Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Cup

Last night, someone on Twitter commented that the book "Daddy Drinks Because You Cry" has the dumbest title ever. I replied, "Dumb title? You clearly don't have kids."

Then I went upstairs to put my kids to bed. While Connor was getting tucked in, Chloe was doing everything possible to put off bedtime. "Do you want to see me do a crazy dance?" she procrastinated. "No, I want to see you pee!" I retorted. I had a cup in my hand at the time. "I cup, Chloe!" I laughed, making Chip laugh as well.

"Connor, spell 'I cup'!" I giddily called out. He was wary, but he did it. "I-C-U-P," he offered, looking at us quizzically. Chip and I laughed, because this is a great juvenile joke that we were excited to share with our juveniles. "What?" he asked. Then it sunk in. "Ooooh. . ." he slowly realized. I chuckled and said, "Chloe! I cup! Now come on to bed!" as Chip giggled some more.

As he got Chloe out of the bathroom, I went in to kiss Connor, who was now sobbing. I couldn't understand the problem. "You made fun of me!" he exclaimed, and continued crying. I did a big sigh (TM Junie B Jones) and explained how jokes work, how he actually helped tell the joke, how no one thought anything bad of him, etc. But he wouldn't let up. That hurt his feelings, and he refused to be consoled. As this was the second night in a row he went to bed in tears, I was at the end of my patience with this little song and dance. I told him I was sorry that his feelings were hurt, but the best I could offer him was my promise that he wasn't made to look foolish and I meant him no harm. Goodnight.

Besides, I was in a hurry to get into Chloe's room, where she too was sobbing into her pillow. "You made fun of my name!" she wailed, and I couldn't help it- I started laughing the helpless laughter of someone who has clearly passed over the border into Crazytown. Chloe was PISSED. So I quickly apologized and assured her that all I did was comment on how I could see her pee. She was not consoled. I started from the beginning, explaining the whole joke to her, and insisting that we were only laughing because the joke is silly, not because she (or Connor) had been played for a fool. But she didn't care. I was still the biggest asshole of all time, mocking my children and making them feel bad about themselves like so many Mommy Dearests before me.

As is our custom, I went to give Connor an extra hug before giving Chloe an extra hug. (A story for another time.) Turns out, Connor was still crying! As I helped him blow his nose, he whined, "I just don't like how that made me feel." I did another big sigh and assured him once more that I sincerely meant no ill will, and that I hoped he could get some sleep. Then I went back to Chloe to blow her sobbing nose and recite the same platitudes.

Then I came downstairs and poured myself a drink.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome to Your Mid-Thirties

Happy birthday to my baby brother. Whether it's been with you or at you, you've kept me laughing your entire thirty-four years.

Have a wonderful day! We love you!

Monday, September 27, 2010


This past weekend's Rock-n-Romp was probably our best show ever-- close to 800 folks came out. Weather was gorgeous, bands were great. I've already recapped it once over on the RnR blog here-- but I wanted to share some of the love here on the ChockleyBlog too.

There was a really cool "jumping pillow" at the Corn Maze where this show was held. I had a ball shooting people jumping on it-- especially the adults who could get some serious air. Here are two of my fellow RnR board members, Caleb Sweazy and Marv Stockwell, believing they can fly.

The whole slideshow from the show (including other things besides people touching the sky) is here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What We Missed

Due to Connor's aversion to most foods, we chose not to attend the Spaghetti Dinner tonight at Snowden. Apparently it also served as your standard Open House. I went up to his room today to see some things, but sadly, I missed this.

I think another visit to his classroom is in order for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Second Grade

It's safe to say that we are just now settling into the routine of the school year, more than a month after it started. As usual, it hasn't been an easy transition. There is much less hand-holding by the teachers now that we're in second grade, and it's just a total shock to Connor that he should take any responsibility for the day-to-day events that shape his life. Also, his teacher's husband had surgery the second week of school, so she had to miss about a week. That kept the classroom routine in flux a bit longer than normal, which kept Connor from feeling settled. That boy loves a routine even more than I do.

At the end of last year, Connor was tested for CLUE. It was a big deal to him- he really wanted in. So this year I was thrilled the day he brought home a packet of CLUE forms for me to fill out, along with information about what they would be working on in the coming weeks. I enthusiastically brought it to his attention and congratulated him, and he replied, "Oh yeah, we had CLUE yesterday, but we just got those forms today." Seriously? The day before when I asked, "How was your day?" it didn't seem appropriate to mention it? When I asked about specifics, made him tell me which encore classes he had, who the teachers were, etc. etc., he never thought to mention CLUE? He wears me out.

CLUE takes him out of his regular classroom for a few hours twice a week, which means he has to do a little extra homework those evenings. The idea is that a CLUE kid can handle the extra work. But not Connor. No, it's not that he isn't smart enough- it's that he's just so lazy! (Oh, he's so clearly my kid!) He acts like doing homework will kill him- we have had some really impressive hissy fits so far this year. One night he screamed and cried for TWO HOURS over a little four-question worksheet. Fortunately, he's moved past that stage- although do we still have nights (cough**lastnight**cough) when the idea of writing two more sentences to finish his homework brings him to tears. (I'll count "tears" rather than "complete nervous breakdown" as progress.)

Meanwhile, Chloe has chosen to spend Connor's designated homework time doing her own "homework." Thanks to the magical dollar aisle at Target, I've collected tons of workbooks that are on her skill level. And she is tearing through them- that girl LOVES homework time. In fact, we were playing outside the other night when I realized Chloe had disappeared inside. I went to check on her, and she was sitting at the kitchen table dutifully tracing her letters in a workbook. "I was getting eaten by bugs out there, so I decided to come do some more homework."

Have I mentioned lately that my children have wildly different personalities?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


The inaugural version of our backyard garden had a non-productive jungle of tomato plants, a few Japanese eggplants, and more red jalapenos than we could ever eat. It's not a bad start, but I would like to figure out why our tomato plants got so huge, and yet produced very little fruit.

Not much stuff that we actually could eat this year.  But we did find this visitor yesterday:


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Back to the Future

Chloe has her best friend over for a playdate this afternoon. From downstairs, I heard a loud crash, after which Chloe yelled, "Oh DAMMIT!!"

I hollered up the stairs, "What was that, Chloe?"

She replied, "Uh, NEVERMIND!"

Please don't tell CR's parents.