Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I’m sorry I missed your call the other day.  I’m surprised I could even find the message, it was sandwiched in between about thirty five campaign calls.  I don’t know who they think they’re going to convince to vote for them by leaving those annoying messages.  I don’t think it shows good fiscal management to spend that much money to call people up, irritate them, and leave a recorded message.

We did indeed have piano lessons on Thursday.  And Mrs. Linette said the kindest things about Lia and her progress.  You know we had that Fall Recital on Sunday.  Lia dressed up as the Sugar Plum Fairy and played her little piece.  She didn’t play it as well as she usually did, but that didn’t seem to phase her.  It was a grand social event for her, making friends with the kids she was sitting next to, and then having a glorious post-recital romp with Ali and Micah and Amelie.  She informed me that she talked to her new friends during the whole recital.  At least, until she went to sit with Micah, who was ‘lonely’.

She got two new pieces at her lesson, Jingle Bells and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  I’m excited for both.  We’ve been working on her playing less tentatively and deeper in the keys, and I think she’ll get right into the spirit of things with Jingle Bells.  And then the Sugar Plum Fairy is pretty ‘difficult’ – for sure the most difficult piece she’s played yet.  She’s sight-reading so well now that the pieces she is assigned are not challenging…at least to read and get the basic idea.

Lia’s stretched up the last week or so.  Today she went around and showed me how tall she was – she could reach this or that.  Her head touches the roof of the car when she stands (not when she sits, she clarified).

And when she opened her mouth and peered inside this week, she discovered that she is getting molars, too!  Just like Levi!

So now Amelie’s mealtime prayers go thus ::

Dear Jesus, Thank You for the wonderful day!  Thank you for Lia’s teeth and Lia’s molars and Levi’s molars.  Amen.

And Amelie, of course, is sure that she is getting some new teeth, too.  Or perhaps has some wiggly teeth.

The girls have decided to study The Nutcracker Suite (hence the Sugar Plum Fairy stuff).  Interlibrary loans are the bomb.  (Did I just say “the bomb”?  I thought I swore in highschool that I would never say those two words in colloquial usage.  Well, as my Grandma always says, one shouldn’t swear.)  But our library system apparently doesn’t have a recording of the original score.  The closest I’ve found uses synthesizers behind the orchestra.  Very 90s.  Very disturbring.  I’m a purist.

But we also got an album from Beethoven’s Wig. I had seen the group mentioned on some blog some where some time in the recent past and snatched it up when I saw it in the online catalog.  It’s so fun – “sing a long symphonies” and other classics, all with singing words.  We have album 3 and the opening number is Carmen’s Toreador, entitled Bull in a China Shop. Hahahaha.

I finally, finally ordered and received the Math U See.  But Devo keeps thinking we’re talking about Matthew C.  (Who is that? he wonders.) Amelie loves to play with the manipulatives.  But maybe that is because all of their toys have been confiscated.

Yes, our first toy confiscation has occurred.

Friday we were working upstairs in the loft and the girls were playing with the kitchen toys, the dolls, and the doll clothes.  And when it was time to come downstairs, I asked them to clean up.  And then I asked them again.  And then, that was it. That was the end of this era of toy-picking-up-patterns.

Toy clean up has recently gone like this :

Me : Time to clean up the toys.

Me, five minutes later : Girls, it’s time to clean up the toys.

Me : Amelie, you clean up the books.  Lia, you clean up the dolls.

Lia, whining : Amelie isn’t helping.

Me : Amelie, please help.

Amelie : non-verbal declaration that she is NOT going to pick up the toys now.

Me : cajole, cajole

Lia : whine, whine (although, she does pick up the toys)

Amelie : lays on floor, possibly weeping and wailing

So I told them that they needed to clean up their toys without me saying any more about it.  And if they didn’t pick them up, Pappie and I would box up the toys and put them where they were not allowed to play with them.  And then I set a timer … they needed to start picking up before the timer went off.

And they both soberly and deliberately came downstairs, sat on the couch, and read books.  I would love to know if they had a conversation about this, or if it was an unspoken agreement on a selected course of action.

The timer went off, Devo and I picked up all the toys in the house, stowed them in the front room and closed the door.

And they haven’t said a word about it since.

Well, I take that back.  Amelie did mention the next morning that she missed having a snuggie.  And Lia told our friend Marni who came to babysit them Saturday night that their toys had been confiscated because they didn’t pick them up.

But that’s it.


Ironically, the house is still the same amount of messy and cluttered.  So I guess I can’t blame it on the toys.  We didn’t give a timeline…I think we’ll wait until they ask for them and then sit down and talk about the privilege of playing with toys.  And the responsibilities that come with the privilege. And the expectations that exist in this home.

And in the meantime, I’m going to work on figuring out what on earth is making the mess if it isn’t the toys, and eliminating it.





2 thoughts on “Dear Mom

  1. Leilanii
    When are you coming for another visit? I wonder what would happen if you asked me to clean up my desk – and weeks later the desk is still a mess (though not as bad as Gpa’s :). Would you come and just pack up the whole mess and hide it away? Gpa tells me that we have enough free miles for 1 round trip ticket.

    Did it ever occur to you that you are playing a 3 against 1 game. I am eagerly awaiting “tomorrow’s exciting episode”.

    Love you each so much and thanks for your blog.

  2. Ooooooo, thanks for the long letter, I am so privileged. Now the question, will I purposely not connect with you again so I can get another long letter updating me!! Hmm that sounds like I purposely didn’t connect the first time.

    Lia’s music sounds wonderful! I want to see a video please.

    I miss my babies, sniff, time for another visit!

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