Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow Day!

All week we listened to weather reports predicting "snow-mageddon" and "snow-pocalypse" for the Pacific Northwest. Rather than get me worked into a state of panic, the reports made me very glad that I wasn't a meteorologist. I mean, seriously, how f*cking boring does your life have to be if you are sitting around thinking up retarded words to describe a snow-storm?? And then what a let down when snow-mageddon never hits.

But Thursday we did wake up to a light white dust on the ground - not enough to keep me from my 5am run date. But by the end of our 12 miler, we were being pelted by big white flakes. There was enough accumulation that I skidded by our driveway and had to park on the side of the street on my return home. Shortly after, we got the call: Delayed start for schools, but by breakfast our "high elevation" school (about 500') had closed for the day, the only school in Salem that failed to open. That means there was plenty of time for us to go get a "snow-ducation."
Look at those two inches of white doom.

Let the angels save us from the Snow-pocalypse!

Liam, riding his Snow-cat away from the horror of it all.

By 10 am, more precipitation was falling. It looked like snow, but it melted most everything that was on the ground. Kind of like the disappointing ending in Micheal Crichton's Andromeda Strain, our pernicious crisis had mutated itself into a benign situation. Ho hum.

That afternoon we celebrated the clear roads with a trip to the movies. (We highly recommend Megamind for those with kids) . Hurray, we survived Snowmageddon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Lately, we don't hear from Megan as much. She is a reading fiend and has made it through almost all of the Magic Tree House series and Junie B. Jones. Megan is very much like me in that she doesn't like to quit things until she is done, so once she starts she'll usually plow through 70 or so pages before we hear from her again. We aren't the only ones to notice: At school Megan will be joining the first graders once a week for their reading group. Now if only we could find a way to get Liam to sit quietly (besides TV!).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gifted And The Retarded

Every parent thinks they have the smartest kid in the world. "Oooh, little Johnny is so smart, he says,'meow' when he points at the cat!" Yeah, well if Johnny's so smart, why doesn't he point to the feline and say, "Cat" instead of making nonsensical animal noises?? But these are the delusions we grasp firmly as parents, because we have high hopes for our children, the world is their oyster, their life is a blank canvas...yada,yada,yada. No parent ever announces,"Wow, our kid is dumb as dirt. Hey, but we're fine with it, because now we can take the money we have in little Johnny's college fund and buy us a new motor boat!"

Nope, all the little kids in this world are geniuses. Kind of makes you wonder what happens to them between age 2 and 18, huh?

Actually, we all know there are dumb kids out there. If you don't believe me just go hang out at the play park for an hour or so. Uh, Johnny, trying to jump from the picnic table on to the Big Wheel is not such a bright idea. It's just that we are convinced that somebody else's kid is the dumb one, not ours.

But last week we got outside confirmation that we were not living in fantasy land when Megan's teacher sent her home with a TAG application. As parents, all we had to do to prove that Megan was talented and gifted was fill out a three page application.

And so Mac and I joined forces to legitimize Megan's brilliance.

Question 1: Show examples of your child's awareness of time and space.


"Ummm. Well. Megan knows how to tell time. " Mac offered.

That didn't seem to fit the examples (yes, at least we had examples).

"Why don't we talk about Megan's interest in maps?" I proposed. And so we filled in that Megan likes maps and understands that they are a representation of larger land masses. And we added that she can tell time just for good measure. You know that feeling when you are taking a test, and you don't know the answers but you start writing a bunch of shit down anyway? Yeah, we were in that mode.

Question 2: How does your child show empathy for others?

"Yeah, this doesn't sound like Megan at all," I started.

"Come on, she has to show some kind of empathy."

"Yeah, I don't think she really does. Liam is the one who is always worried about other people."

"Okay, skip that one. We'll come back to it."

Question 3: Does your child conceptualize spatially when solving problems or doing math?

Okay, now I was starting to get pissed off! "What does that even mean? Is this application supposed to make Megan look smart or is it supposed to make us look retarded??"

Question 4: Does your child make up songs or stories?

Mac chimed in, "Oh, Megan is always writing books!" Maybe we could do this after all!

"Yeah," I countered "but Megan only writes autobiographical stuff. She never makes anything up."

"That should still count," Mac insisted.

"They are asking about imagination. Just writing stuff down is not imaginative."

"Well, don't you want Megan to get into the TAG program?"

"Not if she doesn't belong there! I don't want her to be the dumbest fish in the pond." OMG - this 'test' was sucking IQ points out of my brain!

Finally we got to question 8, the last question, which focused entirely on academic achievement and here it seemed we didn't have enough room on the page to write in our answers. Aaah, our belief in Megan's intelligence was restored! As to us, well, we were still pretty sure that we were retarded.