• The Kids Will Be All Right

    Despite taking all possible precautions, I got COVID-19 several weeks ago. Thankfully Leon never tested positive and we’ve all completed our quarantines, but I was pretty sick for a while and had to spend a lot of time resting and sleeping. At one point I got out of breath from talking or sitting up too long.

    Anyway, fast forward to today. Leon moved up to the Junior Kinder 1 classroom on Monday (his first day post-quarantine, and also his 4th birthday!), and I got a picture from his new teacher saying that, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Leon said a doctor.

    To make conversation at dinner tonight, Minh asked him why he said he wanted to be a doctor.

    He said, “So I can take care of Mommy.”

    Comments Off on The Kids Will Be All Right
  • Maybe We Should Brush Up on Spanish…

    Leon told me he listened to a song today called The Leaves Falling Down.

    When I watched the video of his class dancing to it I realized the song he was referring to: Feliz Navidad. 😂

    Comments Off on Maybe We Should Brush Up on Spanish…
  • Learning Context

    Leon, as soon as he got home today: “Mommy and Daddy, I said **** in the gym today because the green ball got STUCK!”


    Comments Off on Learning Context
  • Master Negotiator

    Minh: “Aw, sh*t.”
    Leon: “Daddy, you can’t say sh*t.”
    Minh: “You can’t say it either. Only grown-ups.”
    Leon: “But I’m going to be a grown-up…”

    Comments Off on Master Negotiator
  • Teacher, Teacher

    Today I had Leon’s parent-teacher conferences with Ms Patty! She said he’s doing great academically – and she quickly added that he won’t hesitate to tell her if she gets something ‘wrong’. The example she gave was when she asked, “Basketball starts with… hmm… P?” And he immediately shot back with, “Ms Patty, basketball doesn’t start with P. That’s puh-puh-puh. Basketball starts with B, like buh-buh-buh. And also butterfly and balloon and…”

    Truly like his mother’s son, she said he enjoys structure and rules. She said sometimes she even has him lead circle time, because he knows exactly what to do – and if they say the Pledge of Allegiance wrong, he’ll say, “Uh-uh, start over!”

    She did mention Claudia by name, and said the two of them always play together but get on each other’s nerves; Leon will get frustrated that Claudia isn’t following the rules (“Ms Patty, Claudia isn’t using restaurant manners!”) and Claudia will get annoyed that Leon keeps telling her what to do. But she said whenever she tries to redirect them and have them do separate things, they get upset because they want to play together. 

    She mentioned that sometimes she’ll notice that he’s isolating himself and not engaging with his friends. When she asks him what’s wrong, he’ll say something like, “[Friend] took a toy from me.” So she’s trying to prompt him to communicate a little more. This goes hand-in-hand with us trying to convince him to speak up if he’s hungry and needs an extra serving, rather than starving all day until he gets home (and then eating nonstop until he goes to bed).

    She also said he’s doing great with his art. She said he’ll draw scenes where she can clearly tell what he says is happening in the picture, and he’ll often try to draw from something else as a reference. When I told her I spend a decent amount of time making photorealistic drawings from reference photos, she didn’t seem surprised and actually said that makes a lot of sense.

    All in all, nothing surprising! 

    Comments Off on Teacher, Teacher
  • Learning about Thankfulness

    Me: *on a step-ladder vacuuming the top of the kitchen cabinets, sweating, trying to pull the hose up high enough without flipping the vacuum over*
    Leon: *desperately calling for me*
    Me: *climbs down from step-ladder, turns off vacuum, asks him what’s going on*
    Leon: “Hey Mommy, I’m thankful for my water bottle!”
    Me: … 😒

    Comments Off on Learning about Thankfulness
  • Excuse me 😍🥺😭

    Earlier this afternoon Leon and I walked around outside to find “fall items” he could use for an art project at preschool. As he picked up sticks and leaves, he said, “I’m going to leave some so the neighbors can have some too.”

    Comments Off on Excuse me 😍🥺😭
  • Still Small?

    Leon: “Mommy, am I big or am I small?”
    Me: “You’re small now, but you’re getting bigger because you’re eating your vegetables, and you’re –“
    Leon: “Mommy… When I get bigger, can I say ****?”
    Me: 😳

    Comments Off on Still Small?
  • Leon’s “Fine”

    I haven’t posted here for a while, but that’s kind of par the course with personal blogs, right?

    COVID-19 is still a real concern, but we’ve relaxed somewhat on quarantining ourselves — partially due to knowing more about the virus and how it spreads, but also due to giving up since no one else is taking the virus seriously and it almost feels inevitable that we’ll get it eventually. 

    Leon is in the Pre-K room now at school, and he loves his new teacher —and I love her because she sends pictures and videos all day long! His best friend is in the class with him; they’re only 6 days apart so they’ve always conquered the classrooms together.

    Leon’s doing great with reading now, and I’ve already had to buy a more difficult set of books for him. He does well with many three- and four-letter words but usually uses context to guess longer words. Although he knows how to sound out each letter, it hasn’t quite “clicked” that he can essentially just use the sounds of a word to read, so he typically relies on sight-reading.

    He’s talking up a storm and is suddenly articulating words more clearly! After 3+ years of translating, it’s kind of strange that other people can understand almost everything he says now. He makes sure to remind us about all bad words, “We don’t say ‘XXXX.'” He’s expanded his reprimands to other non-curse words too, sometimes without understanding that they have different meanings in different contexts. I told him a few weeks ago that it’s not acceptable to sarcastically holler “FINE” after I tell him to do something, which he’s more or less taken to heart. I swear, he could be upstairs in bed, and I could whisper the word “fine,” and he’d wake from a deep sleep to come tap me on the shoulder and tell me, “Mommy, we don’t say ‘fine!'”

    Comments Off on Leon’s “Fine”
  • Pedi+Podi Observations

    “Daddy’s feet are hard. My feet are soft. Mommy’s feet are soft too.”

    Comments Off on Pedi+Podi Observations