Gloria’s Sunday school teacher sent us this end of year feedback on our daughter. I couldn’t be more proud of her:
Gloria is such a great kid. She is definitely the classroom cheerleader. She is the first person to say something kind to a fellow classmate, or encourage their work/answer. On one of the last few days, a fellow classmate was struggling with a project and she went and helped him immediately. It got to the point where she was helping about half the class, because her project was so much more advanced than everyone else’s and she wanted to help them catch up. It was so incredibly sweet and helpful! I have never heard a negative thing come out of her mouth. She is so warm and caring and it’s genuinely such a pleasure to see. If I decide to join in on a project that the kids are doing, she always wants me to sit with her so that we can work together. She loves helping out, and is always willing to clean up (even when it isn’t her mess). She was such a joy and a pleasure to have in class, and her constant sunny disposition was amazing!
As many of my friends and colleagues are aware, I am a huge fan of the techniques covered in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It seems that Micah’s been picking up on the theory that “when kids feel good, they do good.”
This morning I witnessed Micah deftly avoid a huge blow-up with his brother. Here is the scene:
Micah has just come upstairs, and both he and Ezra want to see Lauren.
EZRA: Don’t go into mommy’s room!
[Ezra puts himself squarely in the doorway to our bedroom and glares at Micah. Micah reddens and looks like he’s about to get violent when all of a sudden he cools down and turns to Ezra with a smile.]
MICAH: Ezra, can I have a hug?
EZRA (immediately): Yeah, I love hugs!
(The boys have a big embrace.)
MICAH: Ezra, can I come with you into mommy’s room?
EZRA: Yes! Now that you gave me a hug you can come into mommy’s room. Let’s go in together!
Ezra is 2.75 years old, and I — although clearly biased — never cease to be amazed by the brilliant things that come out of his mouth. Here are three examples, all from our bedtime routine this evening.
Ezra is playing with an old TI calculator, which he refers to as “my phone.” He then picks up his “red phone” (an old Zune*), and says, “Mommy, this is a phone, and this is my other phone. They are similar.”
After Ezra’s book, it is time for him to help me set his bunny clock and turn on his white noise machine, as he does every night. Our exchange:
LAUREN: Ezra, I need you to come help me with your bunny clock now.
EZRA: Oh, do you want me to turn on the machine? I’d be happy to help with that. Say please.
We’re in the bathroom, and Ezra sees Kenny’s electric toothbrush on the counter.
EZRA: Mommy, whose toothbrush is that?
LAUREN: That one is daddy’s.
EZRA: Oh yeah. You have the same one, but yours has a purple L on it.
* You can laugh all you want. Kenny and I have a few of these lying around from the time that they were commonly given out as thank-you gifts upon shipping products at Microsoft. None of ours have been charged in years, but they do make great decoy devices for toddlers.
During bedtime tonight, Micah pointed to the crack above the bedroom door and said “the tooth fairy can come through that.” Then he and Gloria took turns pointing out all the places the tooth fairy could squeeze into the room since she’s so small.
I then read them a book, put Micah into bed, and Gloria pulled me close and whispered “Daddy, is the tooth fairy real?” I paused, and she added a follow-up “is it you who puts the dollars under my pillow?” I dodged briefly with questions like “what do you think?” but she was undeterred and asserted, “I don’t think the tooth fairy is real, I think it’s you – is it? Yes or no.” I acquiesced and confirmed that I had redeemed the last five teeth. Gloria didn’t want Micah to know about any of our conversation, but she was bursting with questions to ask. Surreptitiously interspersed with bedtime, a whispered set of questions followed:
“How do you sneak in so quietly?”
“Can you show me how to make origami dollars? Let’s cut up paper so we don’t have to use real dollars.”
“What did you do with my teeth? Did you keep them all together?”
“How do you take my teeth without waking me up?”
“Can you teach me how to sneak?”
Fortunately I do indeed have all of Gloria’s baby teeth preserved in their original envelopes, and I guess I’ll be teaching some origami sessions this weekend. And to think just last weekend I was marveling at how convicted she was that Santa Claus was real….
Wow, time flies! Today Gloria graduated Kindergarten, her self-proclaimed favorite school year ever. She took to McGilvra and her teacher Mr. S immediately and was always excited to get on the bus in the morning (or occasionally bike to school with mommy). We had beautiful weather for the graduation ceremony, along with a family lunch at Café Flora. Just like that, our little girl is now a first grader!
Waiting on line for the processional
In they come
Receiving her certificate from Mr. S
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.
It’s been a joy to watch Gloria’s burgeoning reading skills develop this year. Tonight she read to me the five steps below. I didn’t have to assist her in any of the words, which was surprising as I didn’t know she could read “droid unfolds” or “activate.”
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.