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mr. flea went to Minneapolis yesterday. So I'm soloing, and yesterday went off reasonably well, thanks in part to the time change and the lack of Dillo nappage on the weekend, which means he is easy to put to bed.

This morning I was awake by about 4:30, got out of bed at 5:30, Dillo woke at 6, and got Casper up at 6:30. We'd picked out clothes the night before, and finished watching Cars while eating chocolate zucchini ("bikini") bread. Ms. G, one of the part-time teachers at Dillo's school, came to get him at 7. He was VERY VERY UNHAPPY about having to go to school - full on meltdown, including wrestling him into clothes. I bribed him with a lollipop to get a little more compliance, but he was really really not having a good day. (Which I expected.) Ms. G was okay with it all.

Then Casper, who is limping along with a sore ankle for some unknown reason, and I walked to a classmate's house. I left here there at 7:15 and she was going to go into school with their family. Went off well, Casper in a good mood and excited about the change in schedule.

I hotfooted it in to work and got here about 7:45, and composed myself to do instruction sessions - three back-to-back hour-long sessions of freshman comp, teaching them about the library. The poor professor had to listen to me say basically the same things three times. Now I am so ready for a nap. But the day is young, and I have miles to go before I sleep.
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Casper has changed her name at school, after finding herself one of two "Caspers" in her class. So now she is "Cas," which is of course the name I called her as a baby - I didn't switch over to her full name until she was about 3. I discovered this change by being told by several of her classmates! I think it is a reasonable approach to the problem of a common name, and I'm interested that she seems to have done it spontaneously, with no angst and no mention of it to me.

It's open school day tomorrow, so I am going to spend an hour or so in her classroom and I hope get to know her teacher and classmates a little better. I ran into her K teacher's husband at work today - he is a grad student - and, amused at myself, called him Mr. E. (He's probably 24 at most.) He said Mrs. E was doing better this year, and "she might stay a teacher after all." I knew she was having a hard time - really, all first year teachers do, and especially those teaching poor students for the first time - and I know he supported her a lot last year. Nice kids.

The other thing I think I haven't written about is Dillo's exploration of our car. mr. flea has been showing him different parts every day all summer, though I think at this part he's run out of parts. Dillo helps turn the engine off now sometimes. We had long conversations earlier in the summer (when we flew) about engines, and how they go, and does a boat have an engine, and where the engine is in the car, and where it is in a plane.

Dillo's started "zoophonics" at school and pointed "Sammy snake" out to me in a book spontaneously this evening. He's good with numbers up to four, and can hold up his fingers. We talk about bones in our bodies and brains in our head (even the cat!) No figural drawings yet, but soon I expect.

beginnings

Aug. 5th, 2009 04:38 pm
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Dillo's first day the his new school was today. We ended up all going in with him. The facility cleaned up pretty well, although it seems a little cramped. They've got 4 infants, about 12 in Dillo's room (15-36 months) and it looked like maybe 8-10 in the Primary room (30 months - 5). Dillo clung for a few minutes but warmed up pretty fast once Keitha gave him a "pounding work" and then he found the book corner. We have GOT to get him potty trained enough to move up to the Primary room, though. Colin has moved up and Dillo is at least 9 months older than any of the other kids in the toddler room. He went in diapers today but we checked out the bathroom and 'tried' before we left, and Keitha agrees that within a few weeks he'll be in Primary. I am thinking we'll settle in this week, then start sending him in underpants next week.

The afternoon's beginning was Open House at Casper's school. We got the teacher we wanted, that I "asked for" in the spring following the recommendation of, well, all of Casper's then teachers. Casper was very pleased. It turns out that many of the neighborhood kids we know are in the class. There are 20 total. Dynasty from her class last year is with her again; the only other former classmate we saw was Kimberley. But Siena and Allison and Eliza and the other Evelyn are all there, and so is Katie Sue. Two boys who were friends at the other school and re-zoned in. Nathaniel from after school. Heavily girls; whiter than the school on average (of the ones I know or saw today, 7 white kids, one Chinese daughter of white parents, two black kids, one Latino.) Definitely the cherry-picked class, which I feel some pause about, but I think after a year with the late-registrants last year, she needs a challenging year (I think most of these kids can read already). And she LOVES Mrs. C the teacher and Mrs. B the aide. I knew Mrs. B and liked her, and met Mrs. C for the first time today.

We bought a daily planner and set up an account for milk at lunch and signed up for after school and Tae Kwan Do and picked up information about a Girl Scout troop being started by Mrs. B and two parents I know (yay!). Girl Scouts is at after school, too, so Casper can go easily.

