Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fifty-Nine Months

Dear Peeper:
You are fifty-nine months old yesterday/today. (It's actually the wee hours of the 28th)

In one month, you will be five years old. That's just crazy talk.

You are also a month into the school year at the Montessori Academy, and you seem to be loving it. Of course, we get the "Why do I have to go to school?" and "Why is it a school day?" pretty much every morning, but you know, that's pretty much how Mommy and I feel about work, too, so I can't fault you for that.

We don't get a whole lot of information out of you about what's going on at school, but your teacher has started emailing home a weekly newsletter that includes a paragraph about what the class is learning about, plus a list of some of the specific "works" that you've done. That's been helpful, because once we ask specific questions, you will usually tell us more.

For example, this week your class has been learning about apples, and you did a taste test, comparing six different varieties. When we asked you about it, we found out that two of the kinds you tasted were "Cherry Smith" and "Vampire" apples.

We're actually going to pick apples tomorrow, with MOMS Club. I hope this orchard has some Vampires. They sound delicious.

We're very glad to be getting a better idea of what you're up to at school, but would like to talk to your teachers about a few specific things, mainly what we should be doing at home to coordinate with and support what you're doing there, particularly in your math and reading. You are so interested in both of those, and so close to things really clicking with the reading. Of course, we do lots and lots here at home - much of which you initiate yourself - but I'd like to know if there's something specific from school that we should be building on or referring to.

I would also like to get their opinion on how you're doing with your fine motor skills, particularly writing, because while you have made some progress, of course, you still seem to be lagging behind your peers in that area. Last year, when your "written" work stood out in such contrast to your classmates, we reminded ourselves that you were one of the youngest in the class, but recently, I've seen writing and coloring that some of your younger friends have done, and yours is still nowhere near what they're doing.

Especially given how well you seem to be doing in other academic areas, I'm starting to get a bit concerned that this one is such a contrast. We plan to discuss it with your teachers at our conference in about six weeks, and with your pediatrician at your checkup which should be shortly before that.

We will also be talking to him about pee-pee issues. Things tend to go back and forth on the daytime wetting, but lately you've been in a "wet" cycle. On Wednesday, I believe you had four accidents, one at school at three at home. Sometimes they are so close together that I don't even know how you already have that much pee.

Usually, the first clue we have that you need to go is that you are crouching and holding yourself. Or you're peeing in the floor.

We really want to get the doctor's input on it, because we don't think this is just a behavioral thing, Even when we did a sticker chart to earn a trip to the bouncy place, it took about three weeks to get ten "dry all day" stickers.

Another bit of evidence that you're not just ignoring the urge until it's too late is that you still can't go through the night without peeing, and you don't get yourself up to go to the bathroom. Our general routine is that a couple of hours after you go to sleep, I get you up and take you to the potty. You usually sleep through that, more or less, and go right back to sleep when I put you back in bed.

If we do that, you're usually good for the night, and usually don't even go when you first get up in the morning. (How?!?) But, if I don't get you up, it's almost guaranteed that you will wet the bed. And it's not uncommon for you to have already wet before I get there to take you to pee, especially if I'm running behind.

Occasionally, you have made it through the night, like a while back when I fell asleep while tucking you in, and we both slept right on through until morning, and you woke up dry.

Tonight on the other hand, I fell asleep with you again, and by the time Mommy got home around midnight, you we were wet.

When we stayed at a hotel during our vacation, we took some disposable Goodnights bed pads, just in case, and we've been using them the past few nights. Earlier in the week, when you wet, it all stayed on the pad, and we just ripped it off and put a new one, and didn't have to mess with changing sheets, which was nice. Tonight, you were at the edge of the bed, and got the sheet, too.

(Note to self: Tuck pee pad over the side of the mattress by the wall.)

I hate the idea of paying for those over and over (and the whole "disposable" thing) but I hate even more changing the sheets in the middle of the night while you're wailing. Maybe we should invest in a couple of washable ones.

