Thursday, May 29, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Super powers: We play superheroes ALL. THE. TIME. And of course, Biscuit usually decides who's who.

I was getting ready for work the other morning as Jeff walked in smiling.

"I'm Spider-Man," Jeff said. "I was told that all I have to do to shoot webs is to make an 'I love you' sign then turn it over.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized, he's exactly right.

Talking to Grandmama: Sometimes I eavesdrop on Biscuit's conversations with my Mama. I love hearing the things he decides to tell her. And sometimes when I hear his answers, I just wonder what in the world she's asking him.

After we got back from Florida, Biscuit was talking to Mama about seeing a car like hers in a restaurant parking lot.

"Grandmama, I just wanted to tell you something that you will think is very cool," Biscuit said. "A short while ago, we saw a car just like yours. And you know what I said? I said, 'HEY! Grandmama is here. ... But I was just teasing because I knew you were at home. Isn't that an awesome thing, Grandmama?'"

I'm not sure how Mama responded to him, but Biscuit laughed and said, "I KNOW!"

Movie time: Jeff and I were watching "A Guy Named Joe," a black-and-white film from 1943 that stars Spencer Tracy. They remade the movie in the late 1980s ("Always"), and I had never gotten a chance to watch the original.

Biscuit walked in and watched for a few minutes.

"Guys, this was a long time ago," Biscuit said.

"How do you know that?" Jeff asked.

"Because all gray shows were a long, long time ago," Biscuit said.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Biscuit's words

Biscuit is pretty observant of words and turns of phrase. So when he hears a new one, he stores it in that little head of his and tries it out every once in a while. Some of them, he keeps in regular conversation, and some of them seem to wear out their welcome.

Here are a few that he's held onto.

Last I knew ...

This one he got from me. As in, "Last I knew, she still worked at the paper."

Biscuit and I were in the living room one day, and the book we had just read was on the floor.

"What did you do with that book?" I asked him.

"Last I knew, you were reading it to me, Mom," Biscuit said.

"Pick up the book!" I said to him.

"Okaaaaay," Biscuit said.

Evidently ... and Apparently ...

I think these go along with "actually" as words that kids find easy to use but that sound fancy.

"Evidently, I left Iron Man somewhere that I can't remember," Biscuit said recently.

On another day, I asked Biscuit if he knew where Jeff was.

"Apparently, he's either in the bathroom or gone, Mom," Biscuit said.

Period ...

I try to give Biscuit a heads-up if there is an emergency vehicle anywhere in sight.

"Dude! Look!" I said to Biscuit, trying to exude excitement.

"Mom, it's just a police car ... Period," Biscuit said.

Now, what's that ...

As in "Now what's that you're eating, Mom?" Biscuit will ask. Or "Now what's that book Dad is reading?"

That's just nonsense ...

This one is usually when someone is doing something Biscuit finds inappropriate.

"Mom, those boys were riding their skateboards on the road," Biscuit said. "Now that's just nonsense."

Now that's what I call ...

I'm not sure where this one came from. Biscuit had a really long french fry the other night and commented on it.

"Now that's what I call a french fry!" Biscuit said.

I might as well ...

"Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a grilled cheese?" I asked Biscuit recently.

"Well, I might as well have peanut butter and jelly, Mom," Biscuit said. "And then I might as well go play."

What in the world ...

Biscuit has taken something my Daddy says and added to it. My Daddy says, "What in the world ..." all the time.

Now Biscuit will say, "Mom, what in the wide world is that?!" when he sees something that freaks him out.

Memorial Day

"Mom, I heard that on Amorial Day, you're supposed to talk to soldiers," Biscuit told me Friday.

"Well, first of all, it's MEmorial Day, and secondly, it would be really nice if you talked to some soldiers on Memorial Day," I told him.

I looked around for events, and found all kinds of dedication services at the veterans memorials, but I just didn't think Biscuit would understand that. So when I remembered that a small town about 40 minutes away has an annual parade, I knew we had a plan.

Biscuit has finally reached 40 pounds, which is the weight he needs to be to go from a car seat to a booster seat. That means that he can legally ride in Jeff's Barracuda.

