Mom Homework

Simon’s teacher sent home a form for parents to fill out about our family and children. I thought I would share my answers here, or at least what I can remember of the answers I wrote, because they were such good questions.

What is your child’s

Favorite color- red

Favorite book- Elephant and Piggie books, books about dragons, any and all books, too many to choose.

Favorite toy- dress up clothes and accessories

Favorite games to play- pretend playing, pirates, etc. Also sports

Does your child like to

Play alone – yes, but would rather play with others

Play with other children- yes

Pretend- YES!

Draw and Color- not especially

Listen to stories- yes, and audiobooks

My child is very good at: Listening (usually). Being kind and a good helper. Simon is an amazing big brother. He has an incredibly vivid imagination. He is full of good ideas.

I want you to know this about my child: He is very sensitive and he has a long memory.

My child does not like: Bugs. Loud noises, sometimes he doesn’t like busy-ness or places with too many people and loud noises.

What occupations do the adults in your home have? Mom is a librarian, Dad works for the state of Ohio

What do you hope your child gets out of Kindergarten this year? It is most important to us that Simon maintains his love of books and reading, even though learning to read can be hard. We want to foster a love of learning in general and supplement any classroom learning with hands on activities at home when possible.

 

First week of Kindergarten

We finished Simon’s first week of Kindergarten. What a huge transition it has been! We walk to school every morning. People and parents come clamoring out of their houses carrying coffees and backpacks and we trudge up what’s called “Kindergarten Hill.” Then we stand around looking at each other nervously, sizing up other kids and wondering how the hell I got to this point where I have a child old enough to be in school. Wasn’t he just a baby?

Simon has been exhausted every night and morning, though I get the feeling that he is doing wonderfully there. He is a good listener and doesn’t want to get in trouble. I think that by the end of the day, he has just about had it with all of the rule following and learning. The evenings are FILLED with pretend-playing, dressing up, wild horse play and occasional melt-downs from over-tiredness. Everything is new. Routines are different.

My first baby is a Big Kid.
 

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I didn’t cry on the first day. He had a few tears when I walked out, but he quickly recovered (so I’m told).

I took off work to pick him up and the teacher said “Oh he cracked me up. We did learning assessments today, so they were asked a lot of questions. Simon said to another boy in the class, ‘This is WORSE than preschool'” and she chuckled.  I think I like the teacher. I am nervous about him being somewhere new, but I know it was time for him to go and learn. This letting go business of parenting is hard.

 
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Over the weekend we had some tears and more lessons learned and a lot of me employing 1-2-3 Magic techniques. I don’t like having to do this. We have such little time together, I hate that so much of it is spent with me saying “No” or “Think about your choices..” or “Okay, That’s one.” But that is where we are. And he is still such a sweet boy. This growing up stuff is tough on all of us.

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Simon, Questions age 5

Here’s a peek into Simon’s head at age 5.
  1. What is your favorite color? “Ummmm…Spiderman’s color.” What’s that? “The red part of Spiderman.”
  2. What is your favorite toy? Spiderman and Iron Man. And my Transformer T-Rex.
  3.  What is your favorite tv show or movie? “My favorite show is Justin Time.”
  4. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? “Chicken nuggets”
  5.  What is your favorite outfit? Cleveland Indians jersey and my USA jersey
  6. What is your favorite game? Baseball.
  7. What is your favorite snack? Star Wars fruit snacks.
  8. What is your favorite animal? “Lion. I mean Dragons. I love Dragons.”
  9. What is your favorite song? “Underwater ABC’s”
  10.  Who is your best friend? Tommy and Theodore.
  11.  Where is your favorite place to go? School.
  12. What would you like to learn more about now that you’re 5? “Iron Man and Spiderman because I don’t know much about them. Is Spiderman a man or just a suit?”
  13. What do you love about yourself? “I love all the arts I do at school. And glitter” You like being artistic? “Yes. I love it when I put glitter on my art. Red white and blue!”
  14. What does Daddy do at work? “Um helps them learn to drive.”
  15. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? “My Dragon.”
  16. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? “pancakes!”
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up? A swim coach.

