Shortie
Patrick Calls Leftovers Used Food

I'm With The Brand

A couple of thoughts from the last post:

1. I had never noticed that Curious George has no tail and is therefore not a monkey. I'll be damned. 

2. Miss Clavel is apparently spelled with only one L. Whoops. Two Ls.

3. When I read books for myself I just skip along. While I might feel some skepticism as the heroine culminates her wedding night with a crescendo high C (AHEM) I don't dwell on it. I just think, "Suuuuuuure she did, Lord Darkesmere" and I read on. Depending upon the book I could not tell you five minutes after I am done the names of any of the characters or what happened to them or why. However after reading Goodnight Moon a couple of hundred dozen times I know that I find the babydoll on the bookshelf creepy and I am amused that the picture of the three bears includes the picture of the cow jumping over the moon. You can explore a text much more thoroughly when there are less than 300 words to consider and you are forced at scream-point to repeat it ad infinitum.

I enjoyed your comments very much; I love the fact that you are all unfailingly courteous to each other and me; and in summation, Kate put it best when she observed, "I think maybe reading picture books leaves too much time for thinking." 

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Patrick's bedtime is eight which means he can generally be corralled into his room by 8:20 at which point he does... stuff and as long as it doesn't become too loud or we smell smoke or anything we leave him alone. Now that the Legos have moved to his room and he has the ability to harness the awesome power of six AA batteries he mostly builds robots but occasionally he branches off into more delicate arts like comic writing.

This floated down from over the banister last night and it made me laugh aloud.

Click here

I find him very witty except in the morning on school days when I find him INSANELY exasperating.

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I spoke with the woman who did his PT evaluation and then her written assessment came in the mail a few days later. He has average balance and ok strength and no ability whatsoever to perform any action requiring bilateral coordination. She noted that with a variety of these tasks he thought he was doing what she had asked but when he looked down he would be, like, oh, wait, my feet aren't moving, are they? From tapping his fingers to jumping-jacks Patrick's left side has no idea what the right side is doing and his top might as well be in Calgary while his bottom visits Peru. She thinks he might benefit from OT as well as PT and I am trying to set up an OT evaluation for him while we wait for our insurance company to decide whether or not an inability to play the drums (or the piano. or fence. or polka) is a medical emergency.

In the meantime I feel tremendously liberated. For six years I have dutifully hauled this child to swimming lessons only to wonder what the thrashing thing was in the shallow end: a marlin on the line? Why no! That would be Patrick. And we have conscientiously upgraded him from big wheel to tricycle to inherited bikes with training wheels and then extra training wheels only to have him sit there and then fall over. 

It's nice to know that it is not simply a matter of try. There is no try. So it is to be hoped that our insurance company whom I love (what the hell - Health Partners, I love you) will spring for a little help for the kid whose brain fires differently and if not we will try to figure something out. 

On a vaguely related note: what do you think about trampolines? I mean the modern trampoline with the high protective sides and covered springs, not the pinchy defenestrators of my girlhood. I cannot believe I am even considering it but we have a line on one for Patrick for his birthday and I am trying to decide if this is crazy. On the one hand he would love it. Loooooooooove it. On the other I do not want him to break his neck. 

Please advise.

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Jan just left a couple of questions on the last post and because I am sitting here and I like Jan and I didn't have a next point in mind I might as well answer her now.

Caroline's skin is better, thank you, and yes it mostly just cleared up on its own. She does have a stubborn eczema patch on her chin at the moment, though, and the keratosis pilaris is as awful as ever. Edward has smooth, soft baby skin that you (well, I) want to snuffle but poor Caroline's arms and legs feel like sandpaper. Nothing we can do about it apart from coating her with moisturizers (futile by the way; it's like dropping a teaspoon of water into a desert) and I am just glad that the outbreaks on her face have eased. 

Patrick's school is terrific. Awesome. Perfect. He is like a different child from last Fall. He feels good about himself and it affects everything and everybody. I think they have a truly great (a once-in-a-lifetime-great) teacher who walks that tricky line between educator therapist arbiter and substitute parent that second graders need and the kids all like and respect him and each other.

I am much less concerned about the academics than the social stuff but I notice that Patrick is blooming there too. They do such fun things. Spelling is always interesting. More than half the time they get to pick their own words and then incorporate them into whatever the weekly assignment is. This week one of his classmates made it up: they have to create silly definitions for ten words and then draw pictures of the real definitions. My favorite from Patrick this week was elver, which he defined as an elevator that doesn't go anywhere. He drew a long line of people stretching away from an elevator while the guy inside it looks annoyed. Then he drew a little eel saying 'goo'.

I think the point of their math is to extend themselves and get them used to getting things wrong a lot. Patrick used to get upset when he made mistakes but now he just shrugs and says something successories like "Get some right, get some wrong." They are plotting xy coordinates this week and had to create pictures, plot them, figure the coordinates and then have their classmates try to use the coordinates to recreate the pictures.

