Monday, April 15, 2013

Fishing, Botox and the Cupig

This weekend was Husband's eagerly anticipated fishing weekend with the boys. I don't know the details of what goes on - besides fishing, obviously - but it seems to include a lot of meat. The grocery list he gave me included sausage, which we rarely eat, and previous trips have included meat wrapped within another meat wrapped within another meat. It makes me throw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it. He did take Trudy which left the Bean and me to hold down the fort.

It was a fairly uneventful weekend, which suited me just fine. The Bean loves the BOB stroller, so we tool several long walks around the Nelson. I did actually run with the Bean a few weeks ago and for the next week my calves reminded me how out of shape I am. Then I tried to run with Trudy last week and it was not a success. Maybe someday I'll actually get back in run shape. Sigh.

The Bean continues to amaze us with the most trivial of actions. She now purses her lip up to her nose and then blows out her nose hard while furrowing her eyebrows. It's really funny, but I'm not sure how to tell her there will eventually be a correlation between this expression and a need for Botox.

She also has figured out how to activate the Cupig. The what, you ask? The Cupig. It's one of those Hallmark dancing animals that sings a song called the Cupig Shuffle. It's also the best crying diversion we have. Last night she reaches out, squeezes his paw and watches him dance. Is it normal for an eight month old to know how to do this?

Just when I think she may be advanced, she begins knocking her head against the giant toy piano keys, which makes me think of the movie Parenthood. ("He likes to butt things with his head." "How proud you must be.")


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sentimental Monday

I buy The Kansas City Star twice a year; once on Red Friday and once on the day of the Royals' home opener. Like most people under the age of fifty, my news comes from the web. It also leans more toward entertainment (Halle Berry's pregnant at 46!) than world politics (damn you, North Korea), but whatever. So I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the Star about Boone Elementary School on the front page.

Boone, a school in the Center School District, received the National Center for Urban School Transformation's Silver Award. Boone is also where my mother taught for the majority of her career. It was - and still is - a school with a large number of students from low-income families.

Once my mom married Charlie, we moved from Red Bridge to north of the river. She continued to make the commute even though there was no quick route to 88th and Wornall. Broadway was still a toll bridge and when she was short a quarter the attendant let her pay with a stamp or just waved her through.

I remember going to school with her on days my school was out. There was far more diversity, though as a kid I didn't notice. I just liked the chance to play on a different playground with kids my own age. 

Mom taught remedial reading and English to fourth graders, many from troubled homes. She was occasionally called as a witness in custody hearings and a few times regarding child abuse. She regularly took food to the classroom because some of the kids only received food at school, so she'd send some home with them. 

One time, we ran into a student at the Quik Trip in Riverside. Heath was sitting on the curb eating candy. When Mom asked what he was doing there, he said his mom dropped him off with $5 and was coming back in a few hours. Heath was nine. We waited at QT until his mom came back for him.

Mom had opportunity to teach closer to home, to avoid the commute, headache and struggle to teach children who's parents sometimes just didn't care. But to see her in the classroom, it made sense. The kids liked her, they needed someone like her and she loved teaching them. She continued to teach during chemotherapy treatments until a month before she died in 1987.

I got teared up while reading about how well Boone is doing. Then I smiled when I realized one of the pictures is my mom's friend Eileen Bergman who is a math consultant for the school. Mostly, I'm just happy to see the school that my mom loved and made her teaching home is doing so well. 

Well done, Bobcats.