Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Am I proud of my boy? You bet!

After kind of a rough start at preschool, Liam has figured out how to live with rules laid down by someone other than Mom and Dad and is doing great.

I dropped him off on the first day, August 30, and he was just fine. "Go Mom," he said.

When I arrived back to the school that afternoon to pick him up, Mrs. Eaker, his teacher, came out to tell me he did really well until the last two minutes of class when he hit the little girl sitting next to him. So Mrs. Eaker took his candy away and made him put his head down on the desk. And, she said, "He is quite upset about the whole thing." When he came out into the hallway he was just sobbing his little heart out, big ol' tears and the works. I waited until all the other kids were gone to chat with the teacher for a minute and Liam told her, again, that he was sorry. Not the best first day. Mrs. Eaker did, however, tell me that she didn't see it happen, but that when she asked him if he hit Courtney, he admitted that he did. So . . . at least he didn't lie.

Naturally on the way home he announced: "Mom, I'm not going to school tomorrow."

I assured him that yes, he was going to school the next day, but that tomorrow was a new day with no mistakes in it. He would be starting new and fresh and clean.

After school the next day he informed me: "Mom, I did not hit her today." He made it sound like maybe she needed to be hit, but that he didn't do it. What restraint!

The next week the teacher put six little paper bees on the wall under each kid's name. The goal is for them to keep all their bees. If they are bad and get into trouble then the teacher takes away their bees. Liam decided right away he didn't want to lose any bees. So on each afternoon since the bee program started he tells me when I pick him up, "Mom, I didn't lose any bees today." He is also very quick to point out other little boys who have lost bees. One day one little boy had only two bees left! Shocking!

This week Courtney has been gone. Liam told me on Monday she was gone and he didn't know where she was. Then yesterday on the way home he told me he hoped Courtney hadn't "gone to be with Jesus" cause he missed her and wanted her back at school. Today I asked the teacher if Courtney was sick and was she coming back because my little soft-hearted boy missed her. She and I had a good chuckle over how quickly he went from wanting to swat Courtney to wanting her there in the seat next to him. Turns out Courtney went on vacation with her family and will be back next week.

Mrs. Eaker told me several things today that made me feel pretty good about my little boy:

She is keeping an extra close eye on him because Liam doesn't tattle. Now in my mind not tattling is a good thing, but she is concerned that he wouldn't tattle even if the other kids were really being mean, so she is watching out for him. He is the smallest boy in the class, and she is extra careful about bullying. This I definitely appreciate.

She thought at first he might not be ready for preschool, but she says he definitely is. He is intelligent. He is also very well-spoken and extremely polite.

These are her words, not mine!

All I can say is apparently he hasn't yet had reason to tell her: "You're bustin' my chops!"

I wonder if he knows that would likely lose him a bee?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Laughter is good for the soul

For the past several days I have been feeling a restlessness that cannot be explained.

I can't seem to settle in to my normal tasks and I have been having the most bizarre dreams.

In one dream I was forced to run through a giant drawer full of silverware. The divisions between the items were about three feet high, just a bit too tall for me to step over. Someone had me by the hand and was dragging me through them at a run. In my other hand was silverware of my own which I kept dropping and having to stop and pick up. It would blend in with the existing silverware in the drawer and then I couldn't find it. For whatever reason it was very important that I not lose the silverware I was carrying. As the dream went on I became more and more frantic as I wasn't given a chance to relocate my own silverware. So bizarre.

Then last night I dreamt I was the caretaker for this older gentleman. When I got to his house to make his dinner, straighten up the house and give him his medicine some of his family was there visiting. As I was cleaning up around the house I kept finding silverware in all these strange places. Some was under the sofa, tucked under the covers of the bed, inside the washer and dryer and other equally odd spots. Weird. As I was checking in this one particularly frilly bedroom I discovered a flight of stairs I had not previously noticed following the line of the wall to the second floor. They were only about 18 inches wide, covered with rose print fabric and had no handrail. I went up a few steps, but chickened out and came back down. As I regained the bottom one of the man's sons came into the room and chastised me for being in there. I told him I was just trying to locate all the silverware and showed him the handfuls I was carrying. As we exited the room we ran into another of the sons who was carrying a ladies' pump (you know the shoe kind). It was about three feet long and painted bright green. He told me he was looking for a place in his dad's house where it would look "right." He then proceeded to tell me he had two more at home he was planning on painting blue and yellow respectively and that I needed to be thinking about a nice place for them as well. Huh?