We cheated and took him last summer on a short ride down some back roads near our house. But this was our first big outing.

Jeff took the car out of the garage and dropped the top. Biscuit and I walked out and started to climb in.

"Mom, I want you to sit in back with me," Biscuit said.

So Jeff chauffeured us around all afternoon.

We got to the town and found a parking spot for the car and a sitting spot for us. It was pretty crowded. The parade started, and even though Biscuit said he was excited, he didn't really show it (that's when I want to call him Little Jeff!).

Here are some pictures from the parade:

There were assorted marching bands.

There were veterans groups.

There were former soldiers riding in fancy cars.

There were Civil War re-enactors.

There were military vehicles.

There were World War I re-enactors.

There were World War II re-enactors.

After the parade, we were walking back to the car, and Biscuit said, "Mom, I still didn't talk to any soldiers."

So I spied a soldier and told Biscuit to go talk to him.

"What should I say, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"Just say, 'Thank you for your service,'" I told him.

So Biscuit walked over to the guy (he was wearing a VFW hat), and said, "Excuse me," and waited for the guy to turn around. "Thank you for your service," he said.

The man seemed pleased with what Biscuit said. He smiled and said, "Well thank you for your support and for coming to the parade."

I spotted another soldier and pointed him out to Biscuit.

"Thank you for our service," Biscuit said.

"No, not 'our' service," I said. "Say 'Thank you for YOUR service."

The guy smiled because he knew what Biscuit was trying to say.

I figured we could find one more. So I pointed him out and Biscuit walked over.

"Thank you for your respect," Biscuit said.

"No, 'thank you for your SERVICE,'" I corrected Biscuit.

"But Mom, you said respect," Biscuit said.

"Yes, I did say that we should show respect for their service," I said to Biscuit.

It didn't matter, though, because the man clearly understood what Biscuit was trying to say, and he thanked Biscuit for saying something.

Biscuit had a thousand questions on the way home. Typical for anytime he's had a new experience. Then for the rest of the day, we were all soldiers. I was Air Force. Jeff was Marines. And Biscuit was Army. Poor Navy and Coast Guard were left out.

And Biscuit wasn't a soldier in the Army. He WAS Army.

As soon as we got home, Biscuit ran upstairs to his room. When he came down, he was Army.

"Mom, this is what an Army looks like," Biscuit says. He was wearing his camo dinosaur pajamas, his snow boots and a green hat. Yep, he WAS Army.

And then he saluted me.

I hope today was a lesson that sticks with him.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Inside Biscuit's imagination

For tonight's post, I've decided to let Biscuit talk. Hold on to your hats because this story is a doozy!

I took some old gloves, drinking straws and silver tape and make him some claws like Wolverine. I can't tell you how excited he was.

Here's the story he shared with me, and I wish I could've gotten it on video because he did not stand still for a single second of this story.

I typed this while he was talking:


See these claws? They are shiny and sharp, and they will cut you if I want them to. And you know what they call me? Wolverine. Even though my name is Logan.

I'm happy, though, because it's my anniversary. It's the celebration of the day I first got my abilities.

And do you want to hear about the time Peter Pan became my best friend, then I helped him battle with Hulk? And then Cyclops blasted the bad guy with his energy blasts and lasers?

There I was, standing at the rigging of the pirate ship. And Peter Pan was standing right beside me. He was my dinosaur brother. We fought off dinosaurs all the time. And when I was with him, his friend Tinkerbell would sprinkle us with pixie dust, and we'd think happy thoughts, and then POOF! we'd just fly.

Another of my abilities is always landing on my feet. No matter how I start falling, I can right myself. Wanna see? (And he jumps off the couch and lands on his feet.)

And then I heard footsteps. And they sounded like pirate shoes. And I heard them saying Aarg. Aarg. Aarg.

I'd know that pirate anywhere. And they're calling him Captain Hook. And I was ready to get into battle with him.

And it went like this (at which point Biscuit jumped into all kinds of positions and stances).

Some other bad guys try to come after me, too, but I just defeated them. I defeated them over and over.

