Monday, October 6, 2014

Kind Surprises

When I send Amy off to school, it is often like sending her to the Twilight Zone. I just never know where is is going and whether the day will be whacky or normal.

And most of the time, I never really get a straight answer.

Every so often though, we parents hear an anecdote that makes us beam with pride. Yesterday, I had one.

A mom of a girl in Amy's class told me that her daughter Em is very shy. Amy apparently often gives her hugs to make her feel comfortable. Em has come home telling her mother that Amy is her best friend.

My kind girl is still my kind girl - even though she gives us attitude at home, lost her manners for a bit this weekend (they came back), and now ignores us when she does not like what we have to say!
@workmomblogamy (  

Play Date!

Yesterday, we had three girls from Amy's class over to the house. I thought it would be a good way for Amy to solidify friendships and help with her transition to Kindergarten.

The moms thought it was brilliant ... and one of the dad's said, "My wife and I were trying to figure out who 'Amy's mom' was. I said to her, 'it must be the friendly mom from class. She is nice.'"

I wasn't expecting parents to drop their kids off - and not sure that I would drop my five year old off at a complete stranger's house (especially without having fed her lunch, not checking in, dropping her off 30 minutes early and picking her up 30 minutes late).

Nonetheless, the girls dressed up in princess costumes, played inside and outside, and did a variety of arts and craft projects. Some snacks, some water, and off they went.

The girls played beautifully - lots of great chemistry, no arguing, lots of inclusion, and lots in common. When the girls were doing their crafts, the one mom that stayed said, "I can't imagine what this play date would be like with boys! These girls are so calm and are focused nicely."

Amy expended so much energy - and so did I ... that we both crashed afterward. Here's a photo of her resting on me - so a selfie of a sort. She barely ate dinner. And went to bed at 7:15 without any trouble. I was soon after!
@workmomblogamy (

Saturday, October 4, 2014

We Are Back!

It has been some time since last I sat down to blog. The past few months have been busy, exhilirating and exhausting, and I think that I flamed out.

This past week, I saw my dear friend, Tin in Brussels. She was my first blog reader and has been committed to a weekly read for the past five years. She shared her disappointment with my severe lack of content. And she inspired me to get back to writing.

So here I am, Saturday morning, 8:30 AM ET. Chad and Amy went out to breakfast. I have about 60 minutes before the rush to shower, organize and get out the door to Amy's dance class. Since the start of the school year, she has been taking both ballet and tap dancing on Saturday mornings. Guess which she likes better?

Amy slept until the late hour of 7:15 AM today and I am grateful. Not just to have the extra sleep but to have additional time to shake off the jet lag. I am generally okay going to Europe. It is coming home that gets me every time. I feel like a truck hit me!

Amy was so happy to see me yesterday when I picked her up from school. There is no feeling in the world like the one when you kid comes running over shouting, "Mommy. Mommy!" Big smile on her face. Elated to give you a big hug. Amazing.

She handed me a picture of a "love trophy." It was a trophy with hearts all over it. I did not win it. She was giving it to me. I took the picture and held it with two hands over my head and said, "I won. I won."

Amy said, "No. No. No. I am giving it to you. You should put it over your heart." My sweetie. I put the paper over my heart and gave her a hug.

Amy then told me that one of her friends told her that she did not want to be her friend. Then the little girl told her that she did want to be her friend again. This is pretty common with the five year old set. I hear about friending and defriending on a daily basis.

I asked Amy if she ever tells kids that she does not want to be their friends. "No, Mommy. I try to make friends." Awww. Except within the next 30 minutes of the comment, we were next door and she was annoying the heck out of one of the boys.

She may not use her words to be unkind ... but man can she be annoying to other kids. She was chasing him around the house, climbing on him, wrestling him, etc. He wanted none of it. I always wonder what Amy does to get the other kid to say, "I don't want to be your friend anymore." It's fascinating. Maybe she tries to hard.

Nonetheless, we are back. I am rambling and I need to get set to get ready and go! Have an awesome Saturday.
@workmomblogamy (

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amy G.

My "work boss" as Amy calls her has become a Richman household name. I refer to her as "G" to protect the innocent even though I have been sharing these stories with her. So Mzzzz G part deux here we go.

This morning, Amy dressed and then decked herself out in some crazy accessories (notice the belt with a skirt that has a tie waist). She asked me if she could have some "chocolate lipstick" which is any lipstick in a brown shade -- and pink eye shadow.

I obliged (see photo) and this is how the conversation went:

Amy: Mommy, do I look like Mzzzzz G?

Me: Yes, you do. You look beautiful (said very dramatically).

Amy: Mommy, please call me Amy G. That's my new name.

Me: Okay, Amy G.
Amy: Do I look 8 (as in years old)?

Me: Yes, you look very mature.

Amy: How old is Mzzzz G.?

Me: You never ask a lady how old she is.

Amy: (Ignoring me) Is Mzzz G. 8?

Me: Yes, Mzzz G. is 8.

End of story ... so G has a 5-year-old wanna-be / prodigy who thinks that she is very glamorous and also believes that she is 8 years old.

What can I say? @workmomblogamy (

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Your Work Boss?

This morning, Amy and I had a very interesting conversation as she pranced around the house decked out in accessories.

