Queen for a Day

This week I had the privilege of co-leading the story telling station for the week at Vacation Bible School. My partner felt I should be the one to take on the role of Esther. She said it was because I had done this station last year, but really, I think she sensed the royalty bubbling up inside me. That, or she recalled that I am the sole female in a house of 5 males and thought I deserved some dress-up time as a girl for once. Either way, it was a win.

It's okay to be a little jealous of my Esther costume.
It’s okay to be a little jealous of my Esther costume.

After playing Esther five times in row for the morning, I felt I really had a handle on this Queen. Then I got home and the differences between her highness and myself became quite stark.

Esther is touted as a brave and godly woman. I am not disputing that. She really stepped up when it came time to save her people and all that, to the point of possible death. But ASIDE from that, she had it quite easy. Before all the bravery and whatnot, her life was pretty cushy.

Let me paint you a picture.

For a year, one WHOLE year, she received beauty treatments. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-five days of pampering. I’m guessing no one pounded on the door while she plucked her eyebrows – nope, because someone did that for her. She probably remembered to put mascara on both eyes since there was no preschooler digging around her make-up bag and applying excessive eye shadow on himself. Probably.

If you read the book of Esther, you’ll see that she also had special meals prepared for her for a WHOLE year. That’s about 1095 meals she had that were not leftover Kraft Dinner. Or brown apples from morning snack. Or Goldfish crackers (okay, if I was Queen, I’d still eat those, they’re delicious).

Esther also had seven attendants at her disposal. This is in addition to the free spa treatments and all-inclusive meals. Vacuuming? No, my attendant will look after the rugs. Laundry? Nope, another servant takes care of that, thanks. Run out of toilet paper? Got it covered. Chances are, Esther had people laying her clothes out for her and helping her change. I’d settle for getting dressed without discovering the toddler is using my bra as a helmet or the 6 year old commenting on the size of my underwear.

Do I wish that I were Esther? No, not really. I can’t say I like the odds she faced of being killed to save herself and her people. But I wouldn’t mind being more like her: brave, wise, respectful, and humble. And a working lock on the bathroom door wouldn’t hurt either.

—-

Thanks to Carolyn Marles for the picture. I can’t seem to shake the paparazzi. 

I Don’t Mean to Brag, but…

I actually have a superpower.

Brace yourself and prepare to be amazed.

A few years ago when I did Science as a stand-alone subject and not part of learning centre time, I invited Professor Petri to come in and do a science lesson. Professor Petri looked a lot like me, but with goggles and a lab coat. Funnily enough, whenever Professor Petri appeared, Mrs. Moyer vanished! It was uncanny and just a tad unnerving. The students claimed we looked a lot alike, but that only made sense since we are cousins and she tends to copy my excellent taste in fashion (that was nice at first, but has worn on me as the years have passed – make your own clothing choices, Professor Petri -sheesh!). The students pointed out some other similarities and I have to admit, Professor does talk with her hands and says, “I know, right?!”, but don’t forget that we’re cousins and she’s a big copycat.

After her engaging and stimulating science lesson Professor Petri would have to dash off to her other job at Tim Hortons (she was always running late, something I’m thankful we don’t have in common). I’d return to class (thanks for leaving them unattended P.P.) and the kids would be so excited about the materials she left for them to explore that it made all the copycat stuff more palatable.

So, yeah, I’m pretty good at duping small children.

It's not flattering, but it's for the kids. My other alter ego, Super Moyer.
It’s not flattering, but it’s for the kids. My other alter ego, Super Moyer.

—-

This post is part of the Kindeblog13 Summer Blog Challenge. To read other posts in this series, go to http://www.kinderchat123.net

Robotic Teacher Agents – Guest Post by Ricky Anderson

Today is a BIG DEAL.

My first guest blogger! Ricky Anderson is funny. No, not funny, really REALLY funny. Still not enough. He is super really funny. Nope. Hilarious. Yes, hilarious. See for yourself over at his blog www.rickyanderson.net or on twitter @Arthur2Sheds or why not both?

Ricky is not nearly the procrastinator he makes himself out to be. Thought I’d have a lot of nagging ahead of me, but he got this post done in a timely manner. Ricky, you ARE special. Well done, Ricky’s mom.

———

It’s time we talked about it.

Everyone’s been thinking it for years, but until now it’s been the topic nobody wanted to bring up.

Robots.

You’ve failed us, Science. You pretend to know everything, what with your Mars rovers and particle destroyers and anti-aging creams.

But the truth is – you’re stuck. You promised us robots. From The Jetsons to I, Robot to The Matrix, you’ve been making us promises for years. And yet the only robot I have access to is a Roomba.

Seriously? A vacuum cleaner. How exciting. I guess it beats a colon cleaner.

We interrupt this post for a message from Ricky’s agent, Ricky (no relation).

