Waiting on deck

The air is crisp. The night still creeps in on the early side of evening. The grass has yet to green up. Yet they are showing up on ball fields all over the place - young children clad in over sized jersey's and caps featuring Major League logos.

Logan's first outdoor t-ball practice was today. For the last 6 weeks, he's been playing in the indoor practice center our VERY serious Little League program boosts. (This town takes baseball seriously. It's almost comical.) A week from Saturday he will march with his team in the Little League parade complete with homemade banner to be judged. Later that afternoon he'll play in his first game.

We've been doing a lot of talking to set expectations. Oh you know, stuff like:

Me - Logan, do you know that the very best player in baseball today only hits .340-ish in his very best season? Do you know what means? That means for every 10 times he goes up to bat he's going to get a hit only 3 or 4 times. Even the very best players in the major leagues make an out more times than they get a hit.

Logan nods and takes a pretend swing with his make-believe bat at some imaginary ball.

Me - Ok, but let's think about this in terms of your t-ball game. If you go an entire game with just one hit what does that mean?

Logan (with a great burst of pride and enthusiasm) - It means I'm just as good as A-Rod!!

Look, if it prevents tears on the field, I'm ok with it. If he starts to call some super-powered, egotistical, monster agent to neogiate a contract with his t-ball team, then we'll reset his parameters of thought.


Catching my breath

Six years ago, I made the choice to quit full-time work and find a solution that allowed me to meet our financial needs without giving up more time at home then necessary. It was an easy choice to make but a hard one to implement. In the back of my mind was Harry Chapin's song "Cats in the Cradle." I never wanted to be "that" parent. So far. So good.

Lately, however, the corner of the blogosphere I'd been frequenting could easily say I've been neglectful. I don't blog regularly and I surely don't read elsewhere all that often. I'm not apologizing for it; it's simply been a causality of a busy life. It does mean, however, that I've fallen out of touch with some friends. I'm slowly trying to catch up here and there. Bear with me.

Back to the kids and the cat. Well no, I don't own a cat. Real cats make my eyes itch and my nose stuff up. I'm talking about that song again. It's been a while, so you might have forgotten - I'm one of those stream-of-consciousness writers.

In January I struggled to find a "50% off calender" I really liked. This thing has to hang on my wall for 12 months, I need to adore the images at least a little. I finally settled upon one of those "family organizers" with big, lined blocks that stretched the wall calender to two pages and the graphic to a mere header. I never thought I'd fill up those blocks, but I went with it.

The truth?

I've run out of room in some of those blocks.

Sometimes it's the incredibly mundane. Other times its a tad off the wall. "2 slices of bread into K. Easter Grass for K. Press release to T. Dog sit - Let S out am." That's my Monday. And that's just what I fit in the little space on my wall calender.

There's dance class and t-ball games. There's "read Dr. Seuss to Kindergarten" and "Family Fun night at preschool." There's meetings. There's haircuts. There's work. There's all that stuff that makes a family dash.

And it's all good.

Somewhere between scheduling and the fullness of life, we sneak in some down time too. These are the moments I cherish. The ones I think about jotting down in a blog or a journal somewhere so I can preserve the daily nuances that make these quirky people mine. Yet the intent barely makes it past the idea stage.

The truth, however, is that I'm ok with that. I'm too caught up in living it to document it - well ok, so I do often photograph it.

Here's the quick summary. The boy is mind-boggling good with numbers. He's 5 1/2. He multiples stuff like 15 x 3 or 12 x 12 in his head without missing a beat. He subtracts stuff like 247 - 24 or 1299 - 20 - 100 without pause. He's constantly asking for equations to play with or pelting us with numbers to manipulate for him. If this stuff is inherited, then he's got some mutated genes. Math and me? We do not get along. Numbers aren't a big fan of Dad either.

The girl is determined to read. We work on it when she wants; she is, after all, only 3. There's no hurry. Last night she wanted to try. She proceeded to sound out most of the words on the first 5 pages of Hop on Pop. Logan reads everything in sight - Meg will be there sooner rather than later. Clearly their blog fodderness will need to find it's way 'press' after bed time.

Girl is in love with her dance classes. Boy is loving t-ball. They have picked up a passion for photographing anything in their path. They're really pretty good at it. They play. They sing. They write. They draw and create. They love. They are the two best huggers I know. That makes all those challeneging moments worth it.


New Math

We play a lot of hide-and-seek in our house. It burns energy. It amuses them immensely and as a side-benefit, it helps hone their ability to count. All good stuff, right?

Yesterday they begin playing and my 3 year old decides to change up the rules. "Wogan," she says to her 5 year old brother, "Don't count to 10. Count to 20 so I have more time."

He starts to argue but the look on her face tells him it's only going to mean a long drawn out, game ending battle. He relents. He's 5, after all, he can work his way around her rule. With a nod he turns to face the wall and she starts to dash off giggling.

"2....4.....6...." he counts out loud.

She stops in her tracks. "Wogan!" she yells, "You're doing it wrong! Mom!! My brother is doing it wrong. Wogan you're missing numbers!"

Logan smiles at her sweetly, "No Megan, I'm counting right. I'm counting by twos. It's called skip counting. I'm going to skip count to 20."

She weighs this and then finally decides it's time to hide. She takes off running again and he returns to his count. He comes down the hall seeking - and he does so like a good big brother pretending not to know where she is even though she's been in the same spot the last 4 times. He inches closer to that very spot, looking everywhere BUT the space behind the recliner he knows she's wedged into. She leaps out and yells "BOO!"

He feigns surprise before calling out "Ok. My turn to hide!"

She, who usually remains in her spot to count, rises from behind the chair and starts to hop from foot to foot. "1" she says as the first foot fits the ground and her knee desperately tries to reach waist level. "2" she says as the opposite foot hits the floor. "3, 4, 5...." feet alternate as she hops out of the room towards the hall to seek her prey.

"Meg honey?" I ask my bopping and hopping child, "What are you doing?"

She looks at me like I've got those extra heads sprouting from my shoulders again. "Moooom!" she drags the word out to display her annoyance, "I'm SKIP counting! Geesh."