Monday, February 18, 2013

44 Valentines Later....

I think if America altered the way school children celebrated Valentines Day then we might be halfway towards solving this global warming problem. Nothing says no to that third child more than the idea of crafting 66 + valentines instead of a paltry 44. And nothing says waste of resources more than throwing away 44 handcrafted valentines within minutes of them being strip-mined for candy by your children. Because of course 'no child left behind' really means that every kid has to get a valentine. If you haven't started on your 2014 valentines yet, then you are way behind.

At first I was aiming to get all 'Pinterest Mum' with these deceptively simple treats:

After all, even I've discovered the proper way to melt a bit of chocolate (here's the wrong way) and learned that 'cocktail sticks' are called 'party picks' in American grocery stores. This would be something a little bit different. Fun.

Well, I started off with Lucy, because even though she has fewer children in her preschool, some of them have quite pretentious ambitious names and it's hard work sitting with a 4 year old while she painstakingly prints 'To Aloysius Love Lucy' and then cries 'Momma I'm done with my Valumtimes' and you have to coerce 'just another seventeen to go, my dove!' Plus, quick as a flash while I escaped the Valentines gulag to print off Anna's second grade class list - this happened:

Lucy had taped all her completed Valentines to a piece of paper and then taped them all to the wall. Why??? And when Lucy tapes something, she doesn't do it by halves. Those hearts were on that wall in perpetuity. Redoing them, slapping them on a cocktail stick, putting the cocktail stick in a marshmallow, dipping the marshmallow in chocolate and then dipping the chocolate in sprinkles, and then repeating for Anna's class was just more than I could bear.

So for the first time I bought ready-made cards (you're Dino-mite friend!!), and even though we lost some to Lucy suddenly writing in cyrillic, we got through it. Of course the girls had brilliant fun, they want to do it all again, right now. Plus, they did get some genuinely sweet cards like this one received by Anna that gives me hope that she's not the marginalized nerd misunderstood bookworm her mother was.

As a result, I have to know America - at what point does the whole-class valentine routine end? I can't imagine they still do it in High School. I know a lot of stuff goes on in our local High School (most of the detritus of which washes up in our back garden), but I doubt they are sending fishbowl shaped 'so glad you are in my school!' cards aged 16. Middle School? 4th Grade? Is there an end in sight?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lucy Takes On Grammar And Wins

Thank you for your kind comments. You lot rock. It was a busy Christmas. My Mum and Dad flew out for a month to help look after the girls for the Christmas break, and then at the last minute LK's Mum and friend announced they would be there too, for the exact same month. Whether by accident or design it made for a busy few weeks.

It has seemed very quiet ever since, and that's with Anna rocking Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' at the top of her lungs at every available moment. Lucy on the other hand has decided to master the enigma of reading. She is constantly sounding out words, like 'f-f-fart' and 'c-c-sea otter'. I think it would be easier for the world to just call it a cea otter than challenge Lucy on her phonetic logic, especially as she's trying so d-d-damn hard. She's also in the thick of that lovely little kid phase where if they come across an unknown word, they try to cram a known word in to it to make sense, hence a sea (sorry, cea) anemone becomes a sea enemy, and Kingston's Candy Company becomes 'Kingston's Candy Come-to-me'. Can't argue with that.

Last night she crept in to our room and declared that Anna needed some medicine.

"Does she have a cough?" I asked (knowing full well that Anna's tuberculin death-rattle was keeping Lucy awake in their shared room).

"No Momma, she doesn't have a cough" replied Lucy "she has lots of them".

Take that English language.