I promised that my next post would be a break from reports of my family’s virtuousness, so I’ll talk more about the St. Baldrick’s shave later. If anyone’s curious, you can click the link to M’s page, which now includes multiple photos as well as a video of the actual shaving.
Meanwhile, in other news, my children are currently gallivanting around the neighborhood without supervision.
M arrived home from school breathless, shouted a quick hello, and grabbed some money to walk over to TCBY with a couple of friends. Shortly thereafter, J walked up to the school playground to meet up with a friend there. And here I am, shocked that I have an unexpected Serenity Afternoon. Oh, spring, how do I love thee? Just the other day I had a wrenching afternoon of high stress with both kids in the house after school, but as the homework tapers off toward spring break and the sun draws everyone outside, everything gets much, much simpler.
Last Monday, on the same day that M had decided to shave her head, J was struggling with her math homework. She’s been following the NY State Common Core math curriculum, and between the endless picture drawing, the oddly-worded questions, and the necessity to break down and explain every single step, it’s making both J and me nutty. She’s good at math. Which seems to be her problem. She’ll read a question and know the answer, but then she has to methodically go through whatever technique’s been described that day, draw and label accompanying pictures, and write complete sentences around the various answers. All of which might be theoretically great skills, but it’s pretty freakin’ tiresome, especially when she ends up spending more time on drawing than figuring out the math or when she get confused because she’s sure that the questions must be asking for something more complicated than what they’re asking because what they’re asking is so obvious and repetitive. But I suppose I’d rather have those issues than have to deal with struggling with understanding how to actually do the math, right?
Anyway, no sooner had J set aside the math than she decided to make a fruit tart, which involved ransacking my kitchen and then becoming discouraged over how poorly the crust’s design reflected her artistic vision. I swear, that girl can find anxiety anywhere. The other day she was fretting about something else, and we ended up writing each other notes because she was struggling to chat with me. Since then we’ve dug out the Just Between Us mother-daughter journal that Santa Claus delivered a Christmas or two ago (clever Santa!). I love this book, and I was excited that J was actually writing in it a bit.
In fact, it seems to have ushered in a new era of writing correspondence between the various females in the house, which is good, because we’ve had a few tempests lately. Yesterday the girls were arguing like crazy, and then M presented both J and me with a note enumerating the ways in which we’d wronged her. This sent J straight to the pen and paper, and her response was full of zingers, ending with the hilarious closing, “Hate, J.” Get it? Like, instead of “Love, J,” it’s “Hate, J.” Oh my gosh, I think that’s a beautiful historical document that we might have to keep forever. Which reminds me, I never wrote M back. I’d better get on that.