Archive for December, 2009

Reid’s school Christmas pageant

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Reid had her Christmas pageant on December 18th. Ken and I were both able to attend, which is a very nice thing. We arrived early enough to get seats in the front row on the gym.

Reid’s teachers sang a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas at the beginning of the performance – I don’t know why they sang first, given that kids aren’t known for their patience but they did and the kids loved what they sang:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my students gave to me, twelve teachers fussing, eleven students jumping, ten runny noses, nine children running, eight tots a-tumbling, seven kids a-swimming, six shoes to tie, five more grey hairs, four crying tots, three funny faces, two dirty diapers and a smile from ear-to-ear.

Every time the teacher sang, “two dirty diapers” the Junior and Senior Kindergarten kids giggled. Who better to understand kids’ potty humour than their teachers, eh?

After the teachers had finished, the toddlers came forward. They were wearing angels’ wings made from white paper with glitter glue on them and halos. Many of those select number who made it to the front were crying, most of the others looked scared. Their teachers led them through an unintentionally ironic rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” as most of the kids cried while the teachers sang. The English and French Preschool classes each sang a couple songs and then it was time for the main (in my opinion) attraction – the Senior Kindergarten play.

Reid’s teacher was more nervous than the kids were, I think. She hadn’t been in charge of a play before whereas the kids were confident in themselves and their practicing. The kids all knew their lines and spoke clearly but the noise from the other classes made it difficult to hear them. The plot was simple – one of the girls had forgotten to mail her letter to Santa and when her sister discovered it, she woke her up to ask what to do and then they woke up a brother and then the three woke a fourth and so on until a whole crowd went to wake up the parents. The dad told them to call 1-800-Père-Noël, which they did. Maman Noël (played brilliantly by Reid) answered the call, “Maison de Père Noël” and told them not to worry, “Père Noël a des cadeaux pour tous les amis.” Reid’s teacher gave each of the students a rose after their bows and then the Junior Kindergarten kids joined the Senior Kindergarten kids at the front and they all sang “Jingle Bells” and “Vive le vent” (the French words that correspond to the same tune).

Santa arrived and had candy canes and a few words for each child. Reid, being Reid and thus the teacher’s pet, went up with Natalie at her side. After Reid had her turn with Santa, we went to the JK/SK classroom for cookies and juice. The kids were hyped on the excitement of the concert and didn’t really need the extra sugar but I have to confess that I liked the cookies with sprinkles.

All in all, the pageant was a success. Reid was proud of herself for speaking clearly and loudly. Ken and I were pleased that it hadn’t been the sort of event that is funny when you tell people about it later but not so much when it’s happening. It’s all about managing expectations and claiming small victories.

If you were wondering about us

Friday, December 25th, 2009

A friend suggested that I should take a photo every hour to document the “waiting for Santa” feeling on Christmas Eve and another said that it was even better to do hourly photos on Christmas day. I took a bunch of photos each day but I wasn’t organized enough to produce an hourly visual record. I’ve produced a written one, though, if wondered what we’ve been up to.

Christmas Eve
6:30 Daddy pokes his head to check if we’re awake. I am. Reid isn’t. Quite.
7:30 We’ve kissed Daddy good bye and are bathing in a tepid bath. Why did the hot water heater choose this morning to be persnickety?
8:30 Reid and I have donned our festive clothing – Reid in a Mrs Santa dress; me in red-and-white striped socks with fake fur at the top, Christmas tree on my red t-shirt and skirt – and are in the car, heading to a Christmas party where I work. (Well, sort of where I work. My division isn’t located with the rest of the branch. I suspect that Reid thinks I spend all of my time in the boardroom since I never show her an office with a desk and all of the rest.)
9:30 – Reid is settled into a comfy office chair – that is too big and moves too easily for her to climb into on her own – and is making a foam gingerbread man. She has tried smiling and making eye contact with the little girl in the next chair but she is even more shy than Reid. Reid is confident at the party, this being her third time attending.
10:30 – Santa arrived about 10:00 and since then the kids have been sitting on the floor in front of him. They sang a couple of songs and he started calling names for the kids to come forward to get a present. Reid’s waiting patiently to hear her name.
11:30 – Once Santa left, the party started winding down pretty quickly. Reid and I went to Michael’s to buy embroidery floss for Grandma Joyce. We wouldn’t otherwise have gone shopping on Christmas Eve but Grandma Joyce does a lot for us.
12:30 – At St Laurent Mall to pick up a parcel. I waited until the last minute in case other parcels arrived but they didn’t. Reid decided a last minute visit to Santa was in order. The line was short and there were igloos to play in and slides to slide down while we waited.
1:30 – On our way home from Melissa’s, where we left Reid’s coat on Thursday night.
2:30 – Home at last with Daddy. Stories to be read, cuddles to be had.
3:30 – In the tub once more, this time the water is hot.
4:30 – Reid and I are wearing our matching blue-and-snowflake pajamas that Grandma Joyce made us. 4:00 didn’t seem to early for jammies under the circumstances. Reid and I play the train dominos game that Santa gave her this morning. There are as many as 12 dots on each domino, which makes recognizing the patterns and numbers more complex.
5:30 – Frozen pizzas are out of the oven and on our plates. Reid wanted “Mexican pizza”. At my blank look, she added “with pineapple”. I suggested that she might mean “Hawaiian” and she nodded vigorously. I told her to choose between meatlovers’ or veggie. With a look that suggested veggie pizzas are an affront to pizzas everywhere, she chose to share Daddy’s meatlovers’.
6:30 – Time to set out cookies and juice for Santa.
7:30 – Sleeping time. Not actually sleeping but getting close. Whispering questions in the dark about how Christmas Day would unfold.
8:30-4:30 – Mostly restful sleep with the snuffles and heavy breathing that indicate Reid is starting a cold.

