Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If only you could bottle it

After Back Seat Girl's last gymnastics class, Driver and I decided to enroll her again for the spring session. Before I go any further, I want to say this: "Spring session"? Who are they kidding? Why don't they just go ahead and be honest and call it the "Last part of winter where you want to curl up and die" session?

Anyway, we were the only people who signed up for the pre-beginner 3 year old class. They offered to let me into the class that's a step up for the same price as the pre-beginners, and though I was a bit nervous we showed up Monday night to see how it would go. BSG was in her leotard with pants and boots on, ready for some gymnastics action.

Well, after waiting for half an hour at the gym for the class I thought BSG was going to be in to start at 5 it turns out that the next class up that was being offered this session is actually the beginner 1 class for 5-7 year olds who have passed all of the pre-beginner classes. It runs from 5:30-6:30, a half an hour longer than her other class. I don't think I saw BSG do anything other than heavily assisted front and back rolls on inclined mats in the last class. Well, I guess they did do some walking on the low beam while holding the instructor's hand, but still. When I was shown the class she would be in I almost got up and left. The only thing that stopped me was the look on BSG's face. She wanted to go so bad. I was told to stay and let BSG observe the class with me.

People started filing into the gym and I looked around. BSG, who is already small for her age, was tiny compared with the girls I saw around me. We walked in and she saw the girls who were ready with the instructors on the floor doing warm-up excercises. Poeple were still arriving as the instructors (all high-school girls) started to explain the rules of the gym to the seated class. BSG watched them and started asking if she could take off her pants and boots and join them. I knew there was no way she would be content to sit and watch with Back Seat Boy and I, so I let her strip down to her leotard.

As soon as her clothes were off, she started running. I stopped her and said "[BSG], if you feel like you don't like it and want to stop you can come and sit with me and watch, it's OK". She turned around and said "OK, mommy, but I think I will like gymnastics class a lot" and ran, without any hesitation, out onto the floor with her blonde ponytail bobbing and sat down in the midst of a group of girls, none of whom she'd ever met before, who were all at least 2 years older and much bigger than her, and started listening to the instructors. I sat BSB down and took off his jacket, and whispered into his ear "She's so small". At first my heart hurt a bit to watch her. I wanted to have her sit with me so I could protect her, because I don't ever want her to feel like she's the worst at something, to have such an unfair disadvantage to these girls, because really, do any of us ever want to see our children hurt or disappointed?

After a while, though, I realized something. When do we lose that confidence? That complete lack of self-consciousness. When do we get the fear that maybe we won't be good at something, that maybe we'll be the worst at something, that maybe we'll make huge fools of ourselves in front of a bunch of strangers? I know that it will happen someday to BSG. Some day she will be afraid to try something or go somewhere because maybe she doesn't know how? Or she doesn't know anyone! Or she might get embarrassed! That thought makes me sad, because I see how she is now, and I always want her to have that confidence. I guess it's my job to make sure she retains as much of her can-do attitude, her confidence, her lack of self-consciousness as she possibly can.

It turns out that they allow two levels to have class at the same time and are split up according to age. BSG and one other little girl are the only level ones in class right now, and they have two instructors dedicated to teach level one, which means basically one on one instruction. BSG had a GREAT time. I am no longer allowed to watch, which means next week I will be dropping her off for an hour with only the supervision of a bunch of teenage girls. You know what, though? I'm pretty sure she can handle it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Winona, MN

This past weekend Driver and I went down to Winona, where we attended college at Winona State University from 1994-1999 collectively. The one thought that kept crossing our minds while we walked around on campus was why all of the college students keep getting younger while we don't age. I felt a little better when I came to the realization that the people we kept seeing on campus were most likely freshman and sophomores, since upper classmen tend to live off campus in crappy old houses that probably used to be really amazing but are now chopped up into five seperate apartments.

We had a really good time, mainly because we had nothing to do all day Saturday except make sure we got to "A Praire Home Companion" on time. We slept in, went out for coffee, walked around campus, went to one of our favorite places for lunch, and killed the afternoon by driving around, walking around the lake, and going to one of our favorite bars for happy hour.

