And the world is new
September 27, 2006
The sky is very pale blue. The air is crisp. The leaves, multi-colored, are falling. After a lively discussion of music and lessons at school and even singing a deeply operatic version of "I love school! (to the tune of "I love Trash")," Miranda walked into the building. She walked to the door. She shook her teacher's hand. And she entered. And with a heart so light, I skipped outside with Henry.
god I love television
September 26, 2006
Rather than traipse around the internet, I caught up on new shows. When I was a student and looming homework crushed the beauty of fall for me, fall was good for new TV shows. I was burned a few times by liking a pilot that seemingly no one else in America liked, so even TV in fall was marred. But when you return to a new season, it just is fun. So is not being a student. Being a mom of a student is an odd thing. I am trying detachment to get Miranda into her room without tears. She claimed she was tear free today and I'll let her believe that I missed the whimper if it makes her happier.
I watched episode two of "House" and the premiere of "My Name is Earl." I am actually worried about House--if they can resist the Moonlighting trap and instead stay on the L&O course--remember the mystery. Don't make the show about the lead character kissing someone. I'll watch a non-mystery driven show for romance. I do have much hope for "My Name Is Earl." The potential Joy-in-prison storyline is weird. Not sure where season two is going, but it was funny. Why do TV producers feel like they can't just keep the same path. Stay funny. Why the change agenda? I was starting to like Joy a bit too much at the end of last season. Good for thme to make sure she isn't nice.
Henry and Miranda went to the dentist today. No cavities. Henry and I practiced opening his mouth for the dentist. We would finish our mock-check-up and he'd say, "again, again."
September 25, 2006
Today I am halfway from my birthday and halfway to my next birthday.
Miranda quaked at entering her classroom, but seemed to have a good day. Her glasses were well received, mostly on the continuum of no attention is good news. Or at least no teasing.
September 24, 2006
On Friday, Miranda got her glasses.
She has been willing to wear them, not constantly, but regularly. It is not entirely certain if she sees more with them. And there have been references made to seeing rainbows and double. This will bear watching.
Our weekend was filled with lovely people and fun times.
A better day
September 21, 2006
Today was better. Miranda only lost her courage at the very last moment, when she had to shake her teacher's hand. She and I discussed words and tried to spell them and did lots of math problems on the car ride to school. She is quite impressed with adding 10 and 10, but a little shaky on the 5 + 9 kind of stuff. She had plans to spell out a story as the moveable alphabet is considered a good work choice.
And she did spell out a story. She got positive reinforcement for doing her work well. She had lunch and recess. And she is still shaky about going tomorrow. I don't know how to tell her to do one day at a time, when I can be so bad at staying in the present. she is cursed with Rob's stubbornness and my perfectionism, at least a little. I can hear echoes of my demand to do it the hard /long/ way-frustrating-to-my-mom way.
Tomorrow is glasses pick up day! I will have to upload a picture. Wish us luck!
And in other news, Henry rocked speech class. He had a manic energy, but talked talk talk. his summer speech therapist watched some of his session. She was amazed. His therapist is amazed too--she watched the summer tapes. My favorite words that Henry says are: All right and Okay, and not just because he's agreeing with me. He just has a certain resignation in his voice, an acceptance, a model of compliance that matches in no way his attitude, demeanor or behavior. My mom told a funny story of doing a puzzle with him. He purposely put a piece in the wrong spot and then look at my mom with a sly smile. She's say Try Again and he'd say, "OK" and put it right were it belongs.
BACON! I smell BACON! (brought to you by snausages)
September 20, 2006
Yesterday, Miranda's teacher brainstormed with the K5s to make a list of all the work they could choose. And she wrote that list on the chalkboard as a resource for all of them. This should help with Miranda's "I don't know what to do" issue. And so when the pleas to not go tot school start this morning, I brought up the list. And she said," but she wrote the list in cursive and I can't read!"
(P.S. M was being very melodramatic at this point. She wasn't crying. There was much less actual crying this morning--more of a sob noise while looking up at me to see if I am watching. . I think if I can narrow down the pain, it seems to be wanting to be at home, with me. School itself is not causing the big problem, except it isn't playing all day. With ponies. And ferris wheels.)
Just another manic Monday...wish it were a Sunday
September 19. 2006
Well, blow me down, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day. And I had no mains to pillage. I did a buy an eye patch, but it has butterflies on it. A few sea chanteys with me wee mates. And it is Tuesday, I know, despite the title. But that song sort of fits how Miranda emoted today. . I thought today was Wednesday. So I missed my child care the J and my chance to work out. When did this happen that I would actually feel sad at not working out? Why has no one told my pants?
I was tormented today with the image of Miranda sobbing in the coatroom of her classroom, saying she missed me. She was behind a door, but I could see her in the window. The door was unlocked. Perhaps I should have hugged her, but that seemed like it was Against the Rules and not necessarily helpful.
