Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I spend an hour every school day doing battle, errr, I mean, working with the dear little children in Emma's classroom. Don't get me wrong, I love that hour. The kids are still exactly that: kids. And yet? I work primarily with the group of top readers/writers. Want to know something about smart kids? They're SMART.
Yes, fine, top scores on tests, first ones done on most projects, know the answer to everything you toss at them. But also? SMART. As in: smart alecs, masters of distraction and misdirection, "throw some words on the paper and turn the page and be done" champions. And today, they won. At the end of my hour, I told Emma's teacher that I was escaping. He begged me to take him along.
Most days, they make me laugh. Today, they almost made me lose my voice. I'm fairly certain they got together before I arrived and plotted my downfall:
- "Let's make sure that each of us is always working on something different and need it explained, repeatedly."
- "Let's pretend that we have no idea what any of the vocabulary words mean; you know, the ones we've been working on all week."
- "Let's all ask the same questions, at different times, repeatedly."
- "Let's write down partial sentences as answers, even though she hasn't let us do that ever."
- "Let's summarize the story we've been reading all week by making up completely new stories off the top of our head, repeatedly!"
- "Let's wiggle so much that she has to tell each of us to sit down, many, many times."
- "Then, let's ask for hugs as she leaves, just to make her think she was imagining it all!"
There are only eight of them in that group, but I would swear that some days they multiply. And turn into monkeys. Good thing they're cute little monkeys, it's the only thing that saves them.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
A long weekend, with lots of sleeping in, is helping everyone heal. When not at the coast, the kids are playing with beans, making figure 8's in the basement on their scooters, and watching lots of videos. We're going through another phase of screaming tantrums, so George can be a handful at times. I'm hoping that will reduce once he feels better. Emma is spending more time in her room playing with Legos, her animals, or on the computer. I'm glad she can find ways to escape the craziness of a sometimes difficult brother, but it saddens me that she needs to. I suppose it's normal, though, and I need to remember that. All older siblings need to escape the younger ones sometimes, no matter how "normal" they may be.
Well, it's ten o'clock. I suppose I ought to go get out of my pajamas. Although, no one else in this house has yet, so maybe just another cup of coffee...
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Thank you, Beth!! Mouse-hand will be vanquished thanks to you! They feel like cozy sweaters on my arms!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
"So, how was your three month, I mean three week, vacation?"
"Oh my gosh, it's so nice to get back into our routine!"
"Which did you get more of, presents or meltdowns?"
Snippets of conversations between the moms (other than me) at George's "typical" preschool:
"I so didn't want to bring Timmy/Suzy/Jr. to school today! I'll miss him/her so much!"
"Timmy/Suzy/Jr. didn't want to come to school today, he/she wants more free time."
"I don't know what I'm going to do with myself while they're in school!"
Sunday, January 04, 2009
And I apologize for the quality and movement in the following video. Our phones are not fancy ones, but I was a bit in awe of our lunchtime entertainment at the airport and had to capture it. Who knew you could watch middle-aged men in far-too-tight pants sing 70's hits in the middle of the terminal?
Just like a picnic at Golden Gate Park, no? And the close up on George's shoes was because he had been dancing along to the music. You know. Until the moment I tried to capture it on film. Durned kid.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Add to that a house with ten people staying in it, visits to other houses filled with even more people, and the need to share toys and space with cousins, and this could have been a disaster.
The growth I've seen in him over the last few months was apparent during this past week. He had a couple of meltdowns, but they were situational and completely understandable (a broken Thomas the Train toy [sorry, Michelle, thanks for trying!] and a plane he could get inside and look at [my father-in-law is a pilot with a stunt plane], but it wouldn't take him home no matter how often he asked). He used his activity schedule, we gave him familiar foods to eat and videos to watch, and since the weather was beautiful, we spent lots of time outdoors. He coped in his own way, wonderfully.
Both new experiences and sensory overloads are often met with this pose:child-sized headphones. We bought a set for both kids to use with our laptop on the airplane. What we didn't expect was that George loved them and used them throughout the week, whenever he wasn't sure of a situation.