Tag Archives: school

preschool update

We’ve decided to pull F from his current preschool. There have been a few things he’s told us in the last couple of months that make me ready to pull the trigger. Tell me what you think:

  • F threw dirt at another child while playing outside and, according to F, the teacher’s assistant told the other child to throw dirt back at him. Um, no. F volunteered this story to us, but you know, 3-year-olds aren’t always the most reliable so we felt a little weird about it, told F that was not how it should be handled, etc. and moved on.
  • F told me one day that he was put in time out by the teacher’s teenaged son. The son has been in the classroom a few times and DW and I have been kind of baffled and unsettled by it (he’s not an employee of the school, I’m certain there has been no background check). When F told me the boy picked him up and put him in time out I was like WTFF? Again, NO.
  • Yesterday F told DW that the teacher’s assistant, “Hit me in the bottom.” !!!!! But in the next breath, he said she also hit another child in the head with a stick (highly unlikely). DW said when she picked F up at school, the teacher and assistant said he’d had a good day and they are not shy about telling us when he has bad ones (there have been many of those). So again, unsure if this happened, if this is how it happened, etc. That said, we have enough of a weird gut feeling that we’re done.

We kept him home today and I’m going to call and let the director know we are pulling him. I feel really weird about bringing up stuff that could be damaging to the assistant teacher when we don’t truly know that it actually happened. F talks about “bad guys” and “villains” and hitting a lot, and he does embellish events. I plan to say just that, “We’ve heard a few stories from F, and have no way of knowing what really happened, but I wanted to let you know.” He told us these things out of the blue with no prompting/leading from us, so that makes it feel like there must be something going on, even if it’s him just not having a good feeling about the assistant/school.

And now having written it all out, I feel stupid for not discussing each of these with the teachers when they happened. It’s all so awkward. Really looking forward to him attending the new outdoor school next year, where DW and I have had great rapport with the women who run it and are excited by their philosophy. In the meantime, let’s all hope DW doesn’t lose her mind with no more preschool break until August.

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threenager woes UPDATE

The MM’s school had a local (great) resource come in to evaluate his behavior and DW met with them today to discuss. They said he is very smart and super observant. They also said that he has no behavioral issues and from their observation, there are kids in the class who like to “push his buttons,” and that the teacher has been handling that incorrectly. They spoke with her after they spoke with DW.

They also spoke about him being an introvert and gave her some suggestions on how to handle that. He is so extroverted at home it’s hard to reconcile that, but I do see it. Introverts have more issues than extroverts in terms of social aspects of school. As Monkey is RIDICULOUSLY extroverted, we have not experienced this thus far in our parenting journey.

So there’s the update: just your typical introverted threenager over here. LOL.

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threenager woes

BOOBS UPDATE: I went yesterday for my follow up, they did more scans (no ultrasound), and had a doctor take a look. They think it’s fine and want me to come in again in 6 months to take another look. I guess they are getting a baseline? Not all that reassuring, but I guess if they were worried, they’d be looking further now, right?

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Since we are in the midst of having a raging threenager, I thought I’d do a post about the MM. You may recall in previous posts that I’ve referred to him as a unicorn baby, a good sleeper, a mellow guy. And he always was…until 3.5. For the past few months, this guy has been terrorizing kids at school, hitting us, saying mean things, and just living balls out 3.

He’s been sent to the director’s office at his preschool many times, once twice in one day (DW had to go in and talk to him and director). He hits, kicks, pushes, and “sits on” other kids at school. He seemed to have it in for one particular little girl for a while, much to our horror. DW hears from his teacher almost daily about his bad behavior. We talk to him about it, work with him on being a good friend, being empathetic, acceptable ways to express anger/frustration. Still, on he goes and seems quite gleeful about it:

Me: What will you say to A tomorrow? [Kid he hurt on previous day, after we discuss apologizing, etc.]
The MM: Nofing – I will hit and kick and sit on A! [Laughs.]

