Preschool v. Cousins

For your consideration: William on his first day of preschool!

He’s wearing an outfit that his grandmother gave him for his birthday.  Little did I know that morning that William had decided that he didn’t like this outfit, and snipped the edges of the shorts and the sleeves of the shirt with scissors.  I didn’t notice the raggedy, ruffly hems until after lunch that day.

Yes, yes, the time-out was massive.  But anyway: Preschool!  Which William loves with a passion.  This week he would prefer preschool over trips to Disneyland, I think.

In fact, he said that he wanted preschool more than a playdate at McDonald’s with his cousins — a shock indeed.  William doesn’t get to see his cousins Sarah and Abby very often since they live in Pittsburgh.  Wednesday was their last day here, so not only did we have a playdate for lunch (sorry, preschool!) but we also went up to my parents’ house that evening for an impromptu birthday/goodbye party for my sister.

Much goofiness ensued.  I made an attempt to document the action, but it was difficult.  These were taken in between bouts of jumping up and down on the guest bed upstairs:

Meanwhile, June decided to show Katie how to properly chew on a pillow:

And Jeffrey fulfilled his heart’s desire: playing Minecraft with Uncle Alex.  (Ohhhhhh, Minecraft.  Were you specifically created for Jeff to obsess over you, talk about you nonstop and do whatever amount of homework and chores is necessary to obtain permission to play you?  Because if so, mission accomplished.)

Alex made this face on purpose.  He deserves what he gets, Internet-wise.  Meanwhile, look at the worshipful gaze on Jeffrey’s face.

Insanity would have prevailed BUT for the good graces of my father:

This energy high, of course, is nothing compared to the half-naked ice cream-a-thon we had at the previous cousin meeting a week and a half earlier:


My mother has a “fairy garden” in her backyard, peopled with little knicknacks she finds at thrift stores.  June and Abby were playing so sweetly with it:

And this is baby Emmaline.  What?  Have you not met?  She is cousin June’s baby sister, and in this picture she is just over 1 week old.  What a sweet baby Emmykins!

But Katie’s not about to let some other baby out-cute her:

A good time was had by all, as they say.  During my sister’s two-week visit, she crammed in three family dinners, two cousin playdates, and a trip to Yellowstone.  And that was just with our side of the family!  (Apparently there was a wedding on the other side.  Wow).

I already miss you lots, Lizzie!  Take care back in Pittsburgh.

Organizational Skills (Two-Year-Old Version)

pink-shoes.jpgEleanor LOVES preschool. Even though we are almost halfway through the school year, she still gives an excited little jump whenever we tell her that she’s going. She loves her teacher, loves to play with the preschool toys, and she especially loves her lunchbox.

“I get to go to preschool?” she squeals. “With my lunchbox?” Oh, the glee.

But do you know what? It looks like some of that preschool goodness is rubbing off on the girl. Owing to the fastidiousness of the cubby-and-hook coat storage system at school, Ella has become a stickler for stowing her stuff at home.

“I’m taking off my cooooooat!” she yells as she marches into the house. “I’m gonna hang it uuuuuuuuup!”

The problem is that she doesn’t have the fine motor skills to open the coat closet. So she usually just hangs it on the doorknob. Fine by me. But today . . .

“I’m done hanging up my coooooat,” she sang across the house. “Now can I hang up my shoes?”


“You can take them off if you want,” I reply. “There’s a tray in the kitchen you can put them on.”

“No, I want to HANG THEM UP,” she replies stoutly. I hear the scritch-scritch sound of Velcro shoe-straps, and when I enter the living room a few minutes later I find — yes — a shoe hanging from the closet doorknob. As in, the doorknob is inside the shoe . . . but there’s just one of them. I glance around on the floor for its mate, but there’s none to be seen. I figure it will show up sooner or later and go back to the kitchen.

Where, to my surprise, I find another shoe — hanging on the basement door’s knob.


Baby Shoes by Dashka Slater, illus. Hiroe Nakata.  The premise of this cutie is this: Mom gets Baby some new shoes that are sparkling white. However, through the course of the day, the shoes get soiled in a variety of ways — brown mud, red paint, green grass stains — until they resemble a rainbow. While I have to wonder at the wisdom of buying a toddler white anything, there’s no denying the fun to be found in this book’s bouncy story.