Who Needs School? Bring on the Activities!

14 Nov

Am I the only one who mourns the end of summer? I love that my kids get to go to day camp and learn fun things, like sports and swimming, and just hang out and enjoy themselves. I’m more relaxed in the summer, even though only my eldest is in “real” school so far. But it just seems that during the school year there is much more of a schedule that needs to be maintained at all costs.

As I’ve mentioned before, school here finishes super early. There is a lot of time between the end of school and dinner. Last year, my three younger kids all napped during this time, and even D#1, who needs an inordinate amount of sleep, could be convinced to lie down a couple of times a week. Then we went to Montreal for the summer. The land of “real” days, in terms of camp and school, where my kids were in camp from 9am to 3 or 4pm. Gone were the naps! Which I was happy about. They were all ready (except the baby, who didn’t go to camp and still got her naps) and I was waiting until we got to summer where they would be occupied.

So now we are back in school mode and everybody is done by 2pm. This year we decided to join the local “Country Club.” Basically, it is the only show in town if you want to swim in the winter. You can only take swimming lessons if you are a member. Last year we were appalled and didn’t do it. This year we got over it and just joined. The benefit is that it is a big facility, with an indoor and outdoor pool, a park, and lots of after-school activities (“chugim”). And the major benefit is that once you join, all activities are included, no matter how many you do. So we got the pricing and figured out that if each kid does two it is more than worth the cost. Trust me, with no naps, each kid was going to do at least two activites a week.

We took the girls for the swimming test, to find out where to register them. D#2 was placed in the lowest level, whcih I had expected; perfect. I expected, or was actually hoping, for D#1 to be placed in the level one above her. Instead, they put her two levels above the one I hoped her to be in, called Dag Zahav (Goldfish); the youngest of the competitive groups, which has three practices per week, two for an hour of swimming and forty-five minutes of land training, and one just the hour of swimming. We were extremely proud, but conflicted.

D#1 was excited to try all sorts of activities, and we had told her she could try anything for two weeks and then we would re-assess and decided how many she could keep. Even thought she did swim team five days a week this summer and loved it, three times a week during school for a not quite seven year old seemed like too much to us. So we decided to put her down one level which had multiple times, some once and some twice per week. BUT, for twice a week, we have to pay more. We had explained already that D#1 could do many activities, but sometimes skip to play with a friend, since all activities are included in our basic price. So we gave her the choice of swimming once or twice a week, with the caveat that if she chose to swim twice a week, she couldn’t skip since we had to pay extra. She was still excited from summer swim team and chose to swim twice a week. So far, it’s going great..

The girls start their activites with dance on Sundays. D#1 has beginner ballet and D#2 has intro to dance. Both love their classes, their leotards, their ballet shoes…Many a morning we have come down to find the girls dressed in their leotards (NOT their school clothes), making up dances. I consider that a success.

Both girls are also doing English, which kind of reminds me of my Hebrew School experience as a child (which I swore up and down I would never put my children through…). D#1 goes twice a week and D#2 once a week, each time for an hour. We’ve explained this is not an activity, but an extension of school, with homework, spelling tests, etc. I’m looking forward to getting rid of this when we move.

Starting with grade 1 there are a million activities for the kids to do! So D#1 also gets to do Zumba-tomic, which I think is like a high energy jazz class, and which she totally loves, and ceramics. We were glad that she chose one activity that was creative but not athletic. I’m all for her being active, but it’s also nice to try other things.

For D#2 the selection was less, so she has dance, swimming and an intro to sports class which she is enjoying. The Boy had slim pickings, so he has only one activity, a Gymboree class, which is really more of a music and movement class, with parental involvement. Until last night, it was Daddy-Boy time, but last night I highjacked it and took him. It was fun and he really gets into it and has a good time.


With all of these activities going on, I do worry a bit about how life will change when we are back in Montreal. The school days in the two places are polar opposites. Here we complain that school is really a half-day, with D#1 finishing between 1 and 1:45 each day. There, school goes until 4:15, making afterschool activites difficult (especially with the super-early bed-times that we love!).

Being the total geek that I am, let me share with you the activities that I’ve found for my kids to do in Montreal next year:

D#1 & 2: Swimming, Tues & Thurs 5-6:30. When will they do homework, eat dinner and go to bed? We’ll worry about that later!

