At the beginning of the month I got to visit Marcus's classroom, and meet his first grade teacher Mr. Kelley, as part of the school orientation night. His teacher is incredibly organized and has a system for everything. I absolutely love it! Marcus's reading, math, and printing are all getting to be great, and I think he's having a good time in first grade.
Samantha went to her first kid birthday party from "baby school" and had a ball playing with all her friends and the birthday boy in the indoor playspace and ball pit.
Both kids made fabulous wooden ambulances at the Home Depot kids' project morning one Saturday. They were both very serious about their hammering, and then Marcus painted his red in the store and Samantha painted hers blue at home. Later in the month they made pallet-style coasters, again with hammer and nails and plenty of paint.
One Sunday we went to the East Cambridge Ribfest with a babywearing friend and her kids. After demolishing four rib samples, Marcus got to go back to their house to play with her husband and son for awhile while three adults and two sleeping babes strolled around eating our last ribs of the day. We stopped at the Christian Science reflecting pool on the way home to visit with Marcus's friend, one of the coterie of remote-controlled boat fans who often gather there on Sunday afternoons.
On Columbus Day we went with Marissa, Alex, and Charlotte to the Opening Our Doors Festival at the Christian Science Plaza--we watched glass-blowers, ate treats from food trucks, drew with chalk with Sidewalk Sam, ate cupcakes, watched Native American dancers, heard a children's choir sing, scooted around the reflecting pool in a parade led by a brass band, toured the Mapparium, got balloon animals and soccer balls (Marcus asked for "the coolest thing you can make," and the balloon artist obliged), and made and flew kites in the YMCA gym on Huntington. Back at the house we all had hot cocoa and the kids played with Playmobil for an hour or two.
One Saturday after karate (Marcus now has his third blue stripe and is working toward his blue bar, though we're taking a break from karate for a couple months so he can do some rock-climbing sessions at the BU gym) we went up to Davis Farmland for their corn maze, and as always had a lot of fun. There were long-haired cows to pet, a sandbox full of dried corn kernels to play in, a mini rock-climbing wall in the middle of the maze, giant Jenga sets, and, of course, the maze itself, which Robert and Marcus finally solved, and which Samantha mostly slept through.
One Saturday evening, Marcus and I went to his first "real" concert ever--the Boston Philharmonic doing two things by Mozart at Jordan Hall. He loved it, from the kids' talk before the concert through all the music, though as it was an evening concert he was getting sleepy. We'd gotten free tickets since one of his orchestra teachers was playing, and it was a fabulous first experience. Marcus is also in the 60-member Children's Choir at church, where he sang in English and Swahili one Sunday.
We've had a lot of other fun together this month, too, as the seasons change and the leaves pile up. We helped sweep and rake at Titus Sparrow Park one Saturday for a neighborhood work day, and then went out with friends from church and the neighborhood to dinner at Five Horses Tavern on Columbus afterward. Marcus was absolutely a champion worker, sweeping up more sand than almost anyone else there.
My big boy has been helping me out in the kitchen, too, making pancakes and pumpkin bread with me on several occasions.
Samantha still loves "baby school," and still manages to participate appropriately in nearly every conversation within her hearing. Robert had been going to physical therapy for his shoulder and elbow, and Samantha figured out all of his exercises and practices them at home with a running narration about what she's doing.
Marcus has read all the "Henry and Mudge" books and is starting to read "The Magic Treehouse" books on his own these days. He's also discovered Pokemon cards.
And finally, this month Halloween fell on a Friday. Though we missed the Pru Boo because of schedule conflicts, we went to the Halloween potluck party at Samantha's baby school, with a costume parade and trick-or-treating. The work-study students adored her costume. She and Quentin sat next to each other to eat, R2D2 and a shark. "Hey look," Quentin's dad said, "It's blockbuster movies of the 70s!" Samantha (who helped me decorate the cookies I gave out to my students and colleagues) had been telling everyone she was going to be R2D2, "Mommy's favorite robot." Marcus had bounced around between Luke, Obiwan, and Quigon, finally settling on Obiwan. Both kids loved their costumes, so Robert and I fit ours around theirs, and went as Darth Vader and Princess Leia.
On Halloween proper, we met at the church at 5:15 and started out trick-or-treating around Beacon Hill in a big group of friends, but we soon lost the rest of the group. Marcus used his light saber to see which kind of candy to choose from the cauldrons, Samantha was absolutely terrified by someone dressed as a tree monster trying to give out candy, I nearly broke an ankle on the most insanely cobbled street ever, and Robert almost got all the Halloween excitement he craved.
After two hours we cut back through the Common to Chinatown, where Marcus devoured three lamb skewers from the grill truck, and took the T back home. We stopped in at the church on the corner near our house for their Halloween party, where Marcus gleefully won a candy-toss game and Samantha tried to eat another child's donut. It was a good end of a good evening at the end of a great month.
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Created: 10/30/14. Last Modified: 11/1/14.