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We had Simon’s parent-teacher conference tonight.  While we were in his classroom, he pulled a pencil out of his desk to show me.  He told me he named the pencil Carl.  And that sometimes Carl misbehaves.  When I asked him how Carl the pencil misbehaves, he told me that sometimes Carl goes to weird places in his desk.

Carl.  He named his pencil.  Carl.

For the record, Simon’s teacher said all good things about him.  Good things about Simon, I mean.  Not Carl.

(Simon said this post should be 90 words.)


Forest baby

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Leo, “Mom, where did you find Simon?”

“What? Find Simon?”

“Yes. Where did you find him? Like how I came from your belly? Did you find Simon in the forest or something? Did he come from the forest?”

[we blank stare at each other for a solid ten seconds]

“No, Leo. Simon came from my belly, too.”

“Oh. Huh. I thought he came from the forest.”

Starting Five

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Leo and Simon “played” a “game” of basketball in our living room today, which consists of them making important decisions ABOUT their game, but not actually playing a game (except for when they pass a ball together for 10 seconds and throw it at their hoop once.)

Important decisions about the basketball games include: choosing team colors and uniforms; choosing team names (sometimes colleges, sometimes made up teams); and most importantly, choosing the players.

Leo’s starting five tonight for the Belgium College Squirrels (in red, black, and yellow, naturally) were, in this order:
Michael Jordan (good choice)
Michael Bradley
Brad Evans
George Washington
King James

Two of the best basketball players, two soccer players, and…the first US president.

I’m not certain how that team would fare on the court. Although, really…the Squirrels?! They would win for the name alone, right?!

He just wants to win


This post is brought to you at the suggestion of my loyal reader. You know who you are. 🙂

I just told you about Simon’s intense dedication to the game of soccer. He is dedicated, yes. He is also intent on winning. Like, winning at all costs winning. The first game of the season – this is legit and highly-competitive U8 soccer, people – was a *bit* lopsided, with his team ending up on top. He got accustomed to winning, very quickly. So when the next Saturday rolled around, Simon was READY for his double-header. Or so he thought.

The team soundly won the first game. But the second game was tough. They were exhausted from the first game, to be sure, and the other team was fresh. And they played that way. They were good. They ARE good. And our team just couldn’t keep up.

Simon had a meltdown at the half-time break, when his team was down by about four goals. (I should know the exact number. I don’t, but I should. Please don’t tell him.) His amazing coach called him over from where he was having an epic meltdown in the parent area. And Coach basically told Simon that the team needed him in the second half. He was going in goal. And they NEEDED him. Awesome move.

So he played goal. Really well. I’m not sure he let anything in after that. And despite the loss, he was content.

The next week, Simon came with a plan. I was not aware of this “plan” until AFTER the game, because I am an exceptional mother. But here is the plan, perfectly executed, might I add:

Simon started at forward, proceeded to score a hat-trick (In the first half.) This included scoring on a corner kick, which surprised the heck out of the opposing goalie, as the ball solidly just…rolled…into the goal. A goal is a goal. Part A of NOT LOSING was complete. In the second half of the game, Simon convinced Coach he should go into goal again, where he proceeded to stop anything close to a goal by the other team. Part B of NOT LOSING was complete. His team won.

He informed me later that the strategy was deliberate and thankfully it worked, because there was no way he was ever losing another soccer game.

For the record, I’m competitive. But that’s like other-level stuff. We’ll just go with, “he gets it from his dad.” He is a frightening child. And I’m pretty sure he’s not supposed to know that he scares his mother. So if you could all just keep that to yourselves, that’d be great. Thanks.



Simon is disappointed that inclement weather has once again derailed his plans for soccer. (His game was cancelled on Saturday because of weather.)

“Mom. They are teaching kids to be QUITTERS! Why can’t we play in the rain? It’s just a bit of rain.”

“Actually, I think the lightning is the problem.”

“Same thing. Quitters! If I quit something when I’m older, I’m going to blame my soccer league from second grade! We should be playing!”

Imagine this conversation. Three times. That’s been the last of my fifteen minutes. Feel badly for me.

Equality in the eyes of a seven-year-old

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My husband took the boys to watch the MSU men’s soccer game today, which was great for our soccer-obsessed Simon.

As Simon was laying down to go to bed earlier, he said to me, “Mom? You know what was a big disappointment today? There was only one MSU player with black skin. All the rest were white. And Sterling and Sturridge (two of his favorite players on the Liverpool club, his favorite team) have black skin. And they are better than lots of the other players! It’s not fair. There should be half white players, and half black players.”

“I agree! That would be really great, wouldn’t it? What do you think we should do about it, Simon?”

“Maybe you should call the coaches and tell them.”

I hope he never loses his fairness freak streak.

Nature and loving others, 1.
Judging and perpetuating hate, 0.

From the mouth of another favorite around here, Dikembe Mutombo, “Not in my house.”

My kids are becoming British

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The boys seem to be attracted to all things British of late. Thanks to the big one’s obsession with British Premier League football, he now speaks with an accent when he talks about soccer. Almost entirely. And it’s pretty convincing.

The little one asked me yesterday to turn on the “heatings” in the car because he was cold. And then was exasperated when I questioned him. Most kids have Dora and “learn” Spanish, we have Peppa Pig.

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