Sickness, soccer, snow ninjas, and a severe lack of dragons (7 Quick Takes Friday)

The other day I was sitting in the kitchen with Daniel.
“So what do you think of the new year so far?” I asked him.
“Mama!” he said. “This is NOT a new year! ’Cause there are NO dragons!”
He’s right, you know. So far this New Year has been dragon-less. Chinese New Year is so superior.
We left our family art project until the very last minute on Sunday, but as Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
So on Sunday when John headed to Mass, I pulled out the snowman we had to decorate and every craft item we had in the house. And Leo and I designed the best snow ninja we could.
It was supposed to be a family art project. So Daniel helped by playing with Play-Doh in the other room. And when John came home, he sat down with Leo to help him spell the assigned two to three sentences about his snowman.
Even Leo knew my suggestion to write, “Go, Ninja. Go,” wasn’t going to be enough.
Then the day the snowman was due both boys were sick and I realized we could have waited another day.
When Daniel was finally well enough to go back to school, I worried that his fever would go back up or worse and that I’d get a call. Sure enough, at 9 a.m. that day my phone rang. It was his preschool.
“Did you sign Daniel up for soccer?”
“Um, what? No, he doesn’t want to do soccer.”
“Well, he’s upset because he really wants to do soccer.”
We had discussed this multiple times, of course, and he didn’t want to play soccer. But arguing with a 4-year-old through his preschool teacher is not effective.
“Fine. I’ll go sign him up. It starts today?”
“Yes, it does.”
“OK, I’ll register him online. Tell him he can do soccer.”
I go sign him up for soccer online.
Ten minutes later the phone rings again.
“Did you sign Daniel up for soccer?”
“Yes, I just signed him up.”
“Oh,” and the teacher sounds really apologetic. “Now he says he doesn’t want to do soccer.”
“Well, tell him he should try it and see how he likes it. Tell him just to try it today.”
I hang up.
Well, at least he stayed healthy all day and jumped into my arms when I picked him up that evening. And apparently he scored a few goals, too.
The unthinkable has happened. Someone stole a photo from my blog. Well, she didn’t really steal it because she linked back to my blog post. But this has never happened before.
Or if it has happened, I never knew. But three of my friends saw it and sent me the link to this post, “20 Signs You Grew up in Catholic School.” 
One of our family photos, which I used on my Catholic schools blog last January is in this blogger’s post.
It made me feel kind of famous—and also magnanimous when I decided not to sue. That’s really not my style. And I’ve had a few new visitors to that post over the past few days. Besides, it’s technically my father’s work since he took the photo and probably scanned it for me, too.
This is happening just as I’ve been planning to write another post for Catholic Schools Week, which is next week. I was thinking of writing, “Why Catholic schools are as good as a hot fudge sundae—and maybe even better,” but I might need to come up with something stronger. If you have any suggestions, please send them along.
I wondered how kindergarteners would learn about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., but I was sure they would. Sure enough, last night Leo came home with a Martin Luther King booklet to work on.
“Who was Martin Luther King?” I asked.
“He was a man who got killed for doing good things,” Leo said.
Then we talked about what kind of good things Martin Luther King did.
“He wanted to get rid of bad laws,” Leo said.
“What were the bad laws about?” I asked, really curious to hear how racism was discussed in a kindergarten classroom.
“They were so bad,” Leo said, “that I want to get them out of my head.”
I know how he feels.
Months ago I scheduled the boys’ annual check-ups for this week. Because I prefer to be able to have actual conversations with the pediatrician, I made the appointments for different days. That seemed like such a great idea.
Then Daniel was sick on Tuesday, the day of Leo’s check-up, so I had no choice but to take him, too.
And when I say Daniel was sick, I mean sometimes he was sweetly sleeping in my arms.
And other times he was catapulting himself off the living room furniture.
He was quite energetic for his brother’s appointment. At the doctor’s office my charming, handsome sons wrestled on the floor of the office, giggling and happily shoving each other, while a mother with twin girls in matching outfits walked primly by.
I stood there thinking that it had been such a great idea to plan the appointments so I wouldn’t have the boys there together. Still, there we were.
On Thursday when I mentioned that I would be taking Daniel for his check-up, Leo said, “Why don’t you pick me up too and we will all go together? It was so much fun when we did that.”
I wish someone had told me it was fun at the time.
How did I forget that check-ups sometimes involve shots? Daniel just turned 4 so he was due for a bunch. He was brave, but he cried his way through them.
As he was sobbing afterward, I said, “At least you won’t have to have any more until you are 11. That’s a long time.”
“But it’s still gonna hurt!” he yelled.
There’s no way to win that argument. And I still owe him some dragons.
Read more quick takes at Jen’s Conversion Diary.

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