Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What my kids' teachers really wanted to say.

We got the big kids' school evaluations last week. None of what the teachers said, was a surprise to us. The big kids are exactly the same at home as they are in school.

Let's start with Bear. What the teacher wrote is in black. What I think she really wanted to say is in red.

Bear arrives each morning enthusiastically, ready to jump (sometimes literally) into his day. Your kid is hyper. He will, more often now, look to his teachers for morning instructions rather than wandering around the classroom. Your kid is not quite as spacey as he used to be. Bear has become more comfortable working independently (His self esteem no longer sucks), requiring few reminders that he is capable of completing the task (He no longer says he is too tired to do things, doesn't know how, or can't) (for example cutting) and is providing more detail before completing his work (a scribble is not Art). We are very proud of the progress Bear has made in writing his name. Bear, too, takes pride in his accomplishments. We continue to provide activities to strengthen his fine motor skills and we appreciate the practice provided at home (The Leapster Explorer you got him is really helping his writing skills).

Blah, blah, blah. (I didn't really say, blah, blah, blah.) Bear requires teacher support in handling a frustrating situation (He starts crying or yelling.) We remind him to use his kind words and voice when playing with his classmates. Bear will usually quickly accept this redirection in order to continue playing (because we threaten him).

It is a pleasure to have Bear in class. Thank you for sharing him with us (We say this to everyone).

And then there is Monkey who's teacher said this:

Monkey is a wonderful little girl and is well-liked by all her classmates. She enters our room each morning happily, independently, and ready to begin her day. She has strong fine motor skills, and really enjoys being creative at the writing tables and in Art. She is always cooperative and helpful, and has a tender, nurturing personality. She enjoys helping both teachers and friends. Monkey enjoys the variety in our day and is never at a loss for something to do. She plays well with many different students and participates in a variety of activities throughout our day and our centers.

Academically, Monkey is a very strong student. She has an obvious love of learning and can always be counted on to pay attention during structured activities. She is one of our best contributors during Circle time and in group discussions (She is a know it all, like Hermone Granger). We are certain she will love Kindergarten and do very well there. Thank you for sharing AM with us this year (I am not just saying that. Did you read what I wrote about her?). We look forward to her continued growth.

Now, my thoughts.

I wish I could say, "Well, Bear at least you are better at sports.", but she is better at those too. The girl is coordinated and smart.

Poor Bear for having a twin sister like Monkey. I wouldn't want her for my sister. Actually, my sister was always really smart and I was the dumb one (Not that I think Bear is dumb. He isn't.), but at least I was a better singer and was more coordinated. Once I got to college I figured out that I wasn't dumb after all. I just needed to study and she didn't (I am still bitter about that).

I don't want it to take until college for Bear to figure out he is smart too, so now I am on a mission to find something Bear is better at than Monkey and I am going to do my best to let him know he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Going a little crazy, one night at a time.

Last week was a rough week for us. My husband worked nights, which was good and bad. I loved having him home in the morning, because he stayed home with the babies, while I took the big kids to preschool. He was also home when I had to go back to get them, so I didn't have to hurry to feed the babies their lunch and then rush out the door to pick the big kids up, like I usually do (I have already decided to put the big kids in public Kindergarten next year, mostly due to the fact that the bus stop for the elementary school is literally in front of my house. I have to be careful not to run over small children every morning when I pull out of my parking spot. You have no idea how excited I am about the location of this bus stop now that we will be able to use it).

Four out of the six of us ended up with pink eye last week, so I spent a lot of time sanitizing the house and putting eye drops in screaming children. My husband made three trips to the doctor, once for Bear, once for himself, and once to take the babies to the ER. It was a long week for both of us.

The worst part for me was he was not home at night (except for Friday) and nights around here are hectic. Baby Girl gets really fussy as I am making dinner, so I usually end up wearing her. Baby Boy wasn't feeling all that well last week, due to the pink eye and was fussy too, but I can only wear one while I am cooking and I haven't been able to figure out how to get him in the Ergo, so I wear her.

