Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/12/07 The Homework

Gabriel has "homework" now that he's supposed to work on for 10 minutes a day, to be turned in on Fridays. This afternoon, I picked him up straight from school and brought him home, when, in theory, he had time to work on it. In practice, he wanted to play out back and torment Julian, and I ended up juggling Katrina and Julian, finally putting Julian in his room for a nap.

But later, to my amazement, Gabriel was sitting at the dining room table, homework open and in front of him, and had started to work on it again. After dinner, he worked on it some more, quite willingly, and I had to pull him away for bathtime. Either he just doesn't get it yet that kids aren't supposed to like homework, or his diligence is more evidence of his ordered view of the world.

Picking Gabriel up from school, I mused over the notices in his classroom's doorway, and noticed one about the Scholastic book club....oh my! What's wrong with this picture? A teacher wrote this! I was never a star student, and I hate to be an English snob, but my high regard for teachers includes the assumption that this isn't the sort of mistake they'd make. Alas, they have a huge band of kids to deal with all day; my brain misfires constantly with just three.

Katrina had a grand time, again, waiting to pick Gabriel up. While we're waiting, she looks around at all the other moms sitting quietly with blank faces, and beams at them as though they are subjects in her kingdom, engaging them, sometimes even giggling, flapping her arms up and down. And making her latest new sound, a loud forceful "blah!", something akin to a goat bleating.

At home, Julian practiced his two-wheeling in the backyard. He has no trouble starting and stopping now, and it's clear he's outgrown the backyard.

Katrina watched along with some combination of awe and alarm.

Tonight at dinner, Gabriel said numerous times that he wanted to show me how he goes over bumps at the BMX park, and can't I pleeeease take him there this weekend? Wanting to show off isn't something Gabriel says often, so I really do hope to find a way to go with him there. Unfortunately, a dusty bicycle park isn't a great place for a crawling baby who sounds like a goat.

Dinner tonight was unusually successful, even though -- or perhaps because? -- Dave wasn't there, working late instead. The boys were unusually well-behaved, perhaps because Dad wasn't around to impress with their potty talk or obnoxious loud sounds. And they all -- including Katrina, as is almost always the case now -- had the same thing: gnocchi, chicken parmesan, and broccoli. Katrina's gets cut up of course, but she couldn't get enough of the fabulous fragrant sauce from Trader Joe's Gnocchi Gorgonzola (go right now to your nearest TJ's freezer section!). It was all I could do to shovel food in her mouth fast enough, and she finished a hefty bowlful, and her brothers each finished a huge plate with no cajoling or Draco stories. On the whole, we don't have eating issues around here anyway, but I'm still always happy when everyone has a good solid dinner. Though Dave had to settle for take-out Chinese. The price for working late.

Katrina made up a new game at lunch, that I call "Bonk!" She leans forward, waits for me to touch her forehead with mine, then lets go and hits my head with hers, bursting out into full-on laughter. Tonight I spent some rare time just hanging around on the floor with her (dinner? cleanup? dishes? homework? tomorrow's lunch?) and she climbed on me and tried to play Bonk! and laughed and let me tickle her and was just generally was very silly and fun. She needs more of that from me. So do I.


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