Archive for the ‘Kindermusik’ Category

How Reid can turn a trip to the library into an adventure

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Reid and I went to the library after Kindermusik this morning. It started with a bit of suspense. “Us go to library in front of fwiming?” Reid asked. I told her we were going to the one with the fountain (that I didn’t let her play in or watch that one Saturday when I had pneumonia and was barely able to drag myself and the books out to the car). “Ahh,” Reid said, “the grey one.” You could almost here her say, “mystery solved.” She brings such a sense of wonder to life.

Once to the building, Reid got to push the disabled access buttons to open the doors, always a treat. Then, we noticed that one gate has a red circle with a white line through it and the other has a blue circle with a white error. So, I explained the do not enter universal symbol and answered the inevitable why with reference to red meaning stop which, thankfully, Reid knows and didn’t question. As soon as we got into the library proper, Reid was talking about pushing the “elebator” button to go to the kids’ section.  As her luck is good, Reid was able to reach the “L” button (for Aunt Lisa) and so got us to where we needed to go. Reid chose some books from the new book shelf, an exciting prospect, even though the vast majority of the books in that building are new to us. Next, we went to look at the carpet that has the alphabet on it (seems most branches in Ottawa have this sort of carpet) and we had time to find the “R”, “M” and “D” before the reading circle started. Reid isn’t keen on this group and so went to choose some books. She likes to sit on the miniature couch and read some books and so we read Where’s Spot by Eric Hill a couple of times and also a book about a milkshake. There is a giant red spotted hippopotamus that is good for squeezing and laying upon and Reid did both while I looked at some of the books that I’d grabbed off of the shelves. Sometimes I don’t check them and I suspect Ken think I’m a little bit nutty at some of the books I bring home. When I’m selecting purely on the cover and spine, odd choices are made. There are also a couple of cushion or mat things that are of the same material as the high jump mats we had for track and field at school. The triangle is red and and the square is blue, both details are noted and discussed by Miss Reid. The two can be pushed together to make a slide. The square is good for jumping, to Reid’s way of thinking, though Mama the worrywart says words like “careful” and “gentle”. After a bit, Reid was off to the computer – Reid hasn’t seen a computer that she didn’t want to use – and then she discovered some paper and a pen on the same desk, or perhaps she remembered they would be ther, and she made some letters. After a while, it was time to checkout. The library has a self-checkout with a stool up to it and Reid helped me for a couple of books and then shooed me away so that she could sign the books out herself. Each book involved happy confirmation that she had it properly oriented, “this way, Mama!” and then, “I did it!” when she heard the clunk sound that meant the book had been checked out (and, I think, the security deactivated).

As we left the library, we stopped to look at the stones in the fountain. Some little boy climbed up next to Reid and splashed her. Was she ever outraged! I’m not sure whether it was the surprise of the water hitting her or the indignation that I had told her that she couldn’t put her hands in the water and then “dat boy” splashed her. We moved away and I relaxed my rule a bit, once she pushed up her sleeves, and she splashed a bit herself. She made faces and told me things and pretended to splash me. Time passes quickly when you’re observing rocks and ripples. We took a quick look at some photos of places in China that were on display in the foyer but they were set up on tippy, long-legged easels that were making me nervous. Besides, we’d spent nearly an hour and half there and we had to get to McDonald’s for “hambidurs” and chocolate milk before nap time.

Reid fell asleep in the car, one bite shy of finishing her hamburger. The trip to the library was a big adventure and wore her out.

Books we read, January 27th

Monday, January 29th, 2007

We started our day with My Beautiful Child by Lisa Desimini and illustrated by Matt Mahurin, a beautiful book with a lovely story that Amanda gave us in May 2004 and Where’s That Cat? by Eve Merriam. Once downstairs, we read:

  • Mealtime for Zoo Animals by Caroline Arnold, which offers photographs of zoo animals and text that tells what they eat;
  • Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, a book with opposites and juxtapositions and bright illustrations;  and
  • Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems, twice before 9:00 am. We read this book a few months ago but it didn’t seem to appeal at the time but the story about the little girl who lacks the words to tell her daddy what has happened to her toy now resonates.

