Tag Archives: preschool

My sprouts

I haven’t written much about the kids lately, what with the utter and total domination a few other men had in my blogging life lately.

Lane started pre-K. It is safe to say that she likes it.  In fact, I think it’s entirely safe to say that she loves it immensely and seems to be a great fit for her.  She took a little time warming up to her teachers (she has two, a main teacher and an assistant — 2 teachers for twelve kids — how’s that for an awesome student:teacher ratio!?), which wasn’t surprising because she will rarely if ever speak to someone new, but this week she started talking to them directly and telling me about them.  She warmed up to all the kids right away, and already seems to have forged some friendships, at least from her point of view.  (I tend to look at these early ‘friendships’ with skepticism, until I have proof the friendship is requited.  When Lane was in day care, another girl must have thought Lane was her best friend and constantly talked to her mom about Lane, and her mom would see me and gabber on about what great friends our daughters were… but Lane never, ever talked about her daughter as a close friend.  Eek… it was awkward.)  Anyway, she looks forward to going, she seems disappointed when the weekend arrives, she freaks out if she thinks we’re going to be late, and she doesn’t show an ounce of separation anxiety when I drop her off every day.  But on the same token, she’s excited to see me when I pick her up and tells me all about stuff she did that day.  It just feels so great and healthy and normal and she just seems so well-adjusted to it all, after only a couple of weeks.

And Jake — he just continues in his complete and total awesomeness.  He’s always happy.  Always.  We went to the playground today, and I had a conversation with another mom that I must have a couple times a day when we’re out and about…

Other person:  He’s so cute!  He’s so happy!

Me:  Thank you!

Other person:  Is he always this happy?

Me:  Yep, he really is.

Other person:  Wow!

Man, it grows tiring having to tell strangers how awesome my kid is.  Eh, no, not really.  I love it.  😀

His communication is growing by leaps and bounds, too.  We’ve lost track of how many words he knows, it’s definitely in the hundreds now.  And he’s packaging them in three word sentences.  We had a stellar family dinner tonight watching Mulan and eating delivered pizza, and after Jake finished the slice of pizza I gave him, he carried his plate over to me, pointed at it, and said, “Want pizza!”

Then there’s his exuberance, his pure joie de vivre, which is just so abounding.  Everything is so fun and exciting for him, it helps to inject a little more enthusiasm for everyone.  My in-laws and Frank’s aunt and uncle are all in the Czech Republic for the month, so we’ve been unburdening their vegetable gardens of any additional vegetative output.  My in-laws’ garden hasn’t been very productive of late; I think my father-in-law sort of let it go a couple weeks before they left on vacation, and it never was doing great before then, either.  But Frank’s uncle’s garden is amazing.  It’s the size of my living room at least, and the dozen tomato plants and half-dozen pepper plants in it are all at least seven feet tall.  I ended up with so many tomatoes after my first haul I had to make a big batch of homemade salsa to use them all (which might I say turned out delicious).  Anyway, the whole point of me telling about all this is because the couple times we’ve gone to pick veggies, the second I put Jake down after taking him out of the car, he makes a beeline toward their garden yelling “APPLE!  APPLE!  APPLE!”  (He thinks that anything remotely resembling an apple is an apple… and apparently anything remotely tasting like an apple, too, since it was up until a week ago that bananas were also apples.  Now they are “nanas”.)

Ahh, they are cute ones.

Parallel universe

We’re watching Bob the Builder right now.  I never knew it until Lane discovered Bob a few months ago, but Bob is voiced by Greg Proops.  It totally cracks me up to listen to, because of his long stint on Whose Line Is It Anyway? I can totally see him in my brain as I hear his voice, riffing on weird British stuff and Clive Anderson and making pervy side comments to the audience.

Speaking of slightly surreal stuff, it was Lane’s first day of preschool today.  The teacher said she was reserved at first and then warmed up stuff toward the end when they started singing songs and stuff.  She didn’t cry or get clingy at all when we dropped her off, I was so proud of her!

