two little monkeys jumping on the bed

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The babies just left for their first day of summer school. They’ll be in the "Monkey Room" now, with different niños, new teachers and toys. We’ve been prepping them for it this weekend, setting expectations, you know, by singing "No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed," as we jumped on the bed.

Lucas looks like he just had a one night stand with the J.Crew catalog. He’s all prepped out in navy and white, with a sister to match. Her hair is half up, in pigtails, a navy and white eyelet dress, folded white lace socks, navy mary janes.

Before they scooted off, I sat them down in the living room and proceeded to play ventriloquist with a cheerleader puppet I’ve named Penelope, who had them repeat a monkey cheer. "Give me an M!" But then a puppet with a mustache barged in–Fireman Fred, obviously–who needed to tell them to be safe, and to remember, "Crack is whack, don’t pee on teacher’s leg and tell her it’s raining, look both ways before you swipe someone else’s troll doll, and… stop, drop, and roll."  Miss Abigail was far more interested in Penelope’s pompoms (not a euphemism). Lucas just wanted to bang on Fireman Fred’s hard hat (still not a euphemism).

As we said our morning good-byes, I told them I’d be there to pick them up later. Hugs, compliments, and monkey kisses, out the door into the garage. Then Abigail doubled back. "More kisses, Mama." So I gave her another kiss. Then she flashed me a toothy grin and said, "Another." I crouched to meet her eye-level, smiled, then planted one on her. "Thanks, Mama." Then my Little Miss grabbed her lunch bag and toddled off to school with her big brother. It’s moments like those I hope to always remember.

Now Phil and I are off to Dr. Natale’s office, to hear his opinion on what the next course of action is with regard to Phil’s heart. Perhaps he’ll advise Phil be on a regular schedule of fur trapping (finally, a euphemism).

A YEAR AGO: Divorced, Engaged, and Pregnant



  1. I love moments like that. They tell you just how lucky you really are.

  2. The kids sound adorable. I'm sure you have photos to share…and I am thinking good thoughts about Phil's doctor's appointment…I hope there is a solution and fast.

  3. I'm not sure why people (read you) can't admit that at that age, what they are being sent to is not "school"…it is daycare. I know that it makes you feel better but just have the guts to call it what it is. You have the guts to be honest about everything else.

  4. Since when does naming something "daycare" take guts? I really don't care what you call it. Bottom line, they go twice a week from 9-1pm to socialize, to lick a block, to learn more sign language and how to play duck, duck, goose… to be away from home in a different environment without Mama and Papa. They just graduated from the winter program and received diplomas, stating that they've completed their first year of preschool. Does that mean anything to anyone, anywhere? No. But it seems to matter to YOU. Now, why is that?

  5. I'll stop calling my kid's daycare "school", when my stay-at-home mom friends call their 3xweek "Mother's Day Out" programs what it really is.

  6. I kinda agree with CMH. I've heard parents say they're sending their, young as one year old to "school" Why are they calling it school?

  7. Daycare: babysitting. Childcare. Minimal/No programs.
    Preschool: programs and structure.

    And really: who cares. I understand that blogging puts the blogger out there and asking for comment means taking good with bad.

    But for criminy's sake, this couple has a life-threatening health issue to deal with today (and onward), and someone has to nitpick like that?

    Ok, I hate when "the fans" all spring to SK's defense, and I am not one of those "fans," but in this case, get real. These kids could be without a father one day, Stephanie could be without a husband, and at that point, tell me that anyone would give a shit about the distinction between day care and preschool.

    (shaking her head) Honestly. I'm flabbergasted.

  8. My 2.5 year old goes to preschool. His class is called "Preschool A" and they have lessons and structure from 9-3:30. Really, this is glorified block-licking, I realize. But it provides the essential functions of a) socializing him, b) teaching him certain, fundamental skills and c) caring for him while his two loving-but-financially-pinched parents work. It's a French immersion school- I send him there because I want him to grow up to be an effete Eurosnob. Kidding. But anyway, as stated above, why attack on semantics? I don't think a debate on the "school" vs "daycare" for 2 year olds is very productive, but whatevs.

  9. Can you help me out, CMH? When my daughter was 2, she went to what I thought was "preschool" 2 mornings a week. Then I'd pick her up and take her to her "sitter" who ran a "family daycare" at her home. Then I'd go to "work". Finally, I'd pick her up and take her "home." This continued when she was 3 for 3 mornings a week and when she was 4 for 5 mornings a week.

