Friday, June 29, 2007

The Playdate

Tootle did indeed have a playdate yesterday. It resulted in two mischievous girls getting into a lot of trouble. Tootle and her partner in crime decided to write their names and practice writing other letters in permanent marker on the wall, hardwood floor, stuffed animals, other girl's dress, Tootle's arms and feet, etc. while the other mom talked on the phone in the next room. By the time I arrived to pick Tootle up, the mom, who apparently went pretty ballistic and banished the girls to the swing set, had calmed down and managed to remove the evidence from the hardwood floor. I think she'll be repainting the wall and throwing away the dress and a few stuffed animals. (The marks on Tootle's body quickly came off in the swimming pool last night.) Tootle reports that it was her friend's idea, and I believe her because she has has never written on a wall or anything else and certainly doesn't know where they keep the permanent markers. The ones in our house are strictly for Doodle's use, mostly for school projects.

Once the friend's mom calms down even more perhaps she will be willing to accept some responsibility for the incident. This wasn't a quick project, so if she had been paying attention she would have caught them in the act. She didn't notice until she took the girls for a bike ride and saw the marks on her daughter's dress. The incident did highlight for me the different child rearing approach of my generation from my mom's. I too mostly let Doodle and her friends play on their own when they are inside, getting them started on an activity and checking in periodically. I often eavesdrop because I love to hear their conversation, but I also believe that they need independent play and that they know to come to me if there is a problem that they can't work out. When I recounted the incident to the 60 and up crowd (my mom and Doodle's piano teacher), they responded: Where was the mom? My mom is much more hands on during playdates, and this would have never happened on her watch. It would have happened on my watch but I would probably have caught it sooner. I'm willing to accept that there will be some messes to clean up in exchange for more independence.

Hopefully Tootle won't be banned from her friend's house as a result of this incident. I think I'll have Tootle send a note of apology. She was still too upset to say she was sorry yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sleeping Cap

Tootle decided that she would fall asleep faster if she wore her preschool graduation cap. Perhaps it will lead her to have a dream about being a doctor. The other day she asked me who doctors go to when they need medical attention. The question led to a 10-minute discussion of various medical specialties, including ENTs and plastic surgeons, of course.

Tootle is a bit out of sorts this week because her best friend is in Turkey until early August. Tootle alternates between asking when they can have a playdate and when we are going to Turkey. I think she expects us to hop on a plane for that playdate that she wants so badly. It doesn't help that her other neighborhood pal is also out of town and several of her other friends are in day camps. Doodle is also going to camp for the next several weeks, so Tootle is quite lonely. I need to arrange a playdate for her STAT.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


With varying degrees of success...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Doodle has always been a cautious kid: she didn't learn to walk until she was sure she could do it well so she was almost 14 months (no drunken sailor staggering for her); she is afraid to take her skates off the ice so she waddles instead of glides; and multiple attempts to learn to ride a bike have been unsuccessful because she was afraid of falling and would get easily frustrated. Until today. Tonight both Doodle and Tootle mastered the bike. I don't know if it was because it was an unseasonably cool day or the end of school or the planets were in alignment, but something clicked for both of them--and with no fussing or frustration. I was so proud of both girls as they shouted encouragement to each other and laughed as the breeze blew through their hair. Once they have a little more practice, I'll have to unearth my bike from the garage so we can go for family bike rides.

Tootle is a natural athlete so I knew that learning to ride a bike would be easy for her, and it was. My fear was that Tootle would learn first, causing great sibling strife. Fortunately Doodle started to ride on her own first, followed about 10 minutes later by Tootle.

The funny thing is that while Doodle is cautious about physical activities, she loves wild amusement park rides; has never been afraid of Santa or any larger than life character; and has no trouble performing or speaking in front of a crowd (she even won an award for her presentation skills at yesterday's school awards ceremony).

At bedtime, Tootle told me that the next thing she wants to learn to do is to ride her bike standing up. I think she's going to be a "look mom, no hands" kid.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Looking to the Future

Tootle, preschool graduate, finds a new use for her certificate of completion

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Equal Time

It's hard to give equal time when you are celebrating one child's adoption day and birthday within a five day period, but Doodle has also had a monumental week. She flew up from Brownies to Girl Scouts and had a piano recital.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I'm falling asleep at the computer but had to get this down so I don't forget how insane the end of school period can be. I'm exhausted by the activities of the past 28 or so hours, starting after dinner last night:

1. Picked up cupcakes for Tootle's birthday celebration at school (I can't imagine how much more tired I would be if I had baked the ice cream cone cupcakes that I usually make).

2. Wrapped photo books that I created for Tootle's teachers and wrote each a note.

3. Played Zingo with Tootle and Battleship with Doodle.

4. Got Tootle to bed.

5. Worked with Doodle to wrap Tootle's birthday presents; steered Doodle to bed.

6. Created a framed photo collage of Doodle's classmates as a class gift for Doodle's teacher (I didn't have enough photos to do a photo book) from approximately 10 until midnight.

7. Finished some work so that I could have a guilt-free day off work; to bed at 1 a.m.

8. Awakened by Doodle at 6 a.m. because she was anxious to see her sister open her presents.

9. I stalled the girls long enough to get everyone dressed, followed by a frenzy of unwrapping.

10. Put 5 candles on Tootle's lemon muffin so Tootle could have another opportunity to display her wind power.

11. Went to the volunteer appreciation breakfast at Doodle's school.

12. Drove to Tootle's school to help in the classroom for the last time and to dole out cupcakes. Lucky me: it was field day, so I got to spend two of three hours in the hot sun.

13. Brought one of Tootle's friends home for a playdate. They were so engrossed in play that they didn't even notice when I left them with Nana to go to Doodle's school at lunchtime and have the class sign the collage's mat.

14. Drove Tootle's friend home and swung by Doodle's school for the third time in one day, this time to surprise her by picking her up.

15. Drove about 30 minutes to pick our own strawberries; got more than enough berries in about 15 minutes.

16. Stopped for Tootle's birthday dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

17. Stopped at a craft store to pick up some stickers to cover up a place where one of Doodle's classmates marred the mat.

18. Home so the girls could hit the shower. Played Connect Four.

19. Fell asleep when I was trying to get the birthday girl to sleep; awakened by Doodle who announces that she needs some of the leftover lo mein that we brought home.

20. Doodle sleeps; I manage to stay awake only to fall asleep at the computer a short while later when downloading the day's photos and checking e-mail.

I'll fix the mat tomorrow night; I don't need it until Friday.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

5th Birthday Party

What's not to love about a gymnastics birthday party with 15 friends. Tootle swinged...

and jumped...

and flipped...

and slid

Everyone had fun, despite two injured boys: one with a bloody nose and one with a cut on his face.