He has some good days, but more bad than good. He is super clingy to Mama (me) lately and showers me with affection in the evenings. I know that some kids at 3 are biters, hitters, etc. so we’re trying to keep it in perspective and continue to discuss and model positive behaviors. Still, it’s shitty to think your kid is the classroom bully.

We have enrolled him in a new preschool for next year. It’s an all outdoor one like our beloved CA co-op and Monkey has gone to summer camp there the last couple of years and LOVED it. We’re hopeful that a new setting and more outdoor activity will help. He has told us he doesn’t like school, so maybe this will be better? Or maybe he’ll turn 4 and start growing out of this?

It didn’t help to see this article linking Mira.lax to aggressive behavior. The MM had some constipation trouble right before this behavior started and was on a low-dose of Mira.lax for a couple of months. We took him off of it when we saw the article just in case – no difference in behavior. We’re also going to discuss going to 3 days per week at his current school (he goes 5 days currently) with the director for the rest of the school year.

ION, he is also still not potty trained. He’ll be four April 29. He absolutely gets it, understands, could totally do it but – WILL NOT. Sigh.

This parenting thing? No joke, y’all. No joke. Tell me encouraging stories? Please?

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a new school year begins

Monkey started at his new school 8/29. It is on the way to work for me so I’m now doing the drop offs. It’s been awesome having that extra 15 minutes together at the start of the day. It took a couple of days walking him in to his classroom until he felt confident that he could find it himself. His teacher is new to teaching and to the school and seems very excited and motivated. So far, homework seems to be less than in Kindergarten, which I’m happy about, but I’d still prefer no homework in these low grades (aside from reading). Unprompted, Monkey told me recently that he, “Really likes [new school].” Yay! His school is also very diverse, which we are thrilled with and we feel confident that any issues he may encounter having a two-mom family will be dealt with swiftly.

On that note, I had both boys at the local park with me Sunday and there was a party in the rec room there for a church. All of the attendees were black, which whatever but it is a critical part of the story, so I mention it. Monkey was swinging and there was an older boy swinging next to him. I noticed a few younger boys about Monkey’s age come onto the playground and said, “Hey, look! Those boys look your age. You should go play!” To which he responded (to my absolute astonishment and HORROR), “But they all have brown skin. I can’t play with them.” OMFG I wanted to slink away, especially with the older boy sitting RIGHT THERE. I quickly told Monkey that that didn’t matter, of course he can play with them – they are kids just like he is! Since then, we’ve had more pointed conversations about race and diversity and OMG. I have no idea where it came from and it made me feel like we have failed on some level. I’m now on the hunt for books to talk more about this topic. DW and I are still a bit shaken!

We finally converted Monkey’s carseat to a high-backed booster (he’s been in the 5-point harness). When the MM is with him in the car, we feared that Monkey would be tempted to move in ways that would make it dangerous. I’m still not totally sure he is ready maturity-wise, but he’s excited about it and so far, so good. We tell him that if he’s unable to sit in his seat properly, we’ll have to go back to the old seat and that is working for now.

The MM started preschool yesterday (sob). I couldn’t be there as both boys have to be at their respective schools at the same time, so that pretty much sucked. DW reported that there were no tears and he immediately started playing trains and was fine when she left. When she picked him up, he told her he was sad to leave, so I’d say it’s going well. Today he was a little clingy but still managed to get down and play and shed no tears.

It really hit me yesterday that we are pretty well out of the baby years. I’m feeling rather sad about it, but I’m also excited to see what the next stage brings. If I weren’t an old woman, I might very well have pushed for another, but it is not to be. DW says she would NEVER have let that happen, so I guess we were always done at two. Those who’ve been with me for a long time know how difficult it actually was for us to get to number two, so she’s probably right. It’s so hard to believe that the whole TTC/pregnancy/newborn/nursing stage is truly and finally over. It was so all-consuming and now it seems so distant, you know? When you’re in it, you feel like you’ll be there forever. Sigh.

