"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Friday, April 27, 2012

peer pressure

We were playing outside this afternoon, on this gorgeous Just Right spring day. Evan was riding his bike, Max was throwing a frisbee at the van, Molly slept in my arms. It was blissful.

And then I noticed them: The Neighborhood Big Boys. Congregated around the large green utility box that separates my yard from my next door neighbor's. The three of them, all around 11 years old, were huddled together, looking at something that one of them had brought to the circle.

And then I noticed him: Evan. Watching them intently. Curious as to what they were up to...curious as to what they had among them that caused them to be so guarded, so interested.

So then I became interested. I craned my neck to see if I could catch a glimpse at what they held...

Honeysuckle. The first of the season. The sweet fragrance of the vines gave them away before I even snuck my first peek. The boys were dissecting them as I had done as a kid: twisting off the bottom, slowly drawing out the fragile stamen, licking the sweet nectar. I watched Evan watching them, wondering what they were doing...wanting to be included, perhaps, by the Big Boys (whom he so looks up to and who are so sweet to and inclusive of him--these are seriously Nice Kids...I never thought they had anything illicit), but also just curious about this Childhood Springtime Ritual.

One of the boys noticed him and motioned to him: "Evan," he called, "want some of this? It's real sweet! Almost tastes like candy!" The other two joined him: "Yeah, Evan," they said, "try some! You'll like it!"

Peer Pressure of the most innocent variety. Leave it to Beaver peer pressure.

I watched, wondering how he would respond.

Evan looked at the boys. He looked at the vines. He looked at his feet.

"Um..." he started... Would he walk over to them? Taste what they offered?
"I gotta ask my Mom."

Lesson Learned
Another unexpected benefit of living with Food Allergies....this kid asks before he puts anything to his lips. He ran over to me and asked if it was safe, if he could taste the honeysuckle. "Not only can you," I responded, "I'll join you!"

A friend once told me about a friend of his from high school. The kid had food allergies and had been coached by his parents to avoid the unsafe foods for his entire life. As he approached high school, his mom became more specific: "There's an additive in beer...in the hops...that you're highly allergic to. If you ingest it, you risk experiencing anaphylaxis. Don't try to be cool. Don't try to fit in. Just say No." The kid made it through high school without suffering an allergic reaction. After a few weeks in college, he called home: "Mom! Great news! I must have outgrown my beer allergy! I had some last night and I'm fine!" The mom burst out laughing: "You never WERE allergic to beer!" she told him, "I just didn't want you to drink!!"

I'm not going to lie to my kid...but I love setting the precedent of Talk to us if you're unsure about something. Don't act first, think second...and don't rely on the opinion of your peers. Talk To Us. I praised Evan mightily for asking before doing this afternoon...don't tell the Tiger Mom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

when in rome...er, austin

We just returned from a whirlwind tour of Austin, Texas, where we witnessed the marriage between Sam's sister, Kelly, and her new husband, Steven. It was a Big Trip. Molly's first plane ride...

I'm holding on for dear life.

First time traveling as a Family of Five...


First time to Texas... When he looked out the window from our 24th floor hotel room, Evan said, "Hmmm, there sure aren't any longhorn cattle around this city." No, there weren't. But we were able to watch an active work site from our room, so that was cool.


And the view of the city at night was stunning. 


We squeezed in some Exploring Time in between wedding festivities...we walked the city streets, stopped by the Austin Children's Museum...


...watched the world go by at Zilker Park...


...witnessed history (although we didn't see the legend himself, we did see Willie Nelson's statue that was dedicated while we were there. And we were proud to be the out-of-towners who were NOT the ones to look at the statue and wonder, loudly, aloud: "Who's that guy?")...


...and Evan conversed with the locals.


There was time spent in the hotel, too...playing with a new souvenir (a hippie van purchased at the Children's Museum) while waiting for our lunch to be ready...


...we even had time to sneak in a Two Months Old Photo Shoot...

In order to keep the troops happy during our late-night adventures, afternoon naps were an absolute must.


And when it was time, we dressed to the nines....






And it was a wonderful trip.