Miranda has always found going into school troubling. And the last week or two has been bad. She misses me. She doesn't know what to do in the room./ Why does Henry get to stay with me? She even told her teacher she couldn't see. Considering 8 days ago she didn't;t know she couldn't;t see, that seems a stretch to me. And I feel wedged between the hard place of wanting to comfort my child crying and not wanting to prolong a transition by indulging her. Some people have this internal debate with babies--should I pick the baby up every time she cries? Or will she learn to self-soothe if I let her cry? Or will she keep crying louder and harder until she throws up and you have to change the bedding?
With babies, I am more in the Dr Sears camp. You can't spoil a baby. But a 5 yo? Is it spoiling her to open the door for the hug, thus breaking the immutable Montessori no parent in the classroom rule? Thus creating an unsustainable daily ritual that grows longer? She already has necklace of mine and 5 hugs a and kisses. Or is it scarring her for me to walk away? It feels so gray, this place I am caught in. Just as a parent of a toddler still dealing with crying, I am trying distraction. Perhaps if Papa or Grandma take her to school, it won't suck.
The recurring theme is that she misses me. And so I have started a campaign to remind her that I am no fun. I don't play hide and seek. And I usually want the art projects to turn out the way we planned.
The worst part of this saga is that I am the one sad all day. She calms down within a quarter hour of my leaving. She has a fine day. She has recess and lunch, her favorite parts of the day. She learned things and sees her friends. She comes out of school with a giant smile and joy spilling out of her legs. But when I remind her of this feeling, to channel it when we arrive in 18 hours...she crumples.
Hang on, hang on, tight
September 18, 2006
Miranda's eyes are worse than the initial exam indicated. She is farsighted in both eyes. She is much more far sighted in the amblyopic eye. We have now added a pediatric ophthalmologist to our October calendar. And are in the process of adding a vision therapy appointment, if I can master the intricacies of insurance coverage.
I am experimenting with not taking as much anti-allergy medication. So far, no change. I am highly suspicious.
Tomorrow is speech! Yay! Henry has been talking so much more, for him it is a lot. I am not sure if he will bowl them over with speech, or not utter a word beyond "Mom!" My favorite is when he asks me "where are oo?" when I am driving. The first session or two a language sample. Henry's samples are usually quite quiet. Perhaps not really different if if you have the sound on or not. I haven't updates his word list in ages, but he really knows and uses hundreds of words now. He even sort of sings along. He even participated in his music and gym class.
September 17, 2006
The weekend was so full. We did Al's Run. Rob walked with us this year. His heel is better, but not running-ready. He organized a team from work but didn't get to run with them. The team did well, which almost made up for it. And then the post-walk hours were swallowed by sleep. I got so tired. Tired isn't even a strong enough work. Exhausted. So we had some downtime and then BBQ! And played Mexican train dominoes. Our family has typically played chicken foot, but train was fun.
And way back in spring, I saw the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin's Ride for Wisconsin in Cedarburg. As I covet Cedarburg and the ride was only 16 miles, I said--Rob, we're training for that-- I want to ride it. And we trained a little. But Rob saw that the ride could be 30 miles or 62 miles as well. And so a long running debate ensued about 16 vs. 30 miles. And today we compromised on 25. (It wasn't that strict--we didn't even get bike numbers). And they weren't an easy 25 miles either.
And again with the tired.
Tomorrow is Miranda's eye dilation test. Glasses within a week I hope. I'll post a picture of her new specs.
Avast ye hearties
September 14, 2006
Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day? Preparations must be made! It is Henry's first day of speech. Is Carson Daly's "Karma" speaking to us about the mysteries of the universe? Will this help me make peace with eye patches?
And I found the book I considered buying for Diane's birthday but could not find when I actually bought her present. It turns out only the foreward was by Dave Barry, thus my pleas to the clerk at Borders were impossible to meet.
Tomorrow is gym class. And swimming. And a play date. Wowo.
September 12, 2006
September 11 was appropriately rainy and sad. Five years feels unreal, as unreal as having a five year old child who calls me mom. But she told me I was the best cook ever tonight at supper (Chicken paprikash, risotto and green beans), so we have something to destroy utterly when she turns 13. September 11th, the national day, felt far away. The news footage still made me tear up, but I am preoccupied on the home front.
Miranda had her first eye exam on Monday. I found out that she was supposed to have her first eye exam sometime after her third birthday. All kids should have eye exams. Really. I don't think the optometrists have convinced the pediatricians about this one, as I can't say i knew that. It certainly hasn't been a headline in parent mags I've read.
