Topham Times

Topham Times

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Colette's Kindergarten Program

Colette's kindergarten put on a program for parents this evening. I recorded parts of it. In the videos below, Colette can be seen jumping rope in a relay race, dribbling a basketball in a relay race, and dancing to "If You're Happy and you Know It."

Jumping rope

Dribbling a basketball

Dancing to "If You're Happy and You Know It"

Leila's School Program

Leila's school put on a program last night in which the kids danced to songs from the 1950s. Katie sewed the poodle skirt Leila wore.

Leila performed in four choreographed routines. I will post video clips below. In the first two, it's just the second grade, so Leila is very visible. In the second two video clips, it's the whole school performing. The camera is, of course, focused on Leila, but she is a face in a crowd.

"Splish Splash" (1958)

"Rockin Robin" (1958)

"See You Later Alligator"

"A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" in sign language

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Colette plays her first ever April Fool's joke -- on her father

I decided yesterday that Colette needs to work on her sense of timing.

Because Katie was ill yesterday evening, I "cooked" dinner for the kids. Translation: I took them to Chick-fil-A. Once the girls had settled down to eat their kids' meals, Colette opened her bag and showed me inside. She said, "Look, dad. They didn't give me any chicken!" Sure enough, the bag held only french fries and a toy. So I went up to the counter and got her the chicken nuggets that the employees had left out of her meal.

After Colette polished off the box of chicken nuggets I had gotten for her, she pulled a second box out from under the table, held it up to my face, and shouted, "April Fools!"

While I had been distracted by the chaos involved in getting three little girls their food, the darn kid had pulled the original box of chicken out of her sack and put it on her lap out of sight.

 So back up to the counter I went to pay for the extra chicken nuggets. When I returned to the table, I told Colette that she would have to reimburse me the $2.87 her joke had cost me. The young lady, who was already crying, wailed even louder. Her sisters, meanwhile, explained to her that if she *must* play a joke on someone, she should let them know it's a joke before it goes too far and costs the victim money.

So Colette played her first ever April Fool's joke on the wrong day, and waited too long to reveal that it was a prank. Timing, dear child, it's all about the timing.

Epilogue: Colette deeply regretted her actions. She said she didn't have enough money to pay me back. I told her not to worry about that yet, we'd work things out. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she said over and over that she was a bad person because she had made a mistake. I picked her up, set her on my lap, wrapped my arms around her, and hugged her tightly. I assured her that she is not a bad person. I told her that everyone makes mistakes, it's part of being human. She argued that there are lots of people who don't make any mistakes. I reminded her that there has only ever been one perfect person to walk the earth. The rest of us mess up all too frequently. And I kept trying to explain that one mistake does not a bad person make. That didn't really seem to register with her, so I just hugged her and told her over and over again that she is a great kid, that I love her, that she is my special little girl, and that everything would be okay.

I felt so bad for that well-meaning, pure-hearted, innocent little soul!

Friday, April 1, 2016

"Once Upon A Dream"

Leila singing part of "Once Upon A Dream" from the Disney movie "Sleeping Beauty" at her school's talent show March 31, 2016. Way to conquer your fears and pursue your dream, girl! You did awesome! Mom and Dad are so very proud of you!!!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

My daughters encounter the 2016 presidential election, part 5

Remember how Leila's goal has been to become the first female president of the U.S.? She came home from school yesterday and announced that she was 100% certain that Hillary Clinton was going to win the November election. Therefore, she would need to find a new goal. To that end, Leila asked me if I could turn her into a "Black girl." She said that if she couldn't be the first "girl president," then she wanted to be the first African American woman to be president. (Ah Shirley Chisholm, where are you now?)

My dear daughter, if you get an owie on your knee and need someone to kiss it better, daddy can do that. If you need someone to teach you what a gerund is, daddy can do that. But if you need someone to transform you into an African American kid, that is one thing daddy cannot do.

A little fatherly advice, if I may: It would be more realistic for you to try to become the first female president with Mexican heritage. Yeah, I know it's a stretch, since we are talking about your second great grandfather, who migrated north into Texas from Mexico in 1903. But "Leila Topham, part of the Reconquista since 1903" would look great on a campaign button.

Now, dear child, set aside your political ambitions for the moment and keep practicing the solo you will be singing in your school's talent show in just over a week. One thing at a time, kiddo, one thing at a time.

My daughters encounter the 2016 presidential election, part 4

Political strife of an unusual nature is afoot next door. One morning I awoke to find that my neighbors had planted a Donald Trump banner in the lawn on the boundary line between our yards. I was much relieved a couple days later to see it had been moved to the center of my neighbors' front yard. A few days later, it disappeared altogether.

I mentioned this to Savannah, who giggled and said, "I know." She then explained that her friend who lives in our subdivision and rides the bus with her to school every day is the granddaughter of our next-door neighbors. Unlike her grandparents, she does not support Trump's candidacy. It was she who had been moving the banner around. Savannah said that her friend kept moving it as a form of protest, as well as an act of defiance against her grandparents. One day, she turned the sign around so that passersby would see the print backwards. She gleefully announced that it now read "Pmurt." Apparently, that was the point at which the grandparents conceded defeat and removed the sign entirely.

Nine-year-old girl: 1 Grandparents: 0

Laugh. Out. Loud.

My daughters encounter the 2016 presidential election, part 3

When I picked Leila up from school today, she immediately started in on politics again, continuing this morning's conversation (see earlier post for context). She told me the kids talked about politics all day. She said some of her classmates' fathers think Trump is great, but others do not. She said the kids whose parents do not support Trump kept referring to him as "Tronald Dump." Leila thought this was funny, given the slang meaning of the word "dump."

Then Leila switched to discussing the Democrat candidates. She said she opposes Hillary Clinton solely because Hillary is currently the biggest threat to her dream of becoming the first "girl president," as Leila phrased it. Then Leila wanted to know how soon she could run for president. She was appalled when I said not until the year 2044. She decided my math was off and set out to double-check it. She came up with 2028 as the correct year. Turns out, she thought she could run for president after she turned 18. When I told her the magic number was 35, it ruined her day. She thought it was dumb of the Framers of the Constitution to pick such a ridiculously advanced age as the minimum requirement.

This kid entertains me.