Lessons Learned:
As is always the case, First Times are Learning Experiences. And this, our first Big Trip (on a plane, staying in a hotel, Big, Fancy Affairs to Attend) was full of them. For example:

1) Send a box of snacks and diapers ahead of time. We also included a container of Evan's hemp milk, and single-serve, shelf-stable boxes of Max's milk, as well as a jar of sunbutter and breakfast bars. It saves money at the airport when you don't exceed the 50 lb. weight limit per checked bag, and it saves your sanity during the trip when snacks are readily available to stave off hunger-induced meltdowns while waiting for late dinners. We also asked Sam's sister to run by the store and pick up bread, bananas, and apples. This allowed us to give the kids breakfast and lunch in the room just about every day.

2) Plan your trip after a birthday or holiday. For that birthday or holiday, give your child a Leap Pad. Bring that Leap Pad on the plane. Breathe a sigh of relief when your child is happily entertained for the entire flight(s). (If you have two children, you should also bring along an iPad.)

3) Be prepared for people who are strangers (but who already feel as though they are family) to touch and kiss your children. Prepare the older ones ahead of time for this so they don't think strange women are just approaching them and hugging and kissing them, while their mother stands helplessly across the room. (I've never seen Max's eyes get so huge and teary. He was NOT expecting that At. All. He held it together, though. And then promptly ran and hid behind my leg.)

4) Smile brightly when you tell the (more than one) person that, no, you didn't have to pack a Port-a-Crib for Molly to sleep in because she sleeps in your bed and are met with a look of shock and judgement. And, if you feel the need to elaborate and say that it's where she sleeps at home, too, just continue to smile and say, "Well, it works for us!" when those people raise their eyebrows and say, "Really? Wow. I just...."

5) Rent a suite at the hotel. Not only will the second room be nice for having a post-bedtime beer with your husband, but you may need it to ensure that everyone sleeps. Molly and I were in the second room just about every night so that the boys wouldn't wake when she woke in the middle of the night to eat. One night, though, Max had a horrible cough. He and Sam moved to the pull-out couch (and tried to get a little sleep between coughing fits) and Molly and I moved in to the bedroom with Evan. If we had all been in one room, we would have all been up all night. And we would have all been miserable the next day. And we probably would have ruined the rehearsal dinner boat ride. But we weren't, so we weren't, and we didn't. Phew.

6) Bring diapers. Everywhere you go. ESPECIALLY when you're going for a two-and-a-half hour long boat ride. And you have two kids in diapers. And one of those kids is a 2-year old who hasn't pooped in two days. And the other one is a newborn who has been known to poop three times in 20 minutes. True Story. While changing Molly's blowout diaper less than an hour into the boat ride, I realize that, except for one Max-sized diaper, the diaper bag is Completely Diaperless.  Somehow, the size 5 (lined with napkins to make it a double-duty diaper) works and there isn't a single other poop the entire ride. It was some kind of Diaper Miracle.

7) Look at your children through the eyes of the people complimenting them. Even though they might pitch fits and throw tantrums and suffer meltdowns behind the closed doors of the hotel room, they, somehow, hold it together and act Just Beautifully when they need to. Despite schedules and routines being tossed to the wind. Despite late dinners and lots of day and night activity. Despite meeting lots of new people and being expected to wear ties and belts, of all things. Despite it all...They are well-behaved and charming. They are engaging and sociable. They are adorable and sweet. And EVERYone notices. Accept the compliments on their behalf and brag about them so they can hear you. And, when you return to the hotel room at 10 o'clock at night and the over-tired, over-stimulated meltdowns begin, tuck them in and kiss them and tell them how proud you are of them. (And don't let on to them how shocked you are that they held it together as well as they did.)

But when all is really said and done, the Truth remains: All you really need is Love.


And diapers. For god's sake, Do Not forget the diapers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Cars 2: SPY Birthday Party!

With everything going on this spring (new baby, selling/building a house, long-distance travel, etc.), I was really hoping that Evan would want his fifth birthday party to be held at a party place: Pump It Up, Monkey Joe's, a bowling alley, whatever. I'd make a phone call, bake a batch of cupcakes, and have a dozen happy five year olds.

Instead, as soon as we started talking about Evan's approaching birthday, he knew what he wanted: A Cars 2/SPY Birthday Party. He loves the movie, and Finn McMissile is, in his opinion, the Coolest Thing Ever.

And so it was....a theme birthday at home. But I still kept it simple..... 
I called upon Google Images to help me make the invitations:


...and the fill-in-the-blank thank you notes that just may be written on the plane this week...


For Party Favors, I found these cool puzzles in the Target party aisle, added some crayons and labels, and stuck them in a self-sealing poly bag.