And I stabbed Hook and threw him overboard.

And guess who was swimming right behind him. I'll give you a hint.

He goes tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. It ... was ... the ... CROCODILE!

After that much of the story, he got distracted by something else. But he came back over a few minutes later.

And Mom, I just want to give you a hug for making these claws. But don't worry, I won't stab you.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Miss Communication

A post from The Daddy Man:

Kimmy and I are both writers and editors. Our boy does not yet know what that means. But he got a small taste of it the other night on the way home.

It had been raining all day, and I guess Biscuit was thinking of the consequences of that.

"If I stepped in the mud, my feet would sink," he said.

Then Biscuit thought for a little bit and said, "Sink ends with either a K or a C."

"It ends with a K," Kimmy said.

Biscuit and Kimmy then sounded out the other letters, and Mr. Know It All actually argued with her about whether the N should be there.

You heard that right. My 5-year-old son who can't yet read argued with my wife, who spells for a living, about whether she was spelling "sink" right.

Poor guy just doesn't get it.

1. You don't argue with your mother.
2. You don't argue with a copy editor.

So Biscuit was arguing with Kimmy about the N, and I said to him, "Dude, without the n, you get sik."

"Really?!" Griffin asked, surprised.

"Really," I said, not realizing how BIscuit took what I said.

"Mom, is Dad serious? If you take out the n, do you get sick?" Biscuit asked.

"He doesn't mean that you'll get sick," Kimmy explained. "He meant that if you take out the N, the letters left will SPELL sik."

Biscuit thought for a second and said, "Mom, are Dad and I just too hilarious?"

Then I think there was some eye-rolling on Kimmy's part.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Celebrity status

Remember that seen from the "Brady Bunch" when Jan was jealous of how much attention Marcia was getting?

"Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!" she whined.

Well, Saturday morning, I could have whined, "Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!"

Friday evening, a friend and I drove one town over to take a sushi-making class we signed up for. It was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot.

I showed Biscuit a picture of the sushi I made, and he said, "Mom, you did a really good job. But I'm not eating that. It looks yucky." At least he led with the compliment.

Anyway, Jeff and Biscuit decided to have a boys' night out by visiting our local minor league baseball team. While they were there, they ran into Biscuit's baseball coach and his family. They chatted for a while, and since Jeff was wearing his press badge, they asked him questions about his work.

The next morning, we got up, got ready and headed out to Biscuit's ball game. After missing two games because of vacation (he was only supposed to miss one game, but they rescheduled a rained out game during that same week), it seemed like forever since he had played.

At his first game, the coach asked for parents to go out on the field to help out. He wanted someone at first, second and third bases when the team is on the field and when they're at bat.

When they're on the field, the parents help keep the kids focused on the batter (instead of playing in the dirt, staring at the passing airplanes or spinning in circles), keep them from fighting over the ball when the batter hits it (during the first game, any time the ball was hit, every kid on the field rushed to toward the ball, then wrestled each other to grab it) and generally keep the peace (tamp down smack talk, keep the fielders out of the base lines and encourage whoever gets the ball to throw it to first base).

When they're at bat, the parents at each base remind the kids to run from base to base. You'd be surprised at how little it takes to distract them from their trajectory.

So at the first game, Jeff immediately started walking toward the field, but when I looked around, there weren't any other dads there. So I went out there, too. I had looked forward to meeting some new moms, but all of them walked straight to the bleachers and sat down. But ultimately, I was there for Biscuit.

But Saturday, there were five other dads there, not counting Jeff. When I saw that, I said to Jeff, "I'm gonna sit my happy self on the bleachers!"

I walked over to find all the moms already chatting with each other. Clearly they either knew each other before this season or have made fast friends.

I was waiting for my chance to start talking to them (because you know I'm such a shy flower!), but before I could say anything, the coach's wife said, "Have y'all met Griffin's Dad?"

One of the other mom's said, "Now which one is Griffin?"

The coach's wife said, "He's the cute one at first base. His Dad is standing behind him in the orange T-shirt."

The other Mom said, "I haven't talked to him, why?"

