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Feb 20, 2006

Pride of ownership, Silas style

This incident happened when Mom (Grandmom to the kids) was visiting in January.

Silas really enjoyed having so much attention from Grandmom, who was quite interested in the kids' activities. She was hanging out with them one day while they drew pictures. Russell, of course, was writing his name on his, as Silas has seen him do many times. Either Silas asked Grandmom to start writing his name on his pictures, or she offered to.

Then he realized what was REALLY important to record about the pictures. He asked her to write "No Russell" on the top of the ones he had done all by himself!

Of course that totally cracked us up, but then he went a step further. With a gleam in his eye, he instructed her to write "No Russell, No Silas" on a blank piece of paper. Then they taped it up for display.

Mom said to me, laughing, "Of course this reminds me of HA HA HA HA."

In my family, my younger sister and I had the same age gap as Russell and Silas, but I think I was more obnoxious than Russell as an older sibling. When I learned to write, I spent one afternoon in our father's classroom writing obnoxious stuff about Anna on the chalkboard and lording it over her because she couldn't read or write yet. After simmering a while, Anna went to our father and asked how to spell HA. Then she wrote HA HA HA HA HA all over another chalkboard. HA HA HA indeed.

Maybe you have to be related to a biologist to think this is really funny

Last week, I went to get the "little books" his teacher sends home out of Russell's backpack, and while I was doing that, I found a package of white stuff marked "Borax powder -- add a little water to make crystals." He'd recently brought home something with a layer of crystals, so I guess she provided some extra for them to use at home. I put it out of Silas's reach and went back upstairs with the books.

After Russell read them and we did all the rest of the nightly routine, I was lying down with him to try to settle him into sleep. We had grown quiet, and he was so still that I thought he was asleep.

Suddenly he stiffened and looked at me with big, serious eyes and asked, "Mom, when you got the books out of the backpack, was my thorax powder in there?"

Feb 17, 2006

This makes me happy

A girl in Russell's class (who will remain anonymous because her mom wasn't supposed to tell me all this but couldn't resist) told her mom she loved Russell. Her mom asked her why, and these were her reasons:

1) He's nice. 2) He's creative. 3) He plays chase games but doesn't push me down.

I think it is pretty fun to watch how the kindergartners deal with each other. He has a REALLY sweet class of 21 kids. They seem so supportive of each other and so good at negotiating fun ways to be together. They work well together on group projects, and give each other lots of positive feedback on individual projects. Although there are some special friendships, they mix up their social groups a lot depending on who's doing what.

I hope I always remember a moment in the fall that made me feel so content. Silas and I picked up Russell after school that day, and as usual, we all headed outside with a bunch of the other kids and parents. Russell had made a kite at "center" time (basically, independent play at various stations) by attaching some papers together onto a frame made of paper towel tubes, coloring it, and attaching a string and a toilet paper tube handle. Four of the other boys came out with him and all asked very respectfully if they could help him fly it. Next thing I knew, they were all running across the playground in formation, each holding a part of the kite. They had a great time and did really well with it, but inevitably it did start to fall apart. But Russell, characteristically, was philosophical about that. He was so pleased to have fun with it and figured he could repair it or make another later if he felt like it.

I just love that kid.

Feb 15, 2006

Warming up

I'm going to try to post something every day for a few days to see if it gets me over my writer's block. I may also experiment with giving links to things I read or see that especially appeal to me. So, here's something quick I never got around to posting.

We are an atheist family, but we have more experience with the Christian holidays (in an agnostic way!) than with other religions', so we celebrate non-religious versions of Christmas and Easter. The only real trick to this so far is that I love old Christmas carols, and blast it, most of them are about Jesus for some weird reason. So the kids do pick up little references to Christian stories here and there.

I forget the exact context, but Russell said something one day about Jesus Christ. I asked him, "Do you know who Jesus Christ was?"

"Yes," he murmured, not sounding very confident.

"Who do you think he was?"

"A computer guy."

"A computer guy?" I said, trying to sound neutral. "What makes you think that?"

"David talks about him when he's working on the computer."

I know, I know, it sounds like one of those Reader's Digest stories...