I'm not a cake decorator, as evidenced by the Dinosaur Train Cake I attempted last year. So this year, we make cupcake toppers. The pictures were, again, from Google Images, which I cut out using a cool circle-punch that my future sister-in-law gave me. I glued two matching images together with a toothpick sandwiched in between.


And then, it was party time! Most of the hour and a half long party was just spent in free play. For most of the kids, it was their first visit to our house, so there were lots of new toys for them to discover. But, Evan wanted to play Spy Games at his Cars 2/Spy Party (which was WAY easier than trying to recreate a World Wide Racing Competition in our living room), so, with thanks to Pinterest, we played a few party games. 

The first game was the classic I Spy game, in which 10-12 objects are placed on a tray, one is secretly removed and the players need to use their Keen Spy Memory to recall which is missing. Before the party, Evan and I filled the tray with "Spy Gadgets": a pen and pad, a cell phone, a magnifying glass, a small velvet satchel (for carrying found jewels), a pair of keys (for opening mystery boxes), a spy watch (for checking in with The Boss), a kaleidoscope aka: a looking glass (for "taking a Very Close look at clues"), an iPod nano (which we pretended was a secret recording device), a few gold coins (because they added some shine to the tray), and Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell matchbox cars. We played half a dozen or so rounds because the kids loved it....they especially loved the part where, before I covered the tray to remove an object, I told them to "Take a veeerrrrrrrryy close look at the Spy Gadgets..."


We then played Super Sneak, to practice our Spy Stealth. Each kid had a chance to be the Guesser; to sit in front of the group with his or her back turned and eyes closed. I (or Max) then silently (or not so silently for Max: "Ummmmm....I pick....SENNA!") picked one kid to very quietly sneak a sack of jewels (the velvet satchel from the I Spy tray) from behind the back of the Guesser. The sack was then hidden behind the back of the Super Sneak and the Guesser was told to turn around. "Look at your friends right in the eye," I'd say, "Because one of them STOLE YOUR JEWELS! Who's hiding them? Who is that Super Sneak?!" It was so fun to watch the Five-Year-Old Sneak try to keep a straight face. (And a really good indicator of which kids the parents had better watch out for come the teenage years...some of them pretty convincingly said, "Me? Nope. I don't have your jewels..." even though the entire room full of parents saw them take the sack!)

Finally, the kids were lead up to the upstairs hallway where we had set up, with big thanks to Pinterest, Laser Dodge...


This was a HUGE hit. One mom said she was going to set it up for her two boys as soon as she got home ("I just need to keep them busy this afternoon," she said, "and this will do it!").  And then, Cupcakes!


It was such a great party. The best part of celebrating your five-year old's birthday with his friends, is that his friends are, for the most part, also five. They were so much fun....and so polite and sweet. It was the first time I had spent any real amount of time with most of the kids who came. I can see why Evan has had such a socially successful year at school....these were all just Really Nice Kids. Their teachers are so lucky to have such a great group of kiddos this year.

After the Friend Party ended, the family came for Party: Round Two. There were presents.... AWESOME presents...presents that Evan (and Max, and the cousins) played with endlessly yesterday afternoon, and that Evan slept with last night. (And he was up four times in the middle of the night to ask how much longer until morning so he could start playing again...)


Some of the presents required assembly...and there were plenty of helpers for that (thanks Mom Mom and Uncle Will!).


And of course, there were MORE cupcakes.... 


(Don't you just love his shirt? He said, "I think I should wear a fancy shirt for my party today, don't you?" Love him.)

Although Other People's Birthdays are hard for two-year olds, Max did great. (The double dose of cupcakes helped...)


And Molly was surrounded all day by her adoring public...so she was a Happy Little Girl.


(Thanks to Meghan for holding her while she slept through the ENTIRE Cars 2 party! She really is the best baby ever. I'm just saying...)

Lesson Learned:
This was my favorite birthday of Evan's yet. I'm not sad about him turning five. I'm ready for the changes this year will bring, and so is he. He handled the excitement and the craziness of The Birthday Parties so beautifully and really enjoyed himself. He was polite when opening gifts, he shared his new toys (for the most part) really well with Max and his cousins, and he was the perfect host for his friends. At one point, when just about all the kids had congregated in the play room, Sam overheard Evan say to the gang, "Just make yourselves at home."

What a guy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

and then....he was Five

I wasn't going to be a teacher. I was in the middle of getting my Master's Degree in Teaching...but I wasn't going to teach. After graduation, I was going to move to San Francisco and LIVE. Before I could toss my cap, though, I needed to complete my Student Teaching placements. 