The coach's wife said, "Well, he is a sports writer. He writes about sporting events for the newspaper. How cool is that?!"

"Really?!" one of the other Moms said. "That IS cool. How did you find out?"

"We met him at the ballgame the other night," the coach's wife said, "and he was wearing a press badge on a lanyard. He writes about the games and interviews the players and everything."

I couldn't decide whether to feel proud or weirded out. These women were discussing my son and husband, and I was just sitting there.

Luckily, I got my chance to speak up.

A mom walked back from the bathroom and said, "Who are y'all talking about?"

"Griffin's Dad," three of the other Moms said.

"Griffin is mine," I said.

"Oh really?" the coach's wife said. "We were just talking about how cool your husband's job is."

"We actually met at the paper," I said. And as I said it, I was hoping it didn't come off as a jealous kid who wasn't getting enough attention. Like I was saying, "I work at the paper, toooooo."

They asked questions about my job, and I told them what I do. And several of them said they were impressed because they couldn't write a newspaper story if they wanted to.

It's funny because when people find out what Jeff and I do and where we work, they are always fascinated. Despite the fact that we don't make a lot of money or that many of the people who think it's cool don't even read the paper.

Anyway, I know it might sound like the 1950s, but I really did enjoy chatting with the other Moms while the Dads were out on the baseball field. And all the boys and girls on Biscuit's team seemed to have a good time, too.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe - Disney edition, Part 2

As you might imagine, Biscuit engaged with quite a few people during our Disney excursion.

He initiated some conversations. In others, he just responded to the questions. Here are a few conversations Biscuit had:

An honest answer: In Tomorrowland, we got on this contraption called the Astro Orbiter. And I didn’t like it.

We rode an elevator up a couple of floors, then got off on a platform that was high enough to see everything in the area.

Then we got on these rockets that moved in a circle, with a good bit of speed. And to make matters worse, there was a lever that would allow each car to move up and down independently. And the smaller people were in the front, which meant Biscuit was in charge of our up and down motion.

Just let that sink in for a minute!

The captain of my rocket scared the daylights out of me!

See how high up we were? I'm not afraid of heights, but being up t
hat high and going in a circle at the same time was kinda strange.

Anyway, we got off the ride, and this lady who had been in line in front of us started talking to Biscuit.

“Did you like the ride?” she asked him.

Not particularly,” Biscuit said.

She looked back and forth between Jeff and me, like she didn’t know what to say.

“How old are you?” she asked.

“I’m 5,” Biscuit said. “I’ll start kindergarten in August.”

“You know, ‘particularly’ is quite a big word for a 5-year-old,” the woman said.

“Yeah,” Biscuit said. And he was done.

Late night chat: We saw some kids who were complete zombies by the time they made it back to the buses at night.

But with my whole plan, I just kept saying, “We’ll do what we can do and move on. If we miss something, we miss it.” And I saw that pay off completely.

We stayed for the Electric Parade and the fireworks. Then we got in line for a bus back to our resort.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I still cannot believe how easy our whole trip was. When I saw the hoards of people leaving the park after the fireworks, I thought it would take us forever to get a bus back to our resort. Nope. We were on the second bus out of the station. They just have everything so broken down and streamlined, that it just took no effort at all to get to where we wanted to go.

I saw so many kids either zonked out in their strollers or collapsed on their parents’ shoulders. And there was Biscuit, wide awake and chatting away.

We were on the bus heading home that night, and Biscuit struck up a conversation with the lady next to us.

Her kids were fast asleep, and I was trying to figure out whether she was open to a conversation with Biscuit or not. If she wasn’t, I was going to quickly distract him.

But she was asking questions and encouraging him, so I just let them chat.

”How did you like your first day in the Magic Kingdom?” she asked him.

“I loved it, but I didn't get to meet Peter Pan,” Biscuit said.

“Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t get to meet him,” she said. “Did you at least get to see him in the show at the castle?”

“Well, I saw just a high school kid PLAYING Peter Pan, but I didn't get to see the real one,” Biscuit explained. “That kid’s the size of Peter Pan, so he just dressed up in a costume. They were the same persons that were in that one show with Donald, Mickey and Minnie. That high school kid had the same hair color as the real Peter. And the same color eyes. So they told him to play Peter Pan in the show.”