I do wish it had been. I noticed Miranda struggling this summer discerning something far away. I brought it up at her 5yo checkup and she cheated through her vision screen. Her eye exam shows she has amblyopia. Lazy eye in common parlance. Her right eye has good vision, 20/20. Her left eye does not have good vision. Perhaps we're talking 20/400. The dilation test next Monday will show the proper prescription for her new glasses. She will need glasses full time. And then a patching protocol still in process. I am heartened by the study that suggests 2 hours a day of focused patching can be as effective as 6.
It is classic for kids to not know what normal vision is like. And it is classic for them to compensate with the good eye. I wish we had figured this out sooner. The point of the patching is to make her brain make her left eye work. Right now, her brain ignores the blurry images. My online perusal has shown many success stories and even speedy success. It is the exact opposite of the speech delay, which has such a lack of protocol. Some kids improve, some don't, some get better on their own--grow out of it, some don't, it's hard to tell. Amblyopia is not like that. It has to be treated or she will lose function in the bad eye.
The first days of school are so...retrospective
September 7, 2006
The first and second days of school have gone well, better than expected. No tears, even if the hugs have been extra long. Miranda is in a new classroom, but the same teacher. I think Montessori has been fabulous for her. Even the crazy build-up of the 3K and 4K years with its worshipful gaze toward k5 has been validated. K5 is the promised land. She stays all day. She eats lunch and has recess. She has gym on Mondays. And in the afternoon, her teacher only has ~10 kids. So she will get plenty of lessons and new work. I think her anxiety will abate. If she can show her teacher than she knows a practical life lesson exactly so, she can then teach that lesson to a 3 year old. How cool is that? I remember her respect for the K5's when she was 3. It was well deserved.
Henry has wondered where Miranda is these last two days. But his favorite phrase of late is "wheyre are oo?" He is keeping tabs on us all. It is so strange to be caught in the time warp of he's is 2.5--Miranda was 2.5 when Henry was born. I remember this part. The last 2-3 months...the comparisons were vague if at all. I was ginormously pregnant, she was willful/bored/eager...it was a struggle. And she was so good when H was small. So good to us all. And so it is vivid in my mind. And let me say, H is not faring well. He is downright violent. if I had a new new baby, I would be dying from hyper-vigilence. He fell today, on the floor in front of the stairs. He just tripped on his foot. No harm, no foul. And he came over and hit me on the leg. I am putting words in his still-quiet mouth, but I can only assume I control everything and I moved the floor under this feet and thus I needed punishment.
Where we've been, what's going on
September 4, 2006
In a freaky coincidence, the past week and a half have been a wild crazy busy overwhelming yet awesome time. We saw family and friends. We stayed up too late. And we marveled at the presence of Miranda is our lives. Yes, Miranda is now 5. How did that happen? To celebrate half a decade, we went to Chuck E Cheese, we went to Wisconsin Dells, and we even had a visit from Miranda's godparents, all the way from California. Am I the only one can can't abbreviate California as CA because it seems that CA belongs to Canada?
Due to the vagaries of the school system, Miranda starts school Wednesday. The state has a stupid law that public schools can't start until September 1. This will be Miranda's first year of all day school. I don't have the angst that some people have, as this is the third fall she will be heading to real school. But all day. Wow. Recess. Gym class. Those are her planned highlights. If I hadn't kissed her good night every night for 5 years, I would wonder if this child is related to me.
Halloween's infectious spirit has descended. I bought material and patterns today. Our happy bug family will be splatting near you this October.
Picture recap of the past 10 days or so.
We joined the Milwaukee Public Museum. The butterflies are the best part. Papa came along on a museum adventure on Sunday. The kids actually went through the Streets of Old Milwaukee and looked at the dinosaurs. And no one cried.
Can you sense the excitement of a birthday morning?
Good job Henry. 4 puppies! Henry picked the dog--it comes "pregnant" with 2-4 puppies.
When we say Happy, you say Birthday. Happy. Birthday!
We stayed at a quieter Dells hotel. I have a long thought on this trip to the Dells, waiting to be poured out in essay form. Or something.
StoryBook Gardens. After several lean years, the Gardens were taken over by a wild animal dealer and semi-renamed Timbavati. This is wild. You can feed any animal, except the tigers. It is very intimate. I asked my mother several times if this could possibly be legal.
The oldies and goodies are still there.
Cinderella's castle (not the Eastern European miniature castle it appears to be ) needs paint.
For $2 you can buy a cup of food to feed anything. Even giraffes, Take that Milwaukee zoo, with your 2x a day feeding at $10 a head. The giraffe did not let you pet it. Neither did the moose (who had a spoon for feeding.) It was curiously devoid of signs, warnings, cautions or any of the numerous notices that seem to spring up in every public place.
Grandma and Grandpa and Henry and Miranda are about to take in the Tommy Bartlett show.
Rob and Sarah
And upon our return home, a special visitor!