Names (all turn 6 by Sept 1):
Danilo
Briettney
Rodrick
Eliza
Thomas
Nathaniel
Angelo
Briana
Allison
Alyssa
Katie Sue
Alana
Evelyn
Siena
Roan
Dynasty
Jeremiah
David
Evelyn
Emily
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I ought to, like, actually post something occasionally, eh?

mr. flea went to the final meeting about Dillo's new school yesterday night, and everything looks like it's going to work out. The old school closes this Friday, and the new school opens next Wednesday. Next Thursday is the first day of school for Casper. So I'll be home with both kids Monday, mr. flea Tuesday, and then just me and Casper Wednesday (which means we can paint! and go to the Open House and learn her teacher assignment and collect baby names.)

The other news from the meeting was that Dillo peed in the potty at school 4 times yesterday and kept his pull-up dry all day, reported Keitha (who I thought for the longest time was named Keifa, since that's the way Dillo says it). We had a great weekend for potty - nakey pants at home and no accidents, pooped in the potty each day, and underpants when we went out, and also no accidents. I am starting to talk about when he'll be ready to wear underpants to school. (Need to ask mr. flea if Colin will be in the primary room at the new school - Dillo can't move up to primary until he's in underpants, and if Colin is moving up that would be a serious motivator.

Casper is finally settled and happy at YMCA camp, for the most part. Her two swimsuits, bought this summer, are falling apart from the chlorine abuse. They swim twice a day, and the suits are Lands End, but still falling apart. Friday night I am tossing the worst one. We are also having to wash and deep condition her hair every single night because of the chlorine. She's all tan and lean and hard-muscled and bug-bitten and extra-blonde - like an outdoorsy kid! It's especially noticeable in contrast to Dillo, who has a little tan but not much, and is still all soft and round baby flesh.
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The Dillo has started backseat driving, as a corollary to the ongoing "I don't want to go to school" theme. When we stop at red lights, he'll put his feet into the back of my seat and push, saying, "Go, go!" When the car gets close to his school (after I am dropped off), he'll start telling mr. flea to turn around, or turn, and go a different way. mr. flea has been teaching him to notice and name the red and green lights, which seems to be working as a distraction from, "I never get any donuts" and "I don't want to go at school."

We had a bunch of hilarious conversations at various points in bed together last night (and yes, for all intents and purposes Dillo and I are co-sleeping at this point, and I do not like this regression at all). The only one I really remember went:

me: Hello lovey boy. I love you.
Dillo: I love ... your nursie.

Yeah, pretty much.
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Casper had a good morning. I couldn't get her to bed early last night, so she was asleep by her usual 9pm. But she woke up chipper in the AM and dressed and ate without fuss, and was happy about going to school. At the last minute - as we were getting out of the car - she started to ask, "Why do I have to go to school?" but I just said, "Have a good day, I love you!" and sent her off. She will be fine.

Dillo, not so much. He went to bed at about 7pm, but was up at 10:45 for nearly an hour, nursing and restless, and then up at about 4:30. For the day. We got out of bed at 5:30 or so and watched tv, and I got him dressed okay because of that distraction, but he was already saying, "I don't want to go at school! It is not a school day! It is a staying home day!" He didn't want to out his "fast sneakers" on and had to be manhandled, crying, into the car. He cried off and on until I was dropped off, and of course as we passed Dunkies, began to say, "I want to get donuts, and go home!"

Well, so do we all, my friend.
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Dillo is actually pretty good at using complete sentences. Sometimes he elides the verb. I think it's that his pronunciation is less clear than Casper's was at this age that makes me surprised that he's as good a talker as he is.

Cute mistake: everything is "mines." Which is logical; things are Casper's, and Daddy's, and Mommy's, so why shouldn't it be "mines"?

He does the same lateral lisp thing that Casper did at this age, which I gather is common, but I had never registered it until I had kids: car is "kai", more is "moi", park is "pike", store is "steye."

I tend to assume Casper can talk almost as well as I can, so I am always surprised when I catch her in a grammatical error; recently, "ringed" for rang.

I don't do the drop off or pick up of Dillo at school, so I rely on him for information on what happens there. I knew about the singing; I know his friend is Adam; for some reason he always says, happily, "I had a bad day!" (which appears to mean the reverse); last night I think I learned that there is a hermit crab in his classroom (I would assume in a tank, although he said it was in a cup.)

Did I mention our bed came? It is a very nice bed. Still working about the general furniture arrangement of the room, which is complicated by the attic-ness (short walls). http://www.flickr.com/photos/casperflea/2885736083/

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