...and other misconceptions I made 09-04-27
2009 Apr 27

Archive for posts tagged 'home-alone-7'

April 20th 2010
Home Alone VII – Day 6 (finale)

Posted under family & taekwondo | 4 comments | |

We had a rough night. H2 woke up with a bad dream around 2:30am and didn’t fall back asleep until almost 4. And S2 woke up at 5:45. I was… not really awake. So once H2 had joined us at 6:15 I asked the girls to let the dogs out (which they did) and then to go potty themselves. I didn’t pay much attention (I mean, come on, they know how to go potty) and was really startled when they came back and surprised me with the newspaper. They had gone downstairs, opened the front door and gone out to the driveway and gotten the paper. Without me even noticing it.

Oops.

The morning went very well (especially considering the night). We got to school a few minutes early and the girls were happy.

I started to work. Clean up every room. Make sure the toys are put away. Dishes, dishwasher, clean the surfaces in the kitchen. Laundry. Put out fresh towels, prepare the girls’ uniforms (and mine, for that matter) for Tae-Kwon-Do. Put the art (mostly hearts) the girls made for Mama on K2’s spot. Buy a big bunch of flowers and put them in a vase. Etc.

Then K2 called and told me she’d be home in an hour. No, no, no, WAIT. I wanted to take the girls to Tae-Kwon-Do and give them their yellow tape for good behavior! As they move from belt to belt they need to get a certain set of ‘tapes’ – for strength, punches, kicks, sparring and their form – and the yellow one that can only given by a parent or school teacher for exemplary good behavior. And I wanted to give that tape to the girls today for being so wonderful this past week. But if Mama is home when I pick them up from school it seemed likely that they either wouldn’t want to go at all or would insist that Mama takes them…

So I did a horrible thing. I asked my wife to delay her arrival until after we had left for Tae-Kwon-Do. The poor woman drove for 4 hours to get home – got up early to make sure she’d be home as soon as possible – and then her husband tells her to go sit somewhere and wait until after the girls were off to class. Wow.

K2 agreed and went to a knitting store that also has coffee – and sent some pitiful text-messages that made me feel even worse.

Oh well, I picked up the girls – and unsurprisingly H2 was having a hard time holding it together. She clearly was running on too little sleep. I talked her into coming to Tae-Kwon-Do with me. They got their tapes – S2 super happy and excited, H2 mostly just overwhelmed. So much so that she didn’t want to go to class and just wanted to sit on my lap. It took two teachers and my own encouragement to get her to take the class. And she cried hard.

Thankfully teacher Joy had good timing when talking to her and encouraging her. When H2 is tired and out of it she basically shuts down and ignores her surroundings. But she comes out of it every once in a while and Joy hit those times perfectly to challenge and encourage her – and after a rough start H2 then participated really well in class. And she and her sister got praised afterwards. H2 for hanging in there on a tough day – and S2 for supporting her sister. They also got told that they are very close to getting the final tape (green, for sixteen steps of basic form number One) that they are missing before they’ll get their next belt (red stripe). What good girls.

We quickly drove home were Mama was waiting. Lots of happiness.

While I went to my Tae-Kwon-Do class, the girls and K2 ate dinner. And the girls wanted “ice-cream-smoothie” for dessert. “Just like Papa does it”. And K2 got schooled in how to make ice-cream-smoothie “just like Papa does it”. The right number of frozen strawberries and bananas. And the right yogurt. And just the right amount of OJ. And then just the right technique when using the blender. When K2 told me the story as I came home it sounded hilarious – but I wonder if she got a little tired having her little instructors tell her over and over that she had to do it “just like Papa”.

I thought they were adorable and was touched. They are the best kids, ever.

K2 did bed time and I hope we’ll have a better night tonight.

Welcome home, K2. We missed you.

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April 19th 2010
Home Alone VII – Day 5

Posted under family | 2 comments | |

I may have lost the title of “SuperPapa” today. At least the girls were both rather frustrated with me in the evening. And told me that they didn’t like me and only liked Mama.

Unsurprisingly that was all forgotten half an hour later during bed time…

We actually had a fun day. After a typical morning (up around 6am, some play time, breakfast) it was time to go to school. Suddenly I remembered that today they are supposed to bring something to share for the letter of the week. First task, find out what’s the letter of the week. Easy – “what was the letter of the week last week?”. Err. Not so quick. The answers ranged from ‘w’ to ‘y’. Plan B. Check the email from preschool. Ok, this week it’s ‘y’. So what are great words starting with ‘y’. Definitely not a week where German would help me (there aren’t really a lot of German words that start with a ‘y’). Back to English. Yellow would work. But that’s boring. How do you bring a color? And isn’t that what all the other kids will do as well? A yellow crayon or marker or something?

The I had the brilliant idea. Yogurt. And I gave them two small frozen yogurts (regular kids size yogurt that we had put in the freezer). The girls were giddy with joy. Couldn’t wait to get to school and show their friends. Clearly an A+ idea.

I picked them up at their regular time and we went straight to a neighborhood playground that is next to a different school. When we arrived no one was there, but a few minutes later there was a huge crowd of kids between four and six or so. Heaven. They played and played and played.

We sat out a little rain shower at Starbucks and had some snack, then went back and played some more.

