Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My kind of girl

Maia is currently reading an Elephant & Piggie book in the living room, mostly by herself except where Eric supplies sound effects. (Note: why are Dr. Seuss books considered good for learning to read, when they're filled with nonsense words?) She's been working so hard on learning to sound things out, and she's doing it. She's not doing it by recognition yet, except for some sight words, but she's so close and she's doing so well and I'm so proud. Also slightly concerned that I'm going to have to watch what's on my computer screen when she's around, now, too.

What are we going to do with her in kindergarten? I'm genuinely concerned about this. I think she's going to be more polite about being bored than Chloe has been, but I think she's going to be bored. She can add, too, and do very simple subtraction, and she's at least trying to count on (this is where, when a child adds four and four, she stops counting to four on one hand and then adds the other four; she can just start at four and go up from there). We've been kind of assuming she'll follow in Chloe's footsteps (and ours) and go into the accelerated program, but that's not until second grade. I want to go tell the school that she needs to be in first grade next year, not kindergarten. That's not my call, and I don't want to be a pushy parent, but I wonder if it would be the best thing for her. There's an open house for the accelerated program next month, and I'm going to try to ask questions then.

And in the meantime, more books, more workbooks, and more doing math and spelling in the car when the girls ask for it. We went to the library recently, where Chloe got a Minecraft instruction manual that she wouldn't stop reading until we made her and Maia got some chapter books she can't actually read but likes to look at (and I read to her). On the way home they were both uncharacteristically silent in the backseat because they were both intent on their books, and I looked at Eric and said, "I have the family I always wanted."

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Chloe's been on a gluten-free diet this week. Her chronic stomachache hasn't responded to any other treatment, and it isn't responding to this one, either; we're giving it another day or two and then calling up the pediatrician again and demanding that they fix our child. I made a worse mess than I've made in quite a few years, baking-wise, trying to make gluten-free bread. I look forward to this being over too. But Chloe's been quite depressed about it--though much happier when she heard there was gluten-free pasta in the cupboard, and then in her bowl.

Yesterday, after school, the girls decided to take a picnic "lunch" out to the middle area of the apartment complex. This led to about three hours of play with the other kids, including, I was told afterward, the older boys coming to play school with them, plus some sort of parading and chasing game, plus a making-soup game with regular snack refills. When they came in for dinner I served up leftovers, including the last of the gluten-free pasta. "This is all there is?" Chloe said when I warned her that was all the leftovers we had, and she started to cry. 

It wasn't a tantrumy sort of crying; it was the crying of a tired girl who was very disappointed. I offered her rice and seaweed and tomatoes, which helped. "Can we snuggle on the couch and read before baths?" she said wistfully, and of course I said yes. We've been reading The Rescue Princesses, a series of books about princesses (well, girls who are called princesses; other than wearing tiaras all the time their lives are not actually different from the standard American chapter-book reader) who like to rescue animals in trouble with the aid of sparkly gems. And ninja moves. Don't ask. I only read a chapter, because it was getting late and I wanted to get her to bed on time. When we'd done baths and tooth-brushing and were snuggled in bed (after another chapter), I tucked her blanket around her and said, "You're tired, aren't you?"

Every other time I've asked this (of either girl), the response has been "I'm not tired!!!!" But this time she nodded and sighed. I kissed her good-night, and Maia as well, and she was asleep within a few minutes. My poor little growing-up girl.