Fate intervened: I was placed in a kindergarten classroom (with, I'm sure of it, the World's Best Kindergarten Teacher) FULL of five-year olds.

And I Fell. In. Love.

There is something about Five...old enough for independence, young enough for wonder and curiosity. Funny, intuitive, and dead honest, they can carry on thoughtful, intelligent conversations while, in the next breath, they kill it with Potty Humor. Five year olds flaunt themselves...they're big enough to know to be proud of what they know and can do, and too little to be concerned with appearing egotistical. They are confident, yet wide open as they are just starting to figure out how much more there is to know.

I love kindergartners. So much, in fact, that I changed my post-grad plans and became a kindergarten teacher (after one year spent in second grade and, for the record, I love seven year olds, too).

And then I became a mom. And blinked once...maybe twice. And this happened...


My first baby. My Biggest Boy. He's Five.

And even though he's just-this-moment an official five year old, he is every bit of Awesome that is Being Five.

This kid is Funny. With a Capital F. And not just wacky...although he is that...


...but funny in the intentional joke-telling way (he and Max each need to tell Sam a joke at the door before he can leave in the morning), and also funny in the He's Just Evan way. Sitting at the dinner table, he'll say, "You know what, Daddy? A giant squid has the biggest eye of any other creature in the ocean," while opening his own eyes as wide as they can open, an inch from Sam's face.

But he's always been funny. He's always had a keen way of cracking his mama up. Something new? It's this...


Evan draws. He brings pictures home from school to hang on our fridge and, reportedly, gives drawings to his teachers at Center Time. I love this. I love that he's finally gaining the confidence (and manual dexterity) to put pen to paper and Create...but I'm also loving What he's drawing. That picture above? I found it in his Mailbox after school. "Wow, buddy," I said to him as we walked to the van, "That's a lot of happy faces!" "Yup," he said, skipping ahead, "It was a Lot of Happy Day." THAT, I love.

Today he drew a picture that depicted the following scene: An alien flies to outer space, heading towards Jupiter. On the way, he sees dinosaurs in outer space. But they're not just ANY dinosaurs, they're dinosaurs WITH JET PACKS! In 20 years, they will be extinct, but after 13 days, they'll come back because they weren't extinct after all! They were HIBERNATING! And they'll land on Jupiter, too, because that will be the Planet of the Dinosaurs.

I love that he's finally willing and able to let me in for a peek of that descriptive and imaginative brain of his.

I can't get enough of What This Kid Knows. He's always been an Information Kid...preferring reading books and Talking to running around and Doing (although his gross motor skills and confidence have skyrocketed this year...). His interests have changed over time...from trucks, to dinosaurs, to animals and nature and it's been a progression of maturation. At first, he liked big, loud things that moved and worked. Then, he moved on to big, loud creatures that seem mystical and imaginary. And from there, to present day reality...he loves learning Creature Facts and, with knowledge of the fact that some of his favorite creatures are facing extinction, he jumps into the role of Nature Conservationist. "I'll be a World Policeman, Mom, and I'll take those poachers to jail until they learn their lesson and stop poaching those Black Rhinos!"

There's no denying this kid's compassion. For animals, and, mostly, for his Two Best Loves: Max...


...and Molly...


World's Best Big Brother. (Until he's playing too rough, yelling, or demanding that everyone play His Way...but mostly, The Best.) Now that Max is a willing and able play participant, the two are inseparable. My favorite time is in the morning when I'm either busy in the kitchen or "busy" and I get to spy on the two of them playing together. I'll often just re-wipe the kitchen counter or organize my already-organized junk drawer to buy myself a few more minutes of listening to them... They have this weird sixth sense, though; right as I'm tossing the last paper towel in the trash, they know I'm free and they immediately start insisting that I grab a truck or a "guy" and join the game.

During Quiet Time, Evan has the choice to read books, play computer games, or play quietly on his own. He always spends some time on pbskids.com (Wild Kratts, of course), but if I'm nursing Molly or holding her while she sleeps, he turns it off. He rounds up his Favorite Buddy of the Day (Snowy the Snow Leopard, Beary the Bear, or, lately Bun Bun the Bunny--he's getting less and less creative with names...remember Training Pants the Goldfish?) and comes over for some "Baby Snuggles." (He only thinks he's the one snuggling the baby....really, I'm savoring my fewer and farther between Evan Snuggles....)

