Claire and I were talking about the summer ending and fall, and eventually winter, coming on. I told Claire the days would get cooler and maybe wetter, and it would get dark earlier in the day. After a while, it would even be dark when she wakes up and dark well before bed time, even before she comes home from school.
“That sounds pretty nice!”, Claire said hopefully. Then after a pause, “But not really nice.” That is as good of a summary of winter in central Texas as I have ever heard.
Molly had been looking forward to her “happy birthday” for a few days now, always making sure to point out that my own birthday was next in line (in a month) and that her friend Kamile was also turning three.
On first waking up and coming downstairs, Molly just stood there and admired the giant Sesame Street “Happy Birthday” sign hung up in the living room. She would eventually discover the dozens of little round cardboard “coins” of Sesame Street characters that came with the party decorations, laying on the glass table in the living room. She had a special little plastic bag with her name on it to collect them all. That seemed to be enough to make Molly’s birthday pretty darn good right there.
But that was not all. We set aside the whole morning for fun with Molly. We had hoped to take her to a bounce house or trampoline park, but being Sunday, they were closed for the morning. So we let Molly choose between going to Pease Park to play, staying around the house to play, or going to Mozart’s on the lake to feed the turtles. After initially leaning towards staying home and playing, Molly chose Mozart’s.
We would end up going to her friend’s birthday party in the afternoon, which was weird timing in a way, but which was also perfect because the party was at the Austin Children’s Museum, which is juts about Molly’s favorite place to go. I should also mention her presents for posterity. I may be leaving something out, but Molly ended up with a “Create a Story” magnetic board (which Claire ended up loving even more than Molly), some great books from Toot & Puddle and Dr. Seuse, a puzzle, a Lego Duplo farm set, and a Dora View-Master.
One other note, Molly loves to imitate Claire, and has inadvertently done it again today. Like Claire on her own third birthday, Molly was sick on her big day too, intermingling moments of joy with moments of grumpiness.
Claire was selected by her first grade teacher as Star Girl of the Week this week. Claire and the Star Boy of the Week, Wilder, get to have lunch in the classroom with their teacher on Friday. This coveted spot is called Lunch Bunch. Claire tells us that you get to be a Start of the Week by listening well and not interrupting the teacher.
Some interesting background here… Claire and Wilder had the same kindergarten teacher, Ms. B, last year. Besides Claire and Wilder, two other kids in Claire’s first grade class also had Ms. B last year, making a total of four kids in Claire’s current first grade class who had Ms. B for kindergarten. So far in first grade, a total of four Stars of the Week have been selected. And every one of them had Ms. B for kindergarten. Yes, Ms. B’s small contingent has 100% dominated the Star of the Week tally so far for first grade. This might tell you something about Claire’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. B. She sure did run a tight ship. And by the way, she was no tyrant. I never heard about so much as an unkind or perturbed word from her. In fact, the kids generally had a lot of fun in her class. She just ran a tight ship.
It’s official. Kid-proof packages don’t work on Claire any more. At least, she has defeated the safety packaging on her Claratin. The good news is that I no longer have to unwrap the Claratin for her in the morning. I just hand her the package. Luckily, she is also old enough to understand not to have more than one.
Kit had the idea to take pictures and generally track today as sort of a “typical Sunday”, if there is such a thing, for the blog. I liked the idea. I’m going to keep the words short and let the pictures do the talking, except to say that these pictures make it look like we live of life of diversion and leisure. I can assure you, we do not. This happened to be a really fun, nice day with the girls. This weekend also involved me and Kit juggling kid duty while the other one went into work (including my secret project), and by general fatigue and sometimes grumpiness on everyone’s part. Still, a nice day like this goes a long way towards recovering from the rigors of a busy work/school week, and we are lucky to have these girls to make days like these possible. (Do you really think that Kit and I would have made cake pops and gone to the playground if it was just the two of us?)
Two funny highlights that popped out were (1) the cake pop filling that looked like cat poo and which Claire got me to eat, and (2) Kit commenting over dinner that the watermelon was “gamey”, which was just hilarious because it was oddly sort of true but also not (being watermelon and all).
After picking up the kids from school today, we went to the old standby for dinner, Jason’s Deli. We have gone to Jason’s countless times after school, and Claire invariably orders the hot dog kid’s meal, while Molly gets the kid’s cheese pizza. But tonight, Claire tried something a little different…the salad bar. I did say to Claire, who is normally voracious after school, “So, just to be clear, your entire meal is going to come from that salad bar.” She asked if she could get both the hot dog and the salad bar, but alas I told her that she did have to choose just one, and she went with the salad bar.
So this was Claire’s very first salad bar. Okay, so that is not a huge milestone, but perhaps mildly interesting. The funny thing was seeing Claire eat her salad, with no dressing, with bottled water for her drink, her clean haircut, and wearing her new glasses. The whole scene made Claire look strikingly like a health-conscious 25-year-old woman on her lunch break. This from the kid who usually stuffs down a hot dog and ice cream. See for yourself…
Claire on lunch break from her new advertising job?
Molly, for her part, went to great lengths to demonstrate the crucial fours years that separate her from Claire. Molly threw a shoe on the ground and refused to put it back on, dumped her booster seat on the ground, got out of her seat to walk around, tried to jump off of her seat, and ate only a little bit of pizza, of course with ketchup on it.