Dress for Success aka Sweater Power

Last Tuesday, a few days into our puke extravaganza, we needed to drop the professor off at work. Because he’d begun his descent into the jaws of pukapalooza and did not feel up to the task of walking to the bus stop. And waiting for an indefinite amount of time for the ’72’ to arrive.

Which means the five of us had to leave the house before 9am. Preferably whilst wearing clothes rather than pajamas.

Since we’d had days of puking and movie watching and ugly-clothes-wearing, I decided to try a new approach: dressing up. I hoped that by dressing up, our day would magically be better than the preceding five days.

Call it a temporary fluke, but it worked. On the same day that the boys wore nice(r) sweaters and pants, the Gort read his first sentence.

‘The fire is out.’

We were sitting together looking at a book and he picked out the words he knew – the, it, with, he – that sort of thing. And suddenly, because we were reading about a firetruck and he’d seen the word a few times, he read the entire sentence without any assistance from me.

High fives all around.

After Kindergarten drop-off, I put the two younger boys in their respective cribs for a nap. Several minutes had passed when a non-napping Hen summoned me to his room. ‘I bite my dummy (pacifier),’ he told me. ‘You bit your dummy?’ I confirmed. He showed it to me. Two little holes smack in the center of the latex tip.

Oh boy, of all the days to puncture a dummy, he chose this day. This week. Why oh why? I’m pretty sure baby books would tell you to throw away any pacifier that had been chewed through. Something about choking hazards, I’m sure. But I did not have the mental fortitude to take away the kid’s much loved ‘da’.

Let the record show I intended to let him suck on a holey pacifier- just for the rest of the day. But he had other ideas. He looked at the pacifier that had been maimed. And threw it to the side. It was dead to him. Which is fine and all, but he looked up at me and demanded another one. And where in the world was I supposed to find a replica of a two year old Mam pacifier?

Ebay?

There wasn’t much time to ponder the conundrum. We had to drive to school to pick up our favorite six year old.

I met him at the pick-up line and asked the customary questions about his day. ‘Alex is my friend,’ he informed me. ‘Oh, how do you know,’ I inquired. ‘She told me. And she gave me a note,’ he disclosed. ‘Can I see the note,’ I asked once we were in the car. He passed it to the front of the van from his seat in the back.

I opened the note. It didn’t contain much in the way of writing. It had his name on it, but that was about it. I noticed a series of numbers strewn together inside the folded paper. Since we’re still in the pre-literacy phase of life, I didn’t think much of it. The Gort makes strange number-letter combinations all the time at home and assigns various meanings to them. ‘This says ship,’ he’ll say, pointing to where he’d written NLRD77.

But then I looked again. There were seven digits. Like a phone number without an area code. Had she given him her phone number? In Kindergarten? And I noticed she’d drawn two little faces on the outside of the note: a girl with brown hair and a boy with blond hair. The faces were touching.

‘Is that her phone number?’ I inquired nonchalantly. Trying hard not to be the mother who ‘freaks out’. ‘Yeah,’ he giggled semi-embarrassedly. ‘Why do you think she gave you her phone number,’ I wondered aloud. ‘Maybe she wanted me to call her….so I could come over to her house and play?’ he guessed.

File that under: not going to happen.

So to summarize: on the day my boys ‘dressed up’, one child learned how to read and got himself a girlfriend. And the other magically gave up the pacifier he’d grown completely obsessed with. (For posterity’s sake, it should be noted that this came at the price of two solid days of wailing and moping and nearly four hours of continuous crying.)

Maybe those private schools are on to something with their dress codes and uniforms. Not that it matters since we’ll be homeschooling from here on out.

One thought on “Dress for Success aka Sweater Power

  1. Those little girls are bold. Watch out! Maybe I foregone the jeans & ponytail today and shoulda tried dressing up to counter the dreary weather and my drearier mood…

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