1. If I ever write a memoir, I think I will call it Snuggles With Batman.
2. I have been running around town this week in the incessant rain-drizzle-downpour-deluge-drip with Michael wearing his Batman jacket. It’s supposed to be a 3T but, well, you can see how it fits. He calls the hood his “helmet.” How adorable is that? Everywhere we go this week, people react the same way: a funny combination of a gasp and an “awww” that rides a parabola to the top of the vocal range. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this universal a reaction to one of my kids–even Julianna. College girls, middle-aged secretaries, the guy stocking shelves at Staples, the speech therapist…everyone. Michael is sick of it. He’s taken to hiding behind my leg and burying his sour face in my jeans.
3. I’ve been working long-hand a lot lately, such that I had to wear an Ace bandage on my left hand when I went to bed last night. My poor tender joints aren’t accustomed to writing anymore. But I’ve been working on brainstorming/outlining a new novel (oh happy day!), and it’s more portable than a five pound computer. The only problem is that my husband didn’t recognize the notebook as a writer’s tool when he was cleaning the computer desk over the weekend. He stuck it back with the kids’ art notebooks.
4. I got a haircut this week. She was asking me what I wanted, and I said I didn’t know (as usual). We were right on the edge of doing the same old–just a trim, thank you very much–when I said, “I’m a little conservative on hair. Sometimes I think I should just sit down and tell the stylist to do something, and see if I like what comes out.” “Oh, then we’re doing it!” she said. “You said it!” I like it!
5. I was listening to a Jason Evert recording yesterday for a magazine article I’m writing, and he told this story about his daughter waking him up by standing on his face. I thought of the parts of my anatomy that are perpetually sore from the beating given them by my children, and had a moment of longing for some extended solitude. Having an empty house for a couple of days sounds like Heaven. But then I got to thinking about how quickly I get bored and depressed. “Brooding artist” is my husband’s new joke…not always in reference to me.
6. Doing first grade math with Julianna is excruciating, even the second time around. She’s not getting it any better this year than last. Well…maybe a bit better. But she has this talent for staring blankly at me. I look at the simple problems on the page and I want to weep. She doesn’t understand the concept that 6 + 2 = 8 and 8 – 6 = 2 are at all connected. My overpowering sense of panic and helplessness is a confirmation, as if I needed it, that I am not now and will never be called to home school my children.
7. Look what we saw just now putting Julianna on the bus! How pretty is that?
With you on the homeschooling!
Try using physical objects (pennies, dry beans, jacks, little toy cars, but they should all be the same thing) to show addition. Then, when the physical object shows that the commutative property works well, subtraction is a breeze.