DW is heading to Los Angeles to visit her mom Friday-Thursday. My mom is coming to help with the kids and keep me company. I told her she could come Sunday afternoon/evening and she was like, “What? I’m coming Friday!” LOL. I expect a lot of HG.TV will be watched and family gossip exchanged. My dad took a trip to Ireland last week, so I’m sure I’ll hear all about that. Can you believe my good ole boy dad left the US? Only took him 64 years – lol.

I’m super happy to be heading into fall and to be somewhere that actually has a fall! Ready for boots, sweaters, pumpkin patches, costumes, candy and turkey dinners! Happy fall, y’all!

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kindergarten wrap-up

As we near the end of my oldest’s first year of school (sob), I thought now is a good time for an update!

You all may recall that there was some concern expressed about how Monkey would do in school as he attended a play-based, unstructured preschool (our beloved co-op in California). I am proud to report that our boy has done GREAT! He is reading, writing, excelling in math and he even won a character award this year for Respect. His teacher reported at every parent-teacher conference that she was impressed with how respectful he is, which kind of shocked me as he is an unruly wild man at home.  He is an enthusiastic learner who asks a lot of questions (“What is before 0? What is infinity?”) and shows special interest in math and science (like many other 5-6 year olds on the planet, he wants to be an astronaut).

Monkey also played baseball on a local team and has shown great improvement in his abilities. This was coach pitch, and Monkey consistently hit the ball (didn’t need to use the t) and paid a lot more attention to the game in general. The league he’s on is pretty serious and competitive and he will have to try out to make the team in the Fall. Whether he will make it is anyone’s guess, but I think he’s got a shot and that’s not something I necessarily would have said 6 months ago 🙂 If he doesn’t make it, there is another local league he can join.

Monkey continues to make friends easily and is typically the kid who gets all the kids playing when he’s at the playground, ball game, etc. If running and playing is happening, he is right in the middle of it. He’s super affectionate, which sometimes gets him in trouble at school (unable to keep his hands to himself, but the teacher always says it’s not in a malicious or hurtful way).

Monkey’s last day of school is June 30 (year-round school leads to a late last day). He will be attending a local magnet school next year and we are all excited about it. It is an International Baccalaureate school, which stresses global learning. When you enter the school, there is a huge map of the world painted on the floor and a bunch of clocks set to various times across the globe. Monkey will take Spanish from first-third grade, and then has the option to continue with Spanish or take two years of Japanese. We attended a family picnic/orientation in May and Monkey absolutely loved it. He asks all the time when he starts at his new school. Another bonus? Siblings automatically get a spot, so there’ll be no lottery when the MM is ready for Kindergarten.

It has been an exciting year of growth for our boy. Still can’t believe he’s a rising first grader. Where does the time go?

 

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we’re still here, y’all

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I updated this blog. I’ve thought of shutting down, but now and then I like to get some stuff out and I’ve been her for so long…

We have been in our house for 6+ months now and we still love it. We have an empty dining room and mostly empty living room, but we’ll get there. Even though our house is redone, we are still finding items we want/need to do. Like getting the fireplace hooked up to the gas line, installing a disposal (who doesn’t have a disposal in this day and age), landscaping the front yard, painting upstairs, and doing some work in the bathrooms. That said, we’re still paying off the new washer & dryer and the kids’ swingset, so we’ll likely wait a bit. We love our neighborhood and are just thoroughly pleased in general.

Monkey started Kindergarten back in July (year-round school). He’s doing great! We were a little worried, but so far he is engaged and excited and moving right along. He’s in our local public school, which is rated 9/10 on Great Schools. While the school seems perfectly fine, it doesn’t really excite us in any way. We loved his preschool and were really hoping to have that same feeling once he got to K. So, I attended a Magnet School fair today to check out our options. There were two that sounded great and that I’m going to visit in the coming weeks. I think we’d probably just stick with our local public school (and we still may) but they redistrict here frequently and you have no control over where your child may end up. That is kinda scary and doesn’t happen for the charters and magnets so we’ll see what comes. In the meantime, Monkey is learning to write and read and is doing really well – even though the kid never EVER listens to us at home. We’re trying on that front 🙂 I also can’t believe our guy will be 6 in a little over a month. OMG! Wasn’t he just born????