I would like to apologize for this post. It was written in a sleep-deprived haze, fueled entirely by caffeine. Ricky has strong opinions on the subject of robots. However, his boss needed him to do some database fiddling, so he had to leave this post incomplete…

…JUST LIKE SCIENCE AND THE ROBOTS.

Note from Ricky’s agent, Ricky’s agent, Ricky (some relation, but we don’t talk about that side of the family since the Thanksgiving incident):

Oh, sorry. I just remembered that Jan asked me (Ricky, not Ricky or Ricky) to write about being a teacher’s kid.

My mom was a teacher. A fantastic and real good awesome one.

And clearly she made me special.

So take note, Science…and go make me a special robot!

Insideous

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty cautious boy. Sure, I’ve ridden in a laundry basket a tad too close to the stairs, but who hasn’t? I have fallen out of the tub, but I was young and didn’t know better. Doesn’t everyone run around a pool? It’s far too tempting.

I have done my share of jumping on the bed and to her credit, my mom has told me repeatedly to stop it. Usually she references the kid across the street who broke his arm jumping on his bed (dummy). But it is so springy. And I have some pretty great dance moves that just cry out for a mattress to showcase them.

Ok, I’ll admit that naked wrestling with my brothers showed a lack of good judgement. Ditto on naked couch hopping. But I stand behind my invention of underwear bedroom hurdles. It’s amazing.

In hindsight, I’m relieved that Mom shut down some of my riskier activities. She was probably right that box-tobogganing down the stairs was dangerous. Putting a lanyard around my brother’s neck as a dog leash did restrict his breathing so, good call, Mom.

For all her warnings and worrying, you’d think she would have foreseen the real safety hazard in our house. It’s been sitting in our cupboard for years – and she’s the one who brought that menace into our home.

I’m not talking about matches, sharp knives, or scissors. I’ve never done anything questionable with those. No, the real instrument of pain was lurking in the sewing basket all along. It beckoned me with it’s tempting blue switch and curved exterior. I admit that part of my motivation was to make the brothers laugh, but you never know the purpose of a new tool unless you test it out, right? Who WOULDN’T think it was meant for your underarm?

There was pain, skin was broken, blood appeared. And then I heard Mom say, “Next time, check with me before you use the clothes shaver on your armpit.” Too little, too late, Mom.

I blame myself. I blame the manufacturer. Mostly I blame my mom.

Do not be duped by it's size. It's gonna get you.
Do not be duped by it’s size. It’s gonna get you.

Let’s go for a “Walk”

“We’re going for a walk – get your shoes!”

I feel that instruction is pretty clear. We are about to embark in a jaunt around the neighbourhood and all you need to do is wear some shoes (crocs, sandals, runners, I am not picky).

I said “walk”, right? Oldest son decides to ride his scooter. Number 2 barely agreed to put shoes on and is sullenly waiting on the driveway. Number 3 wants his bike. No, wait, the wagon. No, no, his bike. Hold on, nope, the Little Tykes car. Toddler opts for this beat up 20 year-old push-train. I have tried to pitch that thing numerous times, but some small person always comes to its rescue. It whistles. IT WHISTLES WHEN YOU MOVE IT. And it looks like I snagged it from the side of the road. For the record, I did not. It was a kind hand-me-down from friends when our oldest was born (but it looks really sketchy now).

The Littles on wheels.
The Littles on wheels.
The little engine that will not give up despite my best efforts.
The little engine that will not give up despite my best attempts at sabotage.

We’re off to go around the corner. That’s all. Just killing some time before dinner. The Bigs take the lead and go ahead. I’m back with the Littles. Both are quite enthusiastic about the walk, especially since they are using equipment. This excitement lasts until we pass the third house. Better take a break and catch our breath from that intense shuffling. Go on without us, Bigs, we’ll catch up.

After we rally, Number 3 decides it’s just too much effort to “drive” his car so he is going to get out and push. I kindly start pushing it for him until he spots a weak moment and jumps back in and “lets” me push him in it. Parenting fail. But I plod on because he is having a really good time and won’t fit in there much longer.

I'll just lift my feet so we can go faster.
Let me help, I’ll lift my feet up.

At this point, the Bigs are a small dot on the horizon. We need to speed things up a bit. Toddler is unhappy with his train’s performance, so he decides to push it. Good choice, he’s much faster, but the whistle’s intensity matches the speed. It’s loud.

Turns out, that train is more cumbersome than originally thought, so toddler abandons it on the sidewalk. The Bigs are barely visible. I grab the train in one hand, push the car with the other, when toddler says, “Back! Back!” (translation: “piggyback, please, my sweet, beautiful mommy”). No.

Anyone see the Bigs? Anyone? 

Next time, I’m just lacing up my runners and anyone who spots me sneaking out of the house can join in.

Your turn – riding toys – love ’em? Hate ’em? Bit of both?

Confessions

Confess is the topic for #Kinderchat’s Summer Blogging Challenge. I teach kindergarten, I blog, it’s summer, I’m in! You wouldn’t think there would be many confessions related to teaching kindergarten. I thought so, too, for about 30 seconds.

