Because of my job teaching horseback riding lessons, the kids have learned some really fun skills. Like riding. And crying really loud at the barn. Life lessons, they are learning.
But, they were also able to come to camp with me for a week and we had a ball (or bawl, if you are Professor) eating, drinking, sleeping horses. Who cares that it was 80 million degrees out? We had fun.
I really like Pirate jumping. And notice Professor holding the feather as he rode. He is the MOST determined to get his own way kid I have ever met. He WOULD NOT ride unless he had that feather. It’s like Dumbo and his magic feather. It’s also kind of obnoxious.
I’m not doing camp for awhile which is good. It totally wiped me out! Good memories and I’m glad my kids got to join in.
all 3 kids, horses
Last week when Juice was taking pictures of my new coat, the kids had to get in on a little camera action of their own.
I have cute cute cute kids.
all 3 kids, picture taking 3 kids, pictures
We spent the day together, the 5 of us. So here are 5 things we did.
1. We spent part of our day collecting firewood for our friend Lavender. We filled 4 big boxes with the branches and the logs from her back yard. The kids had a great time because Lavender has a swing set. And a back yard. It was a beautiful day, with bright blue skies and crisp crunchy fall air. I got sunburned.
2. We went on a scavenger hunt for my mom and some Christmas presents. The store we went to was giving out free cupcakes and cookies and punch. It was awesome. I also scored a really fun item, and a big chunk of my own Christmas presents. Plus the kids were distracted by cupcakes so I bought them while they were with me.
3. I have done at least 6 loads of laundry today. 6. Whole. Loads. Can someone please remind the boys that they are potty trained? Mostly.
4. For 2 days in a row, the boys did not nap. They were cranky. They were willful. They were full of fire and sass. And today I really did not mind. They were just so cute and full of life! I was having the best time watching them. And Butterfly too. What a fun day they had.
5. We love Halloween candy. Pirate got a full sized Twix bar and he was so excited when he opened it that he had two. “Two! Like me and you Professor!” He was so sweet and gave one to Butterfly. What a sweet kid we have. Kids. All of them are just great.
all 3 kids, daily stuff, Lavender
At Butterfly’s bus stop there are older kids that wear bright yellow seat belts from shoulder to hip and they are called patrols. I assume they are there to enforce the rules of the bus stop. They also help the kids on and off the bus at the end of the day.
According to Butterfly’s school website, they have a list of 14 rules they should follow while they are “patrolling”. Rule #13 is “The Three Main Functions of a Safety Patrol Are To: Instruct, Direct, and Control.”
We’ve been at the bus stop every school day for a month now, and here are a few observations I have of the patrols and their main functions.
Like I mentioned in my last Bus Stop Tales chapter, I let my kids run around the grassy area next to the corner where the bus picks the kids up. One of the streets is a very busy street so I like to keep my kids down in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood is a town house neighborhood and we share all the grassy areas in common. As in, no one owns them and the Home Owners Association pays for the upkeep. Although I think everyone considers the grassy areas around their house to be “theirs” but if someone set up a tent in “their” area, nothing could be done about it.
My kids run in the grassy area right in front of 2 houses. There is an old stump surrounded by paving stones that they like to stand on and hop off of.
I was watching Butterfly run with her friends and turned to find the boys. They were both standing on the stump. They had 2 girl patrols and a whole gaggle of girls surrounding them. I saw the patrols talking to them. Pirate left soon after, his shoulders slumped and crying.
“What happened?” I asked him when he got to me. He didn’t answer so I looked up at the girl patrols and the gaggle of girls following them.
“Can you tell them not to climb on that stump? It’s private property!”
Now I must commend the girl for following rule number 5: Perform your patrol duties faithfully.
But it is NOT private property. It is common ground. I told her that.
“They could get hurt!”
And polietly as I could (because she got my inner mama bear up), I said, “Let me worry about if they will or won’t get hurt. You just worry about your school mates, okay?”
The boys and I were headed home after Butterfly’s bus left. I would say about a quarter of the kids were still waiting on the second bus. Yes, we have 2 buses that pick up at our spot. Butterfly’s bus is for the K-3rd graders. The big kid bus is for the 4th and 5th graders.
We weaved through a few kids on our way down the hill to our house. My boys’ natural gait is set on “run full tilt” so I was hustling to catch them before we had to cross a neighborhood street. Professor had a stick in one hand and a huge smile on his face.
