Preschool in Pictures

This is just one of the many "books" Faith has written this past year. Basically, she draws a series of pictures and then tells her teachers what to write on the page. Apparently, this idea has been so popular that other kids are now doing it too. My writer's heart swells with pride every time she brings home one of these short stories that's sure to have a unique one liner. Here are the titles of the others:

The Potato Bug

The Stuffing and the Bananas
Best Line of the Book: "Chicken. They ate chicken." (Don't let the title fool you!)

The Little Frosting Cupcake
Best Line of the Book: "The friends gotten in line and said, 'I don't want to pop the weasel.'"

The Little Apple

The Banana and the Hot Rose (a romance novel, perhaps ;)
Best Line of the Book: "They ate blue clouds and pickles and chicken."

The Harvest and the Shark (What? Those two things don't go together)

The book about the X-ray and the Little Girl
Best Line of the Book: "That's when they played a game called Six Rules Cereal Coal."

The Pilgrims and the Navajos (her first best-seller)

Pardon my bad photography, but these are the minions the school displayed during the enrollment period about what each student's favorite things about school. 

This is a project for which I literally had to bite my tongue and sit on my hands not to intervene and help her with. For Valentine's Day, the kids were assigned to cut pictures of things they liked out of magazines, wrappers, etc. I love that she put Gabby front and center, but the lipstick and weird owl? 


A little side story from parent teacher conferences. Faith's teachers were very complimentary of her focus during group time, eagerness to participate and overall progress on writing her name, coloring, etc. They did bring up the fact that sometimes she didn't listen to instructions before beginning her work. When they would stop her and tell her she needed to wait, she would simply turn to them and say matter-of-factly, "I'm an artist."

Well, she is an artist. Love the diversity :)

Last but not least, some abstract work.

To close out, I recently attended an informational meeting about kindergarten that only confirmed how ready Faith is for school. When I think about her singing in music class, eating lunch with her buddies and learning to read, I'm overcome with joy knowing how much she will love it all. While it puts a lump in my throat to think of how fast she's grown up, I am so happy for her to start school. But that doesn't mean I won't cry like a baby at her preschool graduation. Maybe I'll bring "The Banana and the Hot Rose" for a good laugh. 

The Gift of Gab

Now that Gabby is talking in sentences, it's time for her very first "That's What She Said" post. It can also serve as a translation guide if you find yourself with her without her translator (aka Rob, me or Faith.) I kid, slightly, but we're definitely at the age where Gabs knows exactly what she wants and sometimes we have a hard time interpreting. Other times, we hear her loud and clear. Like these times:

"Higofaify" = Here you go, Faith.

"Haaaayyy" = Don't take that away from me/Let me do what I want.

Gabby: Ahbud.
Me: What?
Gabby: Ahbud!
Me: You bite?
Gabby: Ah-bud!!!
Me: iPad?
Gabby: (nods emphatically!)

Gabby: Buhdy.
Me: What?
Gabby: Buhdy!
Me: Booty?
Rob: (from another room) She wants Birdie!
Me: Birdie?
Gabby: (nods emphatically)

Gabby: (upon walking into daycare) "Hi, Marsha!"

Gabby: (upon leaving the basement) "Bye, money." (to her play money)

Gabby: "Howie, NO!" (this is a common phrase in our household)

"mm" = M&M

"Nack" = Snack, pronto.

"Boppop" = dum dum sucker.

"Binky" = Binky! (so sad we have to get ride of this bad boy soon)

"ABCD" = for any and all letters on anything (She can READ!)

Gabby: Why?
Me: Because (fill in the blank)
Gabby: Why?
Me: Because (fill in the blank)
Gabby: Why?
Me: Because Johnson's likes babies. (This is something my mom used to say to me all the time growing up!)

"Shoose" = Shoes, and I want to put them on myself, so don't try to help me or I will freak out.

Muk = Milk
Wawa = Water
Crying = I want what Faith has.

Ice Cream Therapy

Is it me, or is being left at school past closing time sort of a right of passage?

