March 20, 2006


Today was poetry day at the Arts Festival, and we moved in from just before 9 a.m. until around noon. A long morning, between the recitations and adjudications, but it went very well. First, once he was done with both of his poems, Davy sat on my lap fairly well. Toward the end he did get kind of floppy, and while Laura was reciting the St. Crispin's Day speech, he had to chime right in, and not softly either.

The adjudicator went very easily on all of the younger kids, and had helpful words for all. My three got five first places between them (two poems each -- of course, it helps if you, like Davy, are the only competitor in your category...), everyone got a couple of certificates to gussy up the homeschool portfolios, Laura won a cash prize for doing the best of the seven- and eight-year olds, and best of all --

Daniel told me at the end how much fun he'd had,

and there was not a peep or an inkling from anyone, not last night or this morning, about being anxious, nervous, or otherwise unhinged about the prospect of standing up to speak in front of a crowd of strangers. I'm delighted and proud. I'm also one sneaky mama, who's kept mum about the possibility of nervousness on purpose, so as not to put the idea into anyone's teeny tiny head. There are enough peculiar ideas floating around in there without my planting any. Though I did have to do some damage control afterwards when Daniel was found repeating what his grandmother had told him earlier in the day, after he stalled on a line -- "You're forgetful," she told him, "just like Papa." Naturally, being just like beloved Papa is always a good thing, so Daniel swallowed this one hook, line, and sinker. I had to tell him, and it seems to have worked already, that a) he is most certainly not forgetful (he's got an almost visual memory), b) Papa is not overly forgetful, and c) grrr, sometimes people tell us something that isn't true when they're trying to make us feel better about a mistake we've made.

Which was all followed by an afternoon with friends at their house, with chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies, sledding, Spring cookie baking and decorating (happy Spring, by the way), and as my nice Saskatchewanian homeschooling friend puts it, a jolly chin-wag over tea. I was ready to ask for a few sleeping bags so we could just stay a bit longer, instead of heading home for dinner.

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