bag. She doesn't even wake us. I'm curious how long this will last.