Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend away & the first parent teacher conference


If you take about three seconds to say that word, that would sum up our weekend in Vail.


Ski season starts on the 24th. This translates into hardly any people, and half off every restaurant in town.

I've said this to everyone else I've talked to about Vail, so I will record it here. The sidewalks are heated. As a result, even when snowing, the cobblestone streets are free of ice or snow. It is how I envision the North Pole.


I got a massage, which was 30% off, and my neck and shoulders were in such a state that the woman climbed onto my back, put her knees in my bottom and worked out some knots. Of course, she only weighed 100 pounds or so, but um. . . let's just say I need to stretch more in future.

While in Vail, my friend told me of a tradition her mom did for her that I decided to do for Brody starting today. She bought each of her kids a Christmas ornament each year, and kept them with dated in boxes. When her child was grown, she gave them the ornaments for their tree. Heirlooms to start on your own tree. I thought that was lovely. I bought Brody an ornament: a star with a snowman wearing a cowboy hat. It's hanging off his rocking horse until we get the tree up.

When I arrived home, we built a snowman and sledded down our front lawn.

Please note that Brody is wearing his father's hat, and clutching his beloved snowball. He doesn't even get mad when you throw one back at him, unless it lands in his face.


This morning we attended the first parent teacher conference ever for Brody Alexander.

In sum, he's doing wonderfully well. He is a sweetheart, they say, and tries really hard. No worries on the speech/language/reading front, and none really on the motor skills, except that he is delayed.

Improving, however, which is what I have trained myself to hope for and expect. Like when he didn't walk until almost 24 months, I just kept looking to see whether he was improving on mobility.

I learned, however, that most kids his age put on their coats by themselves. Huh. Not having other children, I don't realize things that "most" other kids his age are able to do. Like, going to the bathroom themselves. Because they can, apparently, take down their own pants. Huh.

They told us about his writing. Lines are good, circles are good, spirals not so good, but "even with his handicap," he is about where he should be for a 3 year old.

Yeah, she said handicap. I didn't say anything. The woman is sweet, I really like her, and I just have to get over my aversion to certain words. They don't treat him differently, it is just a word.

I tried to channel Sarah's mom. I actually thought, "What would Sarah's mom do?" The answer: let this one go for goodness sake.

We asked about socializing. They say he is shy in bigger groups, but with 8 or so, he is happy to participate.

We asked about friends. They say he gets along really well with everyone.

We asked about his difference and how the other kids view him. Bullying and teasing is our biggest fear in school. They say the other kids noticed his shorter arms at first, asked about them, and the teachers explained we are all different.

They say there is another kid who has a prosthetic leg. The leg was a topic that the kids initially discussed, the kids looked at the leg openly (the boy pulled his pant leg up so everyone could see), and that was the end of it.


They explained that, really, everyone just accepts everyone else, and it's not a "thing." They said if anything, the other kids want to help Brody do the things that he has trouble with, to the point that the teachers have to tell one girl to back off a bit so Brody could learn to do a new skill or two.

I think, at some point, helping can be patronizing ("oh, look, you couldn't possibly do that, let me do that for you") but at this point, when a 4 year old girl wants to help a 3 year old boy work a pair of scissors, it's just sweet.

I asked them if they believed Brody knew he had different hands, because he insists to me that he has 10 fingers. I'm just fascinated by Brody and what he perceives and understands. It doesn't matter really, but I'm curious. The answer is, we do not know, but it appears not. At least, not that he can verbalize.

The teachers were sort of upset that they had not realized all of the times that they say things like "Ok, hold up your fingers, count to ten." For the record, Brody believed he had 10 fingers before he started there, but the preschool is now aware and will address if necessary. I told them we do not care if he thinks he has 8 or 10 or 20 fingers, really. Again, I'm curious.

Goals for the next few weeks: have him write and recognize the letter B, improve scissor usage, learn to put on coat by himself.

I missed him like crazy. His smile when he saw me reached all the way into his eyes and submerged his whole face. "I love you, mommy," and sounded almost shy while he squeezed me in a hug.



Dawn said...

A weekend in Vail sounds nice! I'm so glad Brody is doing so well. And for the record Z is nowhere near putting on his own coat. Actually he rarely even pulls up and down his own pants and can't even take off a shirt. And his lines and circles aren't so great.

Robyn said...

Rylie can't write any letters, so there! LOL. I remember at her 3-year-old well child visit, they asked me if she could draw a circle. I said, "I have no idea. I've never asked her to draw a circle, but if you get me paper and a pen we can find out." So I'm just as clueless as you are, I guess!

I'm glad that Brody is doing so well. And I'm glad that channeling Sarah's mom worked out! Brody is extraordinary and I have no doubt whatsoever that he will continue to be the epitome of awesomeness.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Many of the things you are waiting for Brody to do, Kevin can't do either. I don't think we expected our kids to write letters and put all their own clothes on at three. The bar keeps getting higher for three-year olds. Kevin needs lots of help with all of these things too.

Tracy said...

I guess I never thought of those things. maggie doesn't put her coat on all by herself. But she hasn't figured out how to zip or button yet either( a little hard with no thumb on one hand and a hypoplastic thumb on the other). To me I'm just happy with the things that she does do. As for speech that usually comes later with boys anyways. Girls develop with speech much quicker then boys( I can't imagine why.LOL)

If you want Brody to be the 'genuis' of the class. Get him The Leap Frog videos. They usually carry them at Target but you can get them on their website too. They have the Letter Factory( which teaches letter recognition, if he watches it for 2-3 weeks once a day every he'll learn all the letters and their sounds .. guarenteed, and I can prove it.)

They also have othe videos to. He'll love them. We have the whole series at the moment and Maggie watches them everyday, even though she knows her letters and sounds now.LOL.