Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hat Trick

The thing about new babies is that they don't actually DO anything. Sure, they smile and coo, but most of their time is spent sleeping, and eating, and pooping...and not necessarily in that order. When Clara was born, Morgan wanted to immediately play with her. Despite months of preparation for the fact that Clara was going to be little more than a lump, Morgan was heart broken when she realized that it was going to be a long, long wait until she and Clara could actually interact with each other. 

At one of Clara's first appointments, our pediatrician warned us that the single biggest risk to her safety is her big sister. Despite their good intentions, older siblings often over estimate their abilities and underestimate just how fragile newborns are. Morgan was no exception. She wanted to burp Clara, change Clara, soothe her, and cuddle her. We very quickly had to implement a "no touch" policy unless an adult was present to supervise. Not surprisingly, Morgan soon found a work around to this new rule.

It was a matter of days before Morgan started putting things on Clara's head. Technically, this wasn't a violation of the new rule, as placing household items on her little sister didn't necessarily involve any actual contact. Just FYI, give Morgan any rule, and she is guaranteed to tell you just how far you can push those boundaries. She is going to make one hell of an attorney one day. 

Things started benignly enough. Who doesn't love seeing their daughters in coordinating headbands?

But then they started to escalate. Clara was soon the proud recipient of a hot pink plastic Mohawk:

And then Morgan decided that Clara needed a new work out accessory:

Now that Clara was beginning to sit up a little on her own, Morgan decided to take things to the next level and actually balance something on Clara's head. Clara was less than impressed:

Things finally started to take a turn at a recent trip to Lowe's. I am not sure what this is, other than it's some sort of insert for recessed lighting. Morgan clearly thought it made a good hat. While Clara may have agreed, I decided that using random home improvement items as props was bordering on unsafe (I am a super great mom). I declared a moratorium on hat tricks at our house:

Until last week. While carrying a load of laundry from one end of house to the other, I unwittingly left a trail of socks and underwear down the hall and tasked Morgan with picking them up. I didn't give Clara a second thought, primarily because she was safely strapped into her high chair and doesn't actually have any motor skills yet. As I passed through the kitchen, my poor helpless baby caught my eye. There she sat, bewildered, with a pair of Morgan's underwear perched on her tiny little head.

Morgan doesn't know this yet, but her days at the top of the food chain are numbered. Watch out, my daughter. Clara will be walking sooner rather than later. And paybacks are a bitch.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Math

Second grade has brought with it a shocking number of changes. First, my darling daughter decided to cut her hair. The decision has literally been years in the making, Every time she would inch a little closer to chopping her locks, some Disney cartoon would come out with a bunch of characters who had hair that cascaded down their backs and onto the floor. Not only were these images super realistic, they then planted these little tiny seeds of doubt with Morgan about whether she would still be as cute, funny, smart, or engaging with short hair. Despite my reassurances, it took Morgan two years to finally pull the trigger.

The change was immediate. She looks stunning, years older, and now carries herself like a young lady rather than a little girl. Except for when she's tired, or hungry, or if I've told her "no" too many times. Okay, fine. She acts the exact same way now as she did before her hair cut. Whatever. She looks cute.

A new look wasn't the only big change this school year brought. We have now officially entered the world of homework. Granted, we had homework packets in first grade, but I considered them more of a "suggestion" rather than a "requirement" - not sure the rest of the education world agreed, but it has clearly taken us a few years to gear up to this concept. The fact that David is a teacher played a large role in our lackluster approach to finishing homework. By the time he got home every day, he was done. Done being patient, done explaining every concept 47 different ways (because that's what good teachers do), and done telling 30 kids exactly when they could go to the bathroom.

We agreed that I would be the homework "liaison" this year. I like this term better than "enforcer" mostly because it's less likely to make Morgan wail at the kitchen table when I break the news to her that there is an entire set of problems on the back side of her paper. Part of Morgan's math homework also requires her to be able to talk about her solutions in different ways. This includes numerical representations, sentences, and even images. Images are by far Morgan's favorite approach, as it lets her turn her homework into its own art project.

Last week, I left Morgan at the table to finish her last problem. The problem was fairly simple: a visual representation of 7 +__= 17. She asked for colored pencils, which I gladly provided her. As is the practice in our house, Morgan let me know when she was finished, my cue to come check her work. As I quickly scanned the sheet. My eye was immediately drawn to the bottom of the page:

Yep, she drew a martini glass. Nine cups of sparkling water, rounded out with a glass of vodka and a couple of olives. If you look closely, you can see she even threw in a tooth pick. I could have been mortified, embarrassed that Morgan once again threw me under the proverbial bus. But I wasn't.  After all, she could have drawn a couple of cans of beer and a bunch of red Solo cups. At least she kept it classy. Now if you'll excuse me, we're going to go make some Bloody Marys for breakfast.