Anyway, my point is, nights here are crazy. I have no idea how single mothers survive.

Night one, without my husband, goes pretty well. Night two a little bit harder. Night three, I start yelling. Night four, I yell more. So he worked nights all week last week, except Friday. I was stressed out about the pink eye, on top of being alone in the evenings with four small children, and now this week he is out of town. Last Friday, I called my MIL and asked her to come help me this week.

She lives in Michigan.

It is a nine hour drive.

She said she would come (I love her).

In the end, we decided I can handle three more nights without help. So far, I have made it through night two and I am not craving alcohol yet and the worst thing that happened is Belly gave herself a shiner. The second worst thing that happened was Bear got paint all over the back of his pants and then sat on the sofa, so I had to shampoo the sofa, when were supposed to be eating dinner. The good news is that most of it came out (there will forever be a red mark that wouldn't come out) and Bear finally showed some interest in art.

One more night to go.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Darn you Pink eye!

Last Monday evening, Bear's eye lids and the skin around his eyes looked a little red. I asked if his eyes itched and he said, "No, I am just tired." The next day they started watering, but his actual eye was not red at all. He still swore he felt fine. By Tuesday evening, I decided he needed to go to the doctor.

We have never had a case of pink eye in the house, so I didn't know the symptoms and didn't know what to look for. I thought he had allergies. He was sneezing, and had a runny nose too, and his actual eyes weren't red (you may not actually have pink eyes with pink eye. Who knew?), so it just seemed like it was allergies, but I wanted to take him to the doctor just in case I was wrong.

I was wrong. He has pink eye (conjunctivitis).

My husband worked all nights this week, except for Friday, so luckily for me, he was home in the morning and could take Bear to the clinic on Wednesday, while I took care of the babies and picked Monkey up from preschool.

We should have known it was a bad sign when the doctor sanitized her hands five times, while they were there. The doctor was dodging Bear and if he touched her at all, she sanitized her hands. Apparently the doctor is going on vacation and doesn't want pink eye. I can't say that I blame her. I don't want it either.

Pink eye is highly contagious (we are living proof of that). I heard from some of my multiple multiple mommies that we should change the bedding and wash everything, but apparently, I didn't do it in time, because DH (dear husband), Bubba, and Belly, all woke up with pink eye yesterday. Bubba's left eye was a little watery on Thursday night, but I wasn't sure if he really had it or not. On Friday morning his eye lashes, on both eyes, were caked with goop. My poor, crusty eyed boy. Belly's wasn't as bad, but she sure looks like hell today. I just want to cry looking at her and she is not a very happy girl either. I was out for a few hours this morning and when I got home and she saw me, she broke down crying. I am pretty sure she was trying to tell me how crappy she feels and hoping I could help her feel better. Sorry baby girl, I wish I could. Let's hope the eye drops kick in soon and she feels better tomorrow.

So far Monkey and I haven't gotten it. Of course I am paranoid and I keep looking at her eyes and at my eyes, in the mirror, for signs that we have gotten it too. I accidentally touched my eyes today, so I am probably doomed for sure. It is so hard not to touch your eyes, when you aren't supposed to touch your eyes.

I kind of wish I would just get it and get it over with, so I could treat it and no longer worry about catching it.

My husband will be traveling next week, so I guarantee as soon as the door to the airplane closes, Monkey's and my eyes will crust over and I will be stuck taking 4 kids with me to the clinic. Murphy's law, you know (ya know, for my ND peeps).

My friend suggested I stand in the middle of the room and spin circles with a can of Lysol. I am considering it.

Below is a picture of Belly with her pink eye lids and her dirty dinner face. She was feeling a little better after her second nap and her eyes are not as red as they were earlier today.

And another one with the boy who started the infestation. If you are wondering why his shirt collar is all messed up, that would be from one of the things he does to earn the not favorite status (sucking on his shirts and ruining them). Don't worry Bear, I really do love you!