Friday, May 23, 2008

Catching up ...

Wow – here we are at 6 weeks already. SweeTart is growing like a weed!! This week she started to smile at us. For real. There’s nothing like a real smile from an infant! She seems to recognize each of us and has different initial smiles for all. Don’t get me wrong, she still has her gassy smiles and still sleeps and dreams with her eyes open at times (which is still very freaky) but it is nice to have her recognize us. Twinkletoes wanted to know last night when she is going to be big. I just told her a few months. I’m sure she’ll be more fun to play with, at least with her, when she can sit up and fully interact with her. One of my friends recently sent an email and told me that her oldest son was disappointed when his little brother was born (I think they are two or three years apart) … everyone told him that he was getting a playmate, but all he got was this lump … which is how I’m sure Twinkletoes feels right now. I’m constantly at her to get out of SweeTart’s face and to lower her voice instead of shouting at her but she really is trying. She’s a tremendous help around the house (get this for me, get that, etc.) and we’ve been trying to show her that we appreciate it more and more. Hopefully it’s working. She goes back to the doctor for her 2 month check up on June 10.

Twinkletoes is doing fantastic in school too. I wasn’t too convinced when I got her 3rd quarter report card that gave her “sometimes” in way too many categories than I was happy with, including the equivalent of the “behaves appropriately” column. I was mortified and began asking her what was going on. Is it the baby?? Is she not getting along with the kids in class? Are there bullies in kindergarten? Is she the bully? I even went as far as to ask her teacher of her enrichment class if she was behaving appropriately in her class to which the answer was an overwhelming YES. That made me relax a little.

She is always trying to do DinoBoy’s homework with or rather FOR him. This makes for much angst at homework time at our house. She gets angry and her feelings hurt when we tell her that she has to not help with his homework (she does all of her homework at her enrichment program) and that he has to learn it himself otherwise he’s going to have to repeat the first grade. He gets irritated and his self-esteem gets bruised when his “little” sister is trying to do his homework (and sometimes knows what he doesn’t.) This causes plenty of screaming and tears most evenings.

Yesterday, Twinkletoes comes home with this note from school (dated 5/19 and needed to be returned 5/22 – hello, wasn’t yesterday 5/22??) indicating that she scored very well on her standardized tests and that on 5/23 they’d like to administer another test to her but we have to sign off on it. The test, if she does well, will place her in a gifted and talented class. WOW – talk about knocking our socks off. Of course, she needs to do well on the test and who knows how she’ll do but to even be considered is great to us in and of itself. We explained to her that she will be taking a test today which may put her in a “special” class like her brother is in a “special” class during the day. (He does a basic skills pull-out for reading.) It was the simplest way for us to explain it to her without causing more school-related friction between the two of them. I need to keep them a year apart in school. I need him to “just keep swimming” and learn what he needs to learn and know it well. I’ve signed them both up for the Rutgers Reading program again this summer – hopefully that keeps him where he needs to be.

DinoBoy continues to do well too. Last night, after their dinner, but before mine we were in my room singing songs that they had learned in school. He is very proud of the fact that he knows a song or five more than his sister and helped her out with the words for the one she was trying to sing. He told her he was able to help because he is in the first grade and he is a pretty smart brother. I love it when it works out that way instead of all the yelling and screaming from one to the other. When they just accept the fact that they both have their gifts and talents to offer – we just have to step back and realize which child has which talent and receive them both equally. Treat each other as they’d like to be treated. (this is a hard one to swallow – hopefully they learn by practicing it and enjoying the good feelings that being nice and someone being nice to them is actually a wonderful feeling!)

And - you'll enjoy this. At the beginning of the year, I paid for 10 hot lunches for DinoBoy at school. We explained to him what to do to buy lunch and told him about the hot dogs, nachos and pizza that the school offers and he just said "no". He's been taking a grilled cheese sandwich every day for just about the entire school year. Earlier this week, he said he wanted to buy PIZZA at school. I know that one of his friends buys lunch just about every day so I told him to just do what his friend does -- and we packed a lunch for him too -- just in case. When he came home from school that day he was so excited to show us that his lunchbox was still FULL. He bought lunch for the first time and even had a bottle of water with it instead of drinking his YooHoo. Could this really be my kid? The next day - he wanted to buy again. They were having chicken nuggets and a roll (it doesn't get any better than that for him!). This time he didn't have a packed lunch back-up. He was so excited again that he was bursting at the seams when he told his Dad how many chicken nuggets they gave him and he even had ketchup with them. And the roll. And he drank more water! Today - 3rd day in a row, he's buying lunch. They're having a personal pan pizza today. When we went through next week's lunch menu, there was only ONE day that he wanted to bring a packed lunch. It took 9 months, but he finally got the courage up to buy his lunches. I think he'll be buying a lot more next year now that he knows the ropes. Guess I won't be getting an $18 check back from the cafeteria this year after all.

I’m sure we’ll have lots of pictures to share come Tuesday. We have a full weekend planned – a birthday party at 9 AM on Saturday (what were you thinking WOMAN??), a picnic with friends in the afternoon; relaxing and maybe a trip to the pool on Sunday; two parades and a birthday party on Monday. We may need Tuesday off to recuperate! With that, have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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