I can't decide if I am truly losing it or what.

My husband says he thinks our dreams are just the psyche's way of taking out the trash. We fall asleep at night and if the day has been particularly stressful or whatever, the brain starts getting rid of the unnecessary stuff and it comes out as these strange and unexplainable images that most of the time we can't even remember. Usually when I do remember them I end up wishing I couldn't because they are so absolutely nutty and disconnected that when I tell someone about them I just sound like a blithering idiot. These two were so bizarrely funny I just had to share. I'm sure some dream-interpreter person could tell me what they really mean, but I think in this case I would rather be comfortable in my ignorance. I just found them good for a chuckle first thing in the morning.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Things I love, autumn

Fall has arrived.

Autumn is my very most favorite time of year.

There is a chill in the air and no matter how hot it might still get, that underlying chill will still be there. The air has a crispness when I breathe it and a sweet, sweet coolness on my skin. Our air conditioner is shut off for the season, and that too, is a good thing.

The autumn sky is a deeper blue. In place of the pale, cloudless, high clear blue of summer, we see a brighter, more colorful blue . . . with clouds!

Life slows down in the fall. Schedules become more important. Therefore, plans are less likely to go askew. Because I am a planner, I have a huge appreciation for this aspect of fall. Summer is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of season; autumn is all about organization and planning.

Preparation for winter begins. Summer toys are put away and gardens and flowers will be put to bed over the next few weeks. Trees will turn to yellow, gold, orange and red giving the landscape a brightness summer could never achieve. When the leaves finally drop to the ground, Liam will spend many a happy hour dashing through them, throwing them high and jumping into the piles CJE has painstakingly created in preparation for their doom.

Liam has started preschool. Though he had a little trouble on the first day, overall he seems to be liking it and that gives me great joy. Watching him learn and grow has become one of my favorite pastimes. This fall in particular will be great for that. He will enjoy a whole set of experiences that Mom and Dad are not a part of. This will give him new scope for his lively imagination and new reasons for him to say: “Mom, I need to tell you.”

The Nation Football League season starts this Thursday. I understand for some people this is not a cause for elation, but in our home, it is. Football season is one thing which seems to help our lives to slow from summer’s frantic pace. Sunday afternoons are spent alternately sewing and snoozing in front of the game . . . oh, and watching! I know the rules and truly enjoy the game. For reasons unknown to me, whiling away a Sunday afternoon watching football is guilt-free, and I certainly like that.

Naturally, in the fall my thoughts turn to Christmas. Which is, by the way, right around the corner. Crafty projects must be planned and started now or before if completion is expected by December 25. Always I have several and this year I started clear back in May. Most therefore are well on their way and I will have the satisfaction of finishing them over the next few months.

Autumn is a time of harvest and preservation. I have made jam and syrup already. Just today I started a batch of Zucchini Relish. It needs to steep overnight and I will finish it up tomorrow. I chatted with my neighbor yesterday and I think she and I are going to can up some tomatoes together in the next few weeks. She has always used a pressure canner and I am going to show her how to water-bath them. My mom has always liked the preserving part but has never much cared for the harvest. I have grown to enjoy the harvest as well. Picking a bucketful of whatever brings a welcome sense of satisfaction and then I have the completion of preserving to look forward to. See, I have many good autumn feelings.

Cooking is my most enjoyed household task, and soup is one of my favorite thing to make. Fall is a great time of year for crock pot recipes and soups, stews and chilies top that list. Just a few days ago I tried yet another recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder. I love Chicken Corn Chowder and have been looking for a really good recipe for it literally for years. I think I finally found it! This soup was creamy, thick and full of flavor. Oh, so yummy. It is definitely a keeper and all other recipes I have tried and tweaked and messed with can just go away. Yea! I predict many more varieties of soup to be created in my kitchen in the not too distant future.

I’m not sure this is a truly comprehensive list of what I love about fall, but it is a great start.