Thirty-eight cents' worth of PVC tubing later, and my worries about N's pencil-chewing are potentially over. Who'd'a thunk? (Aside from all you guys who wrote in suggesting essentially--or specifically--that in the comments, I mean.)
During Em's Fifth-Grade Colonial Day last Friday, she became sad when an error was made that bumped her from the wax-candle-making rotation. (There was also butter-making and toy-making and corn-husk-doll-making and soap whittling and chapbook-writing and a few other things, not to mention the DANCING. With BOYS. Holding HANDS. It was hilarious.)
And although there's nothing I despise more than helicopter parenting...well, I helicoptered in, whispered into the ear of the candle-making leader (a friend of mine from the PTA), and somehow, suddenly, there was room for her at the table. This is a kid who almost never throws a tantrum or demands what she can't have, and she'd been looking forward to this particular event for months. So sue me. The smile on her face was totally worth it.
Speaking of helicopter parenting and 'totally worth it': We got one of those auto-calls from the school on Friday, announcing that--in the interest of keeping our kids as safe as possible--the school would be trying a new traffic pattern starting Monday, with the stair gate being locked and the big wide gate by the ramp being opened instead.
Wonder where they got that idea?
Meet the Robinsons was one of the very few kid's movies these past few years that I actually enjoyed. (I won't say it was my favorite of the past few years, because I loved Ratatouille--though that one almost doesn't count because the adults enjoyed it so much more than any kid did that they really should have just called it an animated movie for grown-ups and left it at that.)
My favorite part of Meet the Robinsons was the part where the antagonist (Bowler Hat Guy) is trying to hatch a plot against the protagonist and is mumbling to himself. "Oh, I know!" he says. "I'll turn him into a duck! Yes, it's so evil! But...I don't know how to do that..." long pause "and I don't really need a duck..."
Ever since then, "But I don't know how to do that...and I don't really need a duck" has become one of those family jokes that makes all of us burst into giggles every time someone works it into a conversation. Which happens more often than you'd think.
All of this explains why I laughed so very hard when, on Sunday morning, after opening the handprint card from N and the coupons from Em (one free foot massage, one free walk, one free reading-to-N-when-I-can't), I opened one last card which read, in part, "In trying to think of a Mother's Day gift I said to myself, 'I'll get her a duck!' Then I thought, 'But I can't do that. And she doesn't need a duck.' Still..."
Meet Ana. My unneeded, and yet much beloved, duck, who is now going to spend her days watching over my garden.