Tag Archives: preschoolers



Because it’s a time of endings and beginnings, May is definitely my favorite month of the year.  The spring semester ends in May, and we feel exhilarated and celebratory for all the work we’ve accomplished in our classrooms, whether we are teachers or students.  Anticipation for summer travel and summer projects is keenly felt.  Summer is a time to reconnect with friends and enjoy lengthy family dinners followed by a good game of Shanghai Rummy.  (I’m thinking a few games of Feely Cup are in order . . . )  I’m pretty sure my family would say in May, Mary is completely spastic, but I would respond saying, “I’m feeling positively giddy!” (My earworm this week is The Wind by Cat Stevens.)

May is also a time when our college student moves back home.  We couldn’t be more excited to move William home from Flagstaff this Saturday (you might recall Eve moved back home at Christmas to finish her degree and save some cash).  I’m trying not to be too worried about transporting William’s huge bed and couch to a storage unit three miles from campus in Hubby’s RAV4.  I have a strong feeling the Universe will smile upon us and all will go well.  If, instead, there is some bad karma to be reckoned with, I will be cleaning the apartment toilets at 10 pm while Hubby is out renting a truck to haul all our crap.  I’m trying not to give this move on Saturday much energy, instead focusing on how happy we will be to have William back home for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!!!!  With Eve here, too, it’s going to be a crazy, fun summer for sure.

Speaking of having our adult children back home, I wish I could travel back in time two years and slap my “oh pity me” self, who was so super angsty about becoming an Empty Nester.  OMG, what a WHINER she was.  Apologies all around to whoever had to hear my sad story about how my kids were abandoning me.  I’ve hated change my whole life, but once it happens, I’m filled with renewed vigor and vim.  (I know it’s usually “vim and vigor,” buy I’m doing a social experiment to see if I can change it.)  Hubby and I actually embraced being the only two people in our house (besides the three cats and Ruby the Wonder Spaniel).  The house was always clean and quiet, and we never ran out of toilet paper or toothpaste. There were always milk and eggs if we wanted them.  After raising three children, it felt extremely civilized (but a little boring).

If I could turn back time, slapping my old pitiful almost-empty-nester self would not be at the top of the list.  I would change a thousand things before changing that one thing.  At the top of my list of things to change would be being a better student instead of being such a wild child, visiting my grandparents in Illinois more often, being more patient with my children, and appreciating how good my life was even though we had little money.

I’ll wrap up with an interesting story from my classroom today: Our students begin the year at age three, and most of them have reached their fourth birthday now.  They are a very social, distracted bunch, so I appreciated when my lead teacher, put in place a strict lunch policy.  All children were to stay in their seats “attempting” to eat their lunches until the clock read 11:55.  This has been a challenge since our students don’t know if 53 or 59 come before, or after, “55.”  Today one boy thought he noticed the clock moving BACKWARDS, and Andrew (wise beyond his years), said, “Time never moves backwards. If any one of you can figure out how to go back in time, you will be the most famous person in the world.”  This gave them so much to think about that they quietly finished their sandwiches and fruit, their tiny containers of hummus, applesauce, and yogurt, and went out to recess with full bellies to play.







As per usual, I can barely lasso a single thought, much less devise a coherent set of words that make paragraphs which one could call an “essay.”  Here are today’s musings:

Our weather was downright perfect this week, with highs in the low 70’s each afternoon. A light breeze blew over our playground—perfect weather for playing tag and blowing bubbles (one of my favorite things).   The wind has blown long sticks from the trees so if you were to visit our playground, you’d see an army of small boys carrying long sticks over their shoulders or in front of them or over their heads or dragging in the dirt behind them. They build with them.  They dig with them.  When they start to  use them as weapons, I distract them by asking if they’d like to hunt bugs with me.  This morning, we turned over large rocks and slices of tree stumps and found many ants, a few roaches, and an unusual armor-backed insect I’d never seen before. One of the boys was excited to name it.  “It’s a centa . . . a centa . . . a centagram!”  The insect did not have 100 legs, and I have promised to find out what it is really called.  One boy always wants to kill the roaches, but school policy is to leave them alone.  I stopped this boy with a rock just inches from a wee red roach and when he realized he was caught, he told me my hair was pretty and then complimented the insect, “She is nice!”  Good save for a four year old!  I never tire of the fun we have out on the playground and in fact, feel more comfortable with my posse of four and five year old boys than I do with any adults.  I’m not sure what that says about me, but I’ve decided I really don’t care.

One drawback in working at a school with small people is having to give up any sense of fashion.  You are not going to afternoon tea; you are having Adventures.  You play in the mud, bubble goop splatters onto your face and blouse, acrylic paints stain your favorite jeans, and your shirt always has a white spot from an errant drop of bleach.  You simply can’t wear that pair of pants that look great if you stand “just so.”  You are constantly on the move and need to be comfortable, being sure not to show cracks above, nor below. However, you need NEVER wear a black-and-white-striped trapeze dress that you will at the end of the day (as you examine your reflection at the tux rental shop you visit with your son) notice resembles nothing so much as a circus tent.  Enough said.

I’ve always heard about people not being able to eat things they could eat when they were younger because of discomfort due to heartburn or whatever.  Well, apparently I can’t eat refried beans any more.  We had them at snack Wednesday and they tasted so good that I kept going back for just a smidge more . . . and a smidge more!  By the time I got home I was like a circus sideshow freak, my stomach puffed up to three times the normal size.  It was impressive.  I was the Amazing Inflatable Woman.  By morning all was well.

On my way home just now from the grocery store, I was quite alarmed to see a hammock-style sleeping bag tied to a tree in the greenbelt directly behind our house.  On the one hand, how clever and fun, but on the other hand, WHO is zipped into that sleeping bag and how long do they intend to stay??  Will there be a knock on my door in the morning with this “traveler” expecting a shower and a cup of coffee?  I’m certain the situation will be resolved soon (in a soggy manner) when the evening sprinklers begin their job.

And now?  Now it is Friday night.  Hubby is trying to install a new garbage disposal that apparently is not threaded and the old one was threaded.  I’m not sure it’s the best choice that is trying to “re-engineer” this unit, but I’m enjoying his creative use of curse words, especially the combinations not heard before in these here parts.  We should be in the car driving to the Tempe Town Lake where our son is soon playing in a concert, but right now I’m enjoying the waning light showing through the front window and the cocktail I’m sipping in celebration of another work week well done.  If you see me at the concert, just smile and nod, knowing the inside of my brain is feeling as curly and silly as the hair on the outside.  Happy Friday, All!