The Marshmallow is 2.5 and boy is he ever 2.5. Tantrums and “no” and refusing naps, oh my. He is still nursing, but I’m going out of town on business in a little over a week so that may be the end of that. DW is really pushing me to be done, but I just don’t know how I’ll handle it if on my return, he’s teary and begging for milk. As much as I’d love to be done, there’s a lot to be said for extended nursing, too. We’ll see what happens.

In terms of work, I was really unhappy in the role I originally took at my company. It’s the type of work I enjoy doing, but it’s a new team and our management is AWFUL. Everyone on the team is in misery and looking to get out. So I pursued another job within the company and I got it a couple of weeks ago. Monday is my first day and I’m thrilled. Most of the team I’ll be working with is based in, wait for it… Los Angeles! So I’m flying to LA for planning meetings on 11/17, and will likely be in LA a few times a year. Yay! I have already worked with this team in my old role and really like them so I’m hopeful that this will be a good situation for me. Luckily, we love our new city and our new home, so it was still absolutely worth the move. How awful if that weren’t the case!

For Halloween, DW went all out and decorated our house and played spooky music and everything. I had no idea she wanted to do that, but I’m happy she did 🙂 We’re already buying stuff for Christmas decorating!

house

house2

It was also the first time we’ve had Trick or Treaters come to the door (we were in a security building in CA) and Monkey LOVED handing out candy. We asked him if he wanted to keep getting candy or go home and hand out candy and he enthusiastically said, “Hand out candy!!!! Let’s go!” He waited by the door, looking out the window for ToTers. Adorable. My guys were Batman (M) and Robin (MM). There was a kids H’ween party at my office and they were Mario (M) and Luigi (MM) there – freaking adorable!!!!!

So that’s what’s happening around these parts. I’ll try to update more often, friends.

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school daze update

After days of ridiculous phone calls with my contact at Monkey’s school, we made the decision to pull him out. Cue the backpedal! Oh no, she says, she never said he was behind or anything of that nature. She was simply concerned with consistency and stability for him. It is not good to have him start and stop schools so quickly. It would have been much better for him to stay with them for a full year. I was like, lady, you cray. Man did we make the right call. Communication – learn it!

DW and I also decided we are just not boarding this crazy train to push academics on a 5 year old. We went to our beloved co-op because we truly believe that the best foundation for preschoolers is to learn through play. Not through rote memorization, worksheets, etc. Through hands-on learning and fun. Monkey absolutely loved going to school at the co-op. That is an important first step – getting your child to view school as a place they love to be. He learned how to be a good friend, how to be part of a team, how to sit still during circle time. His vocabulary is through the roof and his storytelling abilities are awesome. Side note: Just last night he told DW that he loved her so much that if a bear ever came, he would protect her. He said he wasn’t sure how, but he would. He guessed he’d fight it? LOL!

He has had 2.5 years of preschool with a teacher who told us he was a delight and super smart and would have no trouble in Kindergarten. Still I worried, so we put him in a weekly pre-K prep class last year with a licensed Kindergarten teacher. He did great and we were told he’s bright and will be great in Kinder. Still I worried, so I took him to a speech assessment last year, which was administered by a local Kindergarten teacher. She said his speech was fine, his vocab and math skills were better than many of her current Kinder students. So you know what? I’m done worrying! I’m not going to second guess myself any more. Monkey is awesome and he is developing just fine! I. WILL. NOT. BOARD. THIS. CRAZY. TRAIN. Sell my ticket to someone else!

slowdown

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