And here are answers from Simon at age 4.

Letter to the boy, month 60

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Birthday Cupcakes at the rained-out baseball birthday party

Dear Simon,

Once again I’m faced with the challenge of composing a letter to you that sums up all of the feelings I’ve been having over the last year as you’ve gotten older. This year is the hardest I think. I am having to let-go far more now than ever before. I have to let you go to a new school, where there will be new kids and new routines, and a whole new set of expectations. I am far more nervous than you are.

DSC_0235There is no baby left in you at all, not a smidge. You are all 100% boy. It is simultaneously breaking and bursting my chest with heartache and pride.

Over the last year, you have learned to go across the monkey bars all by yourself. We let you wander further away from us at the park. We let you play outside in the yard or on the porch with limited supervision. Occasionally I’ll leave George with you in the other room and ask you to keep an eye on him. You are just getting bigger and bigger. I love it and wish it would stop all at once.

Every so often you will branch out and try a new food. At times you can be reasoned with and your logic seems far more advanced than a 5 year old’s should be. You listen to us talk, really listen to conversations grown ups have. This year you’ve started to ask the Big Questions- about God and Death. For five years old, you have an awfully smart head on your shoulders. One night after a particularly bad episode at the park, you sang the song “You can’t always get what you want…” to yourself, as though you were reminding yourself of an important lesson. When you do things like that, I catch a glimpse of your conscience and I couldn’t be prouder. You are such a sweet and kind little boy.

You still eat peanut butter and jelly every day at school, and you LOVE Gatorade even though it is a very special treat (and we still water it down). You love to watch shows on Netflix like Daniel Tiger, Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers and Justin Time. Sometimes you will do projects in workbooks with your Daddy, who plays much more often than I do. You and Daddy play all sorts of sports together, and all sorts of imagination games. Often you are pirates or explorers or knights. You love to use accessories and costumes to add excitement to your playing. It is one of my favorite things about you, your imagination and love of dressing up and acting.

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At times you get very shy, which is difficult for me to deal with because I’ve never really been that way and I don’t know how to handle it. You are the sweetest big brother, and George just adores you. You love to give him hugs and kisses and you also love cuddles from your dad and me.

Tonight we went to your Kindergarten Ice Cream social. It was a night for kids to meet their teachers and have ice cream and see their classmates. The school was hot and filled with people swarming around the gym. It was overwhelming for me, so I know it was even more so for you. As often as I could, I kneeled down and told you that real school wouldn’t be so filled with grown ups. Real Kindergarten would be more kids. It wouldn’t be as noisy and busy. You wouldn’t let go of my hand. Suddenly you seemed much smaller than usual. And while we sat at the cafeteria table eating ice cream, you got chocolate all over your face. A wave of nostalgia came over me and I remembered you as my baby. I told you I couldn’t believe how fast you grew up. You shrugged and kept eating. I just can’t believe it. Kindergarten.

I wonder all the time, how I lucked out to have such a great little family. But I also wonder – all the time, how you turned out to be so special. You are a helper, a thinker, and a person filled with such wonderful ideas. I love watching you learn and put those ideas into action. You are going to do amazing things in this world. And a day doesn’t go by where I don’t thank my lucky stars for having you in my life. I am your biggest fan. Thank you for being you.

I love you. Happy Birthday.

Mama

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7 months, for George

Dear George,
Oh buddy, we had a rough month 6. You got so sick, had-to-rush-you-to-the-ER-sick. You were probably dehydrated from throwing up so much, and we did breathing treatments and your dad and I took a week off work (alternating days) to take care of you and let me tell you, you scared the ever living crap out of me. One day I spent over 7 hours at the dr. office and in the hospital just trying to get you to feel better. In the grand scheme of things, I realized that we were fortunate that all you had was an ear infection on top of a nasty virus, but that didn’t help the fact that we were both deliriously tired and we couldn’t get medicine to stay in you no matter how we tried. Finally we figured out that mixing it up with rice cereal worked. It looked like we were serving you Pepto-pink oatmeal, but you took it all and eventually turned the corner. We were all so relieved you were feeling better.