Luckily for the lady, we pulled up at her bus stop before Biscuit could continue their conversation.

“It was nice talking to you,” Biscuit said.

She got the biggest smile and said, “It was nice talking to you, too.”

That’s amore: We were walking through Cinderella Castle, and I was explaining the Cinderlla-themed murals to Biscuit.

“Mom, I think my teacher came here and made these,” Biscuit said. “You know why? Because she took these little squares called tiles and covered a WHOLE bucket!”

“Wow,” I said, while trying to take pictures of these 15-by-10-foot murals. Not to belittle his teacher’s bucket, of course!

Cinderella-themed murals made of
teeny-tiny little tiles in Cinderella Castle.

There was a group of Italians chatting in front of us, and as he was walking and looking at the murals, Biscuit bumped right into one of the women.

She turned around to face him, and I swear, she was gorgeous! Exactly as you’d expect a pretty 20-something Italian woman to look – dark hair, dark eyes, beautiful skin.

Biscuit looked up at her and smiled, “Excuse me,” he said.

She gasped and cupped Biscuit’s face in her hand. “You are BEAUTIFUL!” she said to Biscuit.

She ran her hand through his hair, smiling at him the whole time. And of course he was grinning at her, too!

Then she looked over at me, realizing Biscuit was mine, and said, “He is BEAUTIFUL!”

“Thank you,” I said.

She looked down at Biscuit one more time, then turned around and walked off with her friends. It was such a sweet moment.

So three days later, we were traveling up the interstate, heading to Grandmama’s house.

And out of nowhere, Biscuit said, “Guys, I really can't believe I have a girlfriend … And she lives in Italy!”

Wow! Really?

That woman made quite an impression on my boy. I’m just holding out hope that she’ll want us to come to Italy to have the wedding!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Biscuit's career goals fulfilled

We started today with Biscuit's baseball game. Then we drove about half an hour away for a Western festival. Then as we were leaving, Biscuit got invited into the fire station. 

So all in one day, he was all three of the things he wants to be when he grows up ... baseball player, cowboy and firefighter.

Biscuit watches as the cowboys gear up for a gunfight.

Griffin catches a ride on the stagecoach.

Biscuit says cowboys can be firefighters, too.

The firefighter was cleaning the windows and
invited Biscuit in. And then he put him in a truck.

A friend of mine was at the festival with her old-fashioned
photos business. She took a bunch of pictures of Biscuit,
and I had a hard time deciding which one I liked best.

Even cowboys get to have frozen yogurt sometimes.

When we got home, Biscuit was still in cowboy
mode. So we headed out to the backyard.

Biscuit rides his horse Randy.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe - Disney edition, Part 1

A few things Biscuit said at Disney:

Tired of riding: We were five hours into the seven-hour trip to Jacksonville, and Biscuit started getting antsy.

“Mom, I’m getting kinda bored,” Biscuit said.

“You’re not having fun?” I asked him.

“Not anymore,” Biscuit said.

I reached into the bag and pulled out his LeadPad tablet. He got a big smile on his face.

“Are you having fun now?” I asked.

“YES!” Biscuit said.

And we didn’t hear a peep out of him until we got to Jacksonville.

Car talk: We spent time driving to Jacksonville, then again to Disney, then again to the beach, then again to Mama’s house, then lastly back home. That left plenty of time for lots of random conversations in the car.

Like …

“Guys, Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor … just, wow. They do NOT get along.”

“Aarg! Avast me hearties! We'll sail the seven seas of the car!”

“Mom, a boat ride would be very relaxing and blah blah blah.”

He really likes it: We had been inside the Magic Kingdom for all of an hour when Biscuit made an announcement.

I'm starting to really love this place,” he said.

“I’m glad,” I said, “because we planned this trip so we could all have a good time together.”

”Yep, Disney really IS a magical place,” Biscuit said.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What I learned at Disney World

I did a lot of planning for our Disney trip. My friend Janet is a Disney expert, and she offered her help and knowledge A LOT!

