Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mr. Josh sends his regrets.....

Just this week Little Mr. Popular has gotten a birthday party invitation as well as an invite to do a playdate with a kid I've never met who is in his Lunch Bunch - a group of kids from both the morning classes and afternoon classes who get together a few times a week for lunch. This is only preschool I can imagine what this kid's schedule will look like once he's older!! As I was starting to type this a neighbor called to ask how the week's going and she mentioned that her daughter wants to get together with Josh too. How ironic! He's everybody's buddy. One of the dads from school said Josh was the topic of conversation while his daughter was getting ready one morning last week and she was debating whether Josh was her friend or her pal. Like Chris's uncle said long ago "He's going to make the best fraternity brother!" Now there's something to put on your resume!

This weekend he's going to be with us and our German dance group in the Philadelphia German American Steuben Parade - he loves that sort of stuff and usually brings down the house when he dances. His little partner and he have gotten the idea of waltzing like the grown-ups do and it really is cute. So cute that the boy who used to be the darling of the group had a hard time dealing with it the first time he wasn't the center of attention on the dance floor. They'll each have their turn. I honestly don't think Josh will have a problem passing the torch if he stays like he is, he genuinely celebrates a win when we play anything whether he's the winner or not.

Anyway, the birthday invitation had to be turned down because we'll be out of town that weekend with our old dance group in DC. And I'm in contact with the other boy's mom about potential play date times - and our neighbor will be coming to the bus stop tomorrow to goof around with Josh while we wait for Dima's bus.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"I'm not going to college because that means more school"

It seems that Dima's been having a tough week at school. They had a substitute on Monday morning and on Tuesday because his regular teacher is buying and moving into a new house. Well, apparently the sub gave them work that was hard and on Tuesday morning he comes out with "I'm not going to college because that means more school" while we were waiting for the bus. Yesterday he was kind of clinging to me before the bus got there saying he doesn't want to go and I was told that he cried on the way there and our neighbor sat with him talking to him on the way to school.... Now this morning he was BAWLING and trying to cling to me and the bus had to wait for him til I could coax him on. The neighbors were trying to talk to him as well as their kids and the bus was chanting his name before the driver kindly asked if he could help her with directions and offered him a piece of gum. All the while I'm asking one of the neighbors if she thought I should just go back to our house because his crying and all was directed toward me and he was asking if he could stay at home - today?? tomorrow??? He seemed slightly appeased when I told him he doesn't have to go Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking I might put both boys in the car and drive over to the school and see if he can point out the way and then let them play on the playground once we get there. I'm even thinking of asking if Josh and I can ride to the next stop with them tomorrow to lure him on - if that's okay with the driver. At one point this morning the neighbor indicated that she thought he wouldn't get on the bus but I didn't want to cave in since that would set a precedent for it to happen again. I really don't want to make a big deal of this so it'll hopefully blow over and I'm hoping he'll talk about what's up if we do drive over to the school later on. I was in contact with the teacher last week and she seemed to indicate that he was doing fine socially - I think he's getting intimidated academically and doing full days for the first time might be adding to his stress - plus when he goes and when he comes back here's Josh goofing around and having a great time with no homework to do in the evenings. I'm sure that doesnt' make him feel any better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School has begun

Josh was so excited to get to school that yesterday when Dima put his back pack on to head out for the bus at 8:15am he put his on too. I explained that we wouldn't be leaving for HOURS and he left it on for the greater part of the morning including going to the bus and then going for a walk in the neighborhood. Last year he had morning preschool and this late school concept is still sinking in for him. He kept asking "Is it time?, Is it time?,Is it time? all morning. Today I was thinking about taking him to the playground to play and picnic beforehand but huge storms rolled through so we spent the time here. Right now he's chowing down on a roast beef sandwich and I've introduced him to eating it au jus - what a mess! He dissected it and has bits of beef and bread all over the place he's eating the bread first and fortunately he's got his "eatin' suit" on. He really likes his carbs and really likes to take stuff apart so he's having a grand old time.

Today is his enrichment day which means it's less structured than the usual days and they get to play on laptops and make snacks in these classes and there'll be a new set of kids. He's still having some trouble grasping the concept of having a new teacher and new students in his class each year. Yesterday he kept asking if kids from last year would be there - there's only one boy from last year in this class - and he already found a girl that he "wuvs" in this class. He described her as "the pink girl" that means she was wearing pink. He also did that over the summer while describing the kids at the pool he'd describe them by the color they had on. As in yelling: "That black boy splashed me...".