After Kindermusik, Reid and I went to the Centrepointe Library – it’s bigger, newer and in a better neighbourhood than our library. They have a family storytime that Reid and I have tried twice but each time she has wanted to leave within the first couple of pages. I don’t know why. She sits for circle time at daycare and loves books when we read at home and when Shannon reads at Kindermusik. It’s not a big deal, just a puzzle to me. We chose a whole bunch of books – two bags full – and three videos and checked out. There is a fountain in the lobby that Reid wanted to look at closely. I was only barely standing upright. I thought that the antibiotics were making headway against my pneumonia but between Kindermusik and the library, I knew that I was far from better. Reid had all of the energy a two year-old should have and I was far below the level of what I needed. Reid was insisting I tell her about the rocks and water and the ins and outs of them. I was ready to stomp my feet and cry to get her to leave. Instead, I explained enough to get her moving and we went to the car. We ate hamburgers from McDonald’s on the way home so that we were ready for our nap as soon as we got home.

 Over the afternoon and evening, we read:


Kindermusik starts up again

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Saturday was the first day of Kindermusik this term. There were quite a few new people and so during our hello song, Shannon had us introduce ourselves as well as our kids. This was a first. Turns out Maddie’s father, who we’ve seen weekly since September 2005, is named Peter. I tried hard to focus on the other adults’ names but only managed to catch two others – both of kids whose names I already knew. So, three down and nine to go. I doubt I’ll make any progress. Names aren’t my strong suit and introducing myself to people is even less so. Still, it was nice to hear that these other folks have names other than “Maddie’s dad”, etc. All of the Dale Carnegie success story-types will know my name and I’ll just fake it. The title of this class is “Fiddle-dee-dee”, the carrier is a a cardboard dog house, which Reid is enamoured of but won’t last long if we actually use it as a carrier, and her instrument is fiddle sticks. Fiddle sticks are a cross between shakers and rhythm sticks and so they make good noise. We sang a song that requires the kids drop to the ground and roll over like dogs at a few points and a blues version of “This old man”. It is starting off as another fun session. Reid was pretty relaxed, which is nice, as she sometimes finds new people a little challenging and the class has about 10 kids plus parents.

Have a good, snowy (finally!) day.

Santa breakfast

Monday, December 11th, 2006

My indoctrination of Reid continued on Saturday as we attended a Santa breakfast at the church where Kindermusik is normally held. As we were leaving straight from there, Ken ws lucky enough to join us. There was a Brownie troop to serve us our sausages, pancakes and scrambled eggs and juice boxes and clementines on the tables. Reid, not surprisingly, went through her eggs and some of Ken’s, ate most of her sausage (it is meat after all) but wasn’t keen on the pancakes. I don’t think Ken is a fan of them either and so we have to acknowledge she comes by it honestly. After we ate, there was a sing-a-long that included a song about a reindeer named Pablo from Mexico. We had been practicing that one over the last few classes but Reid wasn’t interested in doing the actions with all of the people watching. I’m pretty sure she gets that from her dad, too. There were also a couple of guys singing various songs, including that Harry Chapin song about “Flowers and red and green leaves are green” which seemed more than a little out of place (plus I find it terribly depressing). They redeemed themselves with “Thank God for kids” which made me cry and snuggle Reid. The stars were aligned and so she allowed the snuggling. Finally, Santa arrived. He handed out loot bags (sounds awful but that’s what they called it) without any requirement for Reid to get closer than arms length. She ate one candy and hasn’t asked about the other treats again. I think it was her favourite Santa-encounter so far.