Here’s my confession: I’m a big fat liar.

Although I do have some great classroom management strategies up my sleeve, sometimes I impulsively go in another direction – but don’t judge me too harshly, I never claimed to be perfect. Below are the ones I am willing to share, feel free to adopt for your own bag of tricks.

1. “When I was in Big Teacher School they taught us to tell the difference between real coughs and fake ones. You are faking. Stop it.”

2. “If you run on your way to the library, I will know out about it. I always know.”

3. “I can see everything.” (a slight twist on the “eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head” fib parents use).

4. “If you lie, your right ear turns blue, but only teachers can see it.”

What confessions would you care to share? Babysitting stories are sometimes the best source – share, share away!

How to Eat Chips like A Spy

You know there are chips in the cupboard. Delicious chips. So crispy and flavourful. You should probably share them with the other five members of your family, but four of them are in bed and one is out for a bike ride. Wondering what to do? Wonder no more! Here’s your Guide to Eating Chips Like a Spy.

Step 1: Select your salty snack (I recommend Sour Cream and Onion, but the choice is yours). Be warned: you cannot pull off this mission with a bag of chips.

Spies only eat chips in a can. Brand of choice: Pringles.
Spies only eat chips in a can. Brand of choice: Pringles.

Step 2. Do NOT remove the safety seal. This is KEY, just peel it back far enough to fit your hand.

Seal removed = mission twarted.
Seal removed = mission thwarted.

Step 3: Eat chips. But crunch quietly. If you get a curtain call from any small children who should be in bed, deny any chip smell on your breath. Repeat after me, “Weird, I guess sometimes apples smell like chips.”

Step 4: Do not, do NOT finish all the chips. Leave some in the can. This provides you with plausibly deniability.

"Hmmm....I'm not sure who finished the can."
“Hmmm….I certainly did not finish the can.”

Step 5: Keep in mind that this technique should be used sparingly, or someone will catch on. Save it for desperate times or special celebrations, like emptying the dishwasher and finding no rejects.

What snack tricks do you have? Be honest, I know you have one.

How to Handle Defeat with Grace and Dignity

How to Handle Defeat with Grace and Dignity

Welp, the results for the 3rd Annual Blogging All-Star Challenge are in.

http://www.robshep.com/2013/07/01/third-annual-blogging-all-star-challenge/

It was an honour to be nominated. We really gave it 110%. At the end of the day, that’s all anyone can ask, right? RIGHT?!

(click on the link and check out some really great writers. A big thanks to Rob and Ricky – for real).

Oh, Canada!

The Maple Leaf forever
The Maple Leaf forever

July 1 is Canada Day and I thought it would be good to test the boys on their Canadian facts.

According to the 8 year old:

Canada Day is Canada’s birthday which means it got alive that day. It’s 100 years old and before that it was a whole bunch of different cities. The boss of Canada is Prime Minister Bob Kevin (he’s very clear that Bob is his first name, Kevin is his last name). Canada is the second biggest country in the world. We speak French and English. The only difference between the US and Canada is that the US is more famous.

As most countries do, Canada has it’s share of ethnic foods, including ice cream, yogurt, lemonade, olives, pickles, and pickled corn (coincidentally, all of the 8 year old’s favourites).

Canada’s national animal is the beaver, but it is also famous for polar bears, squirrels, spiders, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Canadian money has a beaver, a loonie, a caribou, a maple leaf, and a boat. Our money also has the Queen of England on it. The Queen is the boss of the Prime Minister, in case you were wondering how that all worked.

As far as famous Canadians go, we’ve got the Toronto Maple Leafs people*.

In Canada you can do anything, like swimming.

A little geography lesson: Ontario is a province, there are ten in total. There are three territories. Territories are cold, provinces are not.

If you’d like to double check any of these facts, click here for verification.

*The six year old chimed in that we also have Don Cherry, you know, “The hockey guy that does stuff, just talks. He’s

Our most famous Canadian
Our most famous Canadian

old and that’s it.” I was saddened that they did not know about Megan Follows or Anne of Greengables. Also disappointing was that David Suzuki was overlooked. When questioned further, eight year old said, “he’s the guy that’s on Daddy’s shirt.” (See “So, I Married David Suzuki” for more on this famous Canadian and his connection to our family.)

The four year old’s session was more question and answer.

What is Canada Day? I do not know.

What should we do on Canada Day? I do not know.

What is Canada? I do not know.

Where is Canada? I do not know.

That's Anne with an "e"
That’s Anne with an “e”

Where do you live? With you

Where do I live? With me!

What can you find in Canada? Don’t know

Who is Don Cherry? I do not know.

Who is Megan Follows? I do not know.

What is the Littlest Hobo? I do not know already.

What’s the Canada song? Waving Flag.

Do you like Canada? NO ONE likes Canada.

Do you have any interesting Canadian trivia to share? Any questions about Canada? Ask away, we’re pretty polite.

*Click here for the follow up interview