You also have this “stink eye” we call it- your right tear duct hasn’t opened yet and it gets all crusty and gross. Many mornings when you wake up you are looking at us like a pirate saying “ARGH!” and we have to pry it open with a warm washcloth while you fuss and hate it. WE’re going to give it until your 9 month dr. appointment and if it’s still causing problems we will see a specialist about getting your tear duct opened up surgically. I would rather wait and see it open naturally on its own, but we’ll see what happens. DSC_0050

This month you have: started solid foods, started full on crawling, though you prefer to bear-crawl on your hands and feet. You began clapping, signing (milk and eat), waving, and just in the last few days you have started pulling yourself up to stand at Simon’s play table. You badly want whatever grown ups have or Simon has in his hands. You love to play with paper, anything crinkly sounding, and you love to take my Cake Pop book off the shelf and eat it.
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Your favorite toy is still the barn and farm animals, though you also like whatever you can get your hands on of Simon’s. You still have THE best smile that lights up your whole face. When we’re out and you grin at someone they always say “he smiles with his whole face” which is so true and adorable. Your dimples and blue eyes are lady killers.

You’ve transitioned pretty well with the new baby sitter, who watches more kids than we’d prefer, but you LOVE watching people. You do not like being left alone at all, so being around lots of kids suits you. Now that you can move around you’re much happier in general. You have no fear and will definitely let people know when you’re upset about something.

I love watching you grow up, kiddo but it’s happening awfully fast. I would love it if you could just slow it down just a bit. Your older brother is also growing up too fast and it’s breaking my heart, both of you.

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Tonight we walked to the park and Simon rode his bike. I had you on my back in the baby carrier and Simon threw a fit when we said it was time to go home. He was ugly-crying, and you started belly-laughing the way that you do when you hear him laugh. I realized that it was probably because you thought he was laughing, because he did sound ridiculous. We worked it all out, but I thought it was funny, your little voice in our family adds the perfect variable to our family equation.

I love you so very much, and watching you become a person is just about the coolest thing ever. I love everything about your budding little personality, especially how you like it when I give you kisses under your neck folds. Please slow down, Georgie.

We all love you.
XO
Mama

6 months, for George

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Georgie.


Dear Georgie,

Yes, we call you Georgie, even though I never really wanted to- that’s what we’ve started calling you. Dear sweet six month old Georgie, you continue to be the smiley-est baby in the world. During the last month you went on your first trip on an airplane, you’ve started scooting all over the floor in an army crawl/inchworm sort of way, and you’ve started eating solid foods and even a little bit of formula from time to time.

You still do not sleep through the night. I am not holding my breath, assuming that will happen anytime soon. But someday, it would be nice to have more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep at a time. Just someday.

You love anything that makes a crinkly paper-crumbling sound. You adore your big brother and you wake him up every morning for school by crawling around his bed. He loves to get really close to you and snuggle you. It’s very sweet.

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Simon “snuggling”

A few times you’ve given us “kisses” – -giant open mouthed drooling slobber kisses that I love. You’ve only just started eating food but so far cereal and pears are tolerable. You are NOT a fan of peaches. We’ve switched you over into your big kid carseat instead of the one we have to haul around, because you have gotten SO heavy it was too difficult to carry you everywhere with it.

I so enjoy you, Baby George. I love spending time with you and watching you do new things all the time. You want to go-go-go it seems, you want to keep up with your big brother and he makes you laugh like no one else can. We spend a lot of time at the park. Simon wants to play sports and we take you in the stroller. You are a relatively easy baby. You are sweet and everyone comments on your smile, your dimple, and your blue eyes.

I love you so much. We’ve made it half a year already and I just can’t believe it. I love rocking you, kissing you, nursing you, hugging you, strolling with you, all of it. You’re my last baby and I’m reminding myself all the time that this will fly by and soon you’ll be racing me to the doors of preschool and Kindergarten just like your brother. I’m in absolutely no hurry for that to happen.

XO My heart,
Mama

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Swimming HHI 2014