That smile left when we walked past a group of boys sitting on the stairs a ways away from the bus stop. A very big boy patrol almost jumped in front of him and said, “Hey! Stop running! Walk!”
And Professor burst into tears. I would have done the same because that boy was really very startling!
I scooped Professor up and said, “You let me worry about him. You worry about your classmates.” I started off down the sidewalk to where Pirate had stopped at the street. (Good boy!)
The patrol look at me and said, “Well he could get hurt with that stick in his hand!” in a very injured voice.
I turned to look at him and said, “He’s MY kid. He’s MY responsibility. You worry about your OWN responsibilities and your OWN classmates. Like the boys that are ganging up on the boy over there. You leave MY kid alone.”
Harsh? Probably. But I think he was ignoring rule #10- Remind schoolmates of safe walking rules without being “bossy”.
I would add to that, without being whiny, rude, or pushy.
One thing I noticed in both of these stories, and actually in the first chapter of the Bus Stop Tales, is the overwhelming fear that something COULD happen. We seem to shy away from risk of ANY kind. All those people who sue others over the tiniest things have made the upcoming generation overly cautious and anxious.
Boy are they going to make fun adults!
all 3 kids, school bus bus stop
My goal for this school year for myself is to get Butterfly on time to school. Every day. Last year, I am ashamed to say that she was late 3-6 days out of the month. Every month. And I could never figure it out! I swear I got her to school by 9:25 am when it started!
Reading this year’s paperwork they sent home, school starts at 9:15 am.
With Butterfly riding the bus this year, we will hopefully meet that goal! In order for her to be on the bus and us not running to the car in the morning, we leave for the bus stop 10 minutes before we’re supposed to get there. Because with all these little kids, you never know how long a short walk up the block will take.
Today, we were the second ones there and set my kids loose to run in the grass nearby. They were playing claw (it’s like tag but “scarier!”) and having a ball. I figured they were moving and getting all of Butterfly’s wiggles out before school started. And I didn’t have to answer the twin chorus of “why?” for a good 10 minutes. Win/win!
More kids showed up to the bus stop. They lined up nicely on the side walk. And watched. My kids screamed, ran, cried (“it’s too scary Mommy!”), and were general hooligans. I could see several of the kids bouncing on the balls of their feet with their heads following the path my trio was making.
One girl from Butterfly’s class last year joined Butterfly in running around. That seemed to break the dam and they had a rousing game of Claw going in about 2 minutes. It was a screaming mass of kids and I was enjoying watching them run!
Three minutes in, a mom started screaming at her girls (she has 3) to get back on the sidewalk. They were in the middle of the pack and didn’t hear her. She marched herself down there and physically yanked all three girls out of the pack and lined them up on the side walk. On the way past me, she said to the oldest girl “It’s wet and you will fall! If any of your sisters fall and hurt themselves, I’m holding you responsible!”
I’ve been thinking about this all day. It would not be this oldest girl’s fault. Yes, the grass was wet. Yes, kids did fall and hurt themselves. (okay, just Pirate) But I didn’t see any harm in the kids running before school. This mom started the trend and gradually, the kids with parents were pulled back into line.
Are we so afraid for kids to hurt themselves that we limit what they can and can’t do? Are we afraid of blood, sweat, tears, and some skinned knees? I see a huge trend in child raising here that you keep kids inside and controlled at all times. I don’t like that. I love to see my kids running and screaming and I let them do it as much as possible. (Just ask my parents after a fun 2 weeks of that!)
Or maybe I just can’t control my children.
Either way, I’m okay with it.
PS- I’m sure I will have lots of stories about the bus stop in the years to come. So welcome to a new series!
all 3 kids, school bus bus stop, Butterfly
Every Monday night we try to get together as a family and spend some time together. We sing a song, have a treat, talk about our week, and have a spiritual lesson. Then we sometimes have an activity. Since Flower has been here, we’ve had an activity almost every Monday!
This week I was in charge of the activity and I was hoping that we could go swimming. But dinner was late, and it kind of looked stormy. So I thought maybe playing with chalk outside would be fun. Juice reminded me that the kids got a fun sprinkler for their birthday party so we should maybe get that out?
Sprinkler fun makes my Monday.
At least until this showed up.
Well, we were already wet when the rain came!
PS- Linked up to my friend Cheryl!
all 3 kids, sprinklers summer fun
The kids caught a cricket this morning. Or perhaps, Juice caught a cricket for the kids. They put it in the bug keeper I bought for Butterfly. It has a long, purse-like strap. Professor LOVES to carry it around on his shoulder. And the poor cricket hopping around like mad inside it. Everyone has to take turns.
