Archive for March, 2010

Sad hockey mom

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Reid has her last hockey practice/game this evening. I’m kind of sad to see her first hockey season end. We had only two 7:00am sessions and the rest were at 8:00 or 9:00 with a few later ones thrown in. For our family, earlier is better. I have enjoyed all of the time sitting close to Ken in the stands – sucking his body heat as much as possible, to be honest – and having time to speak without interruption. It’s been great, too, to watch Reid’s hockey skills improve so dramatically over time. She won’t be rivalling Hailey Wickenheiser anytime soon, especially if she doesn’t decide soon to move more quickly on the ice, but her skating and stickhandling skills are much better than they were. I’ve learned lots about hockey, myself, as the season has progressed. I think Reid has also benefited from the challenge that hockey represents to her. So much comes easy for her that it is good to see her meet a challenge on a regular basis. All this to say that I’m looking forward to September but first I need to savour one last hockey practice/game.

Why did I teach her to tell time?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

For a long time, Reid’s most common first words in the morning were, “Is it morning?” With the blackout blind, it’s hard to know. At some point, I decided to teach Reid how to read the clock and told her that she gets up once the first digit is “6″. That worked well enough until Reid started at her new school. At her old school, the kids had a quiet/nap time every afternoon between 12:30 and 2:00. This is the same time, more or less, that she is at her new school. I don’t think Reid was sleeping most days but she seems to have needed the downtime, given how tired she is in the afternoon and evening. We’ve been putting her to bed earlier but she hasn’t been falling asleep much earlier. It’s that whole leading a horse to water thing but with sleep. Because Reid is blessed/cursed with the same internal clock as me, she wakes up at close to the same time every day. This is incredibly annoying when she hasn’t had enough sleep (and, incidentally, when I wake when still tired). I’ve started covering the clock with a pillow so that she won’t be able to glance over and know that it is morning. If Reid is willing to go to the effort of moving the pillow, I decide that sleep is too far gone. But really, who thought teaching her to tell time was a good idea?

Times they are a’changing

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Reid went to her new daycare and school on Monday. She was much more calm about the change than I was feeling (but I don’t think she knew I was worried).

There are a couple of girls in her class at daycare who were in her Kindermusik class in the fall. There is also a girl named H, who was eager to befriend Reid when we went for the “get to know you” visit. H told us when we were first introduced that her name wasn’t spelled the way it sounded, and then proceeded to provide the correct spelling. It’s obviously the sort of thing she is used to having to explain. Reid should get used to doing that, too, since whoever labelled her cubby and other things reversed the “ei” in her name.

When we asked Reid about her first day of school, she said, “It was great!” She talked happily about taking the bus twice each day but didn’t offer details on the rest of the day. She had told Ken that she got off the bus and went straight to the JK/SK play yard and that was a great way to start her time at Le Phare (the lighthouse). Reid didn’t know the names of any of the kids in her class. Ken pressed for just one name but Reid was stumped. It doesn’t seem to bother her not to know the names of the other kids. She refers to them as “friends” and that is enough until she has heard their names enough from other people to learn them herself.

Each day since, Reid has cheerfully gone off to the new daycare and school. I’m so happy that she didn’t have the trouble she had when she started at the Academy. I guess I’d forgotten about Mean M having such an important role in the trouble. Or maybe the important difference is that Ken is here and the only changes are away from home.

Things to learn

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Reid asked me to bring my “big camera” (DSLR) camera with me to her dance recital last Friday. On the way to camp, she asked if I also had my “little camera” (point-and-shoot). Since I did, she asked to use it and was talking to me about a couple of the different settings on the dials and buttons and then said, “You’re teaching me about this camera, right?” I agreed that I was. Reid added, “Once I’ve learned it, you’ll give it to me and it will be mine, right?” I compromised with a “I’ll let you use it more,” but I think Reid might have heard, “Yes.” She smiled like I had agreed.

