Friday, August 14, 2009

The Latest Nutmeg News

Remember when this blog chronicled every new thing that happened to Nutmeg? I even used to call it "The Nutmeg News." So many times in the swirling maelstrom of the past month, I have composed Nutmeg posts in my head for you. Today I'm sitting in a cafe on Michigan Ave. and I have a few minutes to actually type one.*
Nutmeg has been a science and nature nut this summer. I picked up a book of kids' science projects at a rummage sale for her, and she took it and ran with it, completing several experiments out of the book with no adult prompting or help. She learned something, too: Activities that parents would normally prompt your parent to say: "Stop it! You're making a mess!" are suddenly sanctioned and encouraged when labeled as "educational."
But really, neither experiment was as messy as I'd feared. Experiment #1 involved adding food coloring to the vase holding some white flowers. Yep, the flowers turned color, and she was hooked on science. Experiment #2 involved drawing on stiff paper with markers then putting the end of the paper in some water and watching it creep up and diffuse the marker spots.
That one reminded me of watching a pregnancy test stick for results, but I didn't tell her that.
Then we moved onto biology. I'd picked up a couple of these butterfly kits on sale on Amazon, for my birthday gift drawer, but we ended up letting her have one as a reward for not waking me up EVER AGAIN during the night unless she or her sister was on fire. (There is also a meteor clause.) We sent away for the caterpillars and sure enough, they formed coccoons, butterflies emerged, and I believe they even got it on and laid eggs, although we haven't been able to spot any eggs in the butterfly habitat with the magnifying glass.
The highlight of this process was Nutmeg calling to me, "Mom! Mom! It's using its proboscis!" Then she showed me something I had never seen before: The butterfly's long tongue-thingy that it had unfurled to slurp up kiwi juice. I tried to correct her pronounciation -- she called it a "pro-boss-is" and I told her it was "pro-boss-Kiss." But you know what? She was right, I was wrong.
I'm sure that's the last time THAT will happen, right?
Yesterday was the beginning of the end of Nutmeg's summer of learning. All three kids and I trooped down to the school playground to meet her kindergarten teacher and some other kids from her class at the official kindergarten meet and greet. Nutmeg's teacher is a young, beautiful and sweet woman, just the kind of teacher a 5-year-old loves to hug. Just like Miss Binney in "Ramona the Pest." In fact, I will henceforth refer to the new teacher as Miss Binney.
Nutmeg quickly made friends with a couple of the girls who will be in her class, and promptly began asserting alpha dog dominance. When someone announced that it was time for the kids to stop playing on the slides and gather around their new teachers, Nutmeg started herding up her new friends like a Shetland Sheepdog. "Sarah! Sarah! It's timt to go stand by Miss Binney!" Neither of her friends had heard the announcement, but Nutmeg did not give up until she had gotten them both to the appointed meeting place.
Then it was time to gather in a circle and have each 5-year-old tell something special or fun about themselves. While the other girls clung to their moms and spoke in whispers, Nutmeg stood 3 feet away from me and spoke from her diaphragm. Then she did something that would have surprised me if she hadn't done something similar last year when meeting her preschool teachers -- she flung herself into the middle of the circle and did some dance/tae kwon do moves.
Suffice to say, the kid's excited.
After the introductions, one of Nutmeg's new friends ran up and hugged Miss Binney. Then Nutmeg ran up and hugged her, and, not to be outdone, Pebbles hugged her. Then they all did it again. When the new friend went in for a third round, her parents finally stepped in and rescued the poor teacher.
Then Pebbles told me, "Now I am going to meet MY teacher." Poor kid. At least they had extra popsicles when they handed them out to the new kindergarteners.
Miss Binney asked if the kids had any questions, and naturally Nutmeg did: "Are siblings allowed at recess?"
She was told that while they were not, the whole family was welcome to hang around for the first half hour of the first day, which is August 25. This sent her over the moon.
We also picked out Nutmeg's first "lunch kit." Did you know they're not called lunch boxes anymore? Nutmeg was tempted by one with peace signs all over it, but then I pointed out a really cute one that said "I Love Trees" on it.
"That's perfect! Because I love peace AND I love our maple tree!" she said.
"Can I has a lunch kit?" Pebbles asked.
So yes, we're looking forward to kindergarten around here. Even those of us who aren't going for three more years.
* I'm sitting at Cafe Descartes on Michigan Ave. with just Toth because I just got done doing a spot on the WGN morning show to promote my Frugalista blog on ChicagoNow. Don't you hate it when TV stations use their news shows to promote their other media offerings? I sure do, and yet, when they said "Jump if you wanna be on TV" I said "How high?" Coming up next week: Interview on WGN radio. I'll post here with the day and time when I know it.


Helen said...

oh my gosh! I was totally going to turn on the news this morning before work and I *didn't*. I bet I would have caught you. Drat! I did hear them talking about ChicagoNow on the radio earlier this week. Do tell me when you'll be on!

King of New York Hacks said...

lunch kit ??? Who knew ?

Abby said...

Carrie, she looks just like you! And what I would do to have my hair naturally as blonde and shiny as Nutmeg's.

Also, I read MFFF when it was still The Nutmeg News...and am still a reader today :)

Bert said...

Super sweet! I love that she's so psyched for school! And that Pebbles idolizes her so much. Thanks for the update!

Sara said...

Gracie is super excited to head back to school, too. She had a birthday party yesterday with many of the girls who are in her class and it was like they all hadn't seen each other in years, with all of the hugs and drama. Only two weeks to go!