Uncle Shawnie and Aunt Amanda are returning tomorrow night after their nine month sabbatical. Micah and Gloria have been talking about it all week. We weren’t sure how much Ezra would remember his aunt and uncle as he was 14 months old when they left. But he’s clearly picked up on his elder siblings’ excitement and started saying “Shawnie” today. I captured this moment at dinner tonight, and realized just how much Ezra’s verbal skills have exploded recently. He’s echoing back all sorts of phrases, especially when his big sister “da da” is conducting.
Micah has been going through some emotional turmoil lately, we assume due to feeling jealous of his brother and some normal “threenager” angst. I’m sure it doesn’t help that Kenny and I have both been going through a busy period at work, so Micah is probably getting a bit less one-on-one time than usual. And I hear it’s hard to be the middle kid. So we’ve been seeing some tantrums, hitting, and overall destructive behavior lately (e.g. writing on furniture, throwing objects across the room), interspersed between his normal cute cuddly spells (like “mommy I love you, you’re the best mommy in the world!”). Fortunately cute/cuddly Micah is still more prevalent than angry/destructive Micah.
Micah was ill and needed to stay home from school today. When Kenny was at school dropping Ezra off, he had a short conversation with Micah’s teacher, and he mentioned some of the behaviors we’d been observing.
His teacher’s response:
I don’t think he’s displaying any attention-seeking behavior at all. If we had seventeen Micahs then [co-teacher] and I would be out of a job. He’s amazing and so helpful with everyone. He helps take care of the other kids. I can’t believe he’s the youngest kid in the class.
Maybe she’s talking about a different Micah?
Lauren and Gloria had the following conversation on the way home from ballet today that I’m glad they shared with me:
GLORIA: Mommy, we practiced fact groups at school today.
LAUREN: What is a fact group?
GLORIA: A fact group is when we get a number and have to show all the different ways to make a number.
LAUREN: What is the fact group for six?
GLORIA: 3+3 is 6. And 2+4, and 1+5, 0+6, 5+1, and 4+2.
GLORIA: There’s also 7 takeaway 1, and 8 takeaway 2.
LAUREN: Do you guys do subtraction also?
GLORIA: No, but I needed to try more ways to make six.
Gloria is loving kindergarten. At some point during her parent-teacher conference last week, the topic came around to her left-handedness, and her teacher amusedly shared this little tidbit:
Every time we go to the computer lab I help Gloria move her mouse to the left side of the keyboard before she starts her assignment. This week I was busy with another student when we first entered the lab and I forgot to fix Gloria’s setup. She raised her hand, and then with hands on her hips, said, “Mr. S, I can’t work like this!”
On our outing to Seattle Center today, Gloria noticed the signs for Seattle Children’s Theater and asked if she could see Stellaluna. I told her that we had tickets to see it two days before my birthday, which led to the following conversation:
GLORIA: What kind of dessert do you want for your birthday daddy? Do you want cupcakes or ice cream or cake or cookies or donuts?
KENNY: I hadn’t really thought about it. Those all sound pretty good.
GLORIA: But which one is your favorite. Cake? Ice cream?
KENNY: You know, I do really like ice cream cake.
GLORIA: Well daddy, you can’t have ice cream cake. It has too much sugar. After the frosting and the ice cream there’s too much sugar. You should just have the ice cream, I know how much you love ice cream.
If Gloria remembered the D’Ambrosio gelato cake we ordered for my 37th birthday maybe she’d change her mind.
On Thursday morning, while we were having Challah French Toast for breakfast, we had a very instructional conversation. Gloria had asked for some strawberry preserves to accompany her French toast.
LAUREN: “Here you go, strawberry jelly.”
GLORIA: “Mommy, why did you call it jelly and not jam?”
LAUREN: “When I was a kid we always called it jelly”
GLORIA: “But they’re not the same thing”
KENNY: “What’s the difference again? I can’t remember…”
GLORIA: “I know, for jam they don’t have to remove the seeds”
Once Gloria reminded us of this, I remembered that the fine folks at Alm Hill Gardens had communicated this tidbit last year at their farmer’s market stand. Those kids really are sponges.
Usually the one moment of predictable downtime on weekends is around 2pm, the (short) overlapping stretch of Micah and Ezra’s afternoon naps. But in honor of Father’s Day, Micah decided that this Sunday was going to be different from all other Sundays.
We haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, so to help me get some rest Lauren graciously took Gloria out this afternoon right after I put Micah in bed for his nap (and about 20 minutes before Ezra was due for his). Shortly after Lauren and Gloria left, Micah came upstairs to inform me that he didn’t feel like taking a nap. This from the kid who had turned to me during lunch today and said “Daddy, I’m done. Let’s go downstairs and have a nap.”
This had never happened before, so I brought him back downstairs, put him in bed for a second time, and went upstairs to get Ezzy ready for his nap. As I was about to put Ezra in his crib I heard Micah walk up the stairs, open the door, and announce “the bunny’s awake!” Now I knew full well that the bunny wouldn’t wake up until 2:30PM, so I just gave him this look of disbelief and said “really?”
Without skipping a beat Micah said “yes daddy, I woke him up!” I finished putting Ezzy to bed and sure enough when I went down to Micah’s room he had figured out the switch to change the bunny from asleep to awake. While I didn’t get a rest, at least Micah was good natured this afternoon. Perhaps he was running a bit of a sleep surplus. Hopefully we aren’t set up for a more challenging week (behaviorally) as a result.
He’s my best friend….and my daddy too!
Hope she still likes me this much when she’s 13…