But despite all the planning I did, the most important thing I did to get ready was to have a long talk with myself.

I am a planner. And more than that, I am a planner who gets upset when plans don’t go, well, according to plan. I also have a lack of patience with myself and others. So I wanted to work hard to keep those things in check.

That said, here are a few things I learned at Disney World:

1. You absolutely cannot do everything there.

As I was checking out the amenities of our hotel, I realized that we could just stay at our resort and never step foot in the park and still have a great time. Multiple pools, pontoon boat rides, horse and carriage rides, playgrounds, stores, a food court, an arcade and more. And that’s not to mention the free nightly outdoor movies and other planned events.

And it would take me three days to write down all the things to do at the park. And we only went to Magic Kingdom.

So as I was making my plans, I tried to be really realistic. And I was constantly reminding myself that I was making plans to help us do as much as we could do, but if we missed something, Biscuit wouldn’t know the difference.

That took a huge amount of pressure off me, which in turn, allowed me to relax and enjoy myself more. And if you know how tender-hearted and sensitive Biscuit can be, you know that my mood definitely has an affect on him.

2. You cannot expect more of your kids at Disney World than you expect at home.

As a matter of fact, you’re most likely going to get less than their ideal behavior because it’s hot, they get tired, there are lots of people, and they are in complete sensory overload.

The temperatures while we were there were in the high 80s and low 90s. Biscuit was taking three or four steps to every one or two of ours. There were crazy people with two-kid-wide strollers zooming all over the place. And there were bright colors, movement, music and more everywhere we went.

All those things could’ve led to multiple breakdowns, and believe me, we saw plenty of kids who fell prey. But we paid close attention to make sure Biscuit got water and snacks, breaks to sit down and chill time.

3. And speaking of chill time, we built in afternoon breaks.

There are buses that take you to and from the resorts to the parks. So we headed back to our room to have lunch (we had sandwich fixin’s and snacks). Then we took a dip in the pool, which we could see from our window. Then made Biscuit lie down and rest for a little while. And despite him saying how not-tired he was, he still went to sleep.

Those breaks gave him a good amount of energy to tackle the second part of the day. He was rested enough that we could go back to the park and stay until closing time.

4. Biscuit is more durable than we thought.

Despite the heat, the crowds, the noise and the walking, Biscuit was a trouper. He didn’t complain too much, and he was game for whatever we suggested. … Well, except Splash Mountain. Every time he saw one of those log boats come screaming down that big hill, splashing water everywhere, he said, “I will NOT go on THAT thing!”

He didn’t ask for too much. He wanted some kind of Peter Pan toy. He wanted a sword. And he wanted a Mickey Mouse pretzel. I tried to buy him a T-shirt, but he said, “No, thank you.” I tried to buy him the ears with his name embroidered on the back, but he said, “No, thank you.”

I did stop at a CVS after we checked out of our hotel and bought him a couple of T-shirts for half of what I would’ve paid in the park. And of course when he got to wear them to day care this week, he was glad I bought them.

One of the many emails I had in my work account after vacation was one from our editor. Don’t worry. I wasn’t in trouble. The email contained a web link for a story written by a dad offering tips for surviving Disney World. I read the article and was surprised that many of the tips he offered were things we had done just from instinct and common sense.

We all three had a great time and were still speaking to each other at the end of the day. I’d say that was a successful trip.

Monday, May 12, 2014

More kindergarten stuff

I have more to share about Disney, but I need to interrupt the Disney coverage to talk about kindergarten.

Jeff took Biscuit to his piano lesson this evening, and I went to Biscuit's soon-to-be elementary school for a kindergarten information session.

I was hoping to work it out for Jeff to be with me at the meeting, but I didn't want Biscuit to miss a piano lesson after being on vacation last week. And the main reason I wanted Jeff there was because I knew I'd be weepy.

I am not ready for my baby to go to school. I know it won't be any different from him spending all day at day care. I don't get to see him during the day anyway, but there's something so grown-up about him starting school.

At least I wasn't the only one. I talked to a couple of other moms who were also having a hard time keeping their composure.

