**Whilst sitting at a red light a few days ago, I turned my head toward the tell tale thumping of some serious base blasting from the car next to me. In the 'car' (and it was actually an old beat up pick up in Bond-O blue) there were two high school kids. Clean cut and almost ROTC looking dudes, I might add. The music was so loud the asphalt was literally shaking. I rolled my window down to hear what they were playing. One of the kids looked at me and smiled. "It's Death Metal, Ma'am" (Did he just Ma'am me? Oh, no he di-in't) Crap - I'm old. I never heard of Death Metal. This coming from a woman who's last CD was purchased from Pottery Barn or Starbucks (can you say Hootie and the Blowfish?) - I know nothing of this Death Metal. What comes after Death Metal? Funeral Dirge Metal??
**Whilst sitting outside watching the group of little 5 year old Tu-Tu'd darlings prance about in ballet class... "which one is yours?" I am asked. I point to the (cutest) one with the almost knee- length double braid and say "that one". "Are you her grandma? " (Did she just ask me if I was her Grandma? Oh no she di-in't). Crap- I'm not THAT old! I go back to listening to my Hootie on my Ipod and flipping through my Reader's Digest as I hike up my sweat pants and tighten the orthopedic shoes. Thanks, Bitch. And, by the way - your kid is ugly.
**The 9 year old has graduated from 4th grade Book Club with a Bachellor's Degree. 8 book reports with 3 to go for her Master's. The kid is a voracious reader. And, these reports are harder than my thesis paper at B.U. We have a project time line for due dates for which Emily has committed. We factor in the "I can't do this" and the fights with mom into the time line which as we have learned from experience...come regardless of degree of difficulty on each project.
Who knew 4th grade would be so challenging? In California, the entire 4th grade throughout the state studies California history. They study the Gold Rush, the California Missions (in which a styrofoam or sugar cube mission replica must be built repleat with real adobe roof tiles -no kits allowed and in which the local craft stores profit immensly I might add while the kids and their parents pull their fucking hair out and have even more fights with the kids who would rather play with the glue gun and their daddy actually said to the child "Don't be an asshole" while she was waving the Exact-O knife around trying to cut the whispy stringy thing of molten lava glue that was flying around the garage - and I quote that 'cuz he actually said it ...not me this time) They went on an overnight field trip to live and work on board a replica sailing vessel called the Brig Pilgrim (which cost $125 and the parents were hoping the kids would come back after working like slaves hoisting sails and swabbing decks and gathering hides with a greater appreciation of how lucky they are to have what they have when in actuality they came back thinking how cool was to learn the song 'What Can We Do with the Drunken Sailor').
Emily also was tested for the G.A.T.E. program . Which stands for Gifted and Talented Education. While mom sat through a two hour lecture and parental IQ test to see if their child is indeed a GATE kid...without coffee , I might add. The last IQ test I took was on-line and I got a 137 which I think is pretty good (and anything over 140 is near genius she says as she puffs and buffs fingernails on shirtsleeves). They gave us parents some sample questions that the kids were doing - I sat there with my chin on the table and was all "duh....".
She is also participating in the Women and History program in which 5 amazing women in history are presented and represented by various 4th and 5th graders to every class over the course of a week. Funny, my name wasn't on the list. Women like Harriet Tubman, Golda Meir, and Sally Ride - and maybe when my little one is in 4th grade ...Swirl Girl.
** The 5 year old is officially a reader. We have been reading to both girls since they were in utero. And, as most kids do ...she has been memorizing the books so she can recite them along with us. But in the past few weeks, the lightbulb has switched on for her and she is starting to put the sounds together to form the actual words - and not from memory.
Whilst at Starbuck's the other day, I am jotting down simple words on a napkin . Rhyming words like : Hop, Pop, Slop. Rachel is sounding out the letters (really loudly I might add) while I am reminding her that the end sound are all the same, and the beginning sounds are different.
I write Wall.
She says " Whu - ah- uhl- uhl , Wall:"
she gets tripped up on the last one...I help out with "It rhymes with Ball and is the opposite of short."
She says - loud and proud - "PANTS"!
Bwaaahaaaahaaaa! Near genius #2 in the making.
- and they say drinking while pregnant impairs cognitive development. Now pass the Pinot and shut the fuck up.
** And I leave you with this rare clip of mommy doing what she loves most. Enjoying her vino and some snicky snacks on a gorgeous Southern California afternoon. Turn up the volume for this.... my new favorite nickname for my kid. P.I.T.A....'cuz that's how I roll.