Monday, June 19, 2006

Random Monday Thoughts

1. Max got his report card. I was nervous about this, but didn't need to worry. He got a wonderful report (with room to grow in writing--which we knew going into it). More than one teacher commented on his ability to work well in groups, his insight in reading-related tasks, and his "just fun to be around-ness" -- which is a marketable skill. I'll take it. Missing from the report cards were comments about his lack of attention span, his tendency to get out of his seat, and his poor behavior. Further proof that he's not in first grade anymore and maybe I should let go of that bit of post-traumatic stress disorder. Apparently his attention span is just fine, his behavior is average to above-average, and he stays in his seat. My primary goal in bringing the boy "home" was to "remind him who he was, to reclaim him from 'the world'--which was doing a shoddy job of helping me raise him--and to help him be happy while learning again."

Goals met.

2. Colored my hair. Now I look "about to turn 38" instead of "way older than I really am." Tomorrow I'm buying some hot-rollers to start experimenting with styling my hair so I know what to do with it on Vlad and Alycia's wedding day.

3. Made eye appointments with a developmental optometrist for all three boys. I did BIG research into this and found "the best" in Central PA (which means that she is, of course, in State College). Emailed back and forth with the woman asking questions and although she is head of this and chief of that--she does still accept some children as new clients. I love any doctor who will answer questions in email--so I'm willing to accept that her first open appointment was September 1st. Chris and I are both far-sighted. We both have "focus" issues (my eyes don't like to look at the same place up close. Chris' eyes don't like to look at the same place, either). So we're having more thorough diagnostic testing done on all three boys to make sure that nothing is missed and that anyone who might benefit from glasses--gets them. We already knew from Ben's testing a few years back that Ben is most definitely far-sighted. But there was no reason for glasses at that age. We were told then to have Ben retested prior to entering school. Because I'm teaching him to read now and because his preschool this year is mildly academic in nature--we're taking care of that this September instead of next.

4. There is a mouse in the space between the first floor and the basement. He's incredibly noisy and active at night. I can't figure out how to get a poodle into that space. He's probably counting on that.

5. Thor got out today and the next door neighbor's dog pulled out his stake and bit Thor in the leg (leaving a 1/4 inch open wound) and in the ribs--leaving one scratch and one definite puncture mark. It's enough to make me want to play the lottery. We really need a fence. I really need to not spend $3500 to make that happen. What do you do? We're looking into a way to put a net or something across the opening to Chris' garage. Having dramatically reduced the ways they get out--that's the last area of vulnerability.

6. Max started swim practice today. He's not the same kid he was last year. He's paying attention when the coach talks and staying on task. This evening there was a practice meet. While his times weren't great, it was the first time I have ever, EVER, seen him register that the kid next to him was gaining on him--and see him pile on the speed to pass the other kid. In short, Max *competed.* He has never, I repeat, NEVER displayed this behavior before.

7. Let me be clear here because it could sound like I'm complaining a lot about my son's behavior. My point is simply that my son who used to do miserable in certain group learning situations because of a failure to listen to the adult in charge has developed into a kid who understands now that no amount of effort or innate brilliance can compensate for a failure to hear (or read) the directions sometimes. He has always been and still is a kind, funny, generous child. He's just developed into a kind, funny, generous child--who is swimming the actual stroke the coach told him to. Some of us don't take that for granted.

8. It didn't keep him from forgetting his goggles for the practice breastroke race--but losing that race may keep him from doing that again. We'll see.

9. Emily is feeling much better. She's willing to forget I drove her to the vet last Friday if I'll JUST throw the flippin' BALL!! I keep telling her that I'm not allowed to do that yet--she keeps dropping the ball on my bare foot while looking peeved.

10. I learned today that Ben and Milo will be old enough to join the swim team next year. They just have to be able to swim from one end of the pool to the other. So. I have a new goal for them! Just as soon as they can swim 5 feet on their own--we'll work on 10, then 15, then 20, then 25 and TA-DA!!! My problem of "what to do with the twins on swim meet nights" is SOLVED. I have 12 months. No problem.

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