Saturday, February 21, 2009

Language expansion

Paul learned his first knock knock joke, and I have been trying to upload it to the blog with no success. So my faithful readers will simply have to imagine it in their heads until I win the battle against technology (translation: upload it on my dad's computer and post it from there; he has FIOS).
In the meantime, I will share a bit of Paul's ever increasing vocabulary and the widening realm of his creative thought. When passing the new construction site between home and daycare where there will inevitably be yet ANOTHER strip mall (recession? what recession?), Paul was very concerned about the construction vehicles. After they carried away all the trees and flattened the land (pardon my social commentary, but heaven forbid we have any woods around here), the diggers were gone. Paul postulated that perhaps they were all "sleeping in their garage" or "taking care of the baby diggers."
Speaking of construction equipment, we are approaching the big THREE, and Paul has taken it upon himself to request very specific construction related gifts. When we tell him no or my favorite, "We'll see" he tries a new tactic. The gifts are not for him see, they are really for blue blanket. Example: "Mommy, blue blanket wants a bulldozer for his birthday." I was unaware that we were celebrating such an event. Blue blanket has become Paul's alter ego, something to handle the more unpleasant emotions like greed and fear. I am told this is a normal process for preschoolers. Still, it's a bit weird.
Other than that, I am constantly reminded to watch what I say because it often gets thrown back in my face. Example: "Mommy, you're a pain in the butt." At the dinner table: "I need to stop screwing around." Was I this sassy at his age? I mean, I know I was sassy as a teenager, but that is a long way off for us. Sigh.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

That's Mrs. Teach to you

I survived my first week of per diem subbing. Woo-hoo! It really isn't all that bad so far and I have actually been able to do a pretty significant amount of reading. My first day was for a 6th grade reading teacher and I wanted to be as helpful as possible to the students, so I polished off The Whipping Boy and half of Hoot during lunch and free period. The students were impressed with this fact and took me seriously (for the most part anyway - one girl tried to convince me that she was allowed to rifle through the teacher's drawers and eat her snacks, while another suggested we spend the entire period playing a game). Wednesday was ELA scoring day and I enjoyed the time off with Paul. It was the first time in four years I didn't have to be cooped up in a hotel conference room grading tests for eight hours. (Giant sigh of relief and kudos to all of my teacher friends who had to suffer through it.) Thursday I had a half day teaching kindergarten, and Friday I was back in the high school teaching freshman. The worst part of this experience is waiting for the phone call the night before. The sub system is automated and if you don't get to the phone on time, it automatically jumps to the next person. When you do answer, you have to decide quickly whether or not to take the job, and there is always risk involved. If it is a crappy sounding job, do you reject it in hopes of something better? Or take it for fear of having nothing? I cringe at such rapid fire decision making, and the idea of not knowing whether or not I will work each day is quite stressful. The students haven't been too bad as long as I appear to know what I am doing and refuse to be played the fool. They get a kick out of my last name and only once have I been called "Teach". My immediate thought was: Am I in one of those movies where the idealistic young teacher ends up in the ghetto classroom and manages to turn a classroom full of delinquents into bright shining students? No? Then, "It's Mrs. van, thank you."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Paul's view of the world

Paul got a digital camera for Christmas and has been happily taking pictures of just about everything in the house. I finally downloaded them tonight & thought I would share some of his best shots.

Proof that Daddy actually smiles.