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Pied Piper, Sorta

So, the second and third grades had a choral performance tonight, and Maria had a special part, which she was super excited about. They did a series of songs telling the story of the Pied Piper, but with significantly less death (these snowflake kids today…). The kids get turned to stone temporarily instead of drowning, or disappearing, or whatever gruesome fate the fairy tale insists on.

I feel like I should probably go ahead and tell her the real fairy tale, because the pied piper metaphor gets thrown around a lot and I don’t want her thinking it just means somebody can play groovy music on a flute and you might merely get a slightly less optimum outcome if you try to cheat an exterminator out of a contracted price

Afterwards, basking in the post-show glow with Aleena and Joy.
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Boston Babes

We went to Boston two weekends ago. The kids played computer games, and spent hours and hours in the snow. (It was the only snow my kids got to see this whole winter, and they had a blast.) The adults mostly just hung out. It was a low stakes yet, oddly, emotionally restorative weekend.

Guinea pigs! Who knew how cute they are?
There are no hills in southeast Virginia, so this was waaaay better snow play than home

It snowed like seven inches the morning we drove home, and it did not matter in the slightest, because the roads were plowed right away. Seriously, this same snow that would have shut down York County for a week shut down Boston for a couple of hours. And we were still home by 10 pm.

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February 16, 2019

Maria went to a school chum’s birthday party today and got a Pokemon tattoo on her face.

“You mean it’s not permanent?” she asked several hours later, devastated.

Meanwhile, Tom asked for a book of mazes. He and I went to Barnes and Noble to look around and we found this:

He expressed tremendous initial enthusiasm. This book contains such mazes as:

He actually gave it a shot! But, I mean, dude.

Several hours later I went back to the bookstore and found an Usborn book called My First Mazes.

He immediately could be heard happily chirping, “We have to help the mouse find the cheese!” etc.

Lesson learned! Again.

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The Cold Ever Bothers Her Anyway

Saturday, Tom and I took Subaru the Doggie on an adventure to Ft. Monroe, a stone fortress with a freaking moat. 

MOOOOOOAAAATTTTTTTT. (With a tunnel.)

It has an interesting history in that it remained in Union control during the civil war and was the eventual prison for Jefferson Davis. Besides all that, it’s a beautiful place, and it had been so many years since we’ve been there that the boy didn’t even remember it.

(Which means we’ve lived here so long that there are places we visited when we first moved here that the kids were too young to remember now. Which is weird. My kids are Virginians.)

Up the side of the fortress is this super long, steep slope.

Tom was raring to ride his scooter down this slope, but his inherent chickenness kicked in at the last minute. So he tells me he’s going to “roll down the hill” first, to try it out, then come back up for his scooter.

“Are you sure you want to do that? It’s brick. It might hurt…”

But oh yes he wanted to do that.

Going…
going…
gone!

Having tested the terrain, he concluded there was no need to scooter down.

It was cold this weekend, which does not keep Tom indoors. But you can count Maria out of all outside activities in the cold, as is evidenced by this photo from our family ride on the Capital Trail:

Her head hurt, her ears hurt, her eyes hurt, her hands were numb in spite of gloves, she was dying. It was forty four degrees.

The weekend opened, however, with a bowling party thrown by the autism school. The kids fought bitterly the whole drive there and the whole drive home, but managed to enjoy the actual bowling part. Tom’s score was 101, the highest in our group, which I feel is impressive considering his technique involves basically throwing the ball down the lane. It’s more like shot putting than bowling, but it seems to be working for him.

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February 2, 2019

It had been a while since we’d been to the children’s museum in Portsmouth. The kiddos are growing out of it. But there was a Thomas exhibit and we have well established that despite the occasional word of a mean girl, you are never too old to say hi to your favorite train.

Oh, and since we’d come all that way, we figured we might as well visit our favorite exhibits.

We have no success getting him on a school bus. But city buses? Oh yeah.
I don’t know how many photos I have of him enjoying this train exhibit over the last eight years.
Zoetropes: the boy’s not so secret love

But before all that, Maria got her first stripe at taekwondo. I think this is her intense battle face?