Bad News: Explaining Current Events to A Kindergartener

I think we can all agree that 2011 has already seen many incredibly shitty things happen in the world. Early in the year, we saw Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords targeted in a mass shooting in which six other people were killed. In the last few weeks, people have been killed in droves in Libya, and Japan has been devastated by a staggering natural disaster. Many sucky things have happened in between. As an adults, the events of early 2011 have been almost too much for many of us to bear. Imagine trying to process all of this as a six-year-old. Read More Bad News: Explaining Current Events to A Kindergartener

Good Night, Sweet Valentines

So another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. It can be a lot of pressure, no? For those without Valentines, it’s kind of annoying. For those with new Valentines, it’s the gauging how you and your new love will celebrate the holiday. For Valentines who’ve been around the block a few times with each other, well, the challenge is sometimes finding a unique way to celebrate, or finding the energy to celebrate, or um, sometimes, remembering to celebrate.

The funniest Valentine story I have was from the year I got engaged (the day before V-day because Mr. Sally J couldn’t contain himself). I was teaching pre-k & kindergarten, and we’d been talking about St. Valentine. The story goes that Roman emperor Claudius prevented anyone from getting married so that soldiers could concentrate on fighting in the war. St. Valentine secretly married couples during this time. We had read a story about this, and that same week I told the children that I was engaged to be married. Without missing a beat, one of the kindergartener’s chimed in, “You’re not married yet? Really? Were you in the war?”

Use tonight’s open thread as you see fit “¦ either to recount your most awesome day of love, bitch about the fact that it wasn’t, or whatever else floats your boat.

The Magic of the Muppets

Friday Mr. Sally J and I pulled our kindergartener out of school and went on a road trip. We took the family to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry for the day, and it didn’t disappoint. Read More The Magic of the Muppets

Parenthood Recap: Being the Parent

After weeks of hiatus, Parenthood was back last night. Tonight’s theme was being the parent — Crosby learned to tell his son no, Julia has a conversation about death with her daughter, Adam has to make a judgment call about a young man is daughter is dating, and Sarah has to confront her ex-husband’s substance abuse. Read More Parenthood Recap: Being the Parent

Trick’s on YOU, Mom! (I Think the Kids are in for the Candy)

Do you remember Halloween as a kid? I have vague memories of trick or treating in my neighborhood, and maybe attending a party or two. There was usually a classroom party and maybe a Girl Scout party thrown in for good measure. Sometimes there was a trip to the pumpkin patch, but usually we got our pumpkins at the grocery store. I remember goopy messes on the kitchen table, and delicious roasted pumpkin seeds when we were done. Read More Trick’s on YOU, Mom! (I Think the Kids are in for the Candy)

Away from Home in Our Own Backyard

This past weekend was my daughter’s fall break from school. Does a kindergartener really need a “break” per se? I don’t know, but I’m sure her teacher appreciated a few days away from her charges. Read More Away from Home in Our Own Backyard