Yesterday was one of those days with the girls where I finally just said, defeated, "I can't take this. I used to have an outside JOB. One that got me OUT of the house."
But...today is a new day. And guess what? School is closed on account of the cold. One of the headlines in the newspaper said, "Why Do You Live Here?"--a question I ask myself every winter of my life.
"Are we grounded indoors all day today?" Lucy asked.
"Looks like it," I said cheerfully. So, a prayer for grace. That we will have fun, confined inside for the next 10 1/2 hours until it is time to go to bed.
This week at school, Lucy is Star of the Week. Over the weekend, we made a poster of pictures of her, doing many of the things that comprise her life. On one edge of the poster I drew an evergreen tree covered with snow; on the other side I drew a lamp post. At the top I did her name, intertwined with vines and flowers. Then we glued the photos, wrote some captions, and at the bottom she did her own drawing of Peter, Susan, Edmund, "Me!" as she says, the White Witch, and Aslan.
On Sunday night she asked, "Mom, will you go with me tomorrow to school to do my poster? I feel too shy by myself." In the morning she reiterated, "I was thinking about you coming to school with me all during the night."
So when I went to drop her off, I said to the teacher's aid, "Lucy wondered if I could come in while she does her presentation. Is that OK?" She said, "Of course it is! And take advantage of this time. In fifth grade she won't want you anywhere near the school!" which I know from my own childhood experience is completely true.
I brought the poster in, plus her copy of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," and her treat for the class: some Turkish Delight. (I had found recipes to make it, but that looked beyond me so I ordered it again.) Lucy got up with the pointer and showed her poster, explained her pictures, and talked about her name. She spoke softly, but she did a great job. Then the other children had a chance to ask her questions, which was quite cute. Then Mrs. Blevins prayed for her, Lucy passed out the Turkish Delight, and Elaine and I went home.
However, one of the big perks of being Star of the Week is that you get to bring home the class stuffed monkey, Bananas, for the whole rest of the week and weekend. You also bring home Bananas' journal and write the activities you did together, then present that to the class next Monday.
So far at our house, Bananas has basically been the recipient of much loving, hugging, clothes-changing, and watching "Anne of Green Gables." Last night when the girls got the curlers put in their hair, he got a curler in his tail. Nothing earth shattering.
So today on this extremely cold day when we are all stuck indoors, we are planning a party to liven things up. January 18 is A. A. Milne's birthday, but we're moving it up a few days. We're making stamp art invitations to his birthday party. We'll be inviting Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, various other stuffed animals, and Bananas of course. We'll be making a poppy seed cake, having tea, and listening to the Winnie-the-Pooh soundtrack, and taking pictures of it all for posterity (and the journal).
A. A. Milne, bless you for having a birthday in mid-January. Dr. King's got nothing on you.
I promise you, I faced nothing this challenging at my former job.