Dima's teacher gave an okay report on his behavior so far. She said he's been doing well as far as socializing with the other kids but she hasn't had recess duty yet so she's not sure how that's going. He tends to rush through work and then has to re-do stuff and he needs to be encouraged to take his time the first time to get it right and not waste time. I'm impressed that she was so responsive to my questions about how he's doing and she's interested in keep up to date on how things are going with his testing through the county to get him behavioral help.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Brrrinnggg bbrrriiiinnnngggg

As Josh and I were waiting for a friend to call yesterday to let me know that she was ready to go for a playdate I explained to him that when we got the call we'd leave. so next thing you know he's going "Brrrinnggg bbrrriiiinnnngggg Hey, the phone's ringing". Nice try.

We went to an awesome playground with the wife and son of Josh's Best Big Buddy - we first met him because he owns our local beer distributorship then we also ran into him and his family while we were going for swim lessons. Then when Dima and I went to his open house at school we found out that his daughter is in Dima's first grade class. When we saw each other in the classroom we set up the playdate so the two younger ones could hang out together. The playground is in a Memorial park that's dedicated to a young mother and her daughter that were murdered in Collegeville years ago - a horrific, sobering story that really makes you appreciate and think twice about the time that you spend with the kids and how quickly things can change.

I'd heard about the playground before and just had the chance to take my guys there for the first time last week. It's great for Josh cause he makes car sounds in the huge slide - tubes and makes friends of all the other kids. Dima likes swinging now that he's mastered doing it on his own so it was ideal for both of them. While we were there yesterday Josh also hooked up with a bigger kid who was leading him around and taking him from his playdate friend deliberately and he even pushed Josh's friend and made him cry. I wasn't sure if or how to intervene as far as making Josh play with one versus the other but it became clear to Josh that it was a bad choice to hang with him when he gave him a shove too. The kid was there with a sitter who was spending time on her cell phone and not really paying attention to what was going on. When Josh's friend got pushed I told Josh that if he sees something like that he should tell the other kid that it's not nice and not to do it again - so he marched right over to the kid an told him off.... not really what I meant but it did seem to bring him down a notch. Til Josh got shoved too and then it was time to go anyway so we all went for pizza.

Josh did have his Open House this past week and he first had to say hi to his old teacher and play a while with the toys in that room. He knows this year's teacher from when Dima was in her class so he just went right in and played there too. This year I've signed him up for a few Lunch Bunch sessions so he can see some of the kids from last year -they go early and have lunch there and do a craft or story time or something extra too. The Lunch Bunch teacher came into the class while were there and Josh went up to her and hugged her and she said that she and Josh have a "connection" I didn't burst her bubble by telling her that he has connections with pretty much everyone.

"Dima, Who did you sit with on the bus?"
"No one."
"How about at lunch?"
"I ate by myself."
"Did you say hello to anyone?"
"You know kids in your class, you can say hi to them or introduce yourself if you don't already know them."
"I don't want to."

Don't ask me how Dima's school year is going cause it's really hard to get any info from him. He came home one day this past week with a bandaid and I've heard several different stories of how it happened. I asked a friend's son who is older and rides the same bus if Dima's wild on the bus and he said no but he does just kinda sing at random - OOOOOKKKKAAAYYYY.... I think one of the neighbor girls takes him to his classroom and has been looking out for him to some extent. I'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall and see what really happens during his day. He's bringing home stuff that's done during the day and even when I ask about that it's hard to get information. I'm trusting that no news is good news but I'll still get in touch with the teacher and find out for sure what's happening one of these days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

$17.00!! woo hoo

Dima found his niche on Sunday while we were at a dance show in Philly. He was posted at the keg that our group got for the night and had a great time filling up people's beers. Being that he's fascinated by moving liquid I'm surprised we hadn't thought of this before. He was supervised the whole time and started getting a dollar or two each time someone came to get topped up and he ended up with $17.00! By the end of the night he was going around like a beer-pusher "Do you need more, Do you need more?" Cause is meant he got to pour more if he found a customer. We showed him how to clean up around his space and he goofed around with the ice a little but he was well behaved and focused while he was there.

Josh and I went back to the two-day event yesterday and a guy who had a stand including cars remembered Josh and actually gave him a free car. It's a new silver Corvette and the top of it is dented - the reason it was free - but the guy told Josh that it was on a car carrier and it tried to go under a bridge that was too low so it got smooshed. On Sunday Josh kept taking anyone who seemed interested to look at the toy cars and he bought a blue classic Corvette and we saw a real one just like it yesterday while we were on the road.

We stayed much later than I intended to but Josh was playing nicely with his cars and ended up dancing and being passed around to various guys and getting rides on their shoulders around the dance floor giving everyone high-fives. He doesn't start preschool until next week so we had the chance to sleep in this morning and sleep he did - he didn't get up until 11:15 today. We'll probably skip nap today so he'll fall asleep quickly tonight and then we'll get back in sync so we can walk Dima down to his bus in the mornings. Today's his first day of full time school it'll be interesting to see what kind of reports he gets from his teacher. We do have a meeting with a counselor with the county on Thursday morning so we can get him the benefits including behavioral management advise that we all need to help him get himself calmed in exciting situations.