Saturday, February 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by skweerell.
We had a lovely snowed in Valentines Day. No School! Hooray! So, we were able to relax and make pink heart shaped pancakes for the kids for breakfast. And, I gave them their knitted snakes that I finally finished. Ro decided his snake needed to join him for breakfast. We also had a fancy Valentine lunch with heart shaped sandwiches and stained glass window heart cookies. Then, we decorated cookies with gobs of icing and a variety of sprinkles. You can't put too many sprinkles on a cookie.

Ro had his school Valentine party on Thursday. As usual, he had the only homemade valentine - some very nifty rockets. Some kids saw him putting his valentine rockets in their mail boxes on Tuesday and were very intrigued. When Ro got home from school, we went through his mailbox. He had some marginal interest in the candy but he barely acknowledged the valentines. Not that I blame him. Commercial valentines pretty much suck. They are designed to go straight into the landfill. I don't even know if you can buy nice valentines anymore. I didn't see any. The whole significance of exchanging valentines is lost when you're exchanging generic bits of trash. I doubt any of the kids cared about them anymore than Roen. They weren't even fun to look at since a modern valentine consists of a folded movie ticket with Scooby-Doo or some other wretched character on it.

Commmercial valentines are also too gender specific. Ro was appalled to receive Dora and Bratz valentines from some of the girls in his class. You really need to buy two packs of Valentines now. Batman for the boys and Dora for the girls. I think Ro was appalled because he's worried the girls thought he was a girl or something. He was very adamant that he wanted nothing to do with dolls or Bratz. It was kind of amusing really. I remember buying valentines when I was little but they were more unisex and I spent time trying to figure out which one best suited a particular friend. Plus they had envelopes, so they seemed more substantial.

Holidays used to be about bringing family and community together with traditions that comforted, nurtured and entertained children. Now, they're about marketing the latest TV character (in the cheapest way possible)... and that's about it as far as I can tell. I was really glad that it snowed and that we got to have a real Valentines Day at home.

Friday, February 09, 2007

cigarettes are EVIL!!!

When I got Ro off the bus today, he immediately launched into how he and E were starting to make plans. "Make plans for what?", I asked. He answered," We're going to take away all the cigarettes from his mother and father because all they do is smoke. They have so many cigarettes. We're going to turn his mother's house into french fries and she won't be able to find them." He laughs like a mad scientist. Later, at my mom's house, he draws large cigarette destroying machines with long conveyor belts and big claw grabbers that will roll up to people's houses and get all their cigarettes, which will be collected and carried away by garbage trucks. It's a suprisingly well thought out machine for a five year old.

This is one of many cigarette related tales to come home in the last month. A new boy is on Ro's bus and they're good buddies already. However, the boy is clearly focused on ending the cigarette smoking of his parents. I did this when I was little too. I remember telling my grandmother her lungs were filled with black stuff and other bad things to get her to quit. Ro has adopted E's cause as his own. He's challenged people on their smoking in public. It's been kind of strange, because I didn't understand where all his vitriol was coming from for a few weeks. I had the boy and his mother over for a playdate that was quite pleasant but Ro was her son's mouthpiece and kept running out of his room to badger E's mother about her smoking. Because he's been doing this lately, I tried to stop him and I was apologizing like crazy. I didn't initially know she smoked. I thought he was just picking on her but then realized they were the source of the whole issue. It's all kind of funny to me now.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

cops and robbers and minting your own money

Ro is suddenly really into playing cops vs. bank robbers. I find this amazingly old fashioned and I'm not sure where it came from. The especially crazy thing is the hours and hours he has spent drawing his own currency and cutting out coins. His many different dollar bills feature the likes of Ruff Ruffman, Buzz Lightyear, and the Cat in the Hat. He's so intense about creating all the appropriate props for the story. We've been acting out lots of bank robbery without any shooting or guns. It's all about being sneaky and having a good chase before being carted off to jail.