Monday, September 21, 2009

"Feelin' Good Mileage Club"

Last week Q came home with a letter from the PE teacher. Nearly every day brings letters from school, which is bringing out my bad attitude (which is weird, I was totally conforming as a student). But this one caught my interest.

The PE teacher is keeping track of laps done at school. Any mileage of walking, jogging, running or biking done at home can be reported as well. After a certain distance, the kids earn a "colored toe token" (which Q corrects me, "No! It's a TOE-KEN."). All students can earn a "marathon token" after completing 26.2 miles. Ongoing until June 15.

So Wednesday, when I received the notice, I suggest we take action on this and go for a walk. Q walked a whole mile (of a 1.7 mile loop, where's my token?). Kindergartners earn a toe token for each mile. I sent in the note, and he received the first token (Of the class? of the school? it's difficult to get any information out of said kindergartner.) The token joined his library card on his key chain.

Now I'm getting ambitious on his behalf. Saturday there was a local 5k, and beforehand there was a 1 mile fun run. At least one other 5 year old did the fun run, so I realized that perhaps with a little preparation, Q might enjoy running the fun run next year. (The mother of the other 5 year old confided that there was whining all through the race.)

But after my less than stellar performance, someone asked if I was planning another road race soon. I hadn't really been - although I'd like to run the 5 mile race on Thanksgiving - however I take a look and in October there's a race in Higganum, the next town over. And ooooooh! There's a 1/2 mile fun run for kids!

I ask Q if he's interested. Oh yes.

So today we went for our first training run together. After trying the high school track (soccer practice) we end up at the nice ash path at an Essex park. Q is certain he'll be very sweaty, so he didn't bring his shirt with him. We have water bottles and my watch. I'm all but certain that one lap is .25 miles, so we set off.

Q laughed, almost all the way around the lap. Which he finished in a quite respectable 2:10.

I was starting to doubt that it was actually .25 miles, except then he had to walk a good bit of the next lap. (Mind you we're stopping to swig water and boast after each lap.) And he walked a good bit of the third lap, all of the fourth, and some of the fifth. A mile took about 13 minutes or so, but the kid did a very respectable 1.25 miles and giggled a large percent of that.

And when he was walking, he strutted, bare chest thrust out with pride.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Tantrum, The Thinker and Clothes

Yesterday all the kindergarten stress came to a head. I thought it would be lovely if we all walked Q to school. And it was lovely. Noodle was in the stroller, we looked at the excavator digging up the water main, we held hands crossing the street.

But then when it was time to leave his backpack and go play, Q didn't want to. And he didn't want to stand with his friends who were standing near the backpacks. When I tried to detach and leave, he clung to my side. I didn't think it was really a problem until we got serious about leaving and he started to wail about staying with me. J took Noodle and walked away and I kept trying to walk away, reassuring him, 'Today after school, we'll go get your library card and we'll make scones.' He was not interested, he wanted to stay with me. I explained that I was going to work. He needed to go to school. I would see him in a few hours. Finally managed (luckily a kindergarten aide was there) to peel him off of me and walk away. He was crying/screaming so loud I could hear him ALL THE WAY HOME. A disadvantage of living close to the school.

They called about 5 minutes later. They'd gotten him into the building, and had taken him to someone's office (the counselor?) and were trying to calm him down with no luck. They asked me what our afternoon plans were so they could reiterate them with him, tried to put me on speaker phone, he covered his ears rather than listen, finally they told me they'd let me know how they made out and we hung up. I guess they managed to get him calmed down and the principal talked to him about the touch a truck event and then walked him to class. They gave me a call to tell me he seemed to be reintegratng just fine...

When I asked later what was up with that, he responded in a fragile voice that he wanted to be with me. I nicely let him know that sometimes I need to be at work and he needs to go to school and that we'll always come back together later. And then I doted on him for ages, taking him to get his library card, and a key chain to hang it on (he'd spotted it earlier at lunch with J who took refuge downtown because we had no water from 9 to 1), cookies and cash and then walked back up the hill. That seemed to be enough because then he went off to play happily by himself rather than helping me with scones (which I think he would've done if he was still feeling fragile).

It's good that he acts out once in a while so that I know he can, but wow.

Other recent stories:

Recently the kids have been allowed to play in the cars, pretending to drive, turning all the buttons and switches and creating havoc. Our motivation is to keep the kids outside where we can watch them, without having to constantly chase them, so that we (and by we, I mostly mean J) can work on painting the house.