The kids also had their checkups this morning (preschool is in the afternoon), Lane’s 4 year-old checkup and Jake’s 18 month checkup.  Jake was theoretically due for his chicken pox vaccine but I’d already postponed it once and the doctor wasn’t very adamant about him getting it any time soon, so we’ll probably just do it before he starts school at some point.  Lane was due for her MMR and I pondered putting it off, but then just decided to do it.  She said her arm hurt for a bit afterwards but by the time we picked her up from school (Frank took the day off today to help with the doctor’s appointment and take Lane to her first day of school) she said her arm was “completely better!”  Hopefully we won’t see any adverse side effects from here.

Anyway, I’d write more but I’m tired.  And I want to get the kids bathed and maybe even in bed before Sarah Palin’s speech.

(Oh and by the way, Mitt Romney — there are other radical and violent people in the world besides people of the Islamic faith.  Frigging bigoted comment.)

Free ride

We got some great news yesterday: Lane got a spot in our county’s Universal Pre-K program!  This means she gets to go to preschool starting in September for 5 days a week, 2.5 hours a day, at no cost to us.  Given the very tight budget we are going to have to be on once we own this house, ‘no cost to us’ is an incredibly wonderful thing.

The best part of the news is that she was placed at our first choice school.  The school is run by a local agency that specializes in services for the disabled; the preschool is an offshoot of their programs.  Lane’s class specifically is a blended class: half the children in each class are ‘typical’ kids (like Lane) and half are kids with some early-intervention type needs – speech therapy, sensory issues, some minor motor development issues.  I fully expect that when I visit and volunteer in the class, I won’t be able to tell the typical kids from the others.  There are other classes at the school for kids with greater needs: classes for kids with autism, classes for kids with physical disabilities, and some programs for older kids with needs, too.

As such, it’s a school with an incredible wealth of benefits.  All the teachers have master’s degrees in early childhood education (and the assistants all have at least associate’s degrees, most have bachelor’s degrees).  And granted, an advanced degree does not always equal a great teacher, but in my mind it reduces the likelihood a great deal of having a teacher who completely sucks.  The school has a full-time staff of professionals: a nurse, a psychologist, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist.  And while Lane isn’t entering school with any sort of impending need, these professionals are there for us as well.  As a couple examples, the speech therapist will spend time with all the kids in Lane’s class and provide any assistance as the need arises.  The occupational therapist comes in and helps all the kids with lessons in motor skills, such as tying shoes and holding a pencil correctly.  If Lane has any behavior issues, I can meet with the psychologist and get advice.

I have to give a proper shout-out and thanks to my friend Good Fountain, whose daughter goes to a blended preschool.  Her insight not only opened my mind to the possibility, but actually made it a desirable type of preschool for me to seek out.  Without hearing about her experience with Chee, I’m not sure I could manage to be so open-minded.  Thanks, love!

My heart aches a little at sending her to school five days a week, but at the same time she’s a kid that’s slow-to-warm-up, so the continual exposure to the same classroom and the same kids will be good for her.   I’m sure we’ll struggle with drop-offs for awhile… Lane is a mama’s girl, through-and-through, and when she went to day care it often took her 10-15 minutes to ‘warm up’ to being there so that I could leave without tears.  The teachers there thought I was a bit wacky for spending 15 minutes in the classroom every morning (the other parents were mostly dump-and-go, which worked for them… but the days I left her crying always ended up being bad days at work for me emotionally, so those 15 minutes were as much for her as for me). And as far as five days a week… there’s no reason why she can’t play hooky once in a while.   😉  I’m sure we’ll have to meet attendance standards of some sort, but chances are we’ll *just* meet them.

Anyway, I’m excited.  I really feel like it’s an environment where she’ll thrive, and I’m excited to get some one-on-one time on a consistent basis with Jake, too.  (I get more one-on-one time with Lane right now, because Jake is so easy-going!  He’s much ‘easier’ – for lack of a better word – to leave with my in-laws or Frank for a couple hours.)