Dance and gymnastics are also offered at the school they will attend, as an after-school activity. I think they will be allowed to choose one ( as long as they choose the same one!). Hopefully it will be a day that swimming is not!

The Boy: My plan is to keep him out of daycare once a week, bring him to Gym & Swim at my favorite pool in the world, Pointe Claire, while Bubbie looks after The Baby (unless she’s in daycare), and then eat lunch with Bubbie and Zaidie and then go the next activity, later that afternoon, Intro to Skating, back in our neck of the woods, which will finish right in time to pick up the girls from school.

Of course, there will be skiing some Sundays during the winter, and some swim meets too.

Can we just get rid of school and have fun all year ’round? Maybe I should homeschool…

or not.


Wake Up Parents!

26 Sep

I know it’s been weeks of nothing from me, and now, instead of catching you up on my life in the past month, I’m going to rant.

Today was Yom Kippur. The day that adults fast, as we pray that we have been inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year. We spend much of the day in synagogue. And, therefore, so do our children.

My husband left for shul this morning with three of our four kids. After he left I packed each of my kids a lunch box, with a sandwich, some cut up fruit, which I find they eat more readily than when it’s whole (peaches and plums), and some healthy “cookies.” Okay, not healthy. But they’re tea biscuits. How much less unhealthy can they be and still be considered by my kids to be cookies?

When they all came home tonight, most of the fruit was still in the containers (in fact, I’m eating it as I type). And the kids were NOT starving, even though I had anticipated that they would all come home with me at the break (2pm) and have a snack in the afternoon before dinner. Instead, they all (except for the baby) stayed at shul with their dad until the fast was over, and only got home at 6:30. Why weren’t they hungry? Why didn’t they eat every last crumb that I packed them? Oh, because their friends all shared the VAST amounts of junk food that their parents brought for them to shul. It was nice that they shared. Really. Got to hand it to the kids. Here they were with bags of bamba and bissli and chips, and they were giving it out. Nice. But come on!

What is with the parents? Here is a prime opportunity. The kids were out of the house for the entire day. They were running around in the hot sun. They were going to be ravenous! They were going to eat whatever their parents brought them, without question. I take it and run. Yes, it took a little effort to make sandwiches and cut fruit and pack it in a separate lunch bag for each kid, so they would know what belonged to whom. But, it was maybe 20 minutes of my life. Why was I the only one who did this?(disclaimer: maybe there were others who brought healthy food. Maybe I just zoomed in on all the junk that was floating around) Why do parents just take the easy way out and bring stuff that they know their kids like? My kids like bamba, bissli and chips as much as the next kid. Here’s the difference; I NEVER, EVER buy it. I don’t just not bring it to shul. It never enters my grocery cart.

A friend of mine here once told me that she used to have friends that she had to “divorce” when they started going on outings together with their kids. The friends would bring all kinds of junk, while she brought only fruit. Her kids weren’t interested in what she had. When we went to a cool slide park together, we brought piles of fruit and healthy sandwich fixings and our collective kids ate everything in sight and asked for more. Not, “where’s the junk” but, “can we have more oranges?”

I just don’t understand it. We try to teach our kids to eat healthily. We have a vegetable with 95% of our dinners. We give them junk food too, but we try to make it a little bit, often, rather than make them pine for it all the time. And they never get it if they haven’t finished their vegetables. Do other parents not do this? Do they just go with the flow and give in to their kids in order to avoid arguments and tears? We get tears here, often. As a matter of fact, tonight, after the fast, we had lasagna for dinner. With SPINACH in it. It was very GREEN.  And our eldest daughter was NOT eating it. Until she found out that we were going to have some ice cream for dessert. Then she allowed my husband to feed it to her (even though she’s almost 7), so she could close her eyes and not see how very green it really was. And you know what, it wasn’t so bad. She finished it. And then she enjoyed her ice cream. Are we totally crazy over here? I need feedback on this one!


Funny Kid Comments

11 Sep

Zaidie to Daughter #2: “You’re so cute.”

D#2: “I know.”

Zaidie: “How do you know?”

D#2 “I looked in the mirror (laughing)!”

You couldn’t write this people! This kid comes up with the funniest lines!


