Move over teenagers. Moody first grade boys are the new source of angst.

In 6 days my darling son, my first born child, the one who draws me love notes and writes indiscernible sentences on random notebooks, will make 6 years.

Apparently, this is also the same age that boys go through THE CHANGE.  As I was once a teenage girl, I understand the stress.  The confusion.  The embarrassment.  The sneaking pads around in little purses, secretly wondering who has switched to tampons (shhhh! don’t say it so loud!) and wondering when to be so bold as to try.  The world just doesn’t UNDERSTAND!  And it’s SO UNFAIR!!!

I am counting on re-living those wonder years with my daughter (woo-hoo!) but it was a bit of a surprise to find them in my darling first-grade sweetheart boy.  Since when is every piece of music known to humanity BORING?  Why is it that the trial of bathing, eating, walking, dressing, and forheavenssake BREATHING, so totally and completely impossible?  Do you know how UNFAIR his life is?

Okay, I confess.  We ask him to make his bed in the morning, which can be a challenge considering the incredible athletic feats he conducts each night within it, but we figure it’s a good stepping stone to the roofing work and diamond mining he’ll start next month.

We’re taking it all in stride.  The mood swings, the sullen appearance, the sudden outbursts of tears.  We’re here for him, even if our being in the room makes it IMPOSSIBLE for him to CONCENTRATE.

If nothing else, it helps us appreciate those bright moments of beauty.  The sloppy kisses, the shared reading, the begs for nighttime cuddles.  He’ll grow out of this moody phase, yes.  But I’d take it a hundred times over if I could keep those sweet moments with it.


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“Will told me last night that Dumbledore dies in The Half-Blood Prince.”


“C. told him at school.”

“You are kidding. His parents must have brought him to the movie. HOW DARE THEY.”

“I asked Will if C. said anything about Santa Claus.”

“That would have been much better. I think I want to kick that kid’s ass.”

Mi Familia

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The Star Wars Cast Transforms and Rolls Out!

By my count, the number of times a mother should be prepared to pass out when her child breaks a limb is 6, depending on how much she plans on re-telling stories from any part of the process. No matter how many broken bones, blood, or carnage you’ve seen.  Apparently, all of that is inconsequential when you’ve birthed the hurt kid.

Included in that count of six are two incidents during the casting process.  But don’t worry, fellow Mom.  You’ll get through it.  Then you can bring your kid home and melt his or her medicated brain.

While Paul attended a meeting a the kids’ school, I tried to redeem my lousy constitution for my son’s injury by helping him decorate his cast to his heart’s desire.

Will’s heart’s desire = Transformers.  And Star Wars.

Transformers seemed easier.

I printed out the Autobot decal and cut out the negative space to use it as a stencil.  It turned out alright, not as clean as I’d hoped due to the holes in the surface of the cast.  But, it was cool enough to pass at school.  (And cool enough to trump the little heart I added near his hand.)

After school today, the painting continued.

Will painted the women’s reproductive system.

(He said it was a stage with a king and queen performing.)

Paul painted, too.  Intently.

Kate bonded with yellow ochre.  And gave *Jazz Hands*!

While they painted, I prepared for Will’s next cast request.

Luke’s X-wing fighter.

Unfortunately, part way through the painting, Will reached over and swept his hand across the cast, smearing the whole thing.  (I had walked into the kitchen to get more paint.)

There was a lot of fixing and repairing.

Did you notice little R2?  (Look very closely.)

Here is a view of all three: the Autobot decal on his upper arm, the X-wing on his forearm, and the tiny heart near his thumb.

Did I earn enough cool Mom points to last me awhile?  I figure I need to save up when I can.

Mi Familia

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“Mommy, you’re like my pillow.”

Will seemed perky this morning and asked to go to school. We brought him, with pillow to keep his arm up. An hour later, the school called, he was uncomfortable and out of it, and he was ready to go home. (FAIL.)

After dropping Will off at school, I went to Rouse’s to get snacks for my workshop today. I felt very on top of things, running early, getting food for everyone, and having somewhat of an idea of what I was going to do. Until I was out in Kenner, almost to the meeting site, when I realized my wallet was missing. (FAIL.)

After a panicked stop at a coffee shop for a phone book and a call to Rouse’s, who had my wallet, (WIN!), the truck clutch gave out in a major intersection. (FAIL.)

Thankfully, no one hit me, I survived near collision, and managed to figure out how to drive it the rest of the way. (WIN!)

At the advice of Paul, I managed to drive the car home. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “I almost died.”

Paul: “I think the problem is due to engine heat.  You should be able to drive it home.”