No one was more surprised than I was to discover I have a dormant love for the equation of a line because I got all excited when Patrick was trying to make his dinosaur work on graph paper and I went on and on and ON about slopes and the y-intercept until Patrick extended his palm toward me (still a gesture of his that amuses me) and told me, "Yeah no doubt but we don't need to know anything you have just said."

Fine. But I still think it is like magic.

So thank you for asking and Patrick's school is terrific and I continue to be grateful on a daily basis that this was an option for him.

What was the third thing? Oh, therapy. Patrick's or Edward's? I talked to the scheduler today while Edward was with his speech person (actually he has two - his therapist proper and then a student who has been following her for the past several months) and we started putting physical therapy appointments on the calendar for Patrick in anticipation of a positive response from our insurer. He would start in mid-May and then we are trying to get an OT evaluation scheduled for June. She laughed as we tried to piece something together for both kids that would not have me ferrying them back and forth all week and she said, "You will be getting everything we offer at this point."

Bring it on. We are all about the therapy over here even if we are sometimes a little late to the party. I know why I did not want to pursue Patrick's coordination issues sooner (I wanted to focus on getting him into a school setting that would work for him without clouding the waters with his Other Problems - whether this was right or wrong of me I have no idea and I was not even aware that I had been doing this until I realized that I relaxed about school and instantly thought, "OK now about the drowning...") and I just hope that the delay will not prove too unfortunate.

Edward, meanwhile, is doing very well in speech and is continuing to work on not dropping his end sounds in the middle of a sentence. Like he can say "Up" with a lovely plummy "puh" at the end but if he says "Up Clouds" (for example although why would he?) he says Uh Cowds.

Steve went to get Caroline up from her nap yesterday and discovered that she had removed all her clothing and her diaper without unsnapping, unbuttoning or unzipping anything . She is like an eel (or an elver.) She is also - and I know everyone always says this about their little girls but I only have the one so... - OH MY GOD Caroline is such a drama queen/princess/empress/pharoah. She is so actress-y. Every gesture with her is enormous as if she wants to make sure they are getting it all the way in the cheap seats. She droops. She swivels her eyes about like expensive hi-beams. She languishes. She trills.

"Oh sunshine!" she exclaims as she flings her arms wide as if to embrace a beam of light and then, turning to her audience of me and the cat she continues, "Sunshine makes me smiling." She's just so consciously precious. Patrick and Steve eat it up, by the way. Edward and I are more immune.

While singing Doe a Deer the other day she stopped herself - twice - and said, no, no it's not good enough. I could not decide if she was doing a Do Re Mi/ Sing medley or if she was having a perfectionist prima donna moment or both. Fortunately (and perhaps not coincidentally) I was filming her at the time so we can all ponder the question together.

Roll 'em.

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In the span of three days I ripped the knees out of both pairs of my favorite jeans. This prompted a minor crisis when I went to buy the same jeans again and discovered that they have changed them enough to make them dreadful. OK. In the spirit of full disclosure I will acknowledge...

I wear Lands End petite (petite as in I have short legs) pajama bottoms to bed every night and a few months ago I realized that the pajamas I have had for years were all skimming above my ankle bones. It seemed unlikely that they had shrunk after so much time so I came to the conclusion that I have grown taller. I believed it and I mentioned it to Steve in all sincerity. I pointed to the highwater PJs and said I know it is unusual for a person in her late thirties to grow an inch but what else could it be? Steve kept a perfectly straight face and said, "Ah?" and I strode majestically away.

Days later I realized that there is actually another alternative: namely, that my derriere and hips have increased enough over the past year that they are hoisting my pajamas upwards.

I returned to Steve with this possibility and he laughed until he choked. Then he caught his breath and starting laughing all over again.

So! It is possible that it is not the jeans that have changed. In any event I tried on a few pairs and realized I would no longer be purchasing this brand and style. Which left me completely effed because have you SEEN how many jeans there are out there? I used to wear Levis as a child and then I wore Guess and then I wore Levis again and then I wore Gap and then I wore J Jill and now... I am back to Levis again. Curvy. Levis curvy jeans for the woman who thinks she might be growing taller. I like them and I bought three pairs and I hope I am done with jean shopping forever but my quest begged a question and I am asking you because I assume you know.

While I was looking for jeans I wondered if I should be looking for more *Nina Garcia pursed lips* appropriate clothing for my age. Granted I just drive children around but it might be nice to wear something other than solid color tshirts all the time. I looked around for shirts that might be more interesting or pretty or something and I discovered that I sort of like the peasant blouses and the frilly tunics but... and here is my question... I think they were all in Juniors. What does a woman my age wear that is casual but not too young, do you know? Can I wear the fun smock-y things or will people with actual fashion sense sneer at me? I tried to look at Target to get a sense of where the teen section ended and the grown women began but there didn't seem to be a whole hell of a lot between twenty and death.
 
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I think that's it.

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Don't forget the trampoline. 

PS Quicktime for the video. If you want.

PPS Video has problems. Will try to fix.

PPPS I feel like the cameraman with the bottle and stars around my head. Still working on the video which is the size of a jumbotron. The Click Here for Patrick's comic is fixed though.

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