Summer, Montreal Style

12 Aug

I realize I haven’t written anything in over a month. I’ve been busy, real busy. Hanging out at my parents’ house, relaxing, enjoying the pace of life in North America in the summer, trying not to think about the end of the summer. Which is totally coming up. We go back to Israel in less than two weeks.

But, for a moment, let me tell you about my summer.

First of all, I flew by myself with my four children. Crazy? Insane? Perhaps. These kids are constantly surprising me. They chose fifteen hours to be good all at the same time. Seriously. What are the chances of that ever happening again? Sure there were moments. But there were no tantrums, no Mummy-losing-her-patience, not even any prolonged sourness. And no throwing up (that happened last year on the flight by myself, with three hours to go. The boy threw up all over me, the only one without an extra shirt stashed in the carry-on. Needless to say, I learned from that experience.). Of course, the next morning they were all up at 5am and couldn’t get along for five minutes. But, let’s hand it to the kids. They were awesome, they made me totally proud to be their mom.

The three older kids were registered for four weeks of day camp near my parents’ house. The Boy went back to the JCC camp that all three attended last year, which I knew was great. For the girls, I was looking for something different.  The JCC camp was excellent, but they don’t have a pool at the facility. They do swimming lessons twice a week at an indoor pool, and D#1 told me last year that her group was so big that they just played games. I am totally into my kids learning to swim well as early as possible, so I wanted a camp with a pool. Which led me to discover that the pool I grew up going to now has an onsite camp. Swimming lessons in the morning, swim team for those six and over , a program for the younger kids at the same time, and a free swim period in the afternoon. Right up my alley. They had a price for members, and another price for non-members. Turned out to be totally worth it to join the pool as well. The Boy got free swimming lessons four days a week before his camp started, and a bunch of times I picked him up (he ended an hour earlier than the girls) and took him and The Baby to swim while the girls finished camp and then we all hung out for a while in the pool.

As it turns out, the girls’ camp was not really what I would necessarily call a camp. Maybe a swimming camp? They did a lot of swimming. They played some games. It wasn’t like The Boy’s camp, with a weekly schedule of activities and lots of organization. It was pretty relaxed. I hated it for the first three days and thought I had made an enormous mistake.

Then Wednesday night happened, and D#1 had her first swim meet. On Monday, before camp started, she could do front crawl decently and a pretty rough estimate of back crawl. At the swim meet, after three days of what I decided to call Swimming Camp, she raced front crawl and back crawl. And I could not believe how much her back crawl had already improved. I started to feel better about the whole situation and decided it was okay for the girls to have a relaxed summer and get lots of swimming in. By the third swim meet, in week three of camp, D#2 got to swim in a race, even though her front crawl is pretty approximate, and D#1 raced the same front crawl, back crawl, plus the relay. D#1 will be 7 in November. The youngest age group is 8 & Under. One of her friends was turning 9 in two weeks. Most of the kids were 7 or 8. In front crawl she came second to the turning-9-in-two-weeks girl, and in back crawl she WON HER HEAT! And her relay won. And she had learned to DIVE off the starting block! Swimming Camp, I love you.

I loved watching D#2, so excited when she learned she would get to swim, and then seeing her in the water; 25m is pretty far for a 5yr old, and she conquered it. Her face when she got to the end and got her 1st place ribbon was priceless. She didn’t notice that she was the only one in the heat. (And we didn’t let D#1 tell her!)

I LOVED watching D#1 standing around in her suit and bathing cap, chatting with her friends while they waited to swim. They laughed and cheered for their friends and team mates. She gained so much confidence from this whole experience. I was so proud of this kid who is so much her own person in the world. I caught a glimpse of myself at her age, doing the exact same thing and just wanted to freeze the moment.

So camp ended up being a great experience for all three of the kids. I hung out with my parents and The Baby, and was able to morph into the total Olympics junkie that I become every four years and watch CTV, which was showing all the swimming, diving and gymnastics that I crave live, and then later NBC, which has much better commentary and has those athlete fluff pieces that I love and mock all at the same time. I had all the baby-sitting I could possibly dream of, since my father works at home and my mom tried really hard to do whatever she could for me.

We spent Shabbats with my Mother in Law, and had Friday night dinners together. Shabbat lunches/afternoons were spent, for the most part, with our best friends, and the kids had so much fun together.