Volunteer opportunities for a two-year old

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I wonder if the local old folks home has a program for volunteer toddlers – like candy stripers in hospitals but for the younger set. I think there’s a market. On Saturday, we had our Kindermusik class in a retirement home as the church where we usually meet was having their Christmas bazaar. This happened last year as well and so I knew what to expect. We sat in our circle in the common room and the residents sat on chairs and couches around the perimeter. Sometimes they sang along, sometimes they waved but always they watched the children. Men and women both came and seemed to enjoy the process equally.

With everything else going on in our lives, it seems silly to think about adding weekly visits to a retirement home but wouldn’t Reid benefit from thos extra Grandmas and Grandpas? I’ll let you know what happens.

Princess Chicken

Monday, October 30th, 2006

There is a story on the back of Starbucks cups about how people speak of conquering mountains but really the mountain lets us climb to the peak in the end.

On Saturday morning as we left the house, Reid dressed as a princess for the Kindermusik party, Reid noticed the chicken costume in her stroller where I’d put it to take back to the store. She exclaimed (yes, exclaimed, not merely said), “Chicken doat” and wouldn’t wear her purple coat that Ken offered but insisted on the chicken coat. And so, Reid was a Princess Chicken for the Kindermusik class. I thought, for a moment, I won! And then I thought of that Starbucks cup and realized my mountain hadn’t changed (or at least not beacuse of me).

Reid was a hit at Kindermusik, both in her chicken coat and as a princess. She wore her tiara and “glass” slippers and carried her sceptre from Melissa and Peter and the kids with regal grace. There were cute pumpkins and frogs and Woody from Toy Story and also some other animals. My mama-heart went out to the lady who sat next to us whose son wouldn’t put on his costume, not even the hat. I told her about Reid wearing a dress-up dress rather than the costume I bought. I hope it helped as she seemed self-conscious that Malcolm wasn’t in costume. He is a generally shy kid, though, but sweet when he warms up.

After class, I changed Reid into jeans and a couple shirts, including her “Ghoul power” t-shirt, and she happily put her chicken coat back on. When we got to the Agricultural Museum, I said she needed her orange pants (the chicken legs and feet) for warmth, which was true. She put them on without a word. I felt like doing a victory dance. We got some good photos that I’ll send later and had fun seeing the animals and doing a couple of crafts. The oddest costume we saw was worn by one of the staff who had on pink pants, a pink shirt with two rows of four bottle nipples down the front, and a snout. We saw one other Old Navy chicken and some ladies in the colouring room asked where Reid’s costume was from. Wet and cold, at least Ken and I were, we headed to the car with Reid clutching the apple juice can we purchased about 90 minutes after arriving. I thought the allure of the can had to do with Daddy’s Coke cans but when I realized it was 12:15 and she wanted to nurse when we got to the car, I decided her tummy was probably rumbly, too. I guess the two jack o’lantern cookies at Kindermusik didn’t have enough stick-to-your-ribs power.

Reid fell asleep nursing and then Ken and I went to Lick’s for lunch. I braved the wind and rain to get our scrumptious hamburgers and fries and we pretended we were at a crowded (but quiet) restaurant and ate and talked. Kinda nice, actually.

Just before supper, I bundled Reid back into her chicken costume and we headed out before we left, though, Ken said “Are you going to get your picture taken?” To quote Homer Simpson , “D’oh” I said and as Reid started to pull off her chicken coat, I LIED and said, “No, we’re goung to buy a balloon”. Once we got to the grocery store, I had to come through with the balloon but Reid didn’t fuss in the portrait studio, at least. She was pretty reticent with her smiles, though. Her expression was sort of pleasant, in a humouring the child sort of way. But then the photographer brought out Dora and Reid smiled a real smile and so we left the portait studio for another month. I thought I was being organized and asked about an appointment for November to get Christmas card photos done. There were no morning slots for Saturday or Sunday for the last week of November or the first week of December. Yikes! It’ll be another before supper adventure, I guess.

Okay, gotta go. Have a great day!

