Archive for January, 2010

Zoo Class

If the Zoo Class people “lose” our address from their mailing list, it won’t come as a shock.

So Mark and I are at Zoo Class this morning, one about the Big Cats.  First he objects that he cannot sit in the little circle of carpet squares unless I come  too.  None of the other parents are doing this, but, hey, whatever it takes to keep him quiet, right?

Quiet?  HA.

There were six kids in this class.  FIVE sat on their little carpet squares, listening, and, occasionally, venturing a nod.  Then there was Mark.  Every question that was asked, he answered.  Loudly.  Usually, but  not always, correctly.

Soon it was time to lay out the tiger skin and everyone feel their thick thick fur, because they often live in cold places.

Mark touches the fur with two-handed enthusiasm, then jerks back.  “It’s  not alive, is it?”

“Not anymore,” the teacher assures him.

Now he’s even more disturbed.  “What happened to it!?”

“It just died!”  I hiss.

Usually at Zoo Class, there are live animals to meet–one of the highlights for Mark.  The teacher explains that she can’t bring in a REAL Big Cat for them to pet, but she has animals with things in common with cats.  Like this guinea pig, that has whiskers like a cat.

“If you listen closely,” the teacher says, “she squeaks sometimes.”

Mark:  “You mean she communicates?  What does she have to communicate?”

The teacher:  “Whether she’s happy or sad.”

Mark (petting the guinea pig):  “She’s not communicating with me.”

Apparently Mark is comfortable now, because he turns around and says, “I don’t need you anymore,” waving a hand that means I’m supposed to go sit with the other parents.  I do, with some trepidation–he’s now out of reach.  The teacher hauls out a ferret.

Mark:  “Is that a raccoon?”

Teacher:  “It sort of looks like a raccoon, but this is a ferret.”

Mark:  “Does it communicate?”

Teacher:  “Um…no.  Ferrets are very quiet.”

Then it’s time to talk about lions.  The teacher brings out a stuffed animal lion.

Mark (horror-struck):  “Is it dead too?”

Teacher:  “No, it was never alive.  It’s just a toy.”

Mark is dubious, especially since the very next thing that happens is that it’s time to see the hedgehog, and the teacher tells the closest little boy, who’s now holding the toy lion, to put it aside because lions try to eat hedgehogs and she (the hedgehog) might be scared if she saw it.  But, unprompted, he puts away the toy snow leopard that he’s been clutching, figuring the hedgehog might not be keen on it either.

The hedgehog, unsurprising, is not thrilled with all the preschool interest and stays curled up tight.

Mark:  “Does SHE communicate?”

Someone’s daddy is smothering laughter.

Teacher:  “Not really.”

If I was like this in school, none of my teachers was paid enough.  At least, as far as I know, none of them retired the year after I was in their class, which actually happened with Paul (first grade).

Passive-aggressive Prayer-time

So Mark’s offering the blessing for dinner last night:

“Dear Dod, tank you for my brudder.  And my sister.  And my MEAN brudder.”

Baby Houdini strikes again

So Mark, unexpectedly, shows up at our pew during the sermon on Sunday.

Turns out, he’d slipped out of the Sunday school classroom via the bathroom, made his way downstairs, found the sanctuary, came in one door, traversed the side aisles and the back before seeming to realize where he was and find his way to our customary spot.  Fortunately, the same good wits that showed him an escape route also advised the wisdom of not heading out into the 8 degree weather.

I’m strongly considering letting his hair grow long and braiding bells into it.


So one of our New Year’s resolutions is to rid the house of sippy cups.  Mark is almost four, after all.  It’s more than time.

I took them all away and made a new rule:  you spill your cup, you drink water for the rest of the day.

Three days ago Mark spilled his breakfast applejuice and spent the rest of the day sorrowfully (but not silently) confined to water.

He hasn’t spilled since.

Rock on!

An unintended consequence of both a teenager and a toddler in the house:

Mark, a drumstick in each hand, sitting at the Guitar Hero World Tour drumset.  He smacks them together.  “One, two, three!”  He starts whacking the drum set.  “Rock on!  Rock on!  Oh, yeah!

Civil (?) Disobedience

Mark now uses the alphabet song as a protest march.  If one of us does something to annoy or frustrate him, he ‘sings’ the alphabet song at the top of his lungs, often walking past your chair.

Teaching Woes

So we’re in the car, driving to Grandma’s house.  Kate, now the educated kindergartner, decides to play teacher to Mark’s benighted student.

Kate:  “Mark, I’m going to teach you the ABCs in French.”

Mark:  “I KNOW my ABCs.”  Indignantly, he begins to sing the alphabet song.

Kate:  “No, no.  That’s English.  Here’s French.  Listen.   Ah, Bey, Say–”

Mark (now incredulous at her stupidity):  “Ayuh.  Bee.  See.”  Then, for good measure, “Dee.  Eeyuh.  Eff.  Gee.”

Kate:  “That’s ENGLISH.”


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