On the way into hockey on Saturday morning, Reid was asking why we’d put the summer tires on the car even though it was only spring. I told her that we had changed the winter tires for “all season tires”, that there were only the two kinds. Reid insisted on the existence of summer tires and, as I was explaining that the tires were for spring, summer and fall – all the seasons except winter. A couple of the parents looked at me strangely. I was tempted to say that I hadn’t started the discussion but I was too busy having the discussion.

And with talk of winter tires, I’ll take your help ensuring that Mother Nature doesn’t punish me with a winter storm for acting too hastily, especially with our Easter trip ahead of us. I think of this, especially, since Reid cried when she had to get on the school bus at noon yesterday. I’d hate to jinx myself twice in two days.

Dance camp

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Reid attended dance camp for her March Break. I almost signed her up for a sport and swim camp but, as I stood at the registration counter, the mom of one of Reid’s friends hurried over to say that A was signed up for dance camp. Reid immediately began hopping up and down, asking to go to dance camp. She’s not affected by peer pressure at all!

When I dropped Reid off the first day, I asked the very young woman who seemed to be in charge for her name since she hadn’t introduced herself and I was leaving my dear, sweet daughter in her care. She told me that her name was “Woolly Mammoth” and that the other camp counselor was “Ursula”, like in The Little Mermaid. I have two thoughts on this:
1. I imagine that they adopt funny aliases to please the kids but it doesn’t instill much confidence in me, as a parent, to leave my child with a stranger who provides only an alias.
2. If you have to choose an alias, wouldn’t you choose one with good connotations? I haven’t ever watched all of The Little Mermaid but I have the impression Ursula is “bad” from what I have seen. Side note: I’m glad Reid is not interested in Disney Princesses.

Reid’s day at camp included an hour in the swimming pool and 50 minutes on the ice. I’m super-happy with the arrangement. On Tuesday morning, I noticed a gigantic bruise on the inside of Reid’s knee. I asked what had happened. She explained that A doesn’t skate that well and had held onto Reid for support and, of course, the two of them had fallen quite dramatically. Since Reid hadn’t complained the night before, I knew she wasn’t hurt badly but as soon as I asked about it, Reid started to hobble. She found the golf club that she uses for a cane and walked carefully downstairs. Reid has obviously been watching Grandma Joyce on her sore days.

I picked up a cd from the library – They Might be Giants’ *Here Comes Science* – and we were listening on the way to camp. The first song starts with:
Science is real
From the Big Bang to DNA
Science is real
From evolution to the Milky Way

And goes on to say that the singer likes stories about angels, unicorns and elves but that for knowledge, facts are with science. I have a friend, the one who told me about the cd, who doesn’t like the message of this first song but I thought it was a good way of promoting science.

There is also a song called *Meet the Elements” and, at one point, they sing about how elephants, houses, etcetera are all made of elements. Reid asked me if that was true and I said it was. She had more questions and, frankly, on a good day I’d have trouble answering questions about elements on a good day and Tuesday morning was not a good one. I’d had only 4.5 hours of sleep. Fortunately, Reid understands that when you’re sick your brain doesn’t work very well and she didn’t press. I’m still hoping that Ken is the parent-in-charge when Reid remembers her questions.

Reid broke her glasses on Wednesday. The supervisor explained that Reid had been attempting a cartwheel and fallen mid turn. Reid’s version stated that she had been *doing* a cartwheel. Truthfully, Reid’s cartwheels are more like round-offs than cart wheels. In any case, she ended up with scrapes on the side of her face from the hinges of the glasses and a leg that didn’t attach to the rest of the glasses. I had the opportunity to be grateful for her spare glasses since the eye glass boutique at Loblaws didn’t have her frames in stock.

The kids – all girls but one – put on a dance show for their parents on Friday afternoon. The lead counselor explained that the theme was “Dance through the Ages” and that the kids were less keen on the classic music. Then, she said that they would start with the 80s and work forward. 80s music is “classic”?! The littlest girls danced to the “Move it” song – which I really don’t know but strongly doubt it was an 80s song and everyone danced together to “Beat it” and each child had a turn breakdancing in the centre of the circle. I felt ever-so-old. At the end of the performance, Reid came over to collect her flower. She’d asked if I’d be getting her something, since Ken has established a “flowers after a performance” tradition and so I sprang for a wooden whirly-gig flower at the Dollar Store. Reid’s smile was worth every penny of the $1.50 I paid for it.

