2017 – The Year In Leff

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Future manager

Chloe was really stressed about a group project that had too many people in a group to be effective. She was venting about it and I told her to email her teacher and let him know how she felt. Below is the message she sent:

> Hi, I’m in the garden group, and I feel that we aren’t really accomplishing anything.
> Okay, so I think that the first line may have given you a pretty big clue about why I’m sending this email, and I think you may have experienced the “unsynergysticness” of my entire group earlier today. I personally feel like nothing is being communicated between sub-groups, and that nobody is satisfied. I feel this on another level, because I am a “manager” of a sub-group, and almost every time somebody asks me a question that isn’t in my sub-group, my answer is “I honestly don’t know”, which I absolutely hate saying. Also, I feel that our “manager” isn’t doing their part in this. Sure they say stuff, but from my perspective, all it seems that they are doing is laying tasks down on other people expecting them to know everything that’s going on, and when members of our groups start asking them questions they don’t know, they just sit and sulk in a corner. Now I will take some blame for this, because it is a team effort and it’s not everyone else’s fault. I know that I could have done a better job of trying to communicate to other groups. This I realized today after you gave us that inspirational speech, and I tried to take action, but found that many of the other sub-groups are in the exact same situation. Now I’ll get to my main point, because you probably took a long time to read this and now are thinking “so what?” (see I know my teachers, 😉 ) and here’s my proposal to fix that problem. I suggest that we break into smaller groups. Not sub-groups, but have like a Garden A and Garden B or something, because I feel that the amount of people we have in our group is too many to manage, especially with the number of people goofing off (I can think of at least three I have seen goofing off in the past), and I think that it would be much better is we broke into smaller groups that were well chosen, and set up for success. I hope you will take this into consideration, if you have read the entire thing thank you for hearing me out, and if you just skimmed that’s okay too. I know it was a lot of words, and I would like to have a conversation with you tomorrow if possible to explain my idea more visually and perhaps more efficiently as well. Thanks again for hearing my opinion. >
> —
> -Chloe 🙂

Her teacher’s response
> One word…Wow! Ok, now for some more words. I really appreciate you saying this. Part of the learning process is failing. And right now your team is failing. But that’s good news. Sometime you have to hit the bottom to see what’s wrong. Your suggestions are valid and, I believe, beneficial to the team’s ultimate success. And you will succeed because you are a leader and not succeeding is not an option..
> Thanks for speaking up for your team and for yourself. This will have a happy ending. Trust me.

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Wise Paige

Paige out of the blue: “Are there really schools that crush the spirit of children? I think they are called boarding schools.”

A half an hour after tucking Paige into bed, she yelled for me from her room. I w t in to find out what she needed, when she said, “Mom, I am worried I am going to lose my curiosity when I get older.”

A boy in her class proclaimed to Paige that he loved her. She replied to him, “It is okay to love me, but I don’t love you. I am your friend.”- mastered the art of the let down

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Mommy brain

Chloe told me, “Mom, you are 41 now. Your brain is too
unpredictable.” (Referring to me perhaps forgetting something)

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We were playing the game catchphrase where you have to describe the word without saying the word. Paige’s clue was the thing that connects a shell to the turtle’s head, and the answer was “turtleneck” and Chloe’s clue was a country that rhymes with Schmerbia and the word was “Serbia.”

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Big questions

Paige has been talking a lot about asking “big questions” at school. The other day she came up with, “I wonder if God ever walked on the earth?” The teacher did some sort of PC way of shoving that question off because it was a public school, but she told me about it. The reflected for a moment then asked, “what is God’s last name?”I asked her what she thought his last name would be and she replied, “I think it’s Harrison.” I said, “We’ll God Harrison does have a nice ring to it.” She answered, “So does Jesus Harrison.”

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The other day Paige said something about having kids. She was asking me if it was hard to be a mom. I told her
That it was hard, but also so rewarding.
I then said that I thought she would be a great mom. She replied,”Oh no, I’m not having kids! Well I know how it goes. First the boy proposes with some huge romantic ring, then daddy has to pay for the whole wedding and then the husband has to pay for every thing else. And if he doesn’t pay for everything else he is outta there! Plus I don’t want any babies coming outnof you know where!” I told her well it’s really not too bad and so worth it when it’s all over. She answered, ” I think I’ll just buy a baby.”

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What I would do for you

Chloe was singing a popular song that recounts all the ways a man would put himself in harm’s way for a woman when she paused and asked me if I would do that for her. I explained that yes, I would do anything for her. She then started a little chant, “I want a pony, buy me a pony.
I want an Ipad, buy me an ipad.
I want a brother, buy me a brother”

Good grief.

Yesterday the girls were riding home from school in the car when Paige told me that some kids got into trouble in her class for writing on their desk. Chloe clicked her tongue and exclaimed, “They better watch out or they will get sent to “Juvy”…..that’s vandalism of private property and you get sent to juvy for that.” They then started debating whether or not a school desk was public or private property and reasoned that it belonged to the school so it was private, but that it was in public. Both agreed, either way, that vandalizing school desks will get you sent to Juvy.

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Elf on the Shelf

WE got an Elf on the Shelf this year. Basically, it is an elf that watches you in your house then flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa each night from December 1st to the 25th. You aren’t allowed to touch the elf or it will lose its magic. Each morning the elf is in a different place. Ours was particularly precocious, and she did things like spill flour and make snow angels on our kitchen table, etc. Christmas night when it was time for her to return to the North Pole, Paige broke down in tears. She was sobbing, thinking about Holly (our elf) having to leave not be seen again until December 2013. She was inconsolable and when I said to her that I could see how much she loved Holly, she yelled, “How can you possibly know how much I love her!?! I don’t have my love for her on a bar chart!”

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Paige and Chloe

The other day I made some comment to Paige about how lucky she was to have such a cool mom. Her response was, “Mom, you are not very cool. It’s not like you have wrestled a bear or anything.” Apparently I have a long way to go on the cool scale.
Yesterday, out of the blue, Paige commented, “I think I am going to be an animal trainer. I want to train dogs to do stuff like get rid of junk mail and to use utensils.”

Chloe was describing a “girly girl” person she knew and used the phrase, “She is a more lip glossy version of my other friends.”

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