Amy: Maaa-mee, what is your work boss's name? (Amy is all about "who is the boss and who is in charge.")

Me: Her name is Ms G.

Amy (modeling her accessories): IIIIiii ammmm Mzzzz G and I am your work boss.

Me: Oh really!

Amy: Yezzz (yes) and I am telling you to not go to work and to take me to the beach.

Me: Oh really?

Amy: Yezzz and I am Mzzzz G so you have to listen to me.

I am in the office today and Amy went on her class trip this morning! Photo included. @workmomblogamy (

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Does a switch go on at age 5 that turns sweet little girls into semi-sweet, sometimes mean, often cranky and whiny nightmares?

Is it physiological?

I know that kids change every 6 months but this milestone marker has been brutal. She whines. She carries on. She tantrums. She says mean things.

But not all the time. There are moments, even hours and days when she is sweet as anything. Snuggly. Kind. Loving. "Mommy, I love you ten billion." or "Mommy, let's call Gammy and talk about doing a girl's day at the beach."

Unfortunately, my sweet sugar has turned into semi-sweet chocolate -- and I want my sugar back. Hope that I do not have to wait until she is 5.5 for her to change again?
@workmomblogamy (  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Take My Picture

Amy likes doing goofy things and then urging me to take her picture.

For example, in this snapshot, she lined up her animals in size order, sat down next to the largest one with her elephant headband and said, "take our picture."

I love that she loves to be silly and capture the moments.
@workmomblogamy (

Fun Weekend Are Tough!

Amy did not want to go to school today. "It's much more fun to stay home and play with you all day."

Yes, I know that I am a lot of fun - really good at playing family, school, dolls and other 5-year-old games. However, Mondays are school days.

"I don't like school." That's coming from the child who I can't seem to rip away from the building at the end of the day. She goes from room to room saying goodbye, playing, hugging and serving as the mayor.

"I know that it is tough to go back to school on Monday after a really fun weekend."

"Yes." And yes, yes it is.

I got myself ready and prepared in anticipation of whining and crying when it was time for me to leave her at school. Before the whining could start, I got down on my knees and looked eye-to-eye with Amy. I whined very loudly, "I don't want to go to work. I don't want to go to work."

Amy couldn't help but laugh. And so did the other kids and her teacher. Amy gave me a hug and a kiss, pushed me out the door and transitioned over to her teacher.

I shared the story with a colleague who said that there was a television campaign in the UK with the same premise except that the mother threw herself down in a temper tantrum to pre-empt that of the child. Unfortunately, he could not remember the product the ad was promoting.

Oh well. In my book, anything for a laugh and to avoid the clinging, crying, whining child at the school door.
@workmomblogamy (

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fly Fox

Every day for the past few weeks, Amy has asked questions about animals and how they defend themselves from predators. She also asks if the animals are "real" here in Basking Ridge.

So for example, "Are fox real here?" and "What do fox do to defend themselves? Do they bite? Do they eat humans?"

We have gone through a plethora of animals. Today was the fox which is why the example is so fresh.

We talked about the fact that there are different types of fox that live in New Jersey. Yes, they do come out during the day but mostly they come out at night. They eat squirrel, mice, rats and small kittens and cats. That fox bite to defend themselves - big bites but not as big as her arms can reach. More the size of a quarter.

"But fox don't live in other countries like India, right?" Okay, not sure where she got India from but, I said, "Let's look it up on the internet."

Apparently, there are fox in India -- flying fox. They live in the rainforest and swamps. But not near where Ishaan is from (a boy in her class who was born in India).

This is a largely circuitious conversation that can go on for bundles of minutes.

A friend made mention of flying pigs -- I mentioned the flying fox reference and explained the obsession with animals, habitats, defense, realism, etc.

I asked her if she knew that squirrels live in nests in trees like birds (I didn't know this before Amy and I did the research). She said that she did a report on squirrels in college (scary, but there is context). As the resident squirrel expert, I asked her if she knew how squirrel defend themselves ... apparently, if they are defending against a rattlesnake, their tails heat up. Heat up! Did you know that?

I wonder what animal we will select tomorrow. I suspect that it will be bears ... a sneaking suspicion.

PS: Amy asked what noises fox make - I made the noise from the song, "What the Fox Says." She took me seriously and I did not correct her. Shhh.
@workmomblogamy (

Monday, June 30, 2014

Amy Goes to College

I signed Amy up for a summer reading program through Rutgers. To get her there, I told her that she was "going to college."

While confusing for her, it was also alluring. "I'm going to college."

I will reserve my judgment on the program until next week when we are able to spend the full two hours in class. Amy was distracted by the promise of her birthday party. "Can we go now? Is this the last thing that we are doing?"

I snapped the photo of her sitting at a right handed desk - poor thing had to lean over to write and work. The world is not meant for lefties. She wasn't happy with me taking the photo. "Mommy, no pictures. It's embarrassing."

She is five and already I am embarrassing her ... I guess that's what I get when I send her to college so young.
@workmomblogamy (

Kids & Parents Are So Funny!

On vacation, Amy and Nana spent a good deal of time entertaining themselves in a photo booth.

They pretended that it was a space ship that was steering its way around. They met many aliens - some who were kind and others who were really really mean!

I snapped a photo of their feet while playing in the booth. I thought I was funny!
@workmomblogamy (