Eeyore’s Birthday Party is a festival that takes place every spring at Pease Park. The festival includes live music, costumes, food, and drum circles — lots of drum circles. It is a longstanding “Keep Austin Weird” type of event, starting way back in 1963, and it benefits local nonprofits.
This year we finally decided to go check out Eeyore’s Birthday Party since it is right in our neighborhood. People literally park their cars in front of our house to walk to the party. So we decided to walk down ourselves to Pease Park, a place we have long gone to play on the swings, explore in the woods, and play soccer. The park has even entered our family lexicon.
When we got there, Claire was shocked. Her nice, quiet neighborhood park was suddenly loud, smokey, and full of hippies. Claire hated it. She wanted to leave almost immediately. What did these people do to our nice park? She declared that it was “weird and hot” and “hot and weird.” I told her that the hippies were keeping Austin weird and that they were all about peace and love, which Claire is also all about. Claire said they are not about peace and love. They are ruining her nice, peaceful park.
“This is the opposite of Pease Park. It’s loud and smelly. Can we leave now?”
We made the rounds, enjoying some drum circles and a cold drink. We watched the police ignore all the pot smoking. Molly, for her part, seemed to enjoy the festival. We assured a concerned Claire that the park was not ruined forever, and that it would be restored to its original state within a couple of days.
Next week at this time, Molly will be back to playing soccer right where the may pole is now, and Claire can come along and enjoy the peace and quiet. But not today. Let the hippies have their fun for a day.
According to Molly, these are Strawberry Shortcake seeds. They were left on her plate after eating some Strawberry Shortcake. If you plant them, a Strawberry Shortcake will eventually grown from the ground. Molly is not kidding about this
Claire finished her first major standardized test today, the dreaded STAAR test. It is a two-day test, fours hours each day, mandated by the state of Texas. Claire and her fellow third graders have spent most of third grade preparing for this test. Parents brought snacks and drinks to keep the kids sharp and refreshed. But once the doors close, it is fully locked down, with no visitors of any kind. It is pretty serious. A sign in Claire’s classroom says:
STAAR Wars — May the Scores Be With You!
We don’t know Claire’s test results yet, but to celebrate just finishing this monster test, we took her out to dinner and let her pick a dessert, a rare and substantial treat for our sugar-starved Claire.
The girls’ school had its annual track day today. There was a mile race for the third-graders. Claire bravely took pet in this race and finished near end, tied with a new friend, Anna, who she met on the track.
Molly took part in the 1/4-mile race for the pre-K class. Molly finished as second place for per-K girls and got a medal! A total of three pre-K girls participated, and one girl finished behind Molly. Still, second place is second place, and a medal is a medal!
We did make-your-own pizzas pita tonight. Claire was hosting a sleepover, and make-your-own pizza is always a safe bet. Molly decided that her cold uncooked pizza looked pretty good and maybe didn’t needing any cooking. She wanted to eat it raw. I talked her into cooking some of it and trying the rest raw. So as her pizza cooked, Molly say down at the table with an oddly shaped pita topped with cold pizza sauce, cold shredded cheese, and cold pepperoni. She observed that this uncooked cold pizza was extra messy, so she put on some disposable plastic gloves to keep the mess down. Molly did eat all of her uncooked pizza, and she reports that it was delicious.
With all the nice weather, we have been palling in the back yard more lately. Claire has been into sports just a little bit lately, and we were practicing dribbling a basketball and hitting whiffle balls.
Molly got bored of this and went off to play with the pebbles and sand toys in the yard. She ended up inventing a game which she dubbed “rock stand”. In this game, you begin with a big crumbly rock (which I think was actually an old concrete ball). You take another rock and whack the first rock into smaller pieces. You then smash those little pieces into even smaller pieces and so on until there is only dust left. There was a very important step in there that involved moving the small pieces between buckets using a certain shovel.
The game of rock stand is taken right from the pages of the Ramona Quimby books. Ramona had a game called “brick factory” that involved smashing old bricks into smithereens. She played brick factory with her friend Howie. Molly basically is Ramona right now, although we don’t have a Howie. Claire has stepped nicely into the role of Beezus, although Claire is generally even more patient and kind than Beezus, who was actually a pretty nice big sister too.