Posts Tagged ‘Becker’

Catherineism #: Sock it to you…

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Friday morning (Feb 20), Emily was in Houston, and we invited her to come with us to Shabbat at Becker. While I was making breakfast, the girls got out the musical greeting cards Emi gave them for Valentine’s Day.

Catie’s card plays a snippet of “Who let the dogs out?” I pulled up the Baha Men’s original video on YouTube, and the girls found it fascinating.

Sammie’s card plays a song by the Isley Brothers:

“It’s your thing
Whatcha gonna do?
I can’t tell you
who to sock it to…”

* * *
Listening to that snippet reminded me of Gran’mom.

Language and idiom change over time. I’m not sure which factors most shape which elements stick with each person. Many of my expressions date to the 1980s; many of my Gran’mom’s expressions were much earlier.

During her final year or two, Gran’mom was decreasingly able to care for her cat. More pertinently, she was unable to fend him off. When Zachary batted at her ankles, her paper-thin skin split open into painful wounds that needed nursing care.

One time, when a nurse was tending to her wound dressing, he caused her discomfort. Gran’mom squirmed and exclaimed, “Ouch! Watch it, Buster, or I’ll sock it to you!”

* * *
Emily arrived in time to help the girls get dressed for school. Cate decided to skip socks and just wear her berry-colored play shoes. While Cate was getting her shoes, Sam opened the card to play the song again, and Emi and I sang along.

When we finished the song snippet, Cate was standing in the doorway looking quizzical. She asked, “What is ‘sock it to you’?” Emi replied, “Oh, it’s a very 1960s expression” and Cate wandered off.

I captured Sam and started talking her into blue leggings, a long-sleeve blue tee, her Becker blue top, and fleece pants with pockets for Tzedakah. Just then, Cate approached from the dressing room, and lobbed a roll of turquoise socks at me.

When I asked, “What’d you do that for?!” — feeling puzzled because she’d declared for going sock-free — Cate beamed and exclaimed, “I socked it to you, Mom!”

Preschool! First day at Becker

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

I have so much I want to say about the girls starting school. But I’m too tired and stressed to organize all of my thoughts. So here are some tidbits.

I think one of the most important outcomes of preschool is for kids to be comfortable going to school. We already know Cate and Sam are interested and engaged in all manner of things. I’m confident they’ll learn lots of good stuff. However, I really want them to transition comfortably into *wanting* to go to school.

To that end, we’ve been talking a lot about what happens at school. We’ve also been reading, Blue goes to school, Maisy goes to preschool, and Knuffle Bunny Too.

* * *
Tuesday was “Meet the Teacher(s) Day” at Becker. Sam and Cate were both a little nervous, but were eager to explore the classroom. At the end of the hour, Sam seemed energized and ready for more. But Cate was overwhelmed. She sought out Dad to pick her up, then Mama for a hug, and then burst into tears in the car. I think Cate’s going to need some time to get used to this school business.

* * *
After a summer of going to sleep after sundown, and waking between 8:30 and 9 am, we’re struggling to shift our schedule early enough to get to school on time. We worked hard the last ten days, with occasional success, to get the girls into bed before 8 pm.

This morning, the alarm went off at 7 am. Sam stirred almost immediately. Bill turned off the “air machine”, uncovered the southeast window, and turned on the Beatles’ “Here comes the sun.” Cate woke a few minutes later, and we all got out of bed.

By the time I shepherded girls to the kitchen for breakfast, Bill was returning with a surprise bag of donut holes. I insisted that they eat some eggs first: Cate chose a red “omelette” and Sam asked for “blue plain eggs.” Cate declared, “I love donut holes!”

While the girls were donning their play shoes, Bill and I slammed a variety of foodstuffs into their new lunch bags (Thank you, Auntie Emi!). When I collected exhausted girls later, Cate had eaten her half banana, Sam had eaten her steamed carrots, and both had picked at some hummus. Neither ate the hotdog or Babybel cheese we packed.

As we headed out, I tried to get girls to pause on the porch for a first-day-of-school photo together. Cate accommodated me:

Cate sat where I asked, but once we were in the classroom, I noticed that she had put her shoes on backwards.

I saw Cate consciously school her expression and smile for the camera.

Sam paused momentarily on the step next to Cate, then strode down the front walk. She stopped at the gate to regard the rest of us. Then despite Bill admonishing her to come back to me, Sam let herself out the gate and ran down the sidewalk to the driveway, before returning to my van:


Sam hiked her lunch bag up onto her shoulder, the way I carry my tote bag.

Cate, resolutely ready to face preschool

* * *
A week ago, while helping my mom purge her office, I came across an old leaflet from the Steineau School that had urged my parents to plan to stay at school *all day* during my brother’s first day of preschool. In keeping with that, I packed a book and a bottle of water, and camped out at Becker this morning. When it was time for me to leave the classroom, I told the girls that I needed to read a book and was headed to the library. I assured Cate and Sam that I would come back during lunch.

I peeked at them repeatedly through the little window in the classroom door, and they seemed calm and engaged. However, at story time, I heard Ms. F announce that she was about to read, Love You Forever, and I went to pieces. Our friend Susan introduced me to that one years ago, and we don’t own it because I cannot read it without crying my eyes out, every time. I fled, and made friends with Ms. T, a very-kind assistant director, who reassured me without making feel even a little bit silly.

After school, Sam told me that she had cried right after I left. Tomorrow, I’ll do a better job of saying goodbye and making sure she recognizes that I’m about to depart. And tonight, it’s time for us to read, The Kissing Hand.

Catherineism #: Oh, crumbs!

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

A few months ago, while reading reviews on Amazon, I came across a marvelous children’s book called, The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It’s about a cheerful, intrepid, and clever little mouse who takes a stroll through the deep dark wood, and the creatures he meets along the way.

The story is told in lyrical verse and is delightful to read aloud. Also, because the author is English, the story includes several Britishisms. For example, when the fox takes leave of the mouse, he says, “I’m off!” When the snake becomes alarmed, he exclaims, “Oh, crumbs!” before he slithers back into his logpile house.

* * *
The girls are all signed up to begin preschool next week at the Becker Early Childhood Center of Congregation Emanuel, across from the Rice campus. Thursday night (Aug 21), the four of us attended a “new families” welcome event at school. Sam and Cate are really excited about becoming “school girls” and were eager to see the campus and meet some of the kids.

Afterward, we went to Jason’s Deli for dinner, although they’d had enough cheese, fruit, and pink lemonade that they weren’t especially hungry.

Rather than ordering entrees for them, we fed them off of our plates. Cate asked if she could please have *another* club cracker and I encouraged her to eat some more meatball and veggies instead. Undeterred, she continued to work at prying away the plastic wrapper from the crackers at the middle of the pack, thoroughly smushing them in the process.

Eventually, she succeeded in perforating the wrapper, sprinkling a shower of tiny cracker bits across the floor. Cate paused for a moment, surveying the situation, and then exclaimed gleefully, “Oh, crumbs!”

Hee hee!

While I remember Baba Jean exclaiming that during my childhood, it’s not an expression Bill or I use. Which means, in retrospect, that the girls would have to take it literally. Too funny!