I was also able to swim with a local Masters team for a month, a couple of times a week, and then on my own another couple of times a week. I got to swim a race in a Masters’ meet, which was fun. I swam a lot. Watching the Olympics motivates me. That 10km Open Water Marathon swim? The Canadian who won bronze had a time of one hour and fifty minutes! I swim about 5k in that time. In a pool. With walls to push off of every 25m. Anyway, I haven’t been totally lazy. But now I feel really slow.

2028 Olympics? D#1 will be 23, D#2 22, The Boy 19. Get them started now and they can all be in the Olympics in the same year. Swim, little ones, swim!

The Husband finally arrived on Wednesday. After a month of calling “Da-DA” on skype, and even to the picture of him hanging in my parents’ den, The Baby “ran” to him as soon as he walked in the door! D#2 ran to him when we went to pick  the girls up from camp. D#1 hung back and didn’t run, but she wanted to (I’ve got her number; she is so totally me when I was a kid), and The Boy was SO SO excited to see his Daddy. It was a little bittersweet for me. Of course, I totally missed him and felt so bad that he was in Israel, working, alone, while I was having all this relaxing, great family time with the kids and my parents. But I also knew that once he got here it meant that there were only two more weeks until we go back to Israel. Which we all know I don’t want to do.

Trying to be positive, we are going to plan to move back next June. Next week we will go visit the school we want our kids to attend, we’ll go back to Israel and get our things together and sell our house and leave in an organized fashion. I will try to enjoy these ten upcoming months with all our great friends. I will deal with the increasingly short school days. (I recently got an email from D#1’s school, telling me that the Ministry of Education has shortened each school day by 10 minutes, meaning that twice a week she will end at 12:45, three times a week at 1:30 and once a week at 11:50. Am I the only one to think those are really half-days?) And I will become somewhat of a taxi service, as I get my kids involved in numerous activities for all their free time!

In the meantime, tomorrow we will take some family pictures. My brother and sister-in-law are in town with their baby girl, and we will try to get some great family shots. The last pics that we took all together were for my dad’s 60th birthday, 4 years ago, when D#2 was only a few months old. Amazing how this family has changed in only a few years.

After the pictures, we’ll eat one last dinner with my bro and his family and then we’ll leave for a few days in a cabin in the middle of Vermont. On a lake, with some games and books and a little shopping at the local outlets.

My summer has been pretty much perfect.

More of What I’ve Learned

3 Jul

Last year was our first year in Israel. We live in a small town on a mountain, in sight of the Mediterranean Sea. It is beautiful. And HOT. And small. We arrived after the school year had started and got our kids settled into school and daycare. No problem. Then I started looking around for activities for the kids to do after school (remember, school here is over by 2 at the latest!).

We found a dance class for the girls to take and they were happy. But I also wanted them to have swimming lessons. At this point I discovered a number of things:

1. In Israel, kids don’t learn to swim until they are five years old. Meaning, they will not take a kid who is less than five into a lesson, even if she can already swim independently and just needs to learn the strokes.

2. They teach breast stroke first here. This was explained to me by my swim coach not long ago: “It’s Israel, we want to make things difficult for ourselves.” He agreed that it makes much more sense to teach front crawl first, since it’s easier, but didn’t know why Israelis insist on teaching breast stroke first.

3. There are no good swimming lessons in our town.

4. Swimming lessons are incredibly expensive here.

5. People don’t really swim all year ’round here, even though “winter” is sort of like fall back home, so the choice of lessons for winter was limited to one.

Have I mentioned that in my former life I was a lifeguard and swim instructor? Where I grew up, in the West Island of Montreal, there was this culture of outdoor summer pools. Everyone went to a summer pool from the time they were small, and we all did swimming lessons, diving lessons, synchro lessons, swim team, etc. We hung out at the pool and had a great time. As we got older and progressed through all the swimming badges, we went on to the Red Cross Life Saving courses. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a lifeguard, but my brother had done all the courses and it was pretty much expected that I would follow, so I did. It was something to do, got me going to the pool and was pretty interesting.

I was happy that I had done all the courses when I became I lifeguard and swim instructor at 16. I was able to work on the waterfront at my summer camp, and I got a great job at my favorite indoor pool for the winter. I had friends who weren’t lifeguards who ended up working crappy jobs that paid pretty badly, so I was always glad I had my lifeguarding certification to fall back on. Even when I went away to university, I was able to get a few hours a week guarding at an apartment pool that was pretty much empty whenever I was there. It paid well and I got to study or read for a few hours. But eventually, I stopped re-certifying my Nationals (the course that makes you a lifeguard in Canada) and moved on.

