My baby is all growed up! Can you believe it? She has started kindergarten today. ME wanted to get in on this first-day-of-school photo, so of course I had to oblige. I have to admit, ME’s expression is cracking me up, like she’s so distrustful of this whole “school” thing Grace is now involved in. I assure you she wasn’t actually cranky. It’s just her patented look of disdain.
I was a little worried for Gracie, going to school for a full day for the first time in her short life, but she seemed to handle it quite well. She was a bit nervous when she first got there, but she must have warmed up quickly because when I retrieved her off the bus this afternoon she could not stop talking about all the fun things they did. The first thing she said was, “Mom! We had music today!” Yes, folks, she is definitely my child.
She was so excited about everything. They went outside two times! (And that’s how she put it too, “two times.”) They had music class! She had hot lunch! She got to ride the bus home! She even met a new friend that she had to tell me all about.
I’m really excited for her, especially after I figured out that Grace is part of a multi-age class. I was told that wasn’t an option for her since we wouldn’t be here long enough, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out this morning that she did make it into that class. I think it’s because she can already read and write that they felt it was the best placement for her. I’m quite glad about this. I had been really concerned that she would be bored out of her skull (as I was throughout most of my public school education) in a regular kindergarten class with kids who were still learning their letters. Now she’s in a class that’s a two-to-one mix of kindergarteners to first graders, and they do a lot of activities with the other multi-age class, which is a two-to-one ratio of second graders to first graders. She won’t need to be bored; if she’s more advanced than one group of classmates, she’ll be put with another group. Plus I’ve heard really great things about her teacher from other parents whose kids were in her class, and I guess the whole school is really great. I’m almost sorry to be leaving halfway through this school year.
It was so weird here alone with just one kid all afternoon. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself all day. And now I’ll have to figure out how to entertain ME, since Grace was doing such a great job of it for me.
ME had quite a break-through herself today as well. While Grace was at school, ME’s speech therapist came for the first time in two weeks. We only get four sessions a month, you see, and somehow we got all our August sessions out of the way early. So finally the therapist came today, and ME couldn’t stop talking! It was so great to hear all the sounds that were coming out of her mouth, especially since the therapist was there to hear it. Usually if ME gets talkative, it’s only around Kurt and me. But this time she “performed” on demand! Yay! She was even attempting words she’d never said before, like “girl” and “fly” and “choo-choo” for the scenic train’s whistle that we can hear from the house. What’s funny is that the speech therapist and I would be discussing something else, letting ME play on her own, and that’s when her speech would start really coming out. The more we paid attention to her, the quieter she got.
So in a way, we intentionally discussed other issues, to make ME think we weren’t paying attention to her, and maybe that’s why she was talking so much. Whatever works! It made me so proud to hear all the sounds that she was making, and how hard she was trying to communicate.
We’re also attempting to wean ME off the binky. Taking the bottle away from her was super easy. We just switched her over to sippy cups once she was 1. She never seemed to miss the bottle at all. The binky has proven so much more difficult. I wanted to take it away now, before it got even harder, and I was reminded yesterday of what happens when a parent gets distracted by other issues — I saw a four-year-old little girl with a binky planted firmly in her mouth at the naval clinic yesterday. Yikes.
I talked to the speech therapist about what we could do about ME and taking the binky away. It’s been a good week since she’s had one, but it’s been a very hard week. Everything, and I mean everything, has angered ME in some way, shape or form. And when she gets angry, she starts screaming. She wants nothing but her binky at that point. She doesn’t want to be held; she squirms to get down. She doesn’t want her water bottle; she flings that away. Anything you try to give her to distract her, she’ll throw as hard as she can. She’s been screaming so much her voice has gone hoarse. Fortunately it’s seemed to calm down a bit between yesterday and today. Kurt put her down for a nap today, telling her that he’d be right back, and she laid down and resigned herself to her fate. No yelling. Today she threw a fit because she wanted a snack right before dinner was ready, so I ended up putting her in the corner to calm down. A few moments later, there was silence — and she came walking back into the kitchen. I asked her if she was done, and she nodded yes. She wasn’t quite, but at least she was trying.
But I’m not giving her back that damned binky. She’ll be two tomorrow, and it’s time to give it up.
Both my girlies are growing up so fast. Man alive, I can’t believe it. They’ll be in college the next thing I know!