Blog-o! Notes from

Sun, 14 Oct 2007
Conversations with Kindergarteners

The other day I went with Delphine's class on a field trip to the Toronto Botanical Gardens. I was put in charge of Delphine; Annie, with long blonde hair in a messy ponytail and huge blue Cindy Loo Who eyes; and Alyssa, tiny and cheerful and not particularly inclined to stay with the group.

After all the festivities of looking at leaves and planting garlic cloves and holding compost worms, we all stopped for a snack. The children got granola bars, but I had packed myself an apple because I knew I would be hungry too. (I eat like a little kid, lots of snacks.) Alyssa asked what kind of apple it was.

"It’s a Honeycrisp. I haven't tried them before but I really like it; it's crispy and juicy and sweet. We usually get Royal Gala."

"We get Honeycrisp," said Alyssa. "I like them."

"We get Golden Russet," said Annie. I asked if she liked them and she said she did. "They're brown and the skin is kind of rough."

I said I would try them next time I bought apples, but they didn't have any at the grocery store yesterday.

Isn't that a weird conversation to have with four and five year-olds? I guess that's when you get when you live in a neighbourhood of foodies.

[Posted at 15:43 by Amy Brown] link

The other day Delphine peered intently at the world map we got for my birthday for a while, and then announced "I read San! S-a-n is San!" That's the first word she has read apart from her name and a few words that she'd memorized like "o-f-f off" and "n-o no". And it's in Spanish! She's bilingual!

Then later she read the first syllable of "Doritos", which is now that I think about it, faux-Spanish. I'm going to assume that's a coincience until I get more data. Anyway the point is she's almost reading! Hooray!

[Posted at 15:21 by Amy Brown] link
Tue, 09 Oct 2007

Delphine is four years and five months old, and she just started Junior Kindergarten. She's in a mixed JK/SK class and she loves it. When people ask if she likes Kindergarten she says "Fun!" That seems to take them by surprise.

On the first day of Kindergarten Delphine didn't cry or cling, she marched right in there with, literally, not a backward glance. (I actually had to call her back for a kiss.) I guess all that daycare paid off.

When I went to pick her up she said "I have a new best friend!" When I asked her name, Delphine didn't know. Ah well. It's now a few weeks later and she knows the names of everyone in her class. In fact, the other day we were at the grocery store when some little boy in a grocery cart said "Hi Delphine!" It's really weird when your kid all of a sudden knows people you have barely heard of, let alone met.

It's taking a while for us to get into the new routine after a long summer of sloth. Summer was lovely; we spent our time in the garden, going to the library, going to music class, watching the deck being built, sitting on the deck, generally just kicking around. Delphine had so little to do that she spent her time growing: altogether she has grown four and a half centimeters since her birthday. I was measuring her every two weeks!

Delphine wants to be a paleontologist. She is all about dinosaurs lately; one of the main activities on Thanksgiving was making a cardboard model of a stegosaurus with Auntie J'Anne. She knows, well, plenty of the most popular dinosaurs (your Tyrannosaurus, your Stegosaurus, your Apatosaurus, your Ankylosaurus, and so on) and the December 15th re-opening of the dinosaur gallery at the ROM is a red-letter day in our calendar. This seems to have ameliorated the princess thing somewhat, thank heaven. Now she waffles between being a fairy princess or being a parasaurolophus for Hallowe'en.

Delphine's getting really good at riding her bike. Not really riding, of course, she still has training wheels, but she can keep up a pretty good clip and she doesn't tend to fall over at every curb. I don't let her get much practice because I am a mean and lazy mum and I don't want to bother with carrying a helmet and locking up the bike and hanging on to her crossing streets while pushing Cordelia, and stuff. But somehow she has still managed to improve, and I harbour hope that she will magically learn to ride safely without any practice at all. Or maybe I will get Blake to take her out.

Delphine still loves to be read to. We just bought a whole pile of Robert Munsch books which are a hit, plus a few Sam and Stella books (by Marie Louise Gay) which both Delphine and Cordelia love. (I love Scholastic. They do sell some crap, but their good deals are great.) We also plough through some incredibly advanced dinosaur books; I don't know how much is sinking in, but she sits and listens for ages. Incidentally, I just got a picture book about the latest dinosaur science; sort of an "everything you thought you knew about dinosaurs is wrong!" kind of thing. I am a little conflicted about reading it to her; on the one hand I know I love to have the latest information about things. On the other hand I know it takes the wind out of my sails to know that all those pictures of Apatosaurs with their heads up in the air are wrong. It's kind of depressing, like what else in this book is wrong? But then that's science; if we wanted certainty we would read her Bible stories.

On that note I am going to go sit on the couch and eat sweet potato pie. I love pie. (But not as much as Delphine! We were having pie the other day and she said she loves it more than cake. The Cake or Pie war continues. Don't worry, cake, I will never put you second to pie.)

[Posted at 21:10 by Amy Brown] link
Mon, 01 Oct 2007
Midnight Cravings?

A couple of months ago Blake and I were just settling into bed at around 11:00. Just as we were dropping off to sleep we heard the familiar Thud. Creak. Thud thud thud thud thud of Delphine getting out of bed and coming down the hall to our room. She came in and stood silently on Blake's side of the bed. Finally he asked, "What do you need, Delphine?"

"Choux pastry!"

Silence, then, "Would you like me to tuck you back into bed?"


[Posted at 14:56 by Amy Brown] link