Allow me to explain.

When I was 10-years-old, I rode the bus home from school. Unless my dad was picking me up to spend the weekend at his house. On those Friday afternoons, I would get out of school and wait for him on the steps of our elementary school. Not having an iPod, Kindle, cell phone or electronic device of any kind, I simply waited.

One particular afternoon, I waited, and waited, and waited. Now there is such a thing my sisters and I refer to as "John McNamara time" so my dad being late wasn't completely out of the ordinary, but being an hour or two late was new.

Meanwhile, my dad was waiting for me to get off the bus at my mom's house. And waiting. And waiting. So there was a miscommunication at some point, but neither of us knew it then.

My 10-year-old brain had no idea what time it was when the janitor/last employee to leave the building emerged from the school and said he was headed home. This kind man also happened to be a neighbor of my mom's and said he would give me a ride home.

(Pause to reflect how different times are now then they were then. This story wouldn't exist if for a couple of cell phones. And the fact that I was able to pass the time without any electronics -- go 10-year-old me!)

I knew my mom and stepdad wouldn't be home when the janitor, whose name was Mr. Pike, and I arrived, but I thought maybe my brother would be. No such luck. Taking pity on me and not wanting to leave a 5th grader home alone, Mr. Pike invited me to his house for dinner. I left a note on the door letting whoever got home first to come get me at the Pikes' house and away we went.

Here's where I need to explain that I was a picky eater as a kid. Super picky. Plain cheese pizza kinda picky. And if there were two things in this world that I didn't like, they were meatloaf and creamed corn. (Just so you know, meatloaf is on my love list now, but creamed corn -- still a no go.) All that to say, guess what was for dinner at Mr. Pike's house that night? You guessed it, Nicole's least favorite foods.

My parents must have instilled enough manners in me that I choked that meal down with all my might. I then proceeded to introduce the Pikes, whose children were long grown and gone, to TGIF! We were having a great time when my brother finally showed up to pick me up.

When I got home, I listened to our answering machine and my dad's voicemails about what had happened. My mom and stepdad arrived soon after and I relayed the story to them. My mom was so impressed I ate creamed corn that she didn't even realize that someday I might need therapy for feeling abandoned.

Fast forward 22 years to Friday, Feb. 20. Rob and I planned to meet up at a local fish fry for dinner with the kids. Just as I hopped in my car to leave for work, my friend (who will remain nameless) called to catch up. Lost in our conversation, I missed my turn for the fish fry twice before I finally parked and we ended our conversation. I strolled into the fish fry and spotted Rob holding Gabby. Ah, time for some overpriced fish and a cold glass of brew, I thought.

"Wait, where's Faith?" I asked him.
He was looking behind me.
"Where's Faith?" he asked.


It was my fault. I was supposed to get her. The phone call. My poor driving skills. My overloaded brain from my first week at a new job. I completely forgot to pick her up.

We looked at the time. It was exactly 5:30 p.m., which is exactly what time preschool closes. Rob made a frantic call and said we were on our way. I told him not to throw me under the bus and use the word "miscommunication" several time once he got there. I took Gabby and we went to get food from Culver's fish fry.

I called my nameless friend on the way and told her she was obligated to pay for my daughter's therapy later in life. We laughed and hung up, and I immediately felt the mom guilt that comes with forgetting your kid. I was hoping Faith wouldn't remember this for year's to come when Rob sent me this (after he sent me a much-needed reminder to pick up my Redbox movie).

Rob said she had a short pity party about being the "last kid" but was smiling soon after!

Let's see here. A lifetime of therapy or a $3 concrete from Culver's? Done and done.

Gabby and I may have had a few bites on the way home. Why do you think they make those spoons so long…to reach the backseat! Truth be told, I've missed the turn for Gabby's school a few times and headed home on accident, only to turn around and make it to her daycare in plenty of time to pick her up. In essence, lil sis earned it too.

It was definitely a Friday to remember…or hopefully in Faith's case, forget.