The one thing we were really disappointed in was the fact that many of the buildings on campus were locked. We were able to get into Kryzko commons but that was about it. We noticed that they had keypads near the doors and at one point saw two poeple enter the science building with a key, but other than that we could only look in with our noses pressed against the glass. In 2004 they opened a brand-new science center and we had to miss the open house they had. We were really looking forward to seeing it considering the building we had our science classes in was built in, I don't know, maybe the 60s? And man, it hadn't changed AT ALL. Imagine our grand disappointment when we realized the building was locked. We looked longingly in and when our eyes adjusted and we could see past our reflections in the window we realized there were two students at a table looking back at us.

Pasteur Hall, the science building Driver and I spent a lot of time as students. There used to be a street in front of the building and there was always this really nice red Chevette--that's right, a Chevette, parked out front. I also once pantsed Driver on those steps there, something he will never let me forget.

Here is Driver looking longlingly into the new Science Laboratory Center. I bet when we were students there we never would have wanted to get in as badly as we did this weekend.

I have a few other pictures and anecdotes to post, but the whole time I've been typing this I've been ignoring the sounds of Back Seat boy in his room, talking and banging on the wall after his not even one hour nap. I'm not happy about that, because I know he'll be horribly cranky tonight and won't understand it at all when I tell him that if he had just taken a decent nap this afternoon his outlook on life would be SO MUCH BETTER.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The McAghon's Were An Interesting Bunch

We've all heard about the murder, but what about the yachtsman, the policeman, the labor mediator and the woman's field hockey superstar sisters from the 30's. They were all McAghons. I've known about the New York Times archive for awhile now but haven't searched it. I has some time over lunch and took a look. Here are some of the articles that I was able to save, the rest I had to pay for. There were a ton of articles that I couldn't save regarding the McAghon Sisters field hockey stardom in New York City and Justin McAghon, the well respected labor negotiator and Catholic Layman.

Here are links to some of the articles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This is the year she realizes how far north we really live

Back Seat Girl announced she was "Sick of being cold" after she walked out to the car to go to daycare this morning.

On our way home this afternoon she started naming off all of the things she could do when it is summer again:
"Wear tank tops!"
"Wear shorts!"
"Wear flip flops!"
"Walk barefoot outside!"

The poor girl. We have weeks upon weeks of this left. I can't even tell her how many 'dark naps' and 'light naps' there will be. Too many to count. She's bumming me out.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A tiny giant

Today Back Seat Boy decided he would try to get inside the small play tent we bought the kids for Christmas.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Because I'm not good at keeping baby books

Some of the things Back Seat Girl has said to/asked us in the last week or so:

"What happens to your bones when you have diarrhea?"

"Why did God make people?"

"What happens to your brain when you are sick?"

"When my next tooth comes in it will be shaped like a tube. Yea, like poop."

We are teaching her to play Uno:
Driver: "I don't have a two or a yellow card so I have to..."
BSG: "Here, I have a two!!"

Driver: "I'm all out of cards, I wo..."
BSG (handing over her cards): "Here, I have these cards left."

We are downstairs, I'm pretending to be her baby, she walks up to her play kitchen:
"I have to cook supper now. Supper isn't going to cook itself!"

"What happens to you when your brain gets a hole in it?"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sick Season

I know people always say "something must be going around", but I have to say based on the last two weeks I think that has definitely been the case around here.

About two weeks ago Driver came down with a cold. Bad enough to make him feel crappy, but still managed to drag himself to work. A few days later Back Seat Boy started getting a stuffy nose and that morphed into a high fever, tons and tons of disgusting green nasal drainage, and an ear infection. He is FINALLY starting to get back to being himself after 4 days of antibiotics. Back Seat Girl has a nice runny nose, but she is acting fine. She ran a fever for one night but then woke up the next day like nothing was going on. The last two days at work the sick board has been full of names of people who normally NEVER call in sick. Through all of this I have been perfectly fine. I felt like I was bathing in BSB's mucous, but amazingly no runny nose, no fever, nothing.

The last two days, however, I've been a little "off". I'm not saying I'm coming down with it, but if I do, Driver will be pretty happy. I think he's getting sick of hearing me go on and on about my amazing immune system.