When it was Pirate’s turn, he made sure I helped him count the cricket’s legs and then announced he was hungry. (The cricket not the boy.) “He hungry!” When I asked what the cricket would like, he said, “He need cookie!” and after a small pause he added, “And milk!”
Then he said, “I share with him. I nice boy!”
Or a very clever one. (No, he did not have one, only because he got distracted by a banana and then it was time to take Butterfly to school so we ran out of time.)
Taking Butterfly home from school today we had the following conversation:
“Do you think I am a teenager?”
“No! Even if you weren’t my daughter I would know you are a little girl. Teenagers are…bigger.”
“Oh. I think it would be fun to be older.”
“You are older! You haven’t even been 6 for one whole month yet!”
“Yes, I know. But I was I was 66.”
“66? Are you sure?”
“Yes, because I’m six and I wish I was even MORE six. Like 66. And when I’m seven, I will want to be 77. And 88, and 99, and 110!”
“Honey, you’ll have to wait 60 years to be 66!”
Silence for awhile. Then she said, “I like being just six.”
Butterfly and Juice are off camping tonight with our church’s father/daughter camp out. I packed most everything for them, bought them treats at the store, but forgot the graham crackers for s’mores. Oops! Hopefully someone will take pity on them and share.
Juice told me as they were leaving, “I’ve been camping before, but I’ve never been in charge of it myself.”
“You’ve been camping with me and been in charge of a lot of things!”
“Yes, but never children.”
“You’ll be fine with her. You are in charge of her all the time.”
“Yes but never camping. And never without you.”
Sigh…I wish I could go with them too! I love to camp.
PS- I re-read this and realized that I didn’t involve Professor in something he said! And the biggest thing I hear him say is, “I want a big, huge one!” As in, “Do you want an apple?” “I want a big huge one!” Or would you like some goldfish? “I want a big huge one!”
PPS- Re-re-reading this and a left out one more family member. Soot (the dog), only says “woof!”
all 3 kids, camping, conversations with Butterfly 3 kids, sayings
Juice and I started talking about birthday presents for the kids around February. Actually, from February to May, I have 8 birthdays in my family. Dad, Mom, Brother, Juice, etc. So I sit down one afternoon and plan everything I’m going to get for all those birthdays and start shopping.
This year, I thought the kids would like super hero capes. What little kid doesn’t like a super cape to run around in and go “super fast!” as Professor likes to say.
Since I am far from crafty, I turned to the Internet to price out some of those things. About 10 minutes into my search, I thought, “You know, I know someone who is REALLY crafty with a sewing machine. I wonder…would Valinda do this?”
Several excited emails and texts later, and Valinda did! We have these beauties!
The kids have not taken them off since the party. Super heroes at the garden? Yep. Super heroes at the school drop off? You bet.
The big surprise in the package? Capes for Juice and me!
Now we are a super family.
As if you didn’t know that one already.
Want one of these beauties for yourself? If you ask my friend Valinda R-E-A-LL-Y nice, I bet she’d make you one too! I think she quoted me $17 for these, but you’ll have to ask her for the details. Here is her blog, and her contact info:
Also, she does pretty amazing princess dresses. If you want one of those too.
all 3 kids, birthday parties birthdays, presents, the family
Yesterday, I woke Butterfly up for school and she giggled. It was a rare occurrence. I asked her what was so funny. She said, “In my dream, you were asking me to come and see the marshmallow car. That is so silly!”
Telling the boys to finish up their lunches today because it was time to go up for a nap, Pirate said, “No! Down! The sun go down to sleep! So do we.”
Professor wanted his socks pulled all the way up to his knees this morning. How did he describe it? “Socks need to be big. Huge! Eat lots and grow!”
And from me, a teaser picture.
More of that to come!
all 3 kids
It’s 9:20 pm. The baby monitor is bouncing rhythmically because someone is bouncing in their bed. And then I hear this.
“Hey Udderfi! Hey Udderfi! You hear that?”
“Professor, I’m trying to sleep.” (Butterfly)
“Yeah! Sleep!” (Pirate)
*thump thump thump*
“Waz at? You hear at?” (Professor)
*thump thump thump*
“O! A ghost!” (Professor, again.)
sigh…”Pirate, quit thumping your feet so we can go to sleep!”
Man these kids are cute!
all 3 kids