After more than two hours H2 slipped when running around and skinned both knees. No crying – just told me that she really needed band-aids. And since I forgot to bring the travel pack we decided to go back home. S2 had a bit of a problem with her listening ears at that moment (decided to run away to the other kids instead of coming with us) but that was quickly resolved (but it may have been the starting point of me losing “SuperPapa” status).

When we got home, H2 put medicine on her owies and then band aids on top. All by herself with no help from me. Such a big girl.

Finally, at dinner time, things fell apart. I think they were tired. H2 has had a little owie in her mouth for a few days and today decided that she couldn’t eat dinner. I said that was fine but then there wouldn’t be dessert, either. And S2 of course had already been told that there would be no dessert, based on her lack of listening ears earlier. And that was too much for them.

Still – I think we had a great day and at the end of bed time both told me that they loved me and kissed me good night.

Tomorrow K2 will be back – they’ll be so happy.

And so will I. I miss her.

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April 18th 2010
Home Alone VII – Day 4

Posted under family | 1 comment | |

They both slept till 6am. No later than that, but at least till six. YAY.

We had a leisurely morning; the major highlight was when the girls set the table and “made breakfast” (taking the ingredients and dishes / silverware that they could reach out from the cabinets and the fridge). They were very proud of themselves.

fashion statementSpeaking of doing things on their own… they of course dressed themselves this morning. And both of them came back downstairs with clothing that was making quite a statement. Not sure what the statement was – my first thought was “oh my”, but they explained to me how all the colors matched. And another mom at the playground later explained to me how the somewhat overly busy patterns (I was thinking “fighting with each other”) were just fine for girls their age. You decide.

I had considered taking them to the zoo this morning but as it happened the local paper had a big story about the zoo on the front page and the day was promising to be sunny and warm – so a massive crowd at the zoo was virtually guaranteed…

Instead we played at home and outside on the swings and then met our friends Cole, Melissa and Greg at SCRAP (School & Community Reuse Action Project). I had never heard of SCRAP, but Melissa and family had been there before – it’s a non-profit that wants to get people to creatively reuse what others would throw away. Leftover fabric, bottle caps, boxes, paper, styrofoam – you name it. It was pretty amazing – we bought a bag full of things for an art project for $2.25. The girls both wanted to make horses and Melissa and Greg hosted us (and another Dad with two more girls) at their house to do our project.

It was awesome. Required a little more “grown-up involvement” that I had hoped (mainly due to the liberal use of a hot glue gun), but it was fun.

From there we raced to lunch and then over to Auntie Denise where the girls played and did more crafts for a couple of hours (while I took a break).

swinging the tireAfter that we went to the playground – where we ran into the girls’ other friend Cole and his mom. They played and ran and ran and played – I got tired just watching them. After an hour and a half I finally dragged them home. Put a casserole in the oven and gave them a bath. Desperately needed, if I may say so.

After the bath the girls and I disagreed about something – I think it was whether they could sleep in their leggings. And I foolishly said “I’m the boss”. The girls just looked and me and laughed. “Nahhh Mama is in charge!”.

Ah – we should have explained the rules of succession to them before Mama left…

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April 17th 2010
Home Alone VII – Day 3

Posted under family | 1 comment | |

The girls went to bed about an hour and a half late last night – that’s the price of “parents night out”, I guess. So we discussed in detail how they had to sleep longer this morning – I even gave them a target time of seven-zero-zero. I shouldn’t have bothered. H2 was wide awake at 5:30, S2 at 6:15. I managed to at least keep them in bed till 6:45 – but I wouldn’t call what they did “resting”.

They were awake and eager, got dressed and wanted breakfast. We played a little and headed out for German Saturday School. When I picked them up I was once again told that they speak such great German and that S2 retold a complete episode of a popular German children’s TV show (Die Sendung mit der Maus) that they had watched. My only response (beyond dropping my jaw) is “are you sure you are talking about my children? Those two that are wrecking your hand-puppet theater over there? The two that barely speak two words of German with me and only if I try really hard?”. Ok, that last part is an exaggeration – especially S2 really has started to say some German sentences. But still, she appears to be much more eloquent at school. Go figure.

posing at the bottom of the slideWe had lunch (the girls requested pizza) and went to the park near our house. They played and played and played. At some point I suggested we might want to go home (they had to be tired. FASTER!!!We walked towards our house but they got distracted by a softball team practicing in the park. I finally managed to drag them away just as the first few drops started to fall. We fast-walked home and less than a minute after we got indoors a massive shower came down. We would have been completely soaked. Lucky…

boat raceWe played some more at home – I tried to get them to play on their own, but they kept asking me to play with them. Here you see the “boat race” (with paddles and everything) where I had to be the starter (and referee). We had tigers in the house, acrobats, painters, princes and princesses, opera singers… you name it.

And then their friend Cole came for a play date. Ever since I told them at lunch they just couldn’t wait for Cole to be here. Kept asking how much longer they had to wait. And then, as he was here, they more or less refused to play with him. Go figure. But Melissa and I had a good time and a nice chat. Whatever works.

Finally we had home made (by K2) lasagna for dinner. H2 ate two servings and S2 ate three. And then they had fresh strawberries for desert. Maybe all that playing and running around made them hungry? I sure hope it made them tired…

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