Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do Unto Otters?

When I cook, Margot likes to pull a chair up to the counter behind the stove, stand on it, and watch me. Last night I made black bean soup in the crockpot (from scratch! I actually soaked dried beans. It was good, too.) and turkey burgers. Margot watched from her usual perch. While the burgers sizzled on the stove, she complained that it was too hot.

"Have you ever heard the saying, 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?'" I asked her. She looked at me, puzzled.

"No," she said. "That doesn't even make sense."

Ok, so the idiom was over her head. I explained that it was a saying, and I told her what it meant. She seemed relieved that I wasn't telling her to literally get out of the kitchen.

"We have a saying at school," she countered after a few minutes. "Do unto otters as you want them to do unto you."

I laughed and laughed. "It's not 'otters', Margot," I told her. "It's others. Other people. Do unto others as you want them to do unto you."

"No, Mommy," she insisted. "It's otters. The book is about otters."

Alas, she gets the last laugh. I found this on an Amazon search. Clever!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was Margot's first day of Kindergarten. It went well! She was all smiles at drop off and at pick up. She did let me have it a little bit for having her wear a long-sleeved dress when it was 85 degrees, but otherwise things were great. (In my defense, NPR said this morning that it would be cloudy all day and 79 for a high. Instead, it's been sunny and 85. Oh well.)

Her teacher is uber-organized and has a lot of energy. So far, a teacher after my own heart. There is a turtle in her class named Mac. One of her good friends from preK is in her class, so she already has a pal.

I just love the beginning of a school year - clean shoes, some new clothes, crisp notebooks and folders. I wish *I* was the one going back to school this fall.

On a side note, as we left school this afternoon, Margot asked me (again) if she could wear a uniform to school. (This isn't the first time she's asked.) "I like today's outfit," she jabbered as we walked toward the car, "because of my brown shoes and white socks. I would like to wear a uniform to school. A plaid skirt, knee socks, brown leather shoes, a sweater, and a white or red shirt. I want two braids and glasses. Can I wear a uniform in high school at least?"

She really is her father's daughter - there is no doubt about it. They both like to dress the part for their activities.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation

The summer passed so very quickly this year. Margot spent six weeks at one day camp, where she swam and did crafts and learned camp-y songs and had a terrific time. Then, she spent two weeks at gymnastics camp which she kind of enjoyed but wasn't completely thrilled about. Then, she spent one week of bona fide summer down-time, with lounging, and watching cartoons, and more swimming, and eating ice cream. We just returned from a few days in Lake Anna, where Margot perfected the art of jumping off of the dock with her cousins.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation before kindergarten starts on Monday. I am looking forward to getting back into a school routine, but M says she is nervous about returning to school. I'm hoping those nerves turn to smiles when we go to school on Monday, but you never can tell. I'll give a full report then, of course.

Goodbye summer! I've loved every moment of you, even though you'll probably be the hottest summer on record in DC!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long Island - 2010

Margot and I visited Tim, Maggan, Madeleine and Declan over the weekend (we saw Grandma and Grandpa, too!) I'm in a rush, so I'll let the pictures speak the 100 or so words I'd normally type as accompaniment!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Friday Night Picnic with President Lincoln

Last night we picnicked at President Lincoln's feet. It was a beautiful night for monuments - low humidity, beautiful sunset, cool temperature. We had to share the monuments with hundreds of tourists, but it made for interesting people-watching. Lots of international visitors, plenty of Americans with sensible walking shoes, and even a Buddhist monk shared the evening with us.

We started with dinner on the far side of the Lincoln Memorial and watched the sun go down over the Potomac:

Then we sat atop the Lincoln Memorial as darkness crept in:

(Doesn't this photo remind you a bit of the second photo in this post?)

Finally we reflected a bit before heading home:

Monday, August 02, 2010


Yesterday Margot and I were listening to Schoolhouse Rock's Zero my Hero, which lauds the invention of zero. Part of the lyrics include:

My hero, Zero, such a funny little hero,
But till you came along,
We counted on our fingers and toes.
Now you're here to stay
And nobody really knows
How wonderful you are.
Why we could never reach a star,
Without you, Zero, my hero,
How wonderful you are.

"Why couldn't we reach the stars without zero?" Margot asked from the backseat of the car.

"Well," I answered, "because we'd never be able to do the math it takes to fly a rocket into space." By this response, I meant that we'd never be able to figure out the physics needed to launch a projectile from the earth to a star. Big picture stuff. But I didn't say any of that out loud, because it's beyond M's comprehension (to be honest, it's beyond my comprehension, too).

"Oh! You're right!" exclaimed Margot. "Without zero, we couldn't do the countdown for a rocket! 10, 9, 8, 7...There's a zero in the number 10, after all. A rocket could never take off without a countdown."

Good point.