Monday, November 3, 2014

First Day of School: Eighth and Fourth Grade Edition.

Let's start this post with a little nostalgic look back at Michaela's first day of Kindergarten:

Michaela wanted to recreate the picture she took with Dan that morning:

 And here she is now, starting her last year of middle school. Sigh.

Jenna was thrilled to be starting fourth grade with Ms. Lawler, who taught Michaela and we all loved.

Jenna even painted her nails black and orange, the school colors.

Michaela had me straighten her hair and I curled Jenna's.  
Once again I thanked God that he sent me a son for my third child.

And off they went!

This was the picture Dan and I posted on Facebook that day at lunch time: "Dear Michaela, Jenna, and Alec, While you were slaving away at school, Dad and I absolutely did not have any fun at home. And we certainly did NOT go out to lunch.  We only pined away for you.  Happy first day of school! Love, Mom and Dad- at Swifty's Restaurant and Pub."

Kindergarten Update, Part II: My Quirky Boy.

Here are a couple of funny stories related to our new kindergarten adventure with Alec, who can sometimes be a little, well, quirky.

1. The Jitter Glitter Incident of 2014: During the classroom orientation time, Alec's teacher Mrs. Jones handed out an envelope to each new student with instructions to open it the night before school.   When we opened it as instructed, inside was a cute Night Before Kindergarten poem along with a small packet of Jitter Glitter.  The instructions said to sprinkle the glitter under your pillow as you were going to bed and it will help calm your jitters about starting school.  Simple enough.

Well, this caused quite a conundrum for my Alec.  You see, he sometimes lays down on our bed to fall asleep, then we transfer him into his own bed.  Almost every night he wanders into our room at 3am and lays down on the floor to finish out the night.  Where on earth shall we place the Jitter Glitter?  Under Daddy's pillow, where he starts the night? Under his pillow, where he only sleeps for a few hours? Under the pillow on the floor of our room?  Just the first place? Just the last? All three?

This was indeed a vexing problem and one he discussed at length with us... all night.  Despite my strong attempts to get him to move off of the topic and reassure him that any one of the three spots would be fine- though under Dad's pillow was not really a good idea if Daddy found out- he persisted in perseverating on the Glitter Problem.

Finally Mommy made the call and just tossed the darn stuff on the floor of her room and told Alec to go to sleep.  It was the last thing he talked about before he finally drifted off and the first thing he mentioned when he woke up the next morning.

2.  Fleece Fiasco of 2014: After two and a half weeks of school, during which I had carefully chosen his outfit every day to reflect my sensitivities to Alec's recent potty training (no complicated buttons or zippers on his pants) as well as a sense of style to make him appear as loved, cared for and normal as possible, including a well-balanced rotation of preppy dressy, preppy sporty, regular sporty, and occasional all-out-casual-Friday outfits, I learned from Alec that he never took his fleece off and wore it every single day, all day.  And used his sleeve as a tissue to wipe his runny nose.

3.  And Along the Same Lines:  We have done countless hours of social skills training with Alec, pragmatic/social speech therapy, and have given him endless cueing to speak clearly and to look at someone when you are talking to them.  I was feeling pretty good about his growth and development in this area but for the first week of school I was still asking him lots of questions to try to gauge how the social interactions were going with his peers.

He also had a bunch of new, smart clothes to wear (see #2 above), a good haircut from a real barber, and new sneakers and school supplies.  I tried to make him seem as normal as possible, and he looked great.

So you can imagine my horror on the third or fourth day of school when we were asking about recess and he calmly and happily told us that his class had stayed on the blacktop and drew with chalk, and he drew two crosses, "because two people in our family, are, you know, DEAD."

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was a wonderful lesson in the social latitude that kindergarteners give their peers and a sharp lesson to me that you can only really control so much.

And the rest is really up to the kid.
And he's really doing great.