Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 2 Begins

We've survived the first week of school and are now heading into week two. It's been a week of adjustments for Darcy but for the most part, she's doing well. We're seeing that she's pretty tired by the end of the day and her attitude often gets pretty unbearable around supper time. Yesterday was pretty bad for her which is surprising because she didn't even go to school yesterday. Everything was an argument and everything seemed to reduce her to tears. It was awful.

Just as I was shutting out the light at bedtime she said, "You know Mommy, I'm feeling a little bit sad about something." Finally! We were getting to the bottom of things. She explained that she was feeling sad because she wasn't seeing her friend, Sam, much at school.

At Darcy's school they have junior and senior kindergarten in the same class and last year when she was a JK, her best friend was in SK. Sam is a delightful little girl and they really became great friends. They've had several play dates outside of school too and really enjoy being together. However, with Sam now being in grade one, she's on a bit of a different schedule from Darcy and I don't think they're going to see much of each other. That's going to be pretty hard on Darcy. We're trying to encourage her to make new friends in her class and we know she will, but she's really missing Sam. I think this will cause some sadness for a little while.

Wesley, on the other hand, is just the happiest, silliest little guy you'd ever want to meet. The guy just cracks us up all the time. One problem we're having with him lately is throwing his food and utensils. Once he's had enough to eat he views everything remaining on his tray as a potential projectile. We've found spaghetti on a mask that hangs on the wall about his head, french fries on the other side of the room and people eating at our house have had the misfortune of having his spoon suddenly appearing on their plate or in their drink.

Wesley currently has two favourite games, "Duck, Duck, Goose" and, "Ring Around the Rosy". He wants to play them all time. In fact, you can't get him to settle down for a nap or bedtime unless you first play "Duck, Duck, Goose" with all the animals he has in his crib with him. There was one night when Nick put him down without playing it first and Wesley would not settle down to sleep. After listening to him for half an hour, Nick went back in and Wesley told him he wanted to play ("Duh, duh" is Wesley's phrase for it). Nick played the game and Wesley was asleep in minutes. Crazy. He still loves dogs, balls and big trucks. He's really turning into quite a little reader too, which makes me very happy indeed!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bus Stop Frustrations

With all my fears last year about sending Darcy to school on the bus, things went unbelievably smoothly. We only ran into one slight problem with the spot where we meet the bus at the beginning of the school day.

One day after dropping the kids off, the lady who owns the nearby house stopped our neighbour and I to ask them to keep the kids off her grass. Fair enough. It's her grass, I'm sure she didn't ask to have a school bus stop there so we did our best to keep the kids off the grass. We never heard anything more from her so we figured she was OK with the way things were going. One day during the summer our family was out for a walk and we stopped and had a lengthy conversation with her and she even joked that it was good for us to see that she was more than just the, "cranky lady from the bus stop". Those are her words. I was expecting things to go on as they were when school began again this year. Apparently I missed something.

On the first day of school we were all gathered on the sidewalk in front of her house. There were four members of our family, Darcy's friend Quinn and his Dad and another Mom with a baby in a stroller waiting for her son to get off the bus. The sidewalk was pretty crowded. We soon noticed this woman pacing back and forth on her front steps. Soon she came down the steps with her Jack Russell Terrier on his leash. She came right for us. Quinn politely asked if he could pet the dog. Her response was a very sharp, "No! He bites!". She walked right through our group (forcing some of us to step on her grass to get out of her way, I might add) a couple of times. Very nice.

The next day we went back and she had put up some lawn edging around the perimeter of her yard. She didn't have quite enough, so she placed a big pile of branches where the edging didn't cover. Again, fair enough. However, that wasn't all. She also had a sprinkler going on her yard, you know the kind that looks like a fan and goes back and forth over the yard. She had it turned on so high that the whole sidewalk in front of her house was getting wet so we had to stand around the corner and risk not being seen by the bus, or else get soaking wet.

Today was pretty mild in comparison, there was no dog and no sprinkler, just her lawn edging. She did come out and stand on her porch though, staring at us all. Quinn touched the lawn edging and I thought he might get yelled at for that, but she didn't say anything. I was suprised she didn't go then and turn the sprinkler on.

We have no idea what has triggered her escalated response. The full day kids also wait there in the mornings (our pick-up is at noon) so I wonder if something happened with them during their first week of school when we hadn't started yet and she's taking it out on all of us.

One thing I forgot to mention is that when we did have that nice talk with her during the summer, she told us that is a retired teacher! She even used to teach at Darcy's school. Man, am I ever glad she's not there anymore.

So we're not sure what to do about this, or if there's anything we can do. We do our best to respect her property but that's clearly not enough. She's got to wage some sort of sitcom-type war against the five-year olds who have the misfortune of needing to stand in front of her house for 5-10 minutes a day. Stay tuned for more bus stop adventures!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day of SK!

Today was Darcy's first day of senior kindergarten (finally!). She could barely sleep last night for all of her excitement and was pretty wild this morning. As a result, we were pretty happy to see her get on the school bus today. Quite a switch from last year!

She looked super-cute in her outfit from Grandmaman and Papa and even got a compliment from her beloved teacher about it. That put her on cloud 9 for sure. She is still in the afternoon class but we are happy that she has the same teacher from last year and a lot of the same friends in her class. I'm not happy that we're being told that there's a kid in the class with severe allergies so we can't send snacks with peanuts, peanut products, sesame seeds or EGGS. Like packing snacks isn't hard enough, now we have to avoid eggs? That's going to be very difficult. They sent home a list of suggested snacks and most of them had eggs in them so I'm totally confused. They seem to be focused more on the peanut part of it, which we already had to do. I'm sticking with the list they sent and not getting too worried about the egg thing.

We had a bit of a crisis when Darcy got home from school. I noticed that her super cool name tag wasn't on her backpack. I was not impressed because it was brand new and if you follow the link, you'll see that they're not cheap. I searched through the bag to see if it was inside the bag somewhere and discovered another kids name written inside. Wrong backpack. When I told Darcy, she had a complete meltdown and was convinced that, and I quote, "This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me!" I ended up calling the school and speaking to the principal who assured us that everything could be switched back tomorrow (I knew this, but Darcy needed me to call so she could calm down. She gets a little stressed about things I don't know where she gets that from.) with her teacher's help. We're trying to encourage her to develop a friendship with the owner of the other matching bag so they can check every day to make sure they've each got the right bag. So once that crisis was over we were able to settle down and have an enjoyable evening. Hopefully day two goes better!

More pictures are available on flickr.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Odds and Ends

We've been trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer and as a result I haven't posted here lately. Here are some high (and low) lights of the past few weeks:

- Wesley got stung by a bee, right on his nose
- we went to the Detroit Zoo twice last week, making the most of our membership
- Nick and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary
- Darcy went to her first "supper party" alone
- I have read several great books this summer (but that might be another post of it's own someday)
- Darcy is still anxiously awaiting the start of Kindergarten (Monday the 14th)
- Wesley can shriek loud enough to pierce your eardrums
- I have learned that both mushrooms and processed cheese slices will stick if they are thrown against a wall by a two-year old
- I actually bought a bathing suit that I like
- our garden was hit and miss this summer. The green beans were a big hit, the zucchini was a disaster (we just didn't have the room for it to grow properly) and the jury is still out on the carrots (the zucchini may not have allowed them to get the sun they needed). Darcy is already making plans for next year's garden.
- we just bought tickets to see The Wiggles in October

That's about it for our house right now! Maybe I'll be doing more regular updates again once Darcy is in school and I've got a few minutes to myself each day.