Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cielito Lindo

As the family can attest, this song is my latest obsession. You'd think it's not the best bedtime song. Yet, if you repeat the same verse often enough, your child will pretend to be asleep just to end the torture. Try it.
Ay, ay, ay, ay... canta y no llores... porque cantando se alegran, Cielito Lindo, los corazones!

Friday, March 27, 2009

nice day

sunshine is a wonderful thing, and now I'm getting excited about the cherry trees in the Brooklyn Botanic* Gardens. I just need to load up on eye-drops and I'm set to go.
click and enjoy and share your favorites if you want: http://bbg.org/exp/cherries/stages.html

*botanic/botanical? I figure the "al" is redundant unless there's a clear noun ending in "-ic." I.e., music/musical are two different things, but rhythmic/rhythmical both describe the same thing and unless you're making a poetic point about a waltz rhythm, you'd better shy away from the latter when I'm grading your paper.

Running Pal

He's built a chicken coop in his backyard and has ordered three pullets. One of 'em will be named Omelet. The others, he's not sure of yet, but probably Yolky and I fogot the other, but I'll suggest Shelley.
Today he mentioned that his wife isn't too excited about the chicken idea. This never occurred to me because I think it's awesome. (Apparently you can't have a rooster in Brooklyn, though, because of the noise. I smell a protesting cause culminating in the "Cocks for Brooklyn" walk-a-thon. I wonder who'd show up.)
Anyway, I told him to sell her on the idea by saying that other men, when they go through a crisis, gravitate to fast cars and metaphorical chicks. She should count her blessings. (Before they hatch. mwah, mwah)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

NYC PS is anti-something?

Please pardon the repetition, but I figured I'd share here, too.
The kids' school has a "kindness quote" (I think it's "of the week" but am not sure). It's a quote that includes the power of kindness and a picture of the person quoted. Right now it's Anne Frank, and she is cited as "Author, The Diary of a Young Girl."
Now, here's a good reason to be a stickler for accuracy. Maybe she should be called "diarist." Or maybe she should have not titular appellation at all.
See, my point is that "author" implies that the whole thing is made up. And would that make the public school a holocaust denier?
Maybe the whole point of the kindness quote has passed me by.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

don't care if it's real or fake

it's great

Coco Tuesday

In school yesterday he made his own laptop computer. He says it took him a really long time.

He stapled two pieces of paper together. One he made into a screen, on the outside of which he was sure to draw an apple (the circle with the stem in it) although we don't have a Mac. On the other he drew "two thousand" squares and put letters in them. He also has a touchpad, a power button, and two volume buttons. The game on the screen is Star Wars Clone Wars which has the special feature (for Madge) that you can choose several girl characters.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Madge Monday

Okay, so Coco wins in this one, but still.
It's my favorite kind of joke, and it was enacted before my eyes.
Coco was saying something about "When pigs fly" and I asked him where he heard it. He said Madge told him. Then I asked him what it meant and he said, "It means never, because pigs can't fly."
At this point Madge piped up with, "Yes, they can. On an airplane."
And before I could say anything, Coco came back with, "No, they can't. They don't have a suitcase."

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Kid who is in fourth grade was at the playground and asked me the time.
Without any pleases or other manners, so it took me a while to answer. What took me a while was to decide whether or not to make her ask again. I decided against it and said, "Quarter to seven."
She asked, "What time is it?" again, and that was really pushing my patience. One of my many adult grumpinesses arises when someone asks me a question and then doesn't bother paying attention to the answer.
So I said, "I just told you the time. What did I just say?"
And she said, "Quarter to seven."
And I thought we were done. But her look told me that she didn't know what those words meant. And she said, "I need to know because I need to be home at six forty-five."
Now my next answer took me a really long time because that's the kind of joke I would make and I had to study her face carefully in order to determine whether she was joking or not.
So I asked a friend of hers, "What does 'quarter to seven' mean?" And, after thinking a while, he said, "Six fifteen?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Don't know why they call it that. Selfish people. It's a double day for those of us entertaining the kids once they get out. They're not even properly exhausted or homeworked up.
Maybe chores is the solution. Come home and fold clothes, kids.
But then there's also the parent-teacher conferences. I still can't believe I'm on the parent side of this equation. Which reminds me, I still need to sign some report cards.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coco Tuesday

He's definitely into a new stage of boyhood now. It's called "wear the same pants all the time and don't take a bath."
Luckily, the pants a disintegrating on their own. More wearing means more washing and more washing means thinner and thinner fabric and soon - poof - his legs (and maybe more) will be exposed.
The bath thing though, phew, that's taking some cajoling.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Madge Monday