Me: “What, to the morgue?”

Paul: “Really. It’s happened to me a bunch of times. It should be fine after sitting for a few hours, as long as you don’t drive it for too long.”

Me: (Silence.) “Well, okay. But how long is too long?”

Paul: “I dunno. Just don’t drive it long enough for the clutch to start to stick again.”

Me: (Silence. Pondering if I should write a quick will?)

Things perked up big-time when Emmy and kids brought treats for Will.  Will had just woken up from a 5 hour nap (hello, drugs!)  I’m not sure if he even remembers there was candy involved, but he hasn’t put down the card Ana made for him for one second.

One may think that this video is showing Will on drugs, but in truth, the meds had worn off.  (He trips even heavier when heavily medicated.) This is just Will being Will.  He’s telling me about teeth, why the fall out, and what holds them in until they fall out… with a surprise at the end.

Mi Familia

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“I wish I’d never seen monkey bars.”

He was so proud of himself.  Even though he had to jump up to reach them, once his hand held, he swung  across those monkey bars with confidence.  When other children approached, he kindly demonstrated the hang and swing, dutifully encouraging others to try, too.  But then, that’s just our sweet guy.

Finally he complained that his hands were hurting.  He showed Paul his palms, which were beginning to show signs of blisters.  “Maybe you should take a break?” Paul suggested.

“Just one more time,” Will said.

And he jumped and grabbed the first bar with his right hand.  But before he could grab the next with his left, he slipped in mid-swing, coming down on his left arm.  He jumped up in a scream so fast Paul said it was as if Will’s body had bounced on the pavement.

Paul, the parent with experience in broken bones, was extra helpful to Will while we went through the ins and outs of x-ray, exams, and setting the splint.  Among Paul’s finer stories: the pain of x-rays, discomfort while sleeping, itching, and gross things that come out of casts.  Still, that’s probably better than what my face looked like when I cut off the make-shift magazine cast that held his arm from playground to hospital.

Both bones are broken in his left arm, a little above his wrist.  The ER at Children’s was terribly busy, so we didn’t get to see the x-rays.  He’s in a hard splint until the swelling goes down and then back to the orthopedic for more x-rays and setting later this week.

Family Stories
Mi Familia

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Jimmy Buffet sings in French?

Will’s last summer camp performance included the kids singing along to Jimmy Buffet. Paul and I felt that it was too strange to hear Jimmy Buffet without adult beverages, so we concluded that parents should be encouraged to play drinking games at kids performances. It would go something like this: Drink when your kid does X on stage.

Most likely, the drink list would include:
— Nose picking
— Tooth wiggling
— Crotch grabbing
— Lip pulling
— Butt picking
— Yawning
— Staring off into space while other kids sing
— Making excuse of stage time to hold hand of cute girl or boy,
— Stage diving.

The stage dive wasn’t captured on video. Which is probably a good thing, as we’re trying to keep our un-insurable people ratio at 1:1.

Maybe he can get some extra points for speaking French?

Family Life in NOLA
Mi Familia

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Zee Boy, he can READ

Will’s been working on sight words in the past few months and has been working up to actually putting them all together. In the French system, reading isn’t emphasized (particularly in French) until 1st grade. During Kindergarten over the last school year, he had English 2-3 times a week for about an hour each time. I didn’t think that it would actually amount to much. We read regularly and have helped him build his words as he’s learned to write, but there was no heroic effort on our part to push skills on him. Yet, here he is… working on completing a Summer Reading program that requires his reading a dozen English books and 3 French books.

I felt his reading this book was particularly appropriate.

Especially since he now has ANOTHER loose tooth.

Mi Familia
Special Family Moments

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Hello? Tooth Fairy?

Remember this guy?

And the whole loose tooth thing?

Uh-oh. What’s this?

What happened at school today?

Uh-ho. I thought I’d have one more day!?

Roughly twelve hours until he wakes up tomorrow morning… anyone got advice? What does/did the tooth fairy do in YOUR house??


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Note to Fairy: Get Ready.

The most amazing part, to me, is that it happened without the influence of blunt force trauma.  That darn tooth just came loose.  The natural procession of things. One tooth moving out, making room for that adult tooth coming in behind it.

Which tooth?

The one on the left.

Remember that kid?  Yeah, well, he has a loose tooth.

And while I don’t necessarily feel old over the fact that my baby has his first loose tooth, I do suspect that in the same moment that little tooth started to wiggle, a dozen gray hairs sprouted on my head and my boobs sagged another inch.  The natural procession of things.


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Our Joker

Mi Familia

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