Friday, February 7, 2014

Those kids I have

I was going to write about yesterday's kickass intervals, but I haven't done a kid-post in a while.

Last month LightRunner turned 18 months old. I can't quite believe so much time has passed. I think it's a bit more bittersweet knowing he is my last and I won't experience those early infant days again (and I do love those early infant days.) But 18 months is also my magic time… I can see his little brain ticking. I can see him absorbing EVERYTHING. It's so unreal how you can just see the difference when their little wheels start turning. He stops and thinks before he does things, he does things to deliberately make me laugh, he remembers things from day to day. He's starting to say a lot more words and repeat a lot of sounds. He helps me unload the dishwasher and hands me each individual item saying "he-ah" (here) after each one and "thank you" after I thank him. He loves his Haze, but he also loves playing with his siblings. The Princess can make him giggle just by looking at him and sticking her hand out to pretend to tickle him. The other day he jumped on SkyWalker and wrestled him. I love this time when he is learning so much and everything is a wonderful new experience for him (and mess for me). Next year it will be just him and me and I am already planning on resurrecting my Preschool Playdates program and really cherishing our last year before preschool starts.

Chewie is doing really well with her speech--twice a week--and enjoying her new preschool. She talks to other kids in gymnastics and at preschool and has come a long way. She and the Princess are always playing make believe and when the Princess is not here Chewie just plays by herself. I frequently hear her talking in the living room living out whatever fantasy she is making up. She is ready for kindergarten and going on the bus with big sister. I'm not sure I'm ready for her to go, but we have 7 months to get ready.

The Princess is as crazy as ever. I've talked to a lot of moms with 6 year old girls and it's almost universal. The happy one minute biting your head off the next syndrome. She has done better with her tantrums, but she is still very quick to anger. Over the most ridiculous things. She's doing very well in school and I have no problems there. She does her homework right away, works hard on everything she does, and is well behaved when she is there. She doesn't seem to involve herself in any of the girl drama. I suppose it's better that she saves her crazy for me, but I look forward to this phase ending.

SkyWalker is not crazy but he is lazy. He is SO smart but he just dislikes doing hard work. And anything that he thinks is going to take more than 5 minutes is hard work. His handwriting is horrible, still, and he will often put the minimum amount of effort into anything (except Minecraft). His first report card was so good--nothing below a 90--but the one he will bring home today will not be as good. His grades have fallen in both math and science, mostly because of the ridiculous common core that's supposed to make things so much better. If he had a worksheet of simple multiplication or division to do the old fashioned way he would get it done no problems. But he can't do it the old fashioned way. He has to use their strategies. Look up number discs. It is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Vader and I don't agree on much but we are in unison when it comes to this common core crap. Anyway, SkyWalker gets annoyed that he has to do this extra work when he already knows what the damn answer is and he tends to skip directions and get points off. In the last couple of weeks he has improved a lot with math and is putting more effort into following directions and labeling. I threatened to take Minecraft away and that seemed to have an effect. This is the first year that he cannot rely on his raw intelligence and he has to actually work. I think his grades going down might actually be beneficial for him (and his low grades are 85s, we're not talking failing). He's playing basketball and seems to enjoy it a lot more than soccer. He's not very good because he's just not an aggressive kid. He told me the other day that there are two boys at his table at school and one was kind of mean to the other and said that he was going to work on a project with SkyWalker and that the other kid had to work alone. SkyWalker said no, they would all work together. So, I'm okay with him not being aggressive enough for sports.

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