On the road again

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

After Kindermusik on Saturday, we once again hopped on the highway, this time destined for Trenton. The weather was fabulous – sunny and warm – and the trees along the highway were gorgeous – with reds, yellows, oranges and greens (and brown, as Reid pointed out but I was trying to be poetic) – and the sleeping was good, too. Ken said the traffic and construction were a challenge but I wouldn’t know about that. Reid slept from just after the rest stop where we had lunch until we got off the highway. She prefers to sleep at high speed, I guess.

We spent the afternoon with Grandpa Keith and Granny Rhonda. We enjoyed the sun and warmth on their deck and in the backyard for quite some time but even Reid and I weren’t brave enough to try the pool. Ken snuck away to take a nap for a bit and I didn’t blame him. I fell asleep about 8:00 Thursday and Friday nights last week but he didn’t even get home until after 10:00 on Thursday.  Reid helped Granny make a pie and a salad with dressing from scratch while I tried to dig out some of the stuff from our car. It looked as though we were still in the middle of a road trip (which we kind of are) but it was even bad enough to bother me. Imagine how bad that has to have been! Grandpa had grown some yellow tomatoes in his garden and Reid was bold enough to ask for one (and then another). I found it disconcerting that they were yellow like apples but tasted like tomatoes. Reid liked their taste, too, but also their yellowness. After supper, Reid shared some of her instruments and played harmonica with Grandpa and showed how the shaker egg, bells and harmonica worked but not when I tried to get her to something in particular. Ken pointed out she isn’t a trained animal and with our cats as role models, she never will be.

We got to Grandma Barb and Uncle Terry’s about 7:00 and Reid walked in like she owned the place. I’m so pleased that she has this outgoing nature. Grandma Barb was busily finishing up getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not easy working and hosting family meals but Grandma does it anyway. As soon as it was time to dishes, a task I am qualified for (thanks, Mom), I bossily sent Grandma to play with Reid and I started washing the dishes. Grandpa Terry dried and we were soon done. Reid and Grandma built a big tower. Grandma was impressed to see what a good job Reid does at building towers since she had specialized for so long at knocking them down. I gave them a big pad of paper to draw on and Reid chose a page near the middle (the first page was too obvious, I guess) and had me put Grandma’s name on the facing page and so there may have been a method to her madness. Reid found many pencils to draw with and used them one after another in rapid succession since she isn’t usually allowed to use pencils, until Grandma charmed her out of them.  Once their pictures were done, Reid chose some books – okay, Reid started emptying the toy/book bag and after 10 or more books were on the floor, Ken took the bag away and Reid chose books from what was on the floor – and Grandma read to her until it was time for bed. We headed for bed about 9:00 and Reid was asleep very quickly and slept til 8:15 and is ready for another busy day.

The tools of the (baking) trade and Kindermusik

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Reid and I made apple crisp on Saturday morning when we first got up. As I’ve said before, Reid likes to dump the ingredients into the bowl but this time she wanted to get the flour, sugar, etc out of the container and into the measuring cup. In addition to her growing desire to take over the world, she has decided that the scoops in the container are shovels. She is a specialist with shovels, you know, and so I heard, “Reid shobel” many times and my floor got a bit messier than is usual when we bake (and that is pretty messy :+) and Reid wielded the scoop.

We left the apple crisp in the oven and headed to Kindermusik. I thought Ken’s nose would lead him to it but he ate oatmeal instead.

We made it to Kindermusik on time this week, though we were late enough we had to join the circle where the teacher sits. Which is a positive thing for Reid as she loves watching Shannon but the parents seem to want to be “cool kids” and sit at the back of the class. Reid got to choose the first song we sang – “Wheels on the bus”, of course – and she did all of the actions about a half inch above her legs (she was sitting on my crossed legs) and in a very small space. She didn’t seem want to draw attention to herself but she did want to participate. As we sang “Old MacDonalds’s farm” and “Twinkle, twinkle” her actions got bigger. She marched in the circle and danced and really enjoyed the class. On the way home, she was starting to drift off and so I played a particularly upbeat song that she likes and encouraged her to do the actions. Her movements got more and more lethergic and in slow-motion but she managed the full song before falling asleep between tracks.