Evan, my Love. You're growing up. You're getting so good at solving your own problems...like, the other morning, when we were running late: "I know, Mom! I'll put on my own coat! That'll save you some time!" Um. Yeah. Or maybe you'll put on your own coat because YOU'RE FIVE. But, yes. Thank you for your help. And you're working really hard to Not Sweat the Small Stuff...we don't have to fix your socks a hundred times a day and nighttimes are, dare I say, nearly uninterrupted. When Max starts his Potty Talk routine at the dinner table, you say, under furrowed brow with a half-hidden smile, "I'm not laughing, Max, that's not appropriate."

I love how you make a request, but then amend it with an, "...ack-uh-gee, I'll have the..."
I love how you do your "Fast Run" (which is neither fast, nor a run) around the kitchen...bent down low, elbows pumping, feet shuffling, tiny little butt wiggling, eyes closed to slits, and with the hugest smile on your face.
I love how you call big trucks, and fat caterpillars, Ginormous. I don't know where you learned that word. 
I love how, when you hit your first ever Hole-in-One while playing putt putt the other day... 



...you looked at me like I was embarrassing you with my shrieking and congratulating you....I love that you made that shot, I love that you didn't seem to get what the big deal was, and I love that you're almost old enough to be embarrassed by your Mom. (I won't stop shrieking in delight of your accomplishments though, so you'd better get used to it.)
I love how you share some important moments from your school day with me...and I also love how you keep some to yourself...a world of your own, which you let us into....
I love how you wave to the big kids in the neighborhood while they play basketball next door. You keep waving and saying "Hi!" until they acknowledge you, then you turn to me and say, with pride bursting out of you, "I said hi to the big kids and they said hi to me, too!"
I love how your favorite playmates are the kids you live with...but you're starting to branch out and have Real Friends, too.
I love that you taught me what an Electric Torpedo Ray is. (It's a ray fish that hides on the bottom of the ocean and can zap you if you step on it. It gives warning zaps first to tell you to "Watch out!" but if you don't, you're going to be sorry!.....for those of you who didn't already know...)
I love how your teachers have gotten to know You....your silly side, your serious side, your playful side, your smart side...and I love how much they obviously love you....and that the feeling is mutual.
I love how you're big enough to call me just plain "Mom" and to write "I love you" notes (with pen and paper, on our easel, in chalk on the driveway...) to the members of our family....but you're still little enough to request zip-up, footie jammies at bedtime.

I love Everything. EVERYthing about you.

Lesson Learned:

On Thursday night, I was tucking him in to bed. "Sweet dreams, baby," I said, "and get a good night's sleep because tomorrow is your last day of being four! On Saturday, you'll be FIVE years old!!"

Big Mistake.

Evan burst into tears. "I'm just going to miss being four! And all of my friends! I'm going to miss my four-year old preschool and all of my preschool friends!" I reassured him that nothing, really, will change on Saturday. "You'll still be your same classroom with your same friends all the way until the end of the school year. The only thing that will be different is that, when someone asks you how old you are, you get to show your Whole Hand."

"Okay," [sob, sob] "I just really like being four." I looked down at him then and, even though he's been seeming so Big to me lately, I saw how little he still is. His eyes glistened with tears and he snuggled his three Easter buddies (the bunny named Bun Bun and two stuffed Peeps, which he was too sad to say goodbye to when we packed up the rest of the Easter decorations). This is a Moment....he's about to be Big for real: he's headed to kindergarten. On a bus (hopefully). At the Big School. I want to savor this spring and summer....the last moments of pre-school Little-ness.

But, as little as he may think he wants to stay, I knew how to win him over:

"Great things happen when you're five, though, you know..." I said. "You'll start to learn how to read when you're five...you'll learn about addition and subtraction...AND..." I paused to let the suspense build.

"What else? What else happens?"

"...Well, this Just Might be the year that you learn how to whistle."

Sold. We're all on board to turn five. It's going to be a great year.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Spring Break! ...sigh.

Before the breakfast dishes had even been cleared, we were Hunting Easter Eggs. That soon lead into a full-on Easter Bunny role play game, in which eggs were hidden and little sneaky boys took turns hopping in and filling baskets with goodies (like plastic tools, board books, and food from our play kitchen).

Then, the Dinosaur Bin came out of the toy closet and baby dinos were stuffed into plastic eggs, nests were constructed, and two Mommy Dinosaurs delighted as their hatchlings were born.