Christmas Day
4:30 – Reid asks if it’s morning yet and gets an emphatic “not yet” in reply.
5:33 – Reid simply “can’t sleep anymore”. I read to her until 6:03 and then we wake up Daddy.
6:30 – Well into present opening. Reid figured out that the large object under the Santa presents was a sled, unwrapped it first, and opened her other presents while sitting in her sled. Ken and I stayed in our chairs.
7:30 – I’m making pancakes for breakfast, my able assistant by my side.
8:30 – Finishing eating our breakfast. I’m wishing for peameal bacon. Unfortunately I didn’t think of that family tradition while shopping on the weekend. Reid remembered that she’d made Ken a “C” at pottery and so he got an extra present with breakfast. I’m not sure what one does with a “C” the size of a man’s hand with the fingers splayed but Reid is sure Ken will like it.
9:30 – Time to play Reid’s Bus Stop game. People get on and off according to the “plus” and “minus” signs on the board. The bus riders are a blend of ages, sexes, colours and religions (according to headwear). Reid wins with the most people on her bus. Ken and I tie but since he got to the bus station first, he says that I am third. I don’t think either of them was listening when I explained that it was a game of chance that anyone might win. ;+)
10:30 – I’m secretly thinking it’s time to undecorate the tree. Okay, not secretly since I say it out loud.
11:30 – Cutting cheese, searching for crackers and reheating spaghetti for lunch. It’s a bit unconventional as Christmas lunches go but Grandma Barb serves turkey at 4:00 or so and we don’t want to be too full for that.
12:30 – Packing the car for the trip to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s. Ken, Reid and I are all so happy that they are only an hourish away.
1:30 – Almost there. Reid fought sleep but succumbed. She wakes when we leave the highway – she has always preferred to sleep at 100 km/hr – and is groggy when we get in.
2:30 – Wearing her red-and-snowflake nightgown and matching pajama pants, Reid is unwrapping presents. I brought her beautiful blue Christmas dress but Reid cried when I tried to put it on her. Thank goodness I’d brought the nightgown, which was festive and free of pizza sauce.
3:30 – Reid is cuddling her new stuffed bear from Uncle Kevin and resisting my suggestion that she call the bear “Noir”. Many candies, nuts and chocolates are being consumed and I wonder if I should have offered a bigger lunch.
4:30 – Grandma Barb and Reid set the table and we all sit down to a Christmas feast. Reid mostly nibbles but I’m not wise enough to follow her example.
5:30 – I learn the secret of Grandma Barb’s dark pumpkin pie. Not only does she use fresh pumpkin (which I knew about) but she sweetens it with molasses. Reid was hesitant to try the pie but once she had a taste, she ate her whole piece.
6:30 – Reid is talking about being so tired because she got up so very early. What had been a point of pride earlier in the afternoon has become a burden.
7:30 – In the car, Ottawa-bound. Ken and I are talking quietly and Reid is resisting sleep, begging for the Sesame Street podcast videos on my iPod.
8:30 – Reid is taking Advil and the humidifier is humming and gurgling. Time to sleep.

We hope you’ve had a merry Christmas and will have a happy New Year!

Best-ever Christmas card from a parent for a daughter

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Ken often chooses sweet and loving cards for Reid but sometimes they are funny. The Christmas card that he gave her  fit squarely in the latter category. I had to share it with you. On the front it reads:
You’d better watch out
You’d better not cry
You’d better not pout
I’m telling you why …

(And inside it says:)

‘Cause that stuff just doesn’t work anymore.

I don’t think Reid laughed when I read it to her. I’m sure that she didn’t laugh as much as me. She will one day, though. But maybe not until she has her own daughter.

Playing Mama and Baby – morning version

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Reid asked me to play Mama and Baby on Tuesday morning, and she was the Mama. I’d been downstairs already and had to go back to join Reid at the top of the stairs. She was on the first landing and I had to stand in the hall. Then, as I reached out to take “Mama’s” hand to walk down together, she started descending the stairs rapidly. As I said the baby’s part, “Wait for me, Mama! I wanna hold your hand! Mama, wait!” Reid hurried ahead giggling. I objected, I never run away from her laughing.

When we got to the kitchen, Reid prompted me to ask if I could help her pack her lunch. Dutifully, I asked if I could help and Reid answered, “Ask Dad, if you can help him.” Ouch. Again, I had to protest, I would never set her up like that. I would, however, encourage her to “help” her Dad with his lunch instead of helping me with mine.
It’s always interesting to have these glimpses into how Reid sees me, though I wish that she didn’t see me to be quite as arbitrary as she does.

What the teacher has to say about Reid

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Reid’s communication book had the following comment for yesterday:

Reid did a fantastic job decorating our tree. She was very helpful when others put 2 of the same colour balls side by side. She would move them but without those children knowing as to not hurt their feelings. ;+)

Seems a bit like someone else I know. But who?