Saturday, September 30, 2017

(66 Months) - 5;6

5 Years + 6 Months has brought us lots of changes, as is typical for September in general - back to school for Alex, back to work for me, too, and the start of Big Kid School! Francie is now a public school kinder, with Ms. Thomas at Maplewood, just a short walk away. Our routine now includes 5 days/week of punctual 8 a.m. attendance and 2:05 pickup, with 2 days/week of aftercare with Art4Life at Maplewood. Francie also learned to tie her shoes and to sleep without nighttime pullups, both Summer 2017 goals met just in time. We've had our fair share of growing pains this month - all of us - but nothing atypical. Per usual, quotes, anecdotes, and photos from the last month follow below ...

We stayed home for the great American solar eclipse, and Beebee joined us for a midday picnic to April Hill Park with dozens of our Maplewood neighbors. Although Francie liked playing with the other kids or eating snacks the best, she did don her eclipse glasses and marvel at the near-total eclipse experience. “It's like the skinniest banana in the world!" When we arrived home from the park, she apparently was inspired to wear her astronaut costume and we nailed an awesome photo of her gazing skyward. "I'm back at earth, mom. I saw all the planets, except the sun. Ugh, too hot. I came back to earth because it's cooler here. I only stayed there for like one week, and then came back to earth. Can we play UNO now?"

She is certainly her mother's daughter, the asker of frequent questions: "What's a your favorite shape?" "How high can you count?"

Chats up everyone in public - "How old is your dog?" to the unnamed neighbor walking by; "How does this move?" to the Target cashier; "How old do you think I am? I just started kindergarten!" to anyone who will listen.

I hear F’s pitter-patter on the wood floors before she enters our room. I can feel her presence next to my side of the bed and she touches my elbow gently. I open one eye a sliver and smile at her. “Can you get up now?” She asks sweetly. I shake my head and she walks away quietly to play in her room. I hear her with her “vehicles” creating some kind of emergency scene.

We used one of those fancy bed-wetting alarms that we borrowed from Hubbard's. She wore it strapped to her undies for probably 10 days or so, and it went off a handful of times, and she's been independent either staying dry through the night, or waking up to pee, ever since!

We did a few different kinds of exercise together this month, a Beachbody video here or there, where she insisted on us both just wearing only sports bras. We also hit up Gabriel Park a bunch for me to walk/run loops and her to ride her Big Kid purple bike - she made it 3 laps one time (which is ~3.5 miles!). Once she said to me, "I don't like to sweat. It's like snot coming out of my head."

Francie, playing pretend iPhone with an Uno card: "Guess how many emails I have."
Me: "How many?"
F: "125."
Me: "Wow, you have a lot to do."
F: "Yeah.  Good thing I don't have any kids!"

“I only want boobs and a baby so I can squirt milk at you guys … and have a milk gun.”

She's been toying with jokes now for a couple years, but she FINALLY made up a good one!
"What does a coyote say when he gets a shot at the doctor."
"I dunno, what?"
"Owwwwwww, ow owwwwww."

Before starting kindergarten, she had a short assessment with one of the teachers, I'm assuming to gauge levels of alphabet and counting and writing in order to organize the three kinder classes fairly.
"How did it go?" I asked her. "What kinds of questions did the teacher ask you?"
"Uhhhhh, just stuff I already know," she shrugged, a combination of bored by the question and overconfident in her own performance.
And later she says: "I told her I wanted to learn to read so I could read to my baby sibling." My heart exploded.

She scratched herself on the bike and asked for a Mama Kiss. Then said, “why do mama kisses always make kids feel better?”
I leaned in to kiss her cheeks and tell her, “because mama kisses are magic.”
She pauses and asks,”but what IS magic?!?”
I pause to think for a minute. “Love, I guess. Love and kindness are the ways to make real magic happen.”
And she bikes off …

"Happy First Day of School!" I said to her from laying in my bed. "How about a first day of kindergarten cuddle."
Instead, the cogs in her brain already turning, she tells me: "Soooo, my preschool had six kids, but my kindergarten will have 25 kids! That means I need to learn to (she holds up one finger) get out of pull-ups, (holds up a second finger) tie my own shoes, aaaand (holds up three fingers) wipe my own butt!"

F: Can we pleeeeease have frozen yogurt.
Mama: No sweetie, not tonight.
F: But I looooove it.
Mama: I know. I love ice cream. Desserts are really yummy aren't they. But too much sugar isn't good for our bodies.
F: Or our teeth.
Mama: You're right. But also, I don't want you to be addicted to sugar like I am.
F: I think I already am addicted to sugar. Because I want it allllllll the time.

Lots of love and cuddles on the couch after work one Saturday.
Me: "I just love you so much. You're my best! How will I ever be able to love another kid like I love you? Is it even possible?!?"
Her: Don't worry. Your love will just get bigger! Right now, my love fills the whole room. When Birdy is here my love will fill the whole house!"

Attended Melissa and Ken's wedding outside Palo Alto, and Francie was THE dancing queen, barely leaving the dance floor. Except for cake, of course.

She decided she wanted to cut her hair short. After several threats about having to cut her hair unless she lets us brush it daily, she finally just said she wanted to chop it short like Stella's next door. I was worried she'd regret not having long princess hair, and so far she's loved it! From a parenting perspective, it saves a little bit of time and one whole discussion/nag/threat/argument each day!

"I went to the circus," she tells anyone who will listen. Beebee took us on a family outing to Cirque du Soleil, where Francie simultaneously loved the acrobatics, wiggled in her seat, ate enough popcorn to feed two adults, and asked frequently when it would be over.

We all attended Back to School Night together, where Francie showed us all around Ms. Thomas's room, including a science experiment, an "I hope" art project (where she said "I hope I learn how to read so I can read to my friends"), and a few class projects including info about each of the students. Ms Thomas mentioned on two occasions that Francie "has a lot of spirit" and that she "doesn't lack confidence."

Very slowly, she is officially learning to read. This month she's enjoyed learning to both sound-out and memorize those easy-peasy Biscuit books - and it makes my heart sing to think about the world she'll gain access to when she masters literacy!

F: I took someone to the office today during recess. They tripped.
Me: Oh yeah?
F: And you know what? I told Modesty I was really good at it because you're a speech language pathologist.
Me: Good at what?
F: Going to the office and helping people.

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