Scenes from Saturday + Mavis Lives!

We learned two things for certain this week. First, despite a lot of trash talking, I can type faster than my wife. Second, Mavis Beacon lives! Sort of.

At this point, even I, as the mildly malevolent task master, am starting to have some sympathy for Cecilia’s daily to-do list. It’s not short, and in the last few weeks we’ve added typing practice. This new addition was actually at her teacher’s request, not mine. See? Mildly malevolent, not madly malevolent.

Like any good modern parent, the first thing I did was do some googling and was I delighted to see that Mavis Beacon was still teaching typing. Or was she? I spent many, many hours looking at her kindly face on the software box as I pounded my way through the home keys. I clicked the link. Who was this? This wasn’t Mavis. Her face and tan power suit are seared into my brain. I know Mavis. Either she had a lot of work done or they swapped in a new Mavis like the Dread Pirate Roberts (RIP, William Goldman). It shook me up for days.

We are only a few weeks into this new life skill practice, but so far there haven’t actually been too many complaints from Ce. Perhaps she recognizes the utility of this skill unlike perhaps the long term usefulness of the Good King Wenceslas. 


We start on the couch where Michelle has put a kibosh on the live-Disney for a few weeks, the sass was getting a little too high, so they watched musical clips on youtube instead. I (foolishly) made the (very valid point) that there was plenty of sass in Wicked. I was told to leave the room.


Last night was Fourth Grade Night Out. Ce won a raffle, so after getting sassed out of the room, I drank my coffee dodging suction arrows. Is this what it’s like to have boys? Weaponry flying around your head before the sun is fully up?

I retreated from the house. I had a group run to attend. There might have been snow-covered sidewalks, but the sun was out and the wind was down. It was a nice morning for a fast run. And that’s just what me and 20 of my friends did.


I returned to find the television off, reading done, and the steady plinking of the piano. Winter recital is coming up so we are deep into Joy to the World and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.


Tough study session for Michelle this morning on international human resource law. It’s good for your kids to see you utterly bomb a (practice) test once in a while. Also, we really need to hang up some things on the walls!


During all of this, Ally took sanctuary in the basement. She never seems to tire of cutting and drawing. This morning she was spurred on by the discovery of silver crayons.


Dash loves rooting around in the closet and pulling out all his toys. Michelle decided to try to teach an old dog new tricks and have him put his toys back in the basket. It ended with predictable results: wiggles, kisses, toys still all over the floor.


Cecilia was initially excited to knock off her math task by playing multiplication war until she figured out the game was just a thinly disguised version of flash cards.


Michelle and the girls went out to run some errands and get Dash a walk. He met some of his constituents at the dog park.


Unlike her big sister, it takes Allison quite a few weeks to adapt to new, colder weather patterns.


While everyone was out of the house, I packaged up some handpies to take on the road next week for Thanksgiving dinner (broccoli cheddar, mushroom lentil, and mini cookie dough). A vegetarian’s gotta eat on Thursday, too.


After a quick lunch, it was time to parent tag team. Michelle had an eye doctor appointment and more errands. The most important one being to pick up the holiday wine, including the large format bottle that was too big to fit in a landscape photo! That’s how you survive the holidays.


Ally had a trampoline birthday party. I’d never actually been here on a weekend. It definitely had the feel of a government psychological test from a B-grade movie. Something sinister was definitely going on! It was just too much of everything.

Maybe this is what the inside of a five year old’s brain looks like? I am old. Ally loved it. Two hours later Ally emerged rosy-cheeked and exhausted (look at those hollowed out eyes) and without broken bones. Success!


After a little snooze in the car on the way home, she got a second wind and hoodwinked me. She asked if we could play a game. Sure, I said. She pulled a box off the shelf. It was six games in one box. I didn’t even try to argue.


While I worked my way through six Frozen-themed games, Hot Cross Buns drifted down through the floorboards. 


After dinner, we finished the day back on the couch, watching Netflix’s new documentary on dogs. Michelle was an emotional mess ten minutes into the first episode. This show knows its target audience.


Finally, another essential life skill? One that Mavis doesn’t teach? Being able to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. I’ll wait a little longer to teach the girls that one.