At the end of the performance, Reid put on her pink-with-multi-coloured-polka-dots, which went nicely with the black body suit and pale pink dance skirt she was wearing, and led the way to the café for slushies. Not everyone could have carried the outfit off but Reid has that je ne sais quoi that lets her.

Happy St Patrick’s Day from the Tattooed Lady – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

St Patrick’s Day Tattoes

View More Wordless Wednesday Participants, look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries, or check out the cute babies and kids at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Music in the dark

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Reid woke yesterday morning in the middle of a dream about her glockenspiel. She was explaining about forte (loud) and piano (quiet) sounds and woke in the middle of the sentence. Without missing a beat – couldn’t resist the pun – Reid continued, telling me that the bars on the glockenspiel weren’t different just because they each have a different letter on them. “The low notes are from longer bars,” she said, “and the high notes are on short ones.” I knew all of this, learned it only since Reid started playing a glockenspiel but still.

Reid loves teaching things and her Kindermusik class is giving her lots of opportunities lately. Her homework this week was to play an 8-note melody and to help Ken and me to do the same thing. We needed to play, A, C and D in the right sequence to sound like part of “Lucy Locket”. Reid’s glockenspiel has the note name engraved on the key but the music sheet on which the melody is written (obviously) does not. I recognize C, since that is written on the staff, but I didn’t know whether the A and D were above or below the C. Reid knew, though, and happily told me. When it comes to reading music, I have only vague memories of grade 5 and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Reid showed Ken how to play the melody, offering lots of encouragement along the way. She also explained that you can “erase” a musical error with a glissando. I don’t know if that is Reid’s rule or her teacher’s but it’s a beautiful way to restart.

In Kindermusik today, the teacher brought the rhythm bars, which we’ve only called ti-ti and ta, together with the note heads to be full-fledged notes. It was terribly exciting in a geeky, hoping my kid will actually understand music, kind of way. Reid now has her first song to learn from start to finish – all six half-notes and two full-notes of it.

Go, Canada. Go!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Reid, Ken and I watched the Canada-USA hockey game together after supper last night. Reid is usually able to pay attention to the first period and half of the second and so we decided that watching it off the pvr would work out best. She had a little more interest in last night’s game but was playing mini-sticks by the time the third period was one. Unfortunately for us, the mini-sticks arena was located between the couch where Ken and I were sitting and the tv. I didn’t think to say, “Hey, Reid, you make a better door than a window,” but I’m sure Poppa Howard would have said it.

At one point, Reid was cheering for Princess, “Go, Canny. Go!” I asked her if Grandma Joyce had told her about me cheering like that when I was a baby. Reid couldn’t remember the story and so I told about how I’d been about a year old when the Canada-USSR Summit Series was on and I couldn’t say, “Canada” properly and so cheered, “Go, Canny. Go!” Reid grinned and I felt ever-so-Canadian.

As the game passed and then was tied, we worried if we would have the end, since the recording had stopped at 6:00. Finally, though, Sidney Crosby scored and we had at least 6 minutes left on the recording. Reid insisted on watching the teams shake hands but we were ready to go up to bed at 7:15. I was glad Crosby was the one to score since he is the only player whose name Reid recognizes because she got a puzzle with him on it at the Timbits Jamboree on Saturday.

This morning, Reid was dozing in bed when the sports announcer mentioned Canada’s gold medal in men’s hockey and said that fans in Ottawa had walked down Elgin to Parliament Hill, cheering and singing O Canada. Reid perked up and started to sing O Canada herself. Remember how I said I felt Canadian telling about my cheering in 1972, it was doubly-so when Reid sang our national anthem in her little girl voice before it was even dawn.