Almost there...

Friday, March 04, 2016


So it's been less than a week, I know, but the odds are high I'd forget something about this week over the next 3 weeks, and there's just a bit y'all should know about.

This week Athena transitioned to Pre-K. This is her last stop at Early Horizons before Kindergarten (almost certainly at Sutter Elementary). We dropped her off in the Dandi room every day and those transitioning walked over together. It looks like this:

Self-selected gender segregation starts early.
Today we dropped her off for her first full day in Pre-K. She is so ready. One of the other kids was crying on his mom's shoulder. Athena couldn't wait to say, "Bye mommy!" My little barnacle is growing up.

She ate the very last ginger cookie from her birthday party this morning. (Her grandma made a LOT of cookies.) I opened the container and said, "Oh no! There's only one last lonely ginger cookie left. What should we do with it?" She replied, "I could eat it so that it would be in my belly with its friends." And that's how you earn a cookie for breakfast. We got to school and she hadn't eaten it yet (she chose to eat her normal breakfast first) so I told the story to her new teacher. Athena added, "It's going there right now. Nom nom nom!" and takes a big bite. There's this face people get in the presence of extreme cuteness. Her new teacher totally got that face. You could see this little battle in her head happening, where she was like, "I'm a professional. We don't comment on kids being cute or beautiful or anything. We praise them for working hard, being kind, following directions, etc." And her face is just squishing up and she whispers, "She is so cute."

The other thing I did this week was to go to a beginning square dance class in Sunnyvale. My grandparents square danced through their 80s, and I've long wanted to give it a go. An invitation arrived via NextDoor, so I thought, "You know what? Let's try it." Well, let's just say that 20+ years of vintage social dance, Irish ceili, English country dance, and Fezziwigs made this the easiest dance form I've ever tried. It's all the same stuff, with slightly different styling. And they're always calling, so as long as you're listening, it's crazy easy to follow along. The one thing that immediately stood out (beyond the question of "why don't we ever allemande right???) was some outdated gender stuff. At 41, I was easily the youngest person in the room. I also didn't bring my own partner, and I was asked about that gently - "Your husband doesn't like to dance?" When I said, "Oh Erik dances, but he's home with our daughter since he got Game of Thrones night last week." there was a little tiny flinch. Then there were the calls that said, "Return to your honey." And "Ladies _____ and Gentlemen _____" and I thought, oh yeah, we used to say that a lot in Irish too, but mostly it's all Leads and Follows nowadays. It was the whitest, most hetero-normative activity I've done in a good long time. And I'm a white, married, middle-class mom. It was just... different. And it was interesting to me that that didn't feel even remotely normal to be in a space so thoroughly hetero-normative. Anyway, I'll likely go back. It's close to home. It's kind to my knees. It's easy exercise. And it's nice to pick up a new dance form so painlessly.