Hannah seems to be doing well at preschool so far. She went on Monday and then again on Wednesday. On Monday she was pretty hesitant to leave me, but didn't cry. It took me about 10 minutes to get out, but I did so with a clean break. That was good. She apparently only got upset once on Monday and that was when it got really loud in the room. She told the teacher she wanted to go home, but her teacher was able to calm her by having her sit next to her during circle time. When I picked her up she ran over to me faster than I've ever seen her move and gave me a great big hug and said, "I missed you!" That made me feel good. Yesterday she separated much easier. It only took me about 5 minutes to get out of the room and when I left she was happily drawing with some crayons. She never even looked up to watch me walk out. When I picked her up I was able to observe her for awhile before she noticed me. She was standing around a table with two other kids and they were repeatedly pressing down and popping up a piece of bread in a toy toaster. Each time the the toast popped up the group with dissolve into hysterical shrieks of laughter, Hannah included, and then it was lather, rinse, repeat for at least 5 minutes straight. I have no idea how long they had been at it before I got there! It really made me happy to see her with that group of kids instead of off by herself, and while she wasn't talking to the kids she was fully participating in the "game"-no conversation needed! :) When she finally noticed me she didn't even come over to me! I practically had to drag her out of the room. On the way home she was able to tell me several things about her day, including that she had played "American Egypt" in the sandbox (whatever that means) outside during recess. It looks like we made the right decision to place her in this class. YEAH! Hopefully by the end of the year she'll be talking to her peers in her class and maybe even random kids she meets other places. Wouldn't that be great?!?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
More and more often Hannah says things that just crack me up. Most of the time I forget to write them down and barely even manage to remember what they are long enough to tell Kyle when he gets home, but I've been trying to get better about it. Here are a few of the highlights from the past couple of weeks.
The scene: Hannah has been fooling around during lunch trying to stall going down for her nap. She tries her favorite avoidance tactic of saying she has to go to the bathroom. While on the toilet she starts playing with the toilet paper. I enter to scold her and warn her that if she doesn't straighten up lunch will be over and it will be nap time.
M: If you don't stop playing around you will go right upstairs!
H: (in a shocked voice) With no wiping?!?!
I had to fight back the urge to pull out one of my favorite lines from the Princess Bride on that one, "Inconceivable!"
The scene: Playing with the stethoscope in her doctor kit.
H: Oh no! I can't hear your heart beeping Mommy!
I wonder if she knows she's not far off in her beeping description since that's how it sounds on the EKG machines!?!
If wishes were horses. . . . . or should I say unicorns?
H: I wish I had a unicorn in my backyard to ride.
Do they make milk taps like they do for beer?
H: I want to do it by my own.
Tomorrow is Hannah's first day of preschool. We ended up going with the private preschool because Hannah was determined ineligible for the school system program because she tested at gifted level on her verbal language test. This wasn't news to me. I told them as much. That's part of what makes Hannah's weaknesses so apparent if you really care to pay any attention at all. She's capable of extremely advanced language for her age, but is unable to use even typical language with her peers. It's a huge gap between what she can do and what she's able to display in a social situation with other kids. Hannah is pretty excited to be starting school. She's got her Dora backpack, Tinkerbell lunchbox, and Princess thermos. In her eyes she's all set. I'm a bit nervous about how she'll do. Four hours is a long time. She's never been in a social situation for that long without Kyle or I present.
I must say that if she ends up being comfortable, this should be good for both of us. It's been a rough few weeks around here and both Hannah and I need a break from each other. Hannah has fully embraced her place in the Tyrannical Threes and has been bossing around everyone in sight. She screams at even the slightest hint that she might not get exactly what she wants RIGHT NOW. And she's ramped up her hitting and kicking to never before seen levels. I'm sure her rage is becoming a neighborhood legend. At least once a day she will get to the point that she is hitting or kicking me and I am unable to get her to stop or stay away from me so I have to close her into another room and hold the door shut. I HATE doing this (and CPS would probably be do an investigation if they knew), but all other efforts to get her to deescalate have failed. I'm no longer strong enough to hold her arms and legs down so that she can't hit or kick so my only option to keep myself from becoming black and blue is to remove her from me. Closing her into a room makes her even more angry initially and her rage usually escalates, but eventually she will calm down when she no longer has a person to fight against. The thing that scares me the most about her rages is that she seems oblivious to pain during them. She will pound on the door or walls so hard that she will bloody her knuckles, but she doesn't stop. She keeps going and going and it's only after it's all over that she realizes she's hurt herself. She's only 3, but I have no idea how to help her manage such rage. It's so unlike the temper tantrums I see other kids have. Anyone have any ideas?
On a lighter note, Hannah's reading abilities are now transferring to her spelling skills. Instead of only spelling words she has memorized she is attempting to write words by sounding them out. One of her favorite things to do is make the grocery list with me. Here is a sample from one of her recent lists: MLK-milk, PES-Peas, FROOT-fruit, JLE-jelly The fruit really impressed me. That's how I'd expect a first grader who's been learning some of the more complicated vowel patterns to spell fruit, NOT a newly turned 3 year old! Her handwriting is also improving by leaps and bounds. She can now attempt all the upper case letters with at least some degree of success without any help or anything to look at. She's quite legible on most of them. S, G still give her quite a bit of trouble, but even those are starting to come around and she can get them pretty well with some verbal cues and an occasional hand over hand to get them started. She's also becoming quite well at transcribing. She can copy up to four words in a row accurately without any prompting or supervision. That sure made making birthday thank you cards easier this year! I'm so proud of all of her academic accomplishments. Makes me wonder what she'll be doing by the time she actually makes it to kindergarten and first grade though!
Yesterday we had such a great time out on the beach. Hannah and I walked down to the little beach at the end of our street to swim. Instead of swimming we ended up catching periwinkles (little snails for those of you back in the Midwest), hermit crabs, and even tried our hand at quahogging (digging for a certain type of clam). I never managed to get any Quahog though. I kept finding what the locals call steamers instead. Hannah was so happy splashing around in the water and chasing crabs and catching periwinkles. Seeing her with her little pail dropping in snail after snail filled me with such joy. She was so content. We are so lucky to have these opportunities within easy walking distance of the house.