Fast forward ten years. See me looking for good swimming lessons for my kids, particularly my eldest, who was 5 last year. I decided that I may not be a lifeguard anymore, but I could still teach lessons. So, I called a friend who had a pool and a son my daughter’s age, and asked if they wanted their son to have swimming lessons. They were enthusiastic, so I built a class around the two of them and taught a ten lesson session. It was great, all the kids progressed and I made some money (actually, an astounding amount of money for four paying students, to me, but a normal amount for lessons here.). I must have passed the “good instructor” test, because these friends asked me to teach more, and to make classes for their two older daughters as well. So I did and it was great. My daughter didn’t behave so great in all the lessons, but she wasn’t terrible either.

That was last year. This year, I wanted all three of my older kids, who all (even the boy, who’s 3) swim independently and love the water. But I wanted them to learn skills. So I called back the friend from last year. Their son, who had been in the class last year, had done the one swimming activity all winter and didn’t need lessons. But they wanted something for their younger son, who is a few months younger than my boy, and some private lessons for their older daughter. And they told me I could run as many classes as I wanted. They liked that their kids would learn that there were some times that they couldn’t go in the pool and had to do something else (like homework, he said). I was amazed by their generosity and then got on with it and arranged classes around my three kids. Perfect, right?

Well, yes. It was perfect. For the other kids. Who were great. Who behaved. Who did what I asked them to do (for the most part). Who got out of the pool when their lessons were over. Who didn’t have tantrums in the middle of each lesson. Are you getting this? My kids, my daughters in particular, were pretty horrendous. They didn’t want to do “it,” only wanted do “it” if they went first, then wanted to do “it” even though they weren’t first, blah, blah, blah…I left pretty much every lesson annoyed at one or both of my girls, who just couldn’t make it through the lesson without some sort of misbehavor or tantrum.The boy wasn’t so bad. He just loves the water, and is a three year old boy with all kinds of three year old boy energy and mischief.

So my lesson for the week is this: I should not teach my own children. Outsourcing is good.

Although, the truth is that there were no other options, so I made the best of a bad situation. Part of the problem of living in a small town.

Have I mentioned that we are going to Montreal in a week and my girls will be at day camp, at the outdoor pool where I spent my youth, and have four swimming lessons a week? And the boy will be at another camp, but will have swimming lessons (even though he’s only 3) there too? With a teacher who is not me. I plan to watch the lessons. I have a sneaking suspicion that my girls will be perfect and will do everything the instructor asks them to do without a complaint. Even with a smile. They may even ask to do more. And I will sit there calmly and if anyone asks, I will agree that yes, they act like this all the time. Aren’t they sweet? What angels.

What I’ve Learned This Week

27 Jun

1. Never leave a six-year-old who is not a big sister  in charge of the baby.

Daughter #1 had a friend over this past week, as a favor to her parents, who were going to an activity for their son which was completely uninteresting to the 6 yr old in question. But, our six-year-old has a “rest” every Friday, in anticipation of a late night due to Shabbat and having guests for dinner (the friend’s family). The friend doesn’t rest, so she came downstairs with the husband, the baby and myself (to the complaints of our 6 yr old that ‘it’s not fair,’ which I agreed with, and in retrospect would have just given up the rest for one week and dealt with the crankiness that ensued the following day). Husband and I were sitting in the kitchen and asked the friend if she would play with the baby. She agreed and they went into the playroom.

I don’t know what happened, because I wasn’t there. But, about ten minutes later, the baby started crying, and the friend rushed into the kitchen holding her, and gave her to my husband. At which point I noticed the blood, pouring out of her chin. And she was hysterical, of course. After dealing with the blood, and realizing it was just a small gaping wound, but would probably be fine (and my husband assured me that no, she did not need stitches), I asked the friend what happened. And she didn’t know. Why not? Oh, because she’s six. Clearly I ask too much of my six-year-old. But the difference here is that my six-year-old is the oldest of four and understands that the baby must be followed if she decides to leave the playroom. The friend, also six, is the youngest in her family and has probably never watched a baby before. The blame belongs to the husband and I. Hypothesis: the baby fell down the three steps leading from the main level (where the playroom is), to the living room (where she saw a toy she wanted, or just felt like climbing, er, falling…), but let me re-iterate; I don’t know what happened, because I wasn’t there. Worst Mother in the World Award goes to me at that moment.