    During elementary school she attended an "afterschool program". Now she's in "college" and lives in a "dorm" and I still go to "work" though not the same "job."

    Any assistance you could render in straightening me the fuck out on where the hell my kid REALLY was all those years would be just super.


  10. It is what is considered school for human beings at that age. It's not as if they need to be introduced to solving linear equations in order to call it school. It's really "pre-sechool schooling" in the sense that learning a sense of age-appropriate independence and "communality" is PREPARATION for school, no?

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say was best of luck to Phil and Stephanie in this stressful time.

  11. I think the point is that it just illustrates Stephanie trying to be more than she is, again. Yeah, it is preschool or daycare. The irony is that Lucas will be spending plenty of summers in "summer school". Heh.

  12. Oy with the pooodles already!! Once again I say, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all people, please!

  13. I think it's a great idea for the beans to experience new things and socialize. Lucas looks adorable! Did you make him (them)monkey cupcakes?
    Hope all went well at the doctor's.

  14. One of my favorite photos is of my 3 little darlings, about 3, 5 and 6 years old – all in their 'school' uniforms – pressed white shirts, dark blue shorts for the boy and dark green plaid jumpers for the girls. Pony tails for girls – short hair for boy. Spider man lunch box. Pink shoelaces in black leather shoes.

    Last week, my new favorite photo. My three great big darlings – about 15, 17 and 18 – all in their 'school' uniforms – black sweatshirts, jeans, pony tails on the girls – short hair on the boy. Standing around me and making me look like the 'little' mother. And their smiles – beaming love, confidence, pride, happiness and independence just fills me with inexplicable joy.

    Love em. Do your best. You're doing fabulously. The babies are resilient. Adore them unconditionally, and give them the opportunity to be without you, knowing you're there. Ignore the fanatics. Be kind to yourself and Phil. I hope it was a good doctor day.

  15. We greeted them with cupcakes! Only they made us sing "Happy Birthday," something they learned at PRESCHOOL. As for the doctor… well, post to follow.

  16. Stephanie, don't bother with the people who sit there and judge you bc you referred to "preschool" as school. Your babies getting peer time, and you're getting alone time.

    Hope Phil will be okay. I've been following you but have been sparse with the comments, but keep writing!

  17. Ah, a Gilmore Girls reference…cheers to that, Cynda!

    And Stephanie, I'm sending you and the family nothing but the best luck today…hope everything went better than expected at the doctor today.

  18. Stephanie I really hope the dr's appointment went well.

    For all you Americans – serious question here :-) Do you all dress your babes nicely for preschool/daycare/who cares what it's called?
    I live in Israel and we pretty much dress our kids in the shlumpiest clothes possible for preschool because after several hours of rolling around in the dirt, sitting in the mud (on hot summer days the teachers turn on the hose), drawing, painting, etc, my daughter looks like she's spent the day on a cattle farm. Do kids there not do that sort of stuff?

  19. Hilarious! I suppose when I say I go grocery shopping and buy shampoo I'm not being "truthful" and don't have the "guts" to admit that I have wandered out of the food aisle?
    CMH – what about "home schooling"? I don't want to hear your views on it, but i find your narrowness of definition strange and somewhat frightening. You could be living near me.
    Now I should go and get my children ready for "school" and get ready to grocery shop. Better check my list again – it may be misleading.

  20. Thoughts are with you and Phil. I hope the next post comes soon. And pics of the kiddies?

  21. & don't even THINK of checking out the "housewares" section! ;P

  22. I dress my son in something i wouldn't be distraught if it got ripped, strained or otherwise ruined. Some parents put a premium on appearances, some don't. I learned after a few hundred dollars down the drain the best thing is to go casual/cheaps (read: Gap/old navy clothes) and save the good clothes for outings/visits with the family:) I noticed too that once parents have a second child they often fall into the more casual cest la vie category and lean towards more informal gear for their kids. Not a generalization just an observation from where I stand..

  23. lucas spending plenty of summers in summer school?!! what the heck does that mean? shit, that sounds cruel, unless i am not understanding you properly. i really hope i'm not!

  24. Dude, WTF??? What kind of mean, bitchy thing is that to say? I would think with parents like Stephanie (Barnard-educated published author) and Phil (hedge fund manager) Lucas will have the brains and upbringing to avoid summer school. Jesus.

  25. I just dropped my Kindergartner and Second Grader off at "school" this morning. They went to "preschool" before "school" and adapted much better than the kids who "didn't" so I'm not sure what your "point" is.

    If I weren't at work I'd type another word in quotes here.

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