We read books. We cooed at and shook rattles for a smiley, happy baby. We played with trains. We set up the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and recreated the Clubhouse Easter Party that we had seen on Disney Junior earlier this week. (And Evan flew the Mickey plane recklessly close to Molly's head over and over and over again.)


We Played. All. Day.

Aside from eating meals and Max's nap, it's all we did today. Sure, I had a few things to accomplish....I threw in a load of laundry, made a couple of quick phone calls, and attended to the needs of my doesn't-ask-for-much itty bitty baby, but for the most part, we played. And the boys whined. And argued with each other. And yelled and cried about silly things. And complained about everything, including the WAY I was playing.

And I was getting tired of it. I wanted to check out the deals on Zulily. I wanted to blog. I wanted to work on Evan's upcoming birthday party. I wanted to go to Target. I wanted needed to clean the bathroom and vacuum the upstairs. But I didn't do any of it...I played with my kids because today was the First Day of Spring Break and that's what they wanted to do. We are going to have a FUN Spring Break, damn it!

At about three, after Evan and I had set up an elaborate construction site, complete with dinosaurs who were ordering food off the dinosaur train (naturally), Molly woke up from her nap and was ready to eat. I took a break from the game to feed her and the wailing began: "Mmmm-OOOOOOO-mmm!!! Play with me! Why aren't you PLAYYYYYing with ME?? You NEVER plaaaaaaaaaayy with me!"

"I'm just feeding Molly and then we'll be ready to play again. Max is playing with you, I'm just taking a quick break." [And then, after witnessing a Classic Potty Dance...] "Go to the bathroom. Molly will be finished soon."

From the bathroom, I could hear: "NOBODY EVER PLAYS WITH ME! I'm so TIRED of NOBODY PLAYING WITH ME."

O.
M.
G.

Lesson Learned:
This Mommy had better line up some excursions and playdates next week or this is going to be a loooooonnnngg Spring Break.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

they make me laugh

On our way to pick up Evan from preschool this afternoon, Max and I were chatting as we always do during car rides in which Molly isn't howling. We talked about our upcoming trip to Austin, Texas for Aunt Kelly's wedding.

"What's a wedding?" he asked.
"It's a ceremony. Two people who love each other very much get married. Then, there's usually a party for all of their friends and family!"
"And it's Aunt Kelly's wedding?"
"Yup, the one we're going to in a few weeks is for Aunt Kelly."
"Why not Uncle Steven?"
"Oh, well, yeah. It's Uncle Steven's wedding, too. It's Aunt Kelly and Uncle Steven's wedding," I clarify.

[thoughtful pause, presumably about weddings, or Aunt Kelly and Uncle Steven, or the trip, or the airplane ride, or Texas, or any number of related or tangentially related topics to our current conversation...]

"Let's talk about donuts now," he responded instead. "Mine has pink frosting because that's delicious and tastes like butterflies."
"Mmmmmm! That sounds great! I'll have a chocolate donut."
"No. You'll have purple. Purple is genius. You want decorations on yours, too? I'll have elf shoes on mine."

*****

We picked up the biggest boy and suffered through five or six minutes of Screaming Newborn before Molly settled into a quiet calm.

Once he could be heard, Evan said, "I have something to tell you about my day at school."
!!!
Seriously?! I almost swerved off the road...I never get ANY information about school. But I acted less-than hysterically excited: "Oh, yeah? What's that?"
"After she went to the potty, Maddy forgot to turn off the light. So I told Ms. Sarah, 'Ms. Sarah? Maddy didn't turn off the light."
"What did Ms. Sarah say?"
"She said, 'Oh, that's fine.'"

[I pause, not sure where this story is going...then he continues...]

"...so I just stared at her."
"You stared at Ms. Sarah?"
"Yup. I just stared at her and she stared back at me. Then finally, she said, 'You want to turn the light off, don't you?' And I did, so I went over and turned off the light all by myself."

"Oh. Okay. Well, good job, buddy."

Lesson Learned:
I love a kid who uses words and phrases like "tastes like butterflies" and "genius" when describing the taste sensation that is a donut.

And I love a kid who cares so much about wasted electricity (or something?) to not allow lights to be left on unnecessarily.

And I love a teacher who understands my kid so well that she didn't just brush his observation off and cause him stress by leaving that light on....Instead, she took her time and figured him out....and it meant so much to him that she did that he even told me all about it.