What exactly do an eight year old and an eleven year old think about Santa’s deliveries? Well, they can tell you. They each had so many thoughts and opinions on their Christmas gifts that we decided to get it on tape. Also, not much else to do during quarantine vacation.
We went to see Elf with friends (Happy Birthday, Ty!) at a rented movie theater this week. It was a great time and spoiled ever going to a theater with strangers again. It also meant that Ally had plenty of sugar after 7 p.m. Her appetite for candy and desserts has been well documented here. She was a hyper Christmas pixie by the time we made it home. Her contagious silliness infected her sister. It was time for bed but they only had mischief on their minds. Giggling, fighting, laughing. Thank god the glitter was out of reach.
It was late. I was ready to pack it in. This was definitely not time for a rumpus. I was teetering on the verge of shutting it down by parental decree (i.e., yelling) and yet…a question popped into my mind instead: who has it better?
We’ve been lucky, in one sense, during this pandemic that both Michelle and I like to cook, but we hit a wall this week. Through convenience or curiosity, we gave up and just threw everything in the borrowed air fryer. It became a challenge by the end of the week.
Here’s the list of things we loaded up and answered the question: “Will it air fry?”
Chickpeas (perfect and crunchy), pickles (eh), grilled cheese (yup), apple fritters (so good), salmon and broccoli together (yes, excellent sheet pan-style dinner), arancinis (italian riceball croquettes – pretty good), chicken nuggets (duh), tofu (not bad), fries (of course), sweet potatoes (double cooked worked best), s’mores (surprisingly good), tots (made for this), burritos, Brussel sprouts, chicken tenders, and cod.
So it’s parent-teacher conference time. Both kids are doing fine but it’s a good reminder for me to never minimize their accomplishments. It’s something that I find challenging at times. It can be easier for me to point out what else they could have done than to praise what they have done.
By this point, it’s very obvious that while Cecilia and I share many traits, how we learn is vastly different. How someone with my genes can hate flash cards? I still have flash cards I made in college! (At some point, on some Saturday, Michelle will discover them in the basement and take them to the transfer station.) It’s not my job to change her or make her see it my way (unless it’s about Boston sports). It’s my job to be on team Ce, to root for her and encourage her. To make sure she understands that I’m proud of her regardless not because she is perfect or smart. That I’m most proud of her high marks in effort and how she has the confidence to keep trying new things.
Warning: this is a proud Dad post. More than the usual, at least. As the girls grow, one of the most interesting things about parenting is to see how their personalities develop. You get to sit back and watch shocked and horrified as they do things you yourself would never imagine doing. I’ll occasionally catch a look or hear a phrase from one of them, usually Cecilia, that I see in the mirror, but just as often I’m left pondering what chance strand of DNA created that trait.
Like yesterday, when Allison auditioned for a part in The Waitress musical. For perhaps the first time since she put her leg completely behind her head as a newborn, I thought, there is no way you could ever convince me to do that.
Both girl’s (and their mother’s) love of musicals has been well-documented here and shows no signs of abating. Thanks to Michelle’s social media awareness (stalking) of various Broadway, stars and production companies, she learned that The Waitress would be auditioning a child part for the Boston show. Ally didn’t need much convincing.
Telling time with a pre-schooler revolves mostly around a few very personal things. Is it a school day or home day? Is it time to watch a show? Is it time to eat dessert? That’s pretty much it, at least with our Allison.
So we made a cardinal parenting mistake when we mentioned that one of her best friends from school would be coming to the beach house and SLEEPING OVER. It was like Christmas, a musical, a Full House marathon and the Easter Bunny wrapped up into one.
Only this vague, nebulous future date was too hard to comprehend and hardly a day passed when she didn’t ask if today was the day we went to beach house with her friend. We had to say no and crush her sprit for many days, but finally…finally this weekend we were able to say yes. Today was the day.