Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Ahead

I have about 10 posts that have been writing themselves in my head and I just don't seem to have the time to transcribe them. We've been having an absolutely unprecedented early and warm spring here in MN and the prevailing attitude is "drop everything and get outside!" Total no-brainer, and it is beyond glorious to be back out in the fresh air. However, for a schedule-based planner like me, it really sort of throws me out of whack. It's hard to keep track of what HAS to be done vs. what CAN be put off even if it's hard for my Type-A self to accept it.

Another big roadblock to having writing time is my lovely, lovely extremely verbose daughter. She's attached to my side these days, often ignoring requests from her brother play in order to follow me around. It's sweet and, for the most part, genuinely nice to have the company. However. She is absolutely exploding with ideas and imagination and energy and enthusiasm and it's completely exhausting. She requires SO MUCH feedback, all the time, and sometimes I really struggle against my natural response to just ask her to be quiet for a little while. I know I should be fostering this amazing brain development, asking her questions about her ideas, etc but sometimes it feels like one never-ending, stream-of-consciousness style conversation from the time she gets out of bed to the time she gets back in. And speaking of getting back in bed, she is becoming a master manipulator at bedtime. I know this isn't unusual, but she's using her newly potty-trained status to stretch the bedtime routine out by a good 30 minutes. By the end of the day I am just utterly drained. I just put the kids in a lottery for summer preschool through June, three mornings a week. I really, really hope they get in so that my poor ears can get a little break!!!

Pacey has been powering forward in his own way. He's discovering the power of words more and more, and is developing strategies to make himself heard and understood. Usually this consists of saying "Mama, mama, mama, mama" with increasing volume and urgency until he has my complete and full attention before he tries to say something. Very effective, and he has obviously learned that that is his best chance at being understood. But he has no concept of interrupting, or when I might not be able to give him my full attention (like when I'm driving) and in those moments the ceaseless repetition of "mama" is akin to water torture. It's so wonderful to hear more words coming out of him too, though, and his play styles are developing as well. He's never really built much with Legos before, but this morning he presented me with a fairly intricate creation and told me it was a baby jaguar. Kind of blew me away.

I took him to Kindergarten Roundup, an evening event that you attend with your child entering kindergarten. The various teachers and administrators talk to you about how things work at the school while your children leave with their future teachers and go explore the classrooms. I have really positive feelings about the school he'll be attending and everyone seems excited for him to start. It's such a huge step forward though, and while I have no reason to believe I will have radically different expectations for what Pacey needs to be successful than the school district will, I do foresee the need for more advocacy on my part for him. Starting kindergarten means that academic achievements become "need to haves" rather than "nice to haves." Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the ways in which I know he is significantly delayed comparative to his peers that I find it difficult to remember that in many ways he is right in there with them and will hold his own. The kid's been in school since he was 18 months old, so he is no stranger to the learning process and is incredibly willing and excited to learn. But it will be a challenge for him and a challenge for us and it's going to be a hell of a ride.

And with that, I have a to-do list a mile long for this afternoon, including caulking a bathtub, making dough for homemade breadsticks and shoveling soggy dog poop (we actually hired someone to come do the bulk of the poop clean up, but I have to at least shovel it off the path the dogs take to the backyard or they have no choice but to walk through it on their way back to the house. Ugh.) Renaissance woman, at your service!

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