Friday, September 30, 2011

Or twelve

As we drove to school the other day, Matthew asked, "How old will I be when I drive a car?"

"Sixteen," I said.

"Oh my GOSH," he bellowed, "that's in like FIVE HUNDRED YEARS!"

Monday, September 26, 2011


Yeesh, has it really been TEN days since I posted?  Sorry, Mom.

So, the other day Matthew and I stopped at Panera.  As I balanced my tray and carried Matthew's lunch box and held our two cups -- what, do I have four hands? -- Matthew dashed ahead of me, darting through the crowd at knee-height and below tray level.  "Matthew!" I called as he cut in front of a woman, "Matthew!  Stop!  People can't see you!"  Then I glanced at the woman, ready to apologize.  "Linda!"  It was my friend Linda, from writing circle!  "Matthew!  Come here, I want you to meet my friend!  This is Linda!" 

Linda and I chatted briefly and then Matthew and I found a table outside.  As we were finishing our lunches, Matthew said, "Where's grandma?"

"Michigan," I answered.

"Noooooo, where's GRANDMA?" he persisted.

Both of Matthew's grandmas, Grandma Linda and Grandma T, live in Michigan.  But there is also great-grandma, who lives in Florida.  "Great-grandma?" I said, "She is in Florida."

Matthew was now visibly agitated.  He pointed to the door and said, "NO.  WHERE . . . IS . . . GRANDMA?"

And suddenly, I understood.  Grandma Linda.  My friend Linda.  "Do you mean LINDA?" I asked.

"Yes," he sighed with relief.  "Linda.  That's right.  Linda.  Not Grandma."

Friday, September 16, 2011


Today, Matthew's teacher told me in private that he was not particularly focused this morning and that she had asked him multiple times to choose a work.  After about the fourth time, he responded with a gruff, "I KNOW, that's WHAT I'm DOING!"  This is okay -- he is in a Montessori classroom, it's his first year, it's understood.

I didn't discuss it with him. 

Later in the day, I heard this conversation between David and Matthew:

David: What work did you do at school today, Matthew?
Matthew: Eh, I mostly just wandered around and didn't do any work.
David: You . . . wandered around?
Matthew: Yeah. Well, most of the time. Most of the time I just wandered around and stuff. But I did do one work!
David: What work did you do?
Matthew: It is something called "challenging work."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thespian vs. Athlete

Cameron has joined a drama club and one of his first tasks is to create a character for the play they will put on.  This morning he was mulling over the possibilities.

Cameron:  Maybe I could be a talking plant!  And we could make leaves from felt and I could wear a green shirt . . .

Matthew:  Oh!  Oh!  Cameron!  You could be the Michigan Wolverines!  No!  The New England Patriots!

Cameron:  Uh, Matthew, the Wolverines are college football and the Patriots are NFL.  Hey!  I could be a teacher and I could wear glasses and a button shirt.

Matthew:  Oh!  Pittsburgh Steelers!  Be the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Cameron:  And I could have a pencil behind my ear and I could be a teacher who doesn't know anything like "1 plus 1 is 18!"


It's a tough choice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Cameron and I are reading Philip Hoose's excellent book, We Were There, Too!  The book explores American history from 1492 to recent times, all from the stories of real children who lived through the events.  Tonight, we read one of the first stories, about Columbus' voyage on the Santa Maria and the Tanios people who lived on the islands he "discovered."  The text describes how the Tanios had small yellow dogs that did not bark, called alcos.  "They are now extinct," I read to Cameron.

"Really?"  he said.  "Did they have those when you were little?"