Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Honesty, 4 Year Old Style

Exhibit One:
My sweetE got scared of a noise this morning while I was taking a shower. So he came and hung out in the bathroom with me. No big deal, until he pulled back the shower curtain and said, "I see your huge bum." Um, thank you. Note to self, work on teaching him tact. Truth be told that in comparison to his tiny tush, mine is huge. However, I don't need the reminder.

Exhibit Two:
I was getting coffee before heading to work. It was unusually busy today, so there was a line. While I waited patiently in line, a cute little girl says to her mom, "Mommy, that lady is beautiful." Ahhh, thanks. I later learned that she liked my skirt, and that she had a skirt at home. Little did she know she made my day. Either her mom, or the mom's friend made a comment about holding her breath once she started to make that comment. Because with 4 year olds, you never know what is going to come out of their mouth. See exhibit one. I told her that I have a four year old and that I completely understood. Note to self, pull myself together more often, because I did look good today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Seasons

I came to the realization today that there are two seasons in the year. I say this as I am eating a Cadbury Caramel Egg, wickedly delicious little goodies.

Today I had to run to Walgreen's to pick up Melatonin. A girl has got to sleep. On my way out I wandered down the seasonal candy aisle. Big mistake. The Easter candy is out. Someone should mention that it is February. The Valentine's candy has barely a dent in it. I have a distinct inability to walk past the caramel eggs without getting some.

I am eyeing the eggs all night. We are currently in the candy season. Depending on who you are, it could be called chocolate season. It starts around back to school time when all the Halloween candy is out in stores. If there are small children in the house, like I have, there is enormous amounts of candy from Halloween. If we manage to get rid of the Halloween candy, Christmas is right around the corner. Out comes the fudge, the toffee, the caramel corn, the chocolate.

No sooner have you recovered from Christmas, if you are lucky, and it is Valentine's Day. Sweets for the sweet and all that. (Let it be known that I gave out puzzles this year.) So here we are barely past V-Day and the Easter stuff is out. Easter is the last official event of the candy season. But of course all that Easter candy lasts until the start of BBQ season.

Once the weather starts warming up, the patio furniture comes out and the grill starts seeing regular action. It is officially BBQ season. Some might say it kicks off on Memorial Day, but I know that as soon as there is a nice, sunny day after a long wet winter, the season has started. We have 4th of July BBQ, August BBQ, mostly because there is nothing else going on in August and it is too hot in the house to even think about turning on the oven. The official end would be labor day, but with those dark, wet winter days coming, it really extends until the rains come when we are forced inside.

This revelation from someone who isn't a foodie. I am a little surprised with myself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proud Mommy

My darling sweetP has had a bit of struggle when it comes to reading.

Flash back a year. Last year at this time, I was bribing him to read with M&M's. He struggled and got frustrated at the drop of the hat. He cried, he made me want to cry. Homework time was a battle. In this era of assessment and benchmarks and monitoring, his teachers were concerned. A conference was called, it included his teacher (whom I adore), his reading teacher, a special ed teacher, a reading specialist and Ducky and I.

There was talk of having him evaluated for special ed. There were graphs and charts and questions. Ducky was getting a crash course in teacherese. I knew all this stuff. I was not worried about my sweetP's progress. He was making some, it was slow, but he was getting there. I was definitely not going to allow him to be evaluated for sped. I knew some of the people in the meeting were thinking, "Now, there is a mom in denial." I know because I have been in these meetings and thought those things. But I knew my little boy and I knew he would be okay.

When he was learning to talk, he was a late bloomer. Then one day it clicked and he talked, and talked, and talked. I had the feeling that his verbal skills were just a little late in blooming for reading as well.

So we hatched a plan. I would read with him every night for 15 minutes. It would not matter if it was a weekend or a holiday. We would read every day. We would see what kind of progress he made with this extra practice. His teacher loaned me easy books to use. He improved. They were still worried about him, but he was off the crisis list. We ended first grade below grade level, but better. He took a summer reading class through the school with his reading teacher.

At the beginning of second grade, he was still well below grade level. He had moved reading groups, into one with fewer interventions. I spoke with his teacher today. She looked up his reading scores. My sweetP was at grade level! He had improved from reading 28 words per minute to 78 words per minute just since September. Those gains are huge. Normal gains are closer to 20-30 words per minute over a whole year.

Tonight he finished a 136 page book. A book with a reading level for the end of third grade. A book that he would pick up and read willingly for longer than the assigned time.

I am so very proud of how hard he has worked. I reminded him of how hard it was for him just a year ago. I hope that he remembers this lesson that even when things are a struggle, if you persevere, you can succeed and enjoy them. I know that he is proud of himself. When I told Ducky the news, sweetP was beaming.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Art of Mime

February is not turning out to be my month. Last week I had the monster head cold. Sinuses so congested my teeth hurt. Yesterday I woke up with a slightly sore throat that progressed into a gravelly voice by the end of the day. Today I can only whisper.

I hope I can talk by noon. We have a field trip this afternoon. I feel fine otherwise, I just can't talk. A bit of a hazard in my profession. Otherwise, my class will be playing charades as I mime my instructions. Can't you see it? At least I don't have to teach today, only do crowd control. We are going to see a play. Our afternoon will look like this, get on the bus, get off the bus, sit in an auditorium, get on the bus, get off the bus. Not much for me to say, I am practicing my looks this morning. The one that says, "Stop this instant." The one that says, "Be quiet and pay attention." The one that says, "Nice job."

Today should be a hoot!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Signs of Spring

Last week, when I was too sick to enjoy it, there were signs of spring. The temperatures made a brief visit to 60˚. The crocuses have little flowers on them as they spring up through the leaves left over from fall. Velcro is shedding like crazy.

But then, the weather forecast for tomorrow has a chance of snow. We never have snow this frequently in winter. If we have anymore school cancelations we might not get out before July. Unless the budget predictions come true and then I will have the longest summer vacation on record. We might get out in May. I don't believe it will come to that, but still.

I am ready for the 60˚ temps to be a common occurrence. I want flowers and sun and warm rain. There is no way to avoid the rain, so it might as well be warm. I want to wear flip flops and capris and short sleeves. I want to be warm and have the door open and fresh air. I know it is only February. But, I love spring and all the renewal it brings.

The crocus above are not my crocus. It is cold and dark outside. I might try to capture mine, but not tonight.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Blah

I am so ready to say good bye to winter. And the cold. And the cold that has taken up residence in my head. The cold that is making me miss my book club. The cold that the prescription Sudafed cannot tame.

I don't like to be cold or have colds. Cold is not a nice word. After 10.5 hours of sleep last night, I was supposed to wake up all better. Didn't happen. So we'll try again tonight.