Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fellan's Story

Part of the requirements of the boy's preschool is that each parent must work at the school about 5 to 6 times per semester. My turn to work at the school was a week ago on Friday.

I always have fun working there because I love seeing the boy play with his friends and I get to see what he actually does every day at school. But last Friday was even more fun because they've started something at his school that is pretty neat - the kids each get to tell a story and then act it out. It wasn't the boy's turn during my "parent-helper day", so I've been anxiously asking him every day after school if he got to tell a story that day.

Finally, this past Friday, I forgot to ask him about it, but found a sheet sitting on the dining room table. The front page was an explanation of the project:

"We are please to contine to participate in a variation of the Classroom Storytelling Project that originated with participation in the School Literacy and Culture Project at the Rice University Center for Eduation... As a part of the literacy curriculum, in our school, your child will act out adult written literature. S/He will also be dictating and acting out his/her own stories. Copies of your child's storieswill be sent home so that your child can share them with you. We encourage you to take the child's interest in these stories as far as they wish to go. Act them out with siblings and friends. Enjoy the enthusiasm your child brings home along with the stories. The stories may be factual or fictional, or some combination of both. Children tell stories that help to make them part of the community of children in our school and to cement developing friendships... The stories will be dictated by your child and as children go through stages in making sense of this language, occasionally a story will have nonstandard grammar. For example a child might say, 'He goed to the store.' We will then give your child the choice by rephrasing the sentence as 'He goed to the store, or he went to the store?' If the child chooses the nonstandard grammar, we will write what he/she says. Ultimately the words of the story belong to your child..."

Ok, I know that's a really long explanation of the story, but I just think this project is so cool. After seeing how excited the kids were about the story on my parent-helper day and how important is makes the story-telling child feel, I couldn't wait to see what kind of story the boy would come up with.

The day before the boy told his story was "teddy bear day" at the school - every child had brought a teddy bear to school and then the teddy bears spent the night at the school. When we arrived the next morning, the kids weren't allowed to go into the school room right away because the bears had gotten into some "mischief" the night before. :)

So, Fellan's story was:

My bear was stringing on the beads. Then I found him. I got him to the circle.

My husband wasn't home until almost bedtime Friday night, but when I found the story, the kids and I read it over and over, acted it out, and the boy was thrilled about his story. By the time Daddy got home that night, both the kids knew the story by heart and were very excited to tell him all about it.

We went and got the page with the story written on it and the boy stood in front of his Daddy, holding the page with both hands, proudly reading his story. When he finished reading, he put the paper down by his side and took a very deep bow. I'm not sure who was more proud, the boy or his Daddy. It was the cutest thing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I've been trying to get better over the last couple of years about being organized and remembering things, so one of the tools I've begun to rely on heavily is my phone. I set reminders for myself in it all the time these days and when I go to edit the "content" of the reminder, the keypad on the phone automatically goes into "T9word mode" - it's supposed to be kind of smart and predict what you're trying to type - a pretty cool feature when it works.

But, most of the time for me, it doesn't work. I set reminders for myself to go pick up my son and when I try to type in his (not very well-known) name, it comes out "Fellan". And because I'm too lazy to change the mode to the regular, horribly time-consuming text messaging mode, I just leave it!

I just set myself a reminder to "Go home" early today and instead, it says "In good". If anyone ever gets ahold of my phone and tries to snoop into my life, they're really going to wonder what kind of strange code words I use for myself. :) It's always good to keep people guessing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What will the teachers think?

I was away last week for work and when I returned, a new term had entered the vocabulary of the boy (aided by my husband, of course): Going commando.

The boy now loves to announce, "I want to go commando!" and he immediately strips off his pants and his underwear (or pull-up in the mornings) and puts back on his pants.

I can't wait for him to pull out this phrase at school...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Busy times

Just in case anyone has been wondering, I really am still alive. I just can't believe how busy I've become in the last couple of months and how different this is from my previous job. I actually go through entire days without an opportunity to peruse the internet. This work thing is really getting in the way of my life!

This past week, we finally wrote our Christmas letter! I think we're going to try to send out our Christmas cards this coming weekend. Pretty late, eh? But since we haven't sent any out in about 4 years anyway, we figure we're doing well to get them out at all.

My husband took the first stab at the letter and he included a section talking about our potty-training woes (which are still fairly large woes around our house even still!). And while this has pretty much consumed all our time over the last 6 months, I still thought maybe we should foreg0 the details of our trials. I just don't think that's something the boy would be very happy about reading a few years from now, if he goes through our old Christmas letters someday. (of course that doesn't seem to stop me from writing about it to the entire internet! Hmmm...)

So, we toned it down a little bit and instead talked about the kid's general demeanors and how different they are. I added a sentence saying that if we were to predict our kid's future professions, we think we'll have one independent and dramatic theoretical nanophysicist and one compassionate and empathetic professional bicycle racer. Which do you think is which? :)

Since I mentioned the potty-training topic, I should give you a quick update! The girl is done - except for night time. She still wears a pull-up to bed at night, but otherwise, I can't remember the last time she had a real accident. Of course, the boy is still fighting it, but he is doing much better. I'd say we might be to about 40% with the boy. He has finally determined that "going nekkid", or at least sans-pants, helps him to remember to use the potty. And that's a big step.

And the girl just likes wearing no clothing, period, so I'd have to say that probably 75% of the time in our house, the kids are runnin' around in minimal (if any) clothing. We have resolved ourselves that we are going to get new carpet and new furniture once we finish this little phase of our lives!

Anyway, that's what's been going on around our house! Now it's time for me to go check on some other peoples' blogs and see what's going on elsewhere. Until next time...