Thursday, March 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Ian, aged 2.7 and Molly, feline aged 14, sitting on sofa.
Ian: (petting Molly gently, with tremendous restraint) I pet her!
Molly: (glowers)
Ian: (patting Molly’s back, again with a restraint unusual for him) I pat her back! I pat her fur!
Molly: (glowers)
Ian: (bending to peer into Molly’s eyes) She has lellow eyes! They are lellow!
Molly: (glowers)
Ian: (with great daring, bends further and kisses Molly on the head) Molly and me are getting married! We are getting married! I kiss her!
Molly: (glowers)


Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
We love Collin. He is smart and funny and incredibly energetic and outgoing and polite and a huge fan of my homemade desserts.
But man, when that kid wants to have a temper tantrum!
The other night he gave me his Social Studies review sheet to look over. I noted that he had been asked to name 2 continents. This seemed a bit facile, so I asked him to name some more.
“Noooooo! I only have to name two!”
“But you can name more.”
“Well, on the paper you do, but I know you probably name all of them. Name a couple more. For me.”
“Mommmyyyy!” And he threw himself against the kitchen cabinets so dramatically that—get this—he lost his footing, slid down the cabinet face, caught his pajama top on the door handle and then split his own lip on the top edge of said door handle, promptly smearing blood all over the cabinet and the floor and bursting into tears.
I picked him up, got him some ice in a washcloth, and hugged him close. Then I leaned down and whispered, “Hey Coll? I’m still going to make you name more continents.”
“NOOO!” he wailed, drooling blood.
I didn’t say anything. He sighed.
“Fine. Africa, North America, South America, and Antartica.”
Was that so hard?


Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Notes from the first drama class:
So Lilah and Collin are enrolled in drama class this Spring. Collin was reluctant but seems pleasantly surprised at how much physical energy the class demands of him. Lilah is in her element. A story shall illustrate.
On the first day, the children were divided into two groups and each group did an impromptu rendition of a familiar fairy tale. They chose Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs. After some 20 minutes of practice that seemed to involved a lot of giggling, they presented these scenes to the watching parents.
The first group set the tone, which was mono, as it were. The children mumbled their lines (“This porridge is too hot.”) except for Collin, who employed a squeaky voice as Baby Bear. But they all seemed shyly pleased to be going through the motions. Goldilocks did a great deal of vague pantomiming of eating, sitting, then lying down, all at high speed, and at the end the bears gleefully chased her off the stage.
The second group started in much the same vein, with three diffident little pigs standing in a line and the first one shuffling a few steps away to begin “building” her straw house.
Then the wolf appeared.
Snarling, limping like a maimed serial killer, his face contorted and his voice a creepy blend of Russian gangster and cartoon villain, he approached the bewildered pig.
“Leetle pig, leetle pig, let me in!” he spat.
The pig shook her head.
“Then I weeel huffff and puff and blow your house eeen!” Cried the wolf, and proceeded to do so dramatically.
At the end of this skit, the pigs lit a fire in the fireplace and when the wolf slid down the chimney, he burned his bottom. He let out a whoop, clapped his hands to his rear end, and pranced off-stage.
I venture to say that I was not the only audience member struck by this stunning performance. The parents all around me were in stitches. The wolf was quite pleased with her audience response.
And thus, a star is born.