I Told You I Would Win. No Beach Fights Necessary.

Dusty, what is this a picture of?  What are those little lines and words?  Why, could it be??  Are those simple subjects and simple predicates…diagrammed???

Dusty!  You didn’t!  Tell me you didn’t make poor Boy10 diagram sentences!  That must have been quite the battle, huh?

Oh, no, you silly reader!  I say “Ha!” at your doubt in me.  Did I not tell you a mere three weeks ago that while Boy10 and I may fight over grammar, I would win?  Did I not compare myself to the Terminator, and then Hitler (and then amend it to Churchill)?  (See here.)

You should have marked my words and bet on my horse.  You’d be rich today if you had.

Because I won.  Oh, did I ever win!  And no, I didn’t make Boy10 diagram sentences…he begged me to let him diagram sentences.

Oh, Dusty—you are always exaggerating!  That boy did not beg you to diagram sentences.

Au contraire, mon frère!  Yes, he most certainly did!  I am not kidding.  He begged me to let him diagram the sentences.  “I hope we can diagram sentences today.”  “Well, that’s in tomorrow’s lesson.”  “What?!  No, no!  Let me do it today!  We can do both lessons!  Pleeeease!”  “Oh.  Well, alright.”

Let me just say it loud and say it proud, “I told you so!”

Crow, crow, crow, crow, crow!

Ok, ok.  So I won the Grammar Wars.  Lest you think I’m too conceited for my own good, here’s something you can shake your head over and consider me a failure for:

Boy10 still can’t tie his shoes.

Yes, you read that right: he’s ten years old and cannot tie his own shoes!  Oh, the parental failure!

All I can say in my defense is that as both parent and teacher to these children I have to pick my battles very carefully.  I can’t allow myself to get weary over a shoe-tying lesson.  I have to keep my eye on the prize: reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are non-negotiable.  Shoe tying is at the bottom of our list.  We just use Velcro.

We’ve tried the whole shoe tying rigmarole a few times.  And each time, it ends in tears.  I figured he’d learn when he was ready.  I have to worry about teaching him fractions and can’t get myself worked up over shoes.

But then, that lovely peer pressure that I talked about the other day (here)  finally kicked in.  (Finally!)

See, it’s raining like crazy today.  And today was karate day.  I told the boys, “Wear shoes, not sandals, in the rain.”

And Boy10 didn’t want to wear his Velcro shoes.  He said, “But I don’t want everyone to hear the Velcro sound.”  (They do karate barefoot.)  I asked him, “Do the other kids have tie shoes?”  “Yes.”  “Are you embarrassed because you have Velcro shoes?”  “Yes.”  “Are you willing to learn now?”  “Yes.”

And so, tomorrow morning, the Shoe Tying Lessons will begin.


Saddening news.  I think little Sarah Jane won’t be with us much longer.

Usually, when I hold her she moves around non-stop, sniffing and looking around.  But today she just laid there staring at me.  It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten a picture of her that’s not hopelessly blurred.  And yesterday she just picked at her cheese.

She’s old for a mouse.  I’ve been preparing the children for the worst.


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