Saturday, September 23, 2017

Classwork of All Sorts

Madeleine's latest math classwork was TOTALLY up her artistic alley:

I honestly don't think I could have completed this as well as she did.

In other schoolwork matters, Madeleine's American Girls are learning an important cultural lesson:

In addition to this white board sign, Madeleine's lesson plan includes a paper that says: "Cival war may NOT come back!!  CARE ABOUT PEAPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!!!!!!!!  Sighn created by Madeleine Rowe."

On the other side of this paper is her new marketing plan, guaranteed to ensure that only the 1% can own guns:

So,  yeah, we may need to work on that strategy a little, but all in all, I'm pretty positive that the American Girls appreciate their Headmistress having such a great social conscience!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Strict Parenting

In the car today, Madeleine opined on the advantageous situation her two best friends have at home.

MADELEINE: Well, their parents aren't as STRICT about their kids telling them things, so, like, their moms don't even know about playing "June and Jementa."
ME: Wait.  Do you really consider me strict?
MADELEINE: Well, like, you say that we should ALWAYS tell you everything.
ME: Well, do you think that I'm honest with you about things?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  You tell us the truth about everything.
ME: So, I just want to encourage you and Julia to be able to talk to me honestly and not feel like you have to hide anything from me.  I'm not making it a rule, I just want you to be able to talk to me.

Several minutes of silence.

MADELEINE: Okay, Mommy, since we're having this CONVERSATION, I guess I'll tell you something.  It happened in first grade, but I never told you because I was afraid you were gonna be mad at me.
ME: Okay.  What is it?
MADELEINE: Well, we were starting to play this game but it was time to come to the rug, and we just kept playing, and...the teacher had me take a break.
ME: You mean you had to sit in the "Take a Break" chair?
ME: Honey, I would never be mad at you for that.  Sometimes at home you have to take a break or a time out in your room.  Kids can't be perfect all the time.

Julia was covetous of her sister's enviable experience.

JULIA: The only time I ever got to sit in the "Take a Break" chair was when the teacher had us all take a turn to see what it was like, and she called us one by one from the rug to try it.  And, like, for some reason, I was SO excited to sit in it!

I guess you gotta live a little more dangerously, Jules.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

And More Madeleine Quotes

More of Madeleine's input.

On how she felt exiting the YMCA with wet hair in her pajamas last night:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  I'm the kind of "a little" that's on the verge of FALLING DOWN into the MIDDLE.  That's the level of chilliness I was at outside.

On the ideal chin positioning:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Would you rather have a DOWNY chin, or a...a...a...very UPPY and LUMPY chin?
ME: A downy chin.
MADELEINE: Me too!  I don't like uppy, lumpy chins.  That's the kind of chin on the "cha-cha-chin" card at school.
ME: Oh, like on a phonics card?
ME: What is the chin like?  Can you describe it to me?
MADELEINE: Well, he's a guy, he's facing to the side, he's tilting his head UP, he's smiling, he looks like a NICE GUY, and his chin is long and LUMPY.

Well, at least he seems like a nice guy, despite his chin being a huge turn-off.

On why she kept spilling her milk every time she took a sip:

ME: What happened?  Why does your milk keep spilling?
MADELEINE: It just keeps FLOWING down my cheek.  When I feel it on my cheek, I stop drinking IMMEDIATELY.
ME: But why is it spilling in the first place?
MADELEINE: I dunno.  Maybe the shape of the cup?

I mean, the cup is a little bit warped, but it's still basically the normal shape of a cup.  How the milk is winding up on her cheek is beyond me, but I guess, despite her stopping drinking IMMEDIATELY, it just keeps flowing down.

Maybe the guy with the uppy lumpy chin doesn't like flowy, milky cheeks.  Then he and Madeleine can be even.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Curriculum Night

Last week was Curriculum Night at the girls' elementary school, so I got to explore their classrooms and meet their teachers.  I have come to the conclusion that Julia has come out of her shell more, but is still a bit reserved, while Madeleine is brimming with confidence as a 2nd grader.

Some of their work:

Julia's "me-mobile," full of pictures of swimming, band/chorus, and our Utah Vacation

Julia's 5th grade goals

Madeleine's letter for her parents.