Road trip to Grandmama’s

Monday, September 18th, 2006

On Saturday, we headed to Kindermusik – I wish I could say, “bright and early” but we were running a bit late as we started. Very soon after we hit the highway, we were in stop-and-go traffic. Did I mention that I was the reason we were late? Finally, we got off the highway for a couple of exits and then got back on. I don’t know if it actually saved time but at least we were moving. We were 20 minutes late for a 45 minute class and Reid had fallen asleep on the drive but she perked up and sang and did actions as soon as we arrived. I think that the summer made a big difference in her comfort level. After class, she gave Ken some cuddles and climbed into her seat with her new bag, books and instrument. The theme this session is “Milk and Cookies”. We’ll have to try some of the cookie recipes. The instrument is a rosewood xylophone that is arranged in a circle around  a base (looks a bit like a large can) with a small wooden spoon. Reid can “stir” and make some nice music.

Reid and I slept for a good chunk of the drive. I wasn’t going to sleep but it seemed to help Reid fall asleep so I made the sacrifice :+) Ken said he saw a bunch of police cars with people pulled over but I’ve never seen such a thing on Highway 7. Maybe he was hallucinating.

Arriving in Marmora, Reid woke up when the car was shut off. We walked to the cemetary to see Ken’s grandfather and we talked a bit about Grandpapa. I’m not sure what Reid understood about what was happening but then I’m often not sure what she is thinking.

We had a great visit with Grandmama. She had  all of Reid’s favourite things – meat, eggs, cheese and bread. Reid is a girl of simple tastes. Plus since it was Grandmama’s house, with Grandmama’s rules, Reid was allowed to cut her own slice of bread. Very cool if you’re two! I suggested that Reid, Grandmama and Ken go outside while I tidied up. Reid said, “No, Daddy tidy up” (which is how it goes at our house). Ken agreed to the revised plan and we ladies went out to the patio/lawn. Reid loves the backyard at Grandmama’s – there are little birdhouses in the flowerbed, a small chair at the neighbour’s to play with and a big yard to run around on (important after a 3 hour drive). This trip she found a bird bath, a chipmunk and some crows. With Ken snoozing in his chair, we decided to take Grandmama and go to the park. What a park! There was a structure that looked like a slide but it was moulded plastic and had bumps for climbing; this seemed a good idea to me since even Reid has started wanting to climb the slide.’s sloped part. There was a merry-go-round and a teeter-totter – neither of which I’ve seen in ages and they’re probably not considered safe but I stayed real close and Reid enjoyed both. At first I rode the merry-go-round but I got too dizzy. Not Reid, she is made of sterner stuff. They had the usual climbing structure with a couple of slides plus two other slides. Reid hesitated at the top of one slide and when I went to investigate she pointed and said “puddle”. I, with my poor sense of space, said, “Don’t worry, I’ll help” and sat her of the edge of the slide and out of the puddle – or maybe not since her shorts were wet when she got to the bottom :+) Grandmama bought us a popsicle to share, just the sort of thing Grandmama’s are famous for. I’m not sure if Reid had ever had a popsicle with us before. If not, I’m glad her first was banana since it’s my favourite. She has had fudgesicle-type creamy things, maybe they count as popsicles.

We left after about 4 hours and had a relatively uneventful ride – except for the potty break request at 100 km/hour. I think it’s actually easier to find a place to stop on the 401 with all its exits than on Highway 7. We stopped at Arby’s for supper (I can’t remember seeing one north of Leamington) where Reid fell in love with my strawberry shake – nothing but health food for her. After chatting instead of falling asleep for far too long, Reid gave up when I pretended to go to sleep. Again I sacrificed!

We made it home after about 12 hours, tired and happy.