Schoolwork Reviewed (and Lots of Things Tossed)

I have this great list of things to post about and had a great plan to post every day in June, just to clear my mental blogwebs and be able to move forward and "keep up" and get into the blogging swing of things again, because even if you don't miss reading, I miss writing. I need it.

Anyhoo, today was not a good day for all that ambition. I had to go pick Henry up from school because of a diarrhea episode (just a little while after the teachers had helped one of his classmates with a similar situation - bless their souls).

I got the two babies to nap this afternoon, but Charlie hadn't been up from his nap for more than thirty minutes when he started vomiting. Calvin came home about thirty minutes later and vomited about thirty minutes after that.

I stopped counting after three huge barfs in the space of twenty minutes - literally turning away from one scrub job to see another heaving. The best was probably in the evening when we thought we were all ready to go to bed, David was reading stories and Calvin suddenly jumped up, threw the bowl he was holding "just in case" on the ground, and bolted to the bathroom, only to not make it and create a puddle in the same spot on the bathroom threshold that had already been mopped three times.

So, yeah. Maybe it's a sign...of something. Hopefully we can ride this out and all be better tomorrow.

But I didn't really want to write about hurling children...

Among my other ambitions, I decided to go through the vast amount of pictures and paperwork that Calvin and Henry have created over the past two years and weed it down to the truly precious. I'm a bit of a packrat when it comes to my boys' creations, but realized today that part of what makes something they've created precious is the way they tell me about it when they show me, and how pleased they are.

I often think in those moments that I need to keep it forever, when really I just need to be pleased with them for the moment, stick it on the fridge for a little while so others can admire it, and then toss it when the next thing that they are proud of needs some attention. I had so many little drawings and such that at the time meant something to them and/or me, but the boys can't remember what they were about and they mostly look now like anything any kindergartner might do, and neither of the boys have seen or cared about it for months, so why is it still cluttering our life?

There are some notable exceptions, which I wanted to record for posterity:

This year Calvin wrote his first opinion paper. He chose to tackle Ukrainian politics, mostly because the big elections were happening around the same time and it is what his dad's work is about, and if there's anything Calvin loves, it is to be a part of adult conversation.

So he wrote his opinion about the option on Ukrainian election ballots to vote "against all." If you do not want to support any candidate, you can mark the box by "against all." The election was made especially interesting this year because a man in Ukraine actually legally changed his name to "Against All," and there were actually billboards to advertise voting "for" Against All. I think Calvin had the man named "Against All" in mind when he wrote this, because he had asked us if we thought he would make a good president and we told him probably not, he was just trying to take people's votes from the main candidates. Here's what he wrote:

My Opinion
(voting against all in Ukraine)

1. If you vote against all, then you will not get to vote again.
2. Another reason is that if you are a thoughtful person, then here is why: it's not fair for anyone else. So that is why you should not vote against all. So pick someone carefully and vote for that person.

I also think that his mind had actually processed more than he could write, but it mostly just makes me smile that a first grader decided to write about this as opposed to why he likes dogs better than cats or why taking lunch to school is better than eating at the cafeteria. And I hope that it made his teacher smile, too. My favorite line is "if you are a thoughtful person."


I also really like the picture that Henry drew of each member in our family in their own hot air balloon. He said that Dad was in the lowest one because he is the heaviest. Har, har.


And the sad little note across one line of the back of a sheet of paper: "Oooo Lily, I wish you were here."


One of my other favorites of Henry's is a booklet he made at the beginning of the year in which he had to complete the sentence, "I am a...." on several pages and draw an accompanying picture. The first one is "I am a player." The picture is of him with his toy trucks. He is a player, all right.


On another project about people who help in the community, he wrote, "I want to be a carpenter in my community." And his was the only picture in the class drawn with markers and crayons because, he told me, "paints are too frustrating."


One of Calvin's non-school projects is a picture of life on a planet he imagined. It has a pig on a leash tied to a light post and a cigarette in its mouth. He even labeled it, "A pig smoking" and drew a little arrow. OK, then, random.


And then there are his poems. He penned "The Ultimate Poetry Book, by Calvin M." and included this masterpiece:

Drill sargeants are mean.
Big toads are green.
We are not mean or green,
Are we?


Um, I'm feeling a little green. And mean. Ugh. Not me, too. Blech. Hopefully in 24 hours we'll all be good as new.

Here's to something to write about every day in June!


Sara said...

Yay! I'm glad you're back!

Super Happy Girl said...

I LOVED Calvin's point #2. Wow, just wow.
At his age all I cared about was candy.

I can't believe that guy changed his name to "Against All". That's commitment.

Vomit and diarrhea are the worst :P

Sara said...

It's Friday and that means that the State Department Weekly Roundup is up and you're on it! Check it out here:


If I used your blog and photo and you want one or both of them removed, please let me know!