Five days later, I am amazed how quickly baby skin heals. Yes, there is a scab, and there will likely be a scar, but she is fine. I was definitely more traumatized by this whole event than anybody else.

2a. My six-year-old daughter will probably not be a doctor when she grows up, and

2b. Listen to the husband more often.

Daughter in question came home yesterday evening with her best friend (the very same one as in the previous paragraph). They were at an end of the year class party, held from 4-6pm, hours after school has already ended, for the sole purpose of driving the parents crazy trying to figure out how they’re going to get their kids to and from said party, instead of simply holding the party during school hours since they aren’t learning anything anymore anyway. But I digress.

Said daughter got a lift home, and in the car felt something in her hair, reached up to take it out and discovered that it was a bee, at about the moment that the bee stung her. So she came in all hysterical and dramatic and over-react-y, as she is prone to be. Wouldn’t let me see it, wouldn’t even open her hand…Picture me taking deep breaths, gathering my patience…Then picture the next two hours of me trying to get her to let me take the stinger out with my handy-dandy tweezers. Finally, with my patience in tatters, and the husband and I both wanting to take a Valium, or go hang out on a deserted island somewhere for a few days, we sent her to bed, and had to listen to the fierce tantrum that followed.

I have no doubt that she wanted me to take out the stinger, and knew that I was telling the truth when I told her it would hurt much less than the blood test that she so stoically sat through a few months ago as they took five vials of blood. But she was so scared and hysterical that there was just no reasoning with her. A couple of times she almost let me, but pulled her hand away right before I grasped the stinger with my tweezers…

Finally, about an hour after she finally fell asleep, I went into her room, took her hand, and in less than half a second, pulled the stinger out. It didn’t even bleed.

Likelihood of her ending up a doctor, slim, unless she reacts to the injuries of others with a much cooler head…

When daughter in question arrived home, the husband suggested to me that we leave her hand alone and deal with it after she went to sleep. Three hours later, after I pulled the stinger out in record time, I wondered why I always think my way is better. Please let me remember this time. Husband is generally right when suggesting how to deal with injuries.

3. When the dining room chairs are set up auditorium-style, with their backs to the aforementioned three steps down to the living room, it’s a recipe for disaster.

That’s the set-up I came downstairs to witness this morning. The boy likes to mess with the dining room chairs. They’re often a train, and he is the “Train Man.” It’s very cute, doesn’t hurt anyone, and gets him into productive imaginary play. I’m all for it. But as I walked by the set up this morning, I thought to myself, ‘hmm, that back row is awfully close to the edge of the stairs.’ But I didn’t do anything about it. Hello Bad Motherhood Award #2! Yup, you guessed it. Five minutes later, crash, bam, wail… The boy, and his chair, had tipped over and fallen down the stairs. Thankfully, there was no blood, just a cup of spilled milk and a very scared little boy who cried and cried and cried and didn’t let me near him. I later noticed a big bruise-y looking bump over his eye and on his forehead… I told him maybe next time he should move the chairs out a little bit further so they wouldn’t fall backward down the stairs, and he responded that that’s where the chairs GO! Guess I’ll have to keep on high alert and next time do something when their placement looks dangerous!

I’ve just noticed that this post involves me learning three different things that are based on three out of my four children getting hurt. Maybe I can avoid the fourth getting hurt by realizing that, if it looks dangerous, it probably is, and I need to watch the baby at all times as she moves beyond being a baby and evolves into a toddler. We all know toddlers need to be watched with four eyes as they seek, destroy and taste everything in their path.

Funny Kid Comments

25 Jun

In the car the other day:
D#1 “What’s this music?”
Me “The Indigo Girls” my all time favorite band for about the past twenty years.
D#1 “I love the Indigo Girls!” said with conviction.
The Boy “Also me!”
Picture me driving with a big smile across my face, thinking ‘my job here is done!’

*                                       *                                      *                                *                                *

The Boy, handing his lunch box to his Daddy, “Can you organize my lunch?” Yes, he really did say that. Meaning, ‘can you make my lunch and put it in my box?’