Happy Weekend, Readers!
This post will give you something to smile about.
Video set to Tim McGraw's Just to See You Smile appears at the bottom of this post. Check it out!
This is what you all get today. A big smile. It's the end of a very busy few weeks for Eloise. The start of school is crazy every year, but this year with a third child off to school with my other pair of offspring, it has made life even busier. Thankfully I have a job that I love, but it too, is extremely busy in September. I have to come to school with my A-Game ready to play every day, and cannot break concentration. If you know Eloise, that takes a bit more effort to accomplish than the ordinary person.
Friday at quittin' time has always been my favorite time of the week. My smile timer is set to turn on at 3:51 when I am walking through the parking lot, headed for home. I collect my children, hop in my van, and crank the tunes to start off the weekend. A smiley depiction of Eloise at this time of day would look like this:
The fall brings Friday night high school games, which are my favorite. Win or lose, I always smile, because I like the atmosphere of a high school game so much. Most Fridays a smiley depiction of Eloise would look like this:
My Huskies lost last night and I lost a buck on a wager on that game. Bummer. But even though my team lost, Sam thought he won with this giant cookie:
If you are wondering, Slovenians, that is one cookie. I am sure you've heard that Americans have somewhat of a slanted view of portion size. We shared the cookie, everyone. Here's Sam's smiley for the week:
Sam's been giving me lots of reasons to smile lately. He is doing well in school and is settling into a routine nicely. You can tell that school is making a big impression on him. Mrs. P, his kindergarten teacher is doing a fine job of setting up behavior parameters for her entire class. With excitable five year olds, voice level and tone of voice is important. I can tell she's getting through to him. Here's why:
After a very busy day, I was a bit frazzled one evening this week. I was barking orders at my tired children who did not feel like doing their evening chores. Even Natalie called me edgy. "Mom edgy" she said as she walked by me. I growled at her, always being extra cautious not to yell back because any kind of harsh tone always upsets Natalie--growls don't seem to upset her as much.
If I had a smiley depiction of myself at that time, it would look like this:
Sam, on the other hand, can be yelled at from time to time. Sometimes he simply does not respond until my voice gets to a holler level. When I yell at Sam, I look like this:
I was yapping at him to get moving, and instead of the back-talk I usually get, I got this:
I thought Sam was in his bedroom putting away his laundry, but instead he wandered out with this a few minutes later. "Mom, we have to talk," said Sam, taking my hand and leading me to a chair to sit down. "Now you sit there young lady and listen to what I have to say." (I didn't mind the "young lady" part).
Dumbfounded I sat in my kitchen while Sam explained to me that I did not need to raise my voice that loud and that I should "watch my tone." This, Sam explained, was my behavior chart.
When I asked what the G-T-S-N letters were for, Sam said:
- G--is for Good--that means you were good
- T--is for Time Out--that means you have to sit and think about it
- S--is for Self Respect--that means something my teacher said but I forgot
- N--is for Needs Improvement
"Now this is going on the 'frigerator this time," admonished Sam, shaking his little, chubby finger at me. "I'm going to use this the next time you yell or make growly sounds at Natalie. This is your WARNING!"
And then the little control freak proceeded to the 'frigerator and posted my behavior chart on the door by making a big slapping sound to get the post it note glue to adhere. Sam then turned around to shoot me one last look before wandering off. I decided to put myself in Time Out and I stayed in my chair for an extra ten minutes. Thanks Sam.
Here's a Natalie story that will give you a smile. I am constantly putting my kids' artwork on this blog. I've given props to some really fantastic pieces that Natalie has created too. This one takes the cake though. Can you guess who this is?
Natalie brought it to me after school saying, "Oooooh! Look at that! Look what Natalie did! Nice job, good job, good girl!"
The face looked kind of familiar. I complimented Natalie on her work and tried to inquire who the person in the picture was. "Is this Mr. Fritts? I asked (doubtful, but if you know Natalie's teacher, this will make you smile).
"No," said Natalie.
My mind then ran like a ticker tape and I rattled off the names of anyone I could think of that kinda-sorta fit her depiction:
- President Obama?
- Michael Jackson (pre-bleaching)?
- Rick James?
"No." "No." "No." were Natalie's responses.
I thought and thought much of that evening, enjoying the mental challenge that Natalie always gives me. Then I found this in the very bottom of her book bag:
"Natalie! Is that Abe Lincoln?" I hollered up the stairs to her bedroom.
"Yes." was the muffled reply.
I can see you all smiling through the computer screen, Readers. It made me smile, too.
Ellen is smiling this week because she's just been informed she's getting a special treat come the end of November. Eloise got tickets for us to go see Carrie Underwood in Pittsburgh, November 27. My girl has been sporting her metallic grin ever since.
I guess Ellen's smiley for the week would look like this:
And if that all wasn't enough, here is a little more to make you smile. Because I am a teacher and I feel the need to teach you something every week, consider this next part a Smiley Tutorial of sorts. The following is a facebook conversation I had with my Bestie, the morning after I returned from a three day get away with her and another friend this past July. I had only been home for a matter of hours and I already missed my friends. They make me smile. I was back to my regular life, making breakfast and planning activities for the day. It was early, I was sipping coffee, and decided to check facebook.
Say what you want about facebook, but I really do like it. Eloise is a homebody and most of my time outside of work is devoted to my children. I don't have much of a social life. I rarely talk on the phone. This is where facebook is nice---I can drop someone a quick message or have a light conversation with them without all the haggling, planning, and fixing up that a face to face meeting requires. Facebooking is simple and easy and light. That is how I like to keep it. Eloise likes this.
Much to my delight one of the little green circles lit up next to Bestie's name (which I have changed to Teeny on the posts below for privacy purposes). Yeah! She's on! I thought. I sent her a message on a group feed our trio had going.
The conversation was not intended to be about smiley faces, but that is the direction in which it turned. The smileys I am referring to are the ones that appear in word documents when you type a colon next to parentheses. Generally they look like this:
You can type colon and the parentheses facing the opposite way and a frowny face pops up like this:
The smiley trend has taken off, and now you can make all kinds smileys and other inserts too, like hearts.
Hopefully you will see the larger lesson that is behind the Smiley Tutorial: Friends Make You Smile. My friends have always been there for me at the drop of a hat. Who drops a hat any more to signal that an immediate response is needed? I say we stop using that old expression and move on to a more modern phrase. Eloise suggests: Friends are there for you "at the flash of a green circle".
The following (if you can follow it) is our lighthearted conversation that actually started about light--we were writing about the light radiating from my new lamp post. Then the conversation took a turn to the topic of those smileys. The red type face is what I inserted to help you understand the conversation better. It will also give you a glimpse of what it is like being a personal friend of Eloise.