In the last two weeks, Madge has lost her lunchbox twice and a sweater once. I think the warmer weather is to blame because she's more eager to go outside (and once there, to take off the sweater).
I found the lunchbox in the lost and found bins and the sweater was returned by a teacher.
But here's what I'm thinking. Next time she loses one of these things, I'm making her dig for them herself or I'm just replacing them.
It appears that the most frequently misplaced item is a lunchbox, and a lost lunchbox invariably contains leftovers, which do not improve over time. In other words, between the rancid food and musty clothes, the lost and found bins are a masochist's delight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

I Mean You


Went to Madge's class today where we got to read their "realistic fiction" projects.
There were autobiographical elements everywhere. The sweaty kid wrote about a kid breaking out in sweat. The kid with matching clothes wrote about a kid whose clothes always match. The absent-minded kid wrote about a kid who freaked out because he didn't know that the test he was taking was only practice, not the real thing.
Madge wrote about parents who fight about the weirdest things. Sample dialogue:
"You forgot to feed the pigs!"
"We don't have any pigs!"

And, yes, I've already asked if she thinks we fight a lot. She says no. Hm.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

album art

too cool. there are obviously more arty ones here, http://b3ta.com/challenge/album_art/, but this one is dear to my heart.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coco Tuesday

He can be quite articulate.
He had a playdate over who was ignoring everything while on the DS. Coco wanted him to stop so I said, Why don't you just ask him? And Coco said, to his friend,
"Will you stop? Because friends are better than games."
And his friend shut the game.
Voila. The power of words.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Madge Monday

Our Twilight reading is almost done,
so she's starting to choose another one.
I'm sure I'll be done with teen vampires
so I'm starting to stoke other desires.
On our shelves there is quite a crowd
just asking to be read aloud.
But I think I'm starting narrow my view
to Wodehouse, Chandler, or Catch-22.

For a Chandler read-aloud I've got quite an itch,
but I'm not quite sure of a proper sales pitch.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Busy, chaotic afternoon.
I had said yes to a playdate, but had forgotten that we had haircuts scheduled, so the playdate came along. He was a good sport about it.

Madge is direct, makes room for no doubt,
"I want shorter bangs, but I'm growing it out."
Coco's directions were not quite as clear.
But one thing was certain, "Short 'round the ears."
And one more detail that is dear to his heart
The perfected pert placement of Peter Parker's part.

hunh, now what?

We went to the neurologist today and she said we don't need to come back to check in with her unless there's another "incident," as she calls it.
This is good news of course, but she is a doctor he actually doesn't mind going to. Though he's still freaked out about going, just not as much as the "shot doctor" (his term).

Our Doc,
not a quack,
gave a shock.
Said, "Don't come back."

Thanks, Dr. LJ!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Coco Tuesday

Aha! On a Tuesday, no less. I know you're impressed.
He's been full of gems lately. As you may have guessed, we call him Coco. In his previous school there was a kid who pronounced his name "Cornrad" and we reminded Coco of this, recently.
To which he replied: "I'm not a piece of corn. I'm a piece of hot chocolate!"
I think this is only second place to his comment on the history of our neighborhood.
On the way to school he complained about the incline. Well, I think he said hill, but I'm sure incline just slipped his mind at the moment. I think his question was:

"Daddy, why did they build these big hills?"
And I said, "The hills were already here,
all the stuff you see was just put on top.
Grass and trees would grow a fresh crop
if all the buildings were to disappear.
Long ago only greenery was to be found."
And he said, "You mean when the money people were around?"
I found this comment queer
so I had to stop
and let my jaw drop.
After some questions it became clear:
He meant the time of the people who adorn our bills.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Madge Monday

snow dehh...
Our first, and of course we didn't know what to do with ourselves. We went out twice, but for some reason we didn't feel up to going sledding so we just played in the powdery snow at the playground.
If today had happened two or three months ago, we would have been ecstatic, I think.

Now that spring is almost here and winter ought to be gone,
a snow day produces nothing but an impatient yawn.

On a more Madge-specific note, the day started out badly, with a cranky outburst about sharing starburst and the DS and getting ready for school. Yes, getting ready for school; we were slow on the uptake regarding the snow day. But the fresh air cleared her mind.
And when she realized how she had behaved, she asked to call Mommy at work and leave a message to say she was sorry.
I hope she will be able to do that when she's older, too.