Cameron's newest favorite toy is the digital metronome my mom gave me. It's got a tuner and a metronome in one gadget. He likes to experiment with the tempo and the number of beats per measure, etc.

Just now he was playing with it in the recliner, and I noticed that the tempo and beats had not changed in a while. Sure enough, he had fallen asleep with it on full blast. Hee hee.

New shower head, old gaskets

The hose on our hand-held shower head burst a dramatic leak this week, so today we took a trip to BBB to get a new one.

Last time we were lucky enough to find a reasonably-priced shower head with all the features we wanted, including metal fittings. I absolutely detest plastic fittings -- what to do if "hand tight" does not stop the leaking? Then you're screwed. Cheap @$##! things.

Anyway! Today we found a new shower head for a reasonable price, but it was in one of those death packages and I couldn't tell whether the fittings were metal or plastic. We took a chance. Plastic. Ugh!!

Anyhow, tonight I got the thing in place, turned on the water. Leaking. Screwed it in a bit tighter. Leaking. Screwed it in even tighter. Still leaking. Finally, in frustration, I unscrewed the whole thing and discovered that I had tightened it so tight the gasket was completely busted, and the end of the (metal!) threads of the pipe that comes out of the wall had actually sheared clean off.

Not a lot gets me cursing out loud these days, but I was dropping F-bombs right and left as I grabbed a flashlight, went out to the curb where our trash can is ready for tomorrow's pickup, and fished out the old shower head. Amazingly, the old gasket was still intact, and I was able to harvest it and use it on the new shower head. And it does not leak.

Good thing I decided to take on this task before tomorrow morning!

Reading tables update

Cameron is now an expert at reading the menu at day care, and one of the first things he says on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (the days he goes to day care) as he gets out of school is, "I wanna read the menu!"

Now that I've observed for a while what he is eating there, I started to understand why he might just be a wee bit sick of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. :-P But I did ask him recently if he liked the food he was served at Little Friends. He nodded and said, "I like the orange slices." That's good, because apparently he gets those a lot, as well.

Cameron's best friend

Cameron's got a best friend. J., his classmate at Montessori, absolutely adores C., talks about C. all the time at home (according to his mother), and seeks him out during playtime. C. enjoys J.'s company, as well, but he is more of a cool customer; I do not hear much about J. at home, and C. is quite willing to be the independent one and go off and do his own thing, leaving J. to reinitiate contact.

Tuesday is Bounce U night, and J.'s family has been bringing J. so that he and C. can play together there (and so his mom can talk my ear off, lol. It sure is nice to have a new friend, though!). Tonight the boys had a ball (T. did not come, so C. was more motivated to play with J.). They ran all over the place, holding hands, and it was sooooooooooo cute!

The evening ended in tears, unfortunately, because during the last 10 minutes C. decided he wanted to play air hockey with me, and despite my advice not to curl his fingers into the play area, his hand was in the wrong place at the wrong time when I gave the puck a good whack. Sigh. He's got a red mark on one of his fingernails, but otherwise I think he is going to be fine.

A fortuitous spill

I knew the schedule was going to be tight yesterday. I had an Academic Senate meeting till 5:30, then a carpool to meet at 5:50 to get to rehearsal downtown by 6:15. And somewhere in there, dinner had to happen.

I borrowed T.'s truck, paid $3 to get a parking spot for the day, was astounded to get a really good spot, and at 5:30 I bounced out of the meeting on my scooter, picked up a smoothie at the campus snack bar while heating up a Hot Pocket in the microwave they have there, and headed for the truck.

Still, it is very difficult to ride my scooter with a smoothie in my hand, and I decided that I would drink a bit of it, then put it in my backpack, bolstered by other items to keep it upright.

Haste makes waste, as they say.

When I got to the truck I discovered that the smoothie had not tipped over, but the lid had popped off and about an inch of sweet, icy goo had oozed into my backpack. And into my purse that was in my backpack. And onto a New Yorker magazine that was in there too. So I spent about 5 minutes frantically mopping up excess goo -- luckily there was a towel in the truck -- with the result that I was late to my carpool. Thankfully, they waited for me.

Thankfully, my music was spared.

