Sunday, November 03, 2019

Some fun stories about my cool kids

I don't know many Halloween songs, but when I was in nursery with Alexander last Sunday (because he still won't stay in there by himself; I actually tried leaving him but his leaders soon called me back in because they couldn't handle his...passionate...expression of separation anxiety) his music leader sang a Halloween song with the kids, so I recorded her singing it with them so that I could learn it.

It's just a short little song, but both Zoë and Alexander love it.

Here they are singing it before bed tonight (the tune is a little real life, but I think Zoë did a pretty good job carrying it on her own):

Zoë sang it for Andrew the other night and when she did her big "BOO!" at the end he pretended like she'd really scared him and she started cackling. "Hahaha!" she squealed. "I scared you...with fear!"

Alexander simply sings, "Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah TREE! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah ME! *silence, silence, silence* Ooo-oo! Ooo-oo! Ooo-oo! BOO!" because he's really big on syllables but not so big on enunciating sometimes, even though he can say "skeleton" and "pumpkin" and "werewolf" and all sorts of Halloween words.

Anyway, I love that we have this little song to sing with each other in October now so I'm glad Alexander's teacher was able to pass it on to us. I'm hoping he'll go into nursery easier eventually (we've only been trying for six months now). I pulled out Llama Llama Misses Mama and we've been reading it daily this week and talking a lot about how sometimes babies go to their own classes and mommas go to their own classes but that mommas always, always, always come back to pick up their babies.

We'll see how tomorrow goes.


Yesterday we didn't have dinner until late because both Rachel and Miriam were gone (to their friends' house) and Zoë and Benjamin were playing with their little friends up the street (who seem to also believe in fluidity between households so all four little kids were running back and forth until nearly bedtime; my kids insisted they weren't hungry), and then Andrew and I got involved with projects and Alexander got involved with play dough (so involved that he cried when we told him it was finally time to clean up for dinner).

Anyway, when we finally realized the time, we pulled out some frozen pizzas and popped them into the oven, burned them to a crisp, and then dropped them on the floor when removing them from the oven.

It was not our finest moment in the kitchen. I mean, frozen pizza is already admitting defeat. Burning it was bad. Dropping it on the floor was just sad.

We ended up ordering pizza.

Tonight we had homemade tomato soup with rosemary bread and dinner went a lot smoother.

Zoë, noticing that it was growing dark, worriedly said, "Oh, no! Mom! We didn't do lessons with the big kids today!"

"That's okay," I said. "We didn't forget. It's just that today is Saturday. It's the weekend. We don't have to do lessons on the weekend!"

"But I want to do lessons," she sniffed.

So we did a reading lesson together after dinner.


Last Sunday Miriam played the piano for the Young Women's New Beginnings night. They asked her because none of the young women play (well enough to accompany for a congregation) and none of the leaders play either. But they know she could do it. They let her choose which hymns she wanted to play and she got to practice them all week long so she felt pretty confident with this assignment and did a fabulous job on Sunday evening (though she said her legs were shaking the whole time, her fingers were just dancing on the keys and she did great).

Yesterday a woman in another ward (who had been in our old ward before we split, and whose daughter is a friend of Rachel's) put out a plea on facebook, begging for someone to play the piano for her daughter's baptism the next day. No one responded and no one responded and no one responded, so I finally asked Miriam if she'd be willing to do it and she said yes.

This time she didn't have very long to prepare (less than 24 hours) and the songs were a little less negotiable (but one she had worked on with Aunt Linda a while ago and another is in the simplified hymn book, which Miriam finds a little too easy, so she went ahead and made the left hand a little trickier). After an afternoon of practice she was feeling almost ready, but not quite.

Still, she did great this morning! Sweet Hour of Prayer was the first song and she made it through all three verses without a hitch. A Child's Prayer was a little trickier, especially because everyone had assumed we'd only be singing each of the verses one time (they're not really verses so much as parts that can be sung together in cannon/round/I don't know the correct term for this type of song) but then the chorister went on to cue the congregation to sing through a third time, which meant she was expecting us to somehow split into either part (the parts don't sound similar to each other, though they do sound lovely when put together) and that Miriam had to scramble to start playing again and...

It was an absolute train wreck.

Miriam felt awful and ran over to me as soon as the song was over, and sobbed into my shoulder (quietly) during the closing prayer.

But she managed to pick herself up and move on.

The sweet girl who was baptized said, "It's okay if you messed up. I only noticed that one time so you must have done everything else perfectly. And we ALL messed up singing! Let's go get some donuts and cookies!"

And off they went.

Everyone was very sympathetic, and as I told Miriam no one else could do it. She was the only one. Even I couldn't do it! So anyone who knows how to play the piano knows how difficult a task it was (or they'd have volunteered to do it themselves) and anyone who didn't know how to play the piano was simply grateful to have a pianist there at all.

When we got home (after playing at the church with friends for quite a while, and setting up future play dates), where do you think Miriam immediately headed?

The music room, of course!

She sat down and ironed out A Child's Prayer and then went on to practice other pieces for a good hour (because that's how determined she is, and that's how much she loves music).

How did I wind up with such neat kids? They are so cool.


I guess I missed talking about Benjamin at all so far this weekend, so I'd be remiss if I didn't add a little bit about him.

He's been doing much better at his studies and staying on task lately. He's obsessed with the news and with documentaries. He helped me make a "timeline" game for Social Studies (it's like the game Timeline but focuses entirely on WWII, which I promise we'll move on from soon). He beats me every time we play because he has read devoured so many books on the topic lately that he knows the history forwards and back. He's pretty great.


  1. Huh. Did I neglect to teach you Halloween songs? Wow. I feel like I used to know lots, because when I was a child, we had to sing at the houses before we got a treat.

  2. Did I not teach you this? (Like, I didn't know that many verses. And the lyrics were maybe not exactly like this.)

    1. I don't think you did (though it does sound vaguely familiar).