Monday, March 29, 2010

Springtime Miscellany

Last week I took Nels to a birthday party, and I met wee Ben who changed his name to Bruce. Once I met him, the name change made perfect sense. CLASSIC class clown. Bruce appears to be stuck in some early 70's time warp, and he kept reminding me of someone. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I figured out it was none other than Nicholas from Eight Is Enough :

Young Ben/Bruce stands a full head shorter than the other kindergärtners (hey, spell check gave me an umlaut!) has massive amounts of hair, and sounds like he always has a cold. He is given to throwing his hands up and looking at the ceiling while exclaiming, "Oh dear! This is going to be a lot more difficult than I expected!"

Sometimes I find it comforting that I am not the only person parenting an odd duck or two.

We are still getting used to the strange new world of public education. Grade school was a long, long time ago, so I don't really remember what it was like. When Nels started bringing home notices about his Spring Program, I didn't know what to expect. "Save the date," said the notes, "Make sure the kids wear the right thing," "They've been practicing like crazy in PE class." PE?

Yes, the Helen Baller Spring Program is a PE show. Each class in the entire school does a routine set to music. The Camas High School gym (home of the Papermakers!) was packed with family members cheering on their students. There were kids shooting hoops, forming pyramids, doing push-ups, and jumping rope. At one point fifty first graders got their hula-hoops going, and the entire audience spontaneously broke out in applause. It was spectacular.

Two weeks ago, Nels came home with an egg crate he'd planted in school. Each row of two was carefully labeled with a different vegetable. As he tried to get the rubber band off, Nels dumped about half of the contents out onto the dining room table.

"I spilled it on the bus too," he said, and began to cry.

No problem. I brushed everything into one big mixing bowl, filled the dirt back in, and did my best to identify and re-plant the seeds. The only ones I couldn't find at all were the carrots. But once they started popping up, I saw that they had nicely distributed themselves. I took this picture a week ago. As of today, the pumpkin vines are threatening to take over the house. Time to find some pots, I guess. I don't know. I tend to kill plants, not grow them.

I should also tell you that Shaun and I watched the movie High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music. It was very good. That old-timey bluegrass always gets me.

That, and hula-hooping first-graders.

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