Singing Like a Dead Bird

Hello Friends,

The girls are in a singing phase right now, breaking out into song for just about any occasion. Much of their singing happens at the table when the girls should be eating. The other day, though, Cricket broke out into song when we were just hanging out, and I managed to catch it (I don’t think she realized I had the phone camera on).

A bit of a warning here: she is three and sings as such, and the content is just a bit morbid. For whatever reason, we have come across multiple dead birds lately. The girls are curious, not scared or disgusted, and apparently the Cricket stores the images in a special place.

Enjoy!

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Unicorn Fail

Hello Friends,

while the past few Mondays have been reserved for a “Sweet” joke, this week started with the joke on me. Sweetie had a social crisis and I was completely clueless.

One theme ran through the entire kindergarten year: unicorns. Many of the little girls were having unicorn-themed parties, wearing Halloween costumes, hosting spa-days (really!), drawing pictures, etc.. Unicorns invaded!

We were not safe. Sweetie showed an interest so we bought unicorn-themed books, threw her a unicorn-themed birthday party, and as a cute gesture I gave her the unicorn knight Lego collectible mini-figure. Apparently the min-fig was the straw that broke the unicorn’s…no. Apparently the min-fig was the final “thing” as Sweetie responded to it not with joy but with tears. And me? I was all, “huh?”

UniKnight

What’s not to love?

After calming down, and taking the min-fig completely apart, Sweetie admitted to me that she didn’t really like unicorns. Again – huh? “But your birthday party,” I probed, “you asked for the unicorn theme.”

Sweetie’s response – “Some of the other girls really like unicorns, so I said I liked them too.”

Wow.

It is still early in our summer break and we are already into the life lessons. What followed was a brief and gentle conversation about how Sweetie needed to be honest with herself about what she liked and did not like, and then how to represent herself genuinely. I did my best to explain peer pressure, pack/group mentality and social norms to my 6 year old without making her feel ashamed, silly or like she was in trouble. First unicorns, then what? I had to resist spiraling down that path.

We revisited the topic when Wife came home. Again, gentle, brief (as in “no lecturing”) and hopefully empowering. I think Sweetie was worried she had disappointed me as she promised to make me a custom Lego set which she hoped I would like. I assured her that if it came from her I was sure to like it.

I do like it. Besides that it came from my daughter, I also felt it was fitting to our situation. What to call the scene? I couldn’t decide. To be more specific, I kept getting distracted, falling into thoughts about social pressures already creeping into my First Grader’s existence. And that won’t stop. I know it’s more about teaching her how to navigate the pressures, not trying to prevent them or have her ignore them. There is, and will continue to be, so much to unpack here. This will be a lesson we hone together over time. And that’s real life, actual, not imaginary like the invading unicorns.

So that’s my take away, and the working title for Sweetie’s MOC: Finding Our Way.

“Sweet Jokes”, 6/4/2018

Hello Friends,

Sweetie just wrapped up her Kindergarten year. Despite not being surrounded by like-minded comedians, she is still bringing the jokes. The latest example of her humor:

Sweetie: “What do you call a panda bear with no tail?”

Me: “Oohhh, I don’t know. What?”

Sweetie: “A useless panda.”

Me: “Huh. Hmmm.”

I am not sure this was an attempt at humor or just a stab at the Cricket. Her favorite animal is the panda bear and her favorite stuffed animal is her little panda bear, “BB” (thanks Buyo and Panda Express!). To be clear, BB does have a tail.

PeiPei

This joke, along with a slew of others that were left on the editing table, sparked our conversation about the difference between “funny” and “silly”. Funny being genuinely humorous and silly being an attempt at humor that misses because it just went the wrong direction. Like the direction 5 and 6 year old children take…often.That is now a sort of litmus test during our joke brainstorming sessions. It seemed the easiest way to tell Sweetie that her jokes were not funny without crushing her spirit. Double-edged sword though, as she is not beyond telling me, “Dad, that was just silly, not funny,” when I reach too far for a laugh.

On that note, I think that wraps up our current Sweet Jokes series. If Sweetie comes out with something really funny in the future I will be sure to share though. I hope it has brought some smiles to you all out there. It’s been fun for us, and we’ve found that sometimes a little silly can be just as good as some funny.

 

Always Yard Work

Hello friends,

I think I explained the shape of our yard when we returned to the house last July. But, to save some typing, check out the photos:

A bit scary, no? It got trashed from the construction/worker traffic/material storage, and I chose to complete the “landscape clean-up” on my own. So I got to work in July cleaning it up, mainly for the girls’ safety. Here’s how we ended the summer:

Better, but that overgrown mass used to be the raised bed forbour organic gardensn. I made it the storage spot for the branches when I cut down our cherry tree. Wife and I made plans to add a playhouse for the girls, so this spring has been about excavation and continued clean-out. We’re not there yet, but we definitely have progress.

I am sure many of you used the long weekend to take care of some yardwork as well. I hope it was productive and you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned for the completion of our project!

“Sweet Jokes,” 5/28/2018

Hello Friends,

Just a little something to keep you smiling as we wrap up this long weekend.

Sweetie: “What did one eye say to the other?”

Me: “Hmmm, I don’t know. What?”

Sweetie: “Something in between us smells! Get it?!? Get it?”

Well, we hope you are enjoying the long weekend. As long as Sweetie keeps up her stand-up, I’ll keep sharing.

“Sweet Jokes”, 5/22/2018

Hello Friends,

bit of a busy start to the week, what with Wife out of town on business. It’s just the girls and I at home until Thursday, so my apologies that I didn’t get this out yesterday. Strangely enough, yesterday was another rainy Monday and ripe for a joke. But with this morning’s cloud cover I think it will work just fine for today too.

Sweetie: “What did one ocean say to the other ocean?”

Me: “Uhhmm, I don’t know. What?”

Sweetie: “Nothing, it just waved! Get it?!? Get it?”

I think this one came from her classroom, but she was so excited to tell the joke I knew it had to make a post. And there you have, hope it brought you a smile for today.

20180510_174222

Rando pic of Sweetie at the local lunchera

Bike to School Day

Hello Friends,

Wanted to share a bit of today’s adventure with you all. Before I go on too long, let me say I hope your day is going well, and your adventures are constructive.

We live wonderfully close to St. Viator Elementary, the girls’ school. That makes days like today, “Bike to School Day”, especially fun. In the fall we were all about taking our wagon to school. This changes things up a bit.

As you may have noticed, Sweetie is still on training wheels. She just got the two-wheeler last year, so we are in the learning curve (for the record, I think her class is evenly split on training wheels). And Cricket, well, yes, she’s on a tricycle. We did practice this run before hand, but oh what fun!

Once we made it to school we joined the other kids for a two-block “loop” along the east side of the school (closed to traffic for pick-up of course). The girls made a lap around here and with the exception of a loosened pedal, they both did well. Going home in the afternoon was a different story and we made the last block and a half with me carrying the tricycle and pushing the bicycle. Yeah, good sleep after that…and for the girls too!

I hope your day was as beautiful as ours. I am thinking this marks our transition to cycle transportation – #summergoals! We’ll see you out there.