After a few of these play sessions, I realized that they were trading jobs. One would be the Driver and the other would be the 'Thinker'. The Thinker is the person sitting in the front passenger seat - perhaps a version of Navigator?

Pulling away from the house with Noodle this morning, she softly says, "Daddy not in Thinker seat."

This morning Noodle was a riot of colors. She wanted to wear her Elmo shirt - a bright red shirt with a pencil drawing of Elmo from Sesame Street. I opened the shorts drawer to grab a pair of jeans and she spots her 'cousin's pants' - bright orange shorts. It was a little cool, so she selected a lavender sweatshirt with a lobster on it and pairs it with her rain boots, which are dark blue with pink ducks. And a brilliant yellow hat. I managed not to giggle hysterically.

But the boots are causing some problems. As I'm shutting the fridge door, she makes an unexpected rush for her sippy cup, trips and bangs her head. When I suggest that her rain boots are tripping her, she is outraged. "No! They're perfect!"

She did, however, concede that they were on the wrong feet.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Self indulgent post

I walked in to get Noodle after her nap.

"It's you! You came back! You came back!"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Second Week of School

I walked Q to school today and I'm getting ready to leave him. I ask, "You all set?"


I squat down, "What do you need?"


"I asked if you were all set. That means 'Do you need anything?' If you don't you say, yes. If you need something, let me know... So, are you all set?"

"No." He shakes his head firmly.

"What do you need?"

"A hug." He grins at me.

Then he went to look at the stray lamb.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

More from the First Week of the Rest of Kindergarten

Q seems to enjoy kindergarten just fine. It's hard to peel any information out of him, but that's nothing new.

Today at dinner, I attempted to stimulate conversation. "What was your favorite part of today? Mine was walking with you guys and Daddy to take Q to kindergarten."

Q responded, "I think: kindergarten on the playscape."

I turn to Noodle and ask her for her favorite part of her day.

She replies, "You guys. Come back."

The girl is darn good.

Other amusing lines from today included Q: "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to marry Jack." ("If that's okay with Jack," I replied.)

Noodle in the back garden: "Here worm. I cover you up." She pushes mulch gently onto one of the dozens of worms writhing as they're uncovered by my weeding.

After dinner, complete with ice cream, I attempt to go for a walk with the kids, up the hill and back. Our usual evening walk when we are being usual. Q first tries to defer us to the climber, which I'm tempted by, since he's really, really wired. However, I have this idea he'll run more if we go up the hill, so I persist. Q runs ahead, and then runs back to us. Rinse, repeat. This becomes a problem because Noodle is a genius mimic and when he runs back down the hill, Noodle turns around and runs back down the hill herself. She can run downhill at least twice as fast as she goes uphill, so we're making no progress at all.

Finally I give in and abort the whole mission.

Q throws a tantrum. I take Noodle by the hand and lead her inside as he follows us screaming. I realize that despite the earlier poopy diaper, Noodle is poopy. Q continues to scream and kick, sitting down to get a good momentum going. I take off Noodle's boots and carry her upstairs. Q follows us, putting full lung capacity to use. I begin to change Noodle's diaper. Q screams more.

Finally I tell him I'd like him to go to my room please. This is not a time out. This is because he's totally out of control and needs to be by himself. But he's out of control, so he's not about to follow instructions. I ask Noodle to stay put on the changing table, walk over and pick up Q. I carry him to my bed and shut the door.

Noodle and I finish the diaper catastrophe. (Really I should know better than to give her blueberries, but she loves them so...) I put her in the bath, scrub her up, listen to the faint sounds of Q screaming, wash her hair, and leave her to play while I find a copy of 'Winnie the Pooh'.

I walk into my bedroom and Q is buried under the covers, screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO!!!"

I sit down on the other side of the bed and begin to read aloud. Within five seconds, Q is snuggled up next to me, listening.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Real First Day of Kindergarten

Not just the 'Try It' Day, as Q referred to the visiting day last week.

Q was thrilled. He woke up early and cheerful and wanted to get started on the day right away. He fed the cats, picked out a photo to use for Show and Tell from summer, ate breakfast fast, got dressed quickly, chattering the whole time.

The feedback I've managed to squeeze out after the event was that they had Art, which he enjoyed (crayons, not paint) and the teacher read at least one sign to them. (Indications from his book bag are that he had at least one book as well, but he seems to have no recollection of that.) In addition to his usual friends, he remembers at least one other child, who was in preschool with him last year, but in a different class.

He's willing to go back tomorrow, so overall, I'd say a solid success.