One thing I can say for sure is that kindergarten is WAY different than when I went.

When I was 5, my Mama called the school system and told them our address, and they told her which school we'd go to. No choices unless you wanted to go to one of the two private schools (which of course, my parents and the parents of my friends couldn't afford). We had half-day classes. You either went to morning or afternoon kindergarten.

Then when we moved into first grade, we had all-day classes, but still had naptime.

Biscuit's kindergarten is all day without a nap. And instead of learning letters and numbers and colors and shapes like we did, they're expected to know that stuff before they even get to kindergarten.

The teachers assured us tonight that kindergarten is no longer play time. It's academic. And those were her actual words, "Our classes are academic."

Here are the things the kids should know before they show up for class the first day (and this isn't everything, just a few off the list):

  • Write name with uppercase first letter and lowercase other letters
  • Be able to hear a story read aloud then re-tell the story in their own words
  • Write all upper- and lowercase letters
  • Write numbers
  • Last name recognition
  • Write letters from top down, left to right
  • Use a mouse to move a cursor around on a computer

Here are some of the things they'll be learning:

  • Reading 
  • Writing 
  • Spelling 
  • Math 
  • Health 
  • Social studies
  • 3-D shapes (cubes, cones, etc.)
  • Days of week
  • Months of year

The "extra" classes they'll have include:

  • P.E.
  • Art
  • Music
  • Library
  • Guidance
  • About five field trips

A few other things:

  • Biscuit will have homework every day.
  • He can bring his lunch, which means he'll actually eat (unlike some days at day care).
  • But since they eat at 10:35 a.m., they can also bring an afternoon snack.
  • When I drop him off, Biscuit will walk to his class by himself. And the kindergarten hall is on the other end of the building from where I'll drop him off.
  • They'll have outside recess every day unless it rains, then they'll having active time inside a multi-purpose room.

A few odd things:

  • They want the kids to know how to tie their shoes. Biscuit hasn't had shoes with laces since he was 2. Every pair of shoes at the shoe store we like had Velcro straps. We'll teach him anyway, just in case.
  • All boys must know how to use a urinal. They also have to know that urinals are for one type of business, and stalls are for another type of business.

We also got a list of supplies that Biscuit will need, including headphones and dry erase markers, two things that we never would've used when I was in kindergarten.

The other thing of note about the meeting is that as I looked around the room, I was clearly 10 to 15 years older than everyone else there. I figured it would be that way, but it was kind of odd to look around and see it proved. 

With everything Biscuit will be doing, and being around all of these young parents, I'm going to have to start taking my vitamins!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

There it is!

Sorry about the back-to-back posts. I thought I had posted the one about the room yesterday, but I did it from my phone, and apparently, it didn't go through. Anyway ...

I had sort of a game plan going into the park yesterday. As I looked at the map of the whole park a couple of weeks ago, I realized that it would be very easy to cut the park in half, right down the middle.

So that's what we did. Yesterday, we tackled the left side. And today, we'll do the right.

There's a ride system call Fast Pass that allows you to book a one-hour appointment to get on a ride quicker. So when we got to the first ride, there were lots of people zig-zagging back and forth, and we were walking straight in on the other side. We got on the boat the same time as people who had been standing in line for quite a while. I felt a little guilty, but at the same time, it was all in the planning and help from my friend who lives here in Orlando. She is Disney-crazy, so she's been our guide for this trip. I haven't posed a question she couldn't answer.

Most people enter the main gate and walk straight up Main Street. But since I was a little nervous about making our first ride appointment, we walked in the main gate and immediately got on the train. It was a nice little ride, and it took us very close to our first ride.

Plus, I thought it would be fun for Biscuit if we just rounded a corner, and there would be Cinderella Castle.

And I was right.

The only problem was that I thought we had a couple more corners to turn before I would need to have my camera ready. So I was just happy the photos were in focus.

Here's Biscuit when he saw the castle:

"Oooooooo! It's the caaaaastle!"
"Dad! Dad! Dad! Look!!! It's the castle!"

Yep! It's the castle.