The Mind of Bluesleepy

That’s the way it is in Minnesota 29 January 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 4:38 pm

It is 20º as I write this, with winds gusting up to 50mph.  My kitchen is pretty darn frigid at the moment, since for some reason it’s like a sieve.  You can feel the cold air seeping in under the dishwasher and through my corner cupboard where I store my spices.  There was a serious change in temperature as I walked from the bedroom to the main living space this morning, much greater than there usually is.  I’m warm enough now in the living room, but I’m doing my best to stay out of the kitchen.  Brrr.

It snowed yesterday, you see, but it didn’t stick.  We’d been having weather too warm for the ground to be frozen, so even though we had two hours of lovely, huge flakes coasting down from the sky, we had nothing to show for it when the storm was over.  Fortunately the snow we did have last month has finally melted, which means that the five foot tall mound of snow and grit and sand and muck in my front yard has melted down into just a wide pile of grit among what little grass the grit hasn’t killed.  Good thing I don’t care about how lush my front yard is.

I don’t know if we’re supposed to get any more snow soon.  It doesn’t look like it — just frigid temps through the weekend.  But I would like to see more snow.  Call me crazy, but I do love the winter.

This weekend we have a kid’s birthday party to go to.  Fortunately it’s one in which I know most of the adult attendees, so I won’t be freaking out about it beforehand.  I do, sometimes, have social anxiety.  It’ll also be a nice way to catch up with some of my friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  It seems like it’ll be the same folks we had over for Grace’s birthday, and we had a good time then.  We just have to go get him a birthday present.  I guess he’s really into Thomas the Tank Engine, so that’ll be easy.  I wish we had time to go to Target, though.  ONE DAY I will live within a decent distance of a Target.  This driving 45 minutes to the closest one is getting old.  It’s been that way since 2003, when we moved to Washington.

It’s good for my wallet, though.  It’s too easy to spend a lot of money at Target.

What I don’t get, however, are the folks who shop at CVS and Walgreens.  Yes, I understand getting your prescriptions filled there, but shopping?  Every time I’ve been in one, I have been shocked at the exorbitant prices.  Maybe I’m just used to Walmart and Target.  I know folks don’t like Walmart, but I don’t see how there’s any difference between giving your money to a conglomerate like Target and one like CVS.  I don’t mind paying more for groceries at my local health food store since the money is staying locally, but when it comes to nationwide chains, I’m going with what’s cheaper.

Apparently my family used to own Rite Aid.  Distant family, of course, so it’s not like I saw any of the proceeds.  I’m a tiny bit partial to Rite Aid now, but not enough to shop there, especially the one we have closest to our house.  I’ve been in it once, and it’s pretty scary.  It used to be something else, before Rite Aid took over, and they didn’t do anything to clean it up.

In other news, we had a parent-teacher conference with Grace’s teacher this afternoon.  There were no surprises whatsoever — she’s smart, she follows instructions, she’s good with the other children, and she has a vivid imagination.  Her teacher loves having her in class.  She’s actually the most advanced kid in her class, which makes sense.  She’s the oldest kid; any older than Grace and they’d be in kindergarten this year.   It’s kind of frustrating that she has to be in pre-K still, since she’s so advanced, but at least she shows the other kids the way.  And next year she’ll be in real school.  I just wonder if we’re going to end up having her skip a grade.  She can already read and do simple math, and she’s not even in kindergarten yet.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how much they were covering in pre-K.  I didn’t realize that they have social studies and science too, just like in elementary school.  I sort of figured they had some reading and some math, plus loads of playtime since they are only four and five years old, but no, it’s like mini school, just down at their level.  So they’re learning how to investigate things with a simplified version of the scientific method, which I think is just great.  And Grace’s latest marvel is making patterns.  EVERYTHING has to be  a pattern for her.  And she does really complex ones, not just alternating simple patterns.  It’s actually pretty amazing.

On the Mary Ellen front, she was interviewed by the early interventionists, and she does indeed qualify for help with her expressive communication, which basically means she doesn’t talk.  The EI folks were so impressed by all her other skills, apparently far and away more than a baby of her age should be able to do.  She can hold a crayon properly, not in a fist like most babies.  And she love love loves to color — which is why I’ve had to get out the Magic Eraser to rid my walls of crayon marks.  Grace never did that, funnily enough.  ME can hear, though.  That was proven by her ability to balance, which was another skill that she tested above her age group for.  And she responds when we talk to her, just not with language.  So we’re starting on signs; ME can now sign “more” and “all done,” and we’re working on “help.”  It’s pretty neat that she’s going to be able to communicate with us soon.  I don’t really care whether it’s by talking or with signing, as long as she can make her desires known to us.  I think that will go a long ways to helping her be less frustrated.

And a baby who isn’t frustrated is a very good thing.


8 Responses to “That’s the way it is in Minnesota”

  1. cocoabean Says:

    one day, you will be telling her to shut up haha

  2. purple chai Says:

    Think carefully before you consider having Grace skip a grade. No one ever suffers from being the smartest or oldest kid in the class, but being the youngest or smallest is not always easy.

  3. I’m with Purple Chai; skipping a grade isn’t only about ability, it’s about age and physical size and emotional development. There is also the possibility that if she skips a grade and goes from being the class wiz to being the class norm, it will muddy up her self-image. Let Grace be Grace – at her own level, please.

    • bluesleepy Says:

      Oh hey it was just a thought — and a bridge we’re not anywhere near since she hasn’t even started school. The only reason I am sensitive to this issue is because I was a kid who was bored out of my skull in school, and I hated going because I was so far advanced. I at least want to get her into programs where she can be challenged, which doesn’t mean I’ll push for her to be skipped. There are plenty of ways to augment her education without skipping a grade.

  4. poolagirl Says:

    If skipping a grade is what’s best, by all means do it. I have worked with far too many kids who should have been advanced but were held back in their regular grades for the “social aspects” of it all. A bored child will not excel. You are doing an excellent job keeping track of her skills and accomplishments. If she can move forward, by all means move her. That is my educated opinion having worked in education for almost 30 years. Each kid is unique. If she is ready, let her go!

  5. terri t. Says:

    Wondering if ME doesn’t talk as much because she doesn’t have to…Gracie can fill in what she wants or all of you anticipate her needs so she doesn’t have to talk…like the old joke about the kid who suddenly spoken in paragraphs and when asked why he hadn’t spoken before. “Because I didn’t have anything to say”.

  6. SJAT Says:

    Is ME silently plotting? If she’s that bright, perhaps she is merely biding her time…

  7. sleepyjane Says:

    This is all really great. I’m glad you’re blessed with smart kids – but with you as their mommy is it any wonder? 😉

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