Madeleine shares her expertise

Madeleine's self-portrait, complete with adjectives to describe herself

Madeleine is an important person

I loved getting to see their classrooms and their class work, as always.  And I totally made sure to remember that school rocks!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Conversations and Observations by Madeleine

A few of Madeleine's observations and conversations this week.

#1: On Wanting Bedtime Snuggles
MADELEINE: (coming out of her bedroom after reading for a bit last night) Good-night, Mommy!
ME: Good-night, honey.  I love you.
MADELEINE:  Love you too!  (pause) Well.  You KNOW what I'm gonna ask for.
ME: What?
ME: Sa-na-noogles?
ME: Snoogles?
MADELEINE: S-N-U-G....uh...
ME: Two G's.
ME: Sure, I'll give you snuggles.
MADELEINE: (visibly relieved) Oh, phew.  Okay.

Yeah, I let her off easy on that one.  I coulda been all: "spell snuggles wrong?  FAIL.  No snuggles for you tonight!"

#2: On Starbucks "You Are Here" mugs
Noticing the Starbucks "Copenhagen" mug Ethan had brought home from his trip to Denmark.

MADELEINE: (reading) Copenhagen.  (reflecting for a moment) Looks preeeeeetty different there!

I see what she means.  The Starbucks "You Are Here" mugs are absolutely accurate representations of the differences you'll see in the places you travel.  In fact, why even travel at all, when you can just look at the mug?  I'm glad Madeleine was able to recognize how foreign a place Copenhagen is by seeing a mug with some buildings on it:

You can clearly see how different Copenhagen is from cities in different countries that also have buildings, like Chicago:

or Montreal:

Am I right??

#3: On a good, but not GREAT, day:
ME: How was your day?
ME: Good, not great?
ME: What made it not great?

It turns out that Madeleine and her two best friends couldn't quite agree on the way their pretend play game was going to progress, and one of the friends got frustrated.  They made up over lunch afterwards, so all is well again, but I sympathized with Madeleine.

ME: I'm sorry, honey. I know it can be tough when friends are getting frustrated or grumpy.
MADELEINE: Yeah.'s OKAY with Julia, because she has HORMONES, but it's not fun when it happens with my friends.

Maybe once her friends have hormones Madeleine will be able to let it slide a little more easily.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Creative Language

Madeleine has recently invented a new language, called "Creative Language," and she spends a lot of time singing songs in this language and trying to teach me words.  The main problem with the vocabulary of Creative Language is that Madeleine often forgets the gibberish she came up with and can't replicate it later on.  For instance, yesterday I was informed of how to say a bevy of words, including "house," and "tree" in Creative Language, but neither Madeleine nor I could possibly recall how to say any of it.

You may be wondering what exactly Creative Language is.  Madeleine offers an illuminating, clear-cut explanation:

MADELEINE: Creative Language is a language that *I* made up, and...everybody can make up their own names,'s CREATIVE!  And NO ONE can change any words, like from "urine" to "pee."

You must be dying to hear this language uttered.  Never fear; I have video footage of Madeleine performing a lovely Creative Language song.  If you want to know what it's about, Madeleine informs me that it's mainly about "Hocus Pocus."  (The movie, not the Kurt Vonnegut book.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Guest Blogger

Today's blog post is brought to you by Julia:

Swim team started on Tuesday. I went to night practice instead of morning practice. I think I swam the New Englands time for the 50 butterfly at the Wednesday night practice. I have swim team tonight. I really love competitive swimming. My goal for this year is to make New Englands. I probably can’t, though. The times are really fast.
I want to audition for Honors Band. I really hope I’ll get in. I’ve already perfected “Sawmill Creek” and “Morning Mood.” Me and the other flutes are going to perform “Au Claire de la Lune” for the 4 graders. It’ll be fun. We have to be taken out of school to do it, though. It’s during the 4 grade chorus and part of the 5 grade chorus.
To: From: PEACH: OMG Mario there’s a like new like sweater at like the mall it’s like so like cute. MARIO: Let’sa goa. We cana geta spegghetti and meataballas! Those are Mario and Princess Peach’s email address.

Clara’s sitting on me. She’s in an extra me mood this morning. She’s also been extra cute this morning. One time she conked out on me. It was really adorable She also keeps doing very loud pleasure noises. And she was really leaning into the pets I was giving her.