Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's all about dough

Yesterday was Eli's first day of cooking class, the same one that Eva took last year. I was little worried that he was too little to handle the format but he proved me wrong. He got right into the class. He stretched, sang, washed hands all right on cue. When it came time to chop apples, I thought we'd give a try and then he could go and play with some of the other children that had no interest in being at the table. Eli masterfully learned the proper hand position for the knife and went to town. He was so focused and determined to cut the apples. He never got frustrated and did not give up until the task was over. Next came the bread making. Eli was very interested in what everyone was doing with their alotment of dough. He looked around the table and them promptly started to pat, pat his. All was fine until Lalla, the teacher, wanted more dough for the apple loaf and i halved mine and pinched a wee bit from Eli's bun. Well he immediatly got enraged yelling, "mine, mine, mine," reaching for his piece of dough that was being kneaded into a big loaf. Then came time to put our individual buns on the baking pan. The pan made it's way around the table and each child placed their masterpiece upon the sheet. When it reached Eli and it was made clear that he was to forfeit his bun to the pan he his the high road trailing his flattened bun in tow - pieces dripping on to the floor. I finally caught up with my quick son and at eased the dough from his grip just to put it into a ball so that it would at least not fall apart. Whew. Eli carried around his trouphy the next 30 minutes. It was now time to go upstairs to the play area. Lalla started singing the "Little Red Caboose" song and Eli walked over to be the first car. Lalla let me know that the bread could not go upstairs, and said to Eli, "your bread needs to go join it's friends in the oven." Eli says, "NO!." I took him into the kitchen and opened the oven and without thinking, snatched his dough and added it the pan and closed the door. Bad move MOM! Eli was hysterical, he screamed and had every parent and child looking at us. I tried to carry him and calm him down to no avail. Finally, I opened the door and knocked the bun out with a wooden spoon and gave it back to him after testing how hot it was. Immediate calm. He took it upstairs and sat on my lap for the show about the boy and the apple tree. Once playtime began he spotted a train and relinquished his dough. He was reunited with it once we got downstairs again where he joyfully licked it and patted it for a while. Once the apple loaf was served he forgot all about his dearly beloved dough and left happily with a cooked bun in his grasps.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

email from Shu Shu

Oh Jan, I loved it.  Thank you so much.  Your descriptions are beautiful.
Daddy misted up a bit, huh? I remember his departure with his plastic
basin of gear. The pictures are great. Look forward to much more.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Eva's First Day of SCHOOL!

I awoke this morning to a chipper Eva bouncing next to my bed, announcing she was going to school this morning. Now to be fair, last week we had an orientation at the Hummingbird Cooperative, so the place will not be completely new to her. Besides, Marlis the teacher is fabulous. Anyway, we all convened in the kitchen for our ceremonial bowl of oatmeal with bananas. Daddy had out done himself today. There was definitely an extra bounce in Eva's step today - for she was going to school. Eva and I headed back to put on her pre-approved outfit. With our new earlier-than-usual routine, I tried to pick out an out fit ahead of time. I did the same tonight - we'll see how long I can actually keep this up. So I started with the dress, now turned shirt. It is the adorable blue corduroy dress with felt appliqué of cat, house, fence and apple tree. I got in on my trip to Brooklyn almost exactly two years ago. I held it up thinking how cute Eva would be going to school in this dress. At the time it looked so huge as I held it up on the hanger. It was at a discount place near Kara's house. I paid $25 which was way more than I'd ever spent on a dress before. It was on sale from $78. So here I was putting it on my little girl -- well not so little girl. The dress comes way above her knees but still fits everywhere else. It looked nice with a pair of knit pants with a little ruffle on the bottom. Eva was ready to go as soon as I put it on her. Of course, I still had to get Eli and myself dressed.

Finally, it was time to go. Eli left with Daddy to go to Naomi's for an hour. Eva and I had a last minute scramble, gathering all of my cameras - digital, 35mm and digital recorder. We had a nice drive across town. Eva let me know several times that she was ready to see Marlis at school. She was also concerned if Somerset was going to be in attendance. There were a few moments of silence where I let my mind race with thoughts of how much I'll miss her, this was the first day of the rest of her educational life, and what a great school we found for her. We drove through Noe Valley, The Castro, and the Lower Haight.

Art was waiting for us and met us at our parking spot. Art got her out of the car - me video-taping the entire thing. Eva was ready for posing at this point and just plopped herself on the sidewalk ready for a photo and protested loudly when Daddy tried to put her backpack on and move her along. She ended up getting a ride in Daddy's arms to the front of the school. The school is in the ground level of a Victorian building, with a long corridor leading to the side entrance. It seemed extra long today as miss Eva trotted down to the door. She turned and stood there looking at us so sweetly. I took her photo, posed under the hummingbird flag. Inside the warm glow of the room was very inviting. Marlis was busy filling up painting jars while a few of the children were already gathering for their morning activity. Eva found her cubby she chose last week with the picture of the snail. We changed her into her slippers. By the time I finished putting everything in its place, she was over at the table ready to go. We waved goodbye. She looked up at us with a sweet, shy smile but seemed ready to trust those around her. Art and I walked back towards the street. I stopped and looked in on her getting her apron on. She is so wonderful. I found Eva's little can with her name and got our flyer left for us. Art was a bit teary eyed. Eva had come up to him and hugged him and said, "Bye bye Daddy." I'm so proud of her.

When I got to Naomi's house, I called Beth to see how she was doing. Peter answered the phone, they'd just left. Beth said, the girls were very happy to see one another. They compared their slippers that were from the same designer on Valencia Street. Eva told Beth, proudly, that her mom and dad had left her already. Beth said she really seemed good. The girls painted for while and then got up to go and play. Somerset took off her apron and turned to Eva and said, "you need to take off your apron," and assisted her and then off they went in to the other room.

Eva is ready for school Posted by Picasa

Eva was insistent on a photo taken at this time Posted by Picasa

Daddy carries Eva part of the way Posted by Picasa

Just outside the door, Eva poses for one last photo Posted by Picasa

Eva walks right over to join th others painting. her teacher - Marlis is getting aprons on the left Posted by Picasa

Oh look we already have parent information! Posted by Picasa

Eva's can - cutest ever Posted by Picasa