The rest of the sticky mess had to wait until I got home. I had to take everything out of my backpack and purse and wash them, and sponge off my credit cards, checkbooks, etc.

Which is how I found my favorite pair of nail clippers, which had been missing for three days, and my glasses, which had been missing for nearly three weeks and I had given up for dead.

The backpack, true to form, had used secret compartments to hide the long-lost items. But I triumphed! All it took was spilling my smoothie.

My purse is still wet.

Ice skating: not too bad!

Cameron survived ice skating.

It took several days for him fully to absorb that I was going to be there, and that maybe, with me holding his hand, it might not be so bad. This morning, finally, he told me, "I want to go ice skating with you today. I don't want you to go without me."

"Great! I'm so glad!" I said.

First there was pizza and cake. Cameron ate two pieces of pizza, after which he was not really very hungry for the ENORMOUS piece of chocolate cake he was served. (The cake was absolutely beautiful to look at -- a large round chocolate cake covered in this edible matte-finish chocolate shellac, with quite realistic pink shellac roses on top, and a matching pink band around the side that said, "Katya is 5!" It looked like a sweet-sixteen cake -- or a hat.)

Finally, it was time for skating. They gave everyone a sticker saying they were with the party and thus their rental was paid for. Katya herself got one that said, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" The other kids got ones that said, "PARTY GUEST." I and the other adult guests got ones that said "SILVER / OTHER PERSON," which made me laugh. I touched my hair and joked, "I'm not that silver yet!" (I'm guessing the "silver" referred to the party package that Katya's parents bought.) N.B.: Katya is quite a good skater already. She looked completely comfortable on the ice, with good posture, doing turns and skating backwards like a champ. Wow.

Cameron did not like skating at all at first -- but for my holding him up by his hand, he would have gone down almost constantly -- but pretty soon it was time for the group lesson. The instructor managed to help six or seven kids about as inexperienced as Cameron with such skills as "thump, thump, thump" (stepping alternately in place), "baby steps," and "kitties and puppies" (if you fall down, pretend to be your favorite pet by getting on all fours as a prelude to getting up). It wasn't a whole lot, but it did help -- actually saw a smile or two -- but it was only a 15-minute lesson, and then they cleared the ice for the zamboni.

It was actually good timing. At the end of the lesson Cameron was ready to call it a day, but he was fascinated by the zamboni. He demanded that I hold him up (while in skates myself) so he could see through the plexiglass and watch as the ice got smooth. After they opened the rink up again I told him that I wanted to skate a bit more. I was feeling like I had gotten all suited up and hadn't gotten to really skate at all, other than very slowly holding on to Cameron. He didn't have to skate, I told him, but he did have to stand where I could see him, i.e. on the ice, holding onto the edge. He suddenly said, "I want to skate with you!" and reached for my hand. So I never did get to skate on my own, but we did have fun, and he even pushed from the wall over to me and back a couple times without assistance (a distance of about three feet), and was proud of himself.

As we left I asked him if he'd had fun, and he said yes. "What was your favorite part?" I asked. "Holding your hand," he said. Awwww...

Fourth face fry

Today I had my fourth face fry. It was not nearly as painful as last time. As I told my fryologist, "The hair is fighting the good fight, but it is losing!"

I rode my bike over there. My appointment was at 11:00, so I had to get T. to pick up C. from Montessori and take him to day care (normally I do this). When I got done I realized I would be riding right by the day care around the time the boys would be arriving, so I crossed the street and ducked into the parking lot, and sure enough, they were just getting out of the car. Good timing!

Ready for book 2

Cameron is officially bored of his piano pieces. That is to say, he still likes to play them, but he now prefers to play them as fast as he possibly can, rhythm be damned. He does play all the notes with the correct fingers, and is starting to develop some legato as he elides one note into the next, but I think he is ready to be done with this book.

Just in time, last week Miss Corrie announced that soon we would be starting Book 2. This week we finish Book 1, and next week we have a recital where each child gets to play their two favorite pieces. I am sure Cameron will change his mind every day which pieces he will play, and won't decide for sure until he's sitting up there.

There is more he could do in Book 1. For instance, a couple of the pieces have both hands playing together; he knows each hand separately but does not care to try putting them together. But I'm sure we'll get to that in Book 2.