Until recently, I've not thought a lot about it; we've been dealing with wet sheets for almost two years now, because you went cold-turkey on the diapers, before you were really ready to go without all night. Lately though, we've began thinking that maybe you really should be able to do that by now.

So, we will talk to the doctor about that, too, and see if he's got any advice or suggestions or explanations for us.

It other areas, though, you're doing great. As I said above, you are really getting close to reading, and you're very interested in it. You try to sound out "environmental print" all the time - just today, you "read" a welcome mat.

You are also so into books, in general, and being read to. We started the Little House series over the summer and now only have one book left. When you realized that today, you were so upset, "But if there aren't any more books, how will we know what happens next!"

I've done lots of reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her real life, both during the childhood period depicted in the books (not exactly the same as the books) and afterward, so I've promised that when we finish These Happy Golden Years, I'll fill you in on what I know.

There is, technically, one more book, The First Four Years, but it's really an unedited / unfinished manuscript that Laura was working on when Almonzo died, and she never had the heart to finish it. It was finally published after her daughter's death.

It's my understanding that it's really not written as a children's book, and it doesn't pull any punches about all the bad stuff that happened to them in the early days of their marriage (crop failures, house fire, the loss of a child, serious illness). So, you will not be reading that one right now. I'm not really lying to you about it, because it was not part of the original Little House series that she published, right?

Our library has it on CD though, so I'm planning to check it out for myself, and listen to it on my way to and from work.

Anyway, I can't get over how into these books you are, even these later ones when Laura is in her teens. You stop me to ask questions, and make comments, so I know that you're paying attention and following the story, even if you're not catching everything.

I have so enjoyed reading these books with you, in part because I've finally had the chance to read them myself, but mostly because I just love seeing you so interested and excited about a story, and about the things you've learned from the stories.

I don't know what we'll be tackling after we finish these. I have a list a mile long of "chapter books" that I've been hoping to read with you, so I'm sure we'll have plenty to choose from.

Well, I've gone one and one, haven't it?

How about a quick check of the highlight reel?

You were wearing mis-matched shoes and singing, "I'm the clowniest clown of them all!"
Then you had a hat and a scarf and one glove and a red nose, and were singing, "I'm a jolly good clown!"

Later, you were Zues: "... I'm the goddiest of them all!"

Reading The Wizard of Oz at bedtime: "...they bade them farewell with many good wishes to carry with them."

You: How can they carry wishes?
Me: Weeelll....
You: I know. It's like how I carry my feelings. Everywhere I go, my feelings go with me. I carry them in my head.

You don't like hot doggie breath."Galoot, can you pant more colder, please?"

"I'm Mr. Wind, Friends call me Wind Miser, Whenever I blow, people start to fly their kites and-what-so-so!

You love storms. The other day she was disappointed when I told her were weren't going to have one. The next night, as we lay in bed and heard a long rumble of thunder, you got the most excited look on her little face, and said, "(Gasp!) A storm!"

One morning, while getting you ready for school:

You: No! You smell yucky!
Me: I think your chair (which may have ahem been peed on a few times) smells yucky.
You: No, it's you! You smell like SHOWER!

A few days later, in the car, as we get a whiff of skunk.
You: What's that yucky smell?
Mommy: That's me.
You: No, it smells even worse!

Mama, what does fibiberous mean? Um, can you tell me a sentence with that in it?
Apatasaurus is fibiberous.
Oh! Herbivorous!
Why is apatasaurus hibiberous?

One evening, while not going to sleep: Mama,how can yellow and blue make green? Is it magic?

Mama, I'll give you a hint. We have to mop because Galoot put muddy footprints and me all over the floor.

Me: Why can't you just wipe yourself?
You: I thought it would be to embarrassing for you.
Me: I promise. I won't be embarrassed if you wipe yourself.
You: I thought it would be too indignifying.

No. Wiping yourself is not undignified. What's undignified is walking around with pee in your pants.

And on that note, I suppose I should wrap this up and try to get some sleep before you wake up. (Remember that thing I said about falling asleep while tucking you in? For several hours. And now I'm up.)

I can't believe your next monthly letter will be for your birthday!

We sure do love you little girlie.


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