Monday, September 9, 2013

First day of school

It is with great trepidation that we sent the girls off to the first day of school today. They are both starting new schools, which is always a scary thing, and they're both facing some big hurdles.

We left Philly on Friday immediately after court on Friday, and that may have been the best thing for all of us.  We went to a dear friend's wedding in the rolling green hills of New Hampshire where we were surrounded by happy, healthy, supportive people in a really gorgeous environment.  I half expected the girls to spend the whole time on their phones and laptop bu i was pleasantly surprised to look out the window Saturday morning and see them playing Risk with a friend of mine and a cherubic 7 year old. They even seemed to be having fun, and have started knitting and crocheting lessons with me. Grace astutely figured out that if she knits in class, she may have an easier time following what the teacher is saying. I'm hopeful that I can convince her teacher of that.

Grace was hyper on the way up. This was overheard going towards the tappan zee bridge:
G: daym! Look at that jint!
    Oh, nooooo... I don't like this bridge. It's too close to the water.
There was a lot of fun had, including board games, swimming in the river, petting a donklet and dancing to accordion music in a barn. They even stayed in a tent for the first time!

We all talked on the way home about revising the allowance structure. Currently there is a set maximum, which is pretty low, and they lose money if they don't accomplish certain tasks. The structure we're proposing has a pretty low base minimum, and then they add to that by performing certain tasks.  The way we envision it, if they make it to school everyday and do their chores, they'll be able to make about twice as much weekly as they do now. We're going to all think on it, decide what things we want to see worked in as incentives, and try to solidify the structure this week.

We all had a blast with the developmental leap that Ziggy made over the weekend as well. He is now clearly asking for things he wants (apples, water, nursing) rather than just pointing and yelling. In the car both ways he had so much fun hanging out with the girls, playing with them, giggling and them and enjoying himself. We joke about getting him registered as a therapy baby. He earned his keep for sure.

Apparently the Philadelphia School District put Grace into a regular classroom today instead of in the self-contained room that she has been in since 3rd grade. And so the endless battling for a decent education begins…

Last night we saw a major breakthrough with Grace. On her way down into the basement she knocked over a bag of powdered cleaning agent that was on the stairs. This was at around 10 the night before the first day of school after we had spent the day in the car travelling. No one was happy about it. But she picked up the broom, and then the shop vac, and she gamely tried to clean it up. Leonard came down and helped her, and it was mostly taken care of in about 30 minutes. This might seem like nothing too exciting, but the Grace we had in the house 3 months ago would have immediately started cursing and yelling as soon as anyone said anything to her about it. She would have stormed off, not only not helping, but stressing out as many people as she could in the process.

It’s the little victories you learn to celebrate.