I should first wish the Little Happy Birthday!
She turned 2 in May. We decided that there is a surplus of toys and other "stuff" in the household, so we got her what she needed (shoes, and an outfit or two) and she had a grand time unwrapping what Buggy had delightfully wrapped for her. We sang Happy Birthday several times and she just loved it. So did Buggy. Birthdays are her favorite, so she had been gearing up for this one. :-) She talks all the time now and says some pretty funny things. She'll tell me when she wants to watch the "bahbie fincess" movie and she can say everyone's name very well.
When she spent such a long time watching Buggy and her attempts at potty learning, she one day just decided that she wanted in on the action. I'm not sure why, we have no "rewards" for pottying other than cheering. But she is now happily in underpants (or out of them) and using the potty much more regularly than Buggy. She will even go out and spent all of Sunday (including church) dry.
It means we have an abundance of nakedness at our house. Be Warned. :-)
She also wants to dress herself. a lot. She has several changes of clothes each day and if I won't dress her in what she wants, she will go and get her sisters' clothes and use those. They are easier to take on and off anyway. I've thought about fighting that battle and have decided that it's not worth it. At least not right now. When we go out, I at least attempt an outfit that won't be ripped off the second I turn my eyes, but sometimes it backfires on me. I don't think Frodo knew how to dress himself until he was almost 4. I always was in charge of the clothes, what, when and how much. I don't think it occurred to him until after Rapunzel was born that he might have a choice in the matter. He still doesn't like to tie his shoes. Rapunzel got herself dressed when Buggy was in the hospital. She liked clothes, but not overly so. Her big quirk was that all dresses (including nightgowns) must be to her ankles. It was the only way it could be "pretty". Buggy loves to dress herself for school, and as soon as she attempted, I encouraged the self-help skills as I know many kids with her disabilities often learn helplessness. I guess Little saw this as an open invitation. ;-) She has definitely take it to the extreme and I'm not really sure what to do with it. I did know that I had to get her clothes out of my room. It was causing a tornado that would reintroduce itself every few hours, whether I cleaned the mess or not. Now, at least...the mess is where I don't have to see it. :-)
Frodo finished 4th grade with k12 and has requested to do it again. He was pretty disgusted with my lack of routine and his apparent "holes" in education. He only has two subjects with k12, but it operated very much like school at home. He was badgering me about why we never did any other subjects. I finally sat down with him and let him plead his case while I countered with what he was learning in my "unschooling"-ness.
He was shocked.
"You mean, all that stuff had to do with school?"
"why didn't you tell me?"
"Would you rather we sat in a desk for 6 hours a day and did the same stuff?"
"Well, I guess not, I like to pick what I read"
He's stopped bugging me so much. ;-)
He did, however, request more subjects through k12. I allowed one more. If he can keep up with it with minimal prodding, we'll add another one. It's been pretty funny going through math with him this year. I have *finally* figured out he was an auditory learner and when I started teaching him that way, he got pretty upset and asked why I just didn't do it the way his teacher did it. When I showed him how many problems he would have to complete if we did it that way, he "allowed" it my way. He picks things up so much quicker when I have him say things out loud. He really is very good at math and loved the chapter on logic puzzles. I'm afraid that he might be a math geek like the rest of us. ;-)
Rapunzel has been drawing pictures that astound me. She still doesn't think she is a reader (we're hoping to remedy that soon), but she is drawing in perspective and loves to make her own paper dolls for her sisters. She loves to do crafts and art projects. It certainly isn't her vision that is holding her back from reading. We had a long conversation about how sometimes our brains just aren't ready for things: just like she was a late talker, but now she can talk just as well as anyone else. Or how some babies walk before other babies. Sometimes reading just takes longer for some kids, but they can still be great readers. I'm hoping that all of this reinforcement will help her realize that she is still smart and can do hard things.
She ended up in the emergency room last month with croup. What 7 year old still gets croup bad enough that she can't breathe? I asked about risk factors for asthma and any other breathing stuff and they said it was a totally different bird. I then asked when she would grow out of it and they said, "Most kids have grown out of it by now, but sometimes it can last until they are 10 or even later."
Buggy has been rambling all over the place and started riding an adaptive tricycle at physical therapy. It is amazing for her. She loves it.
We have decided not to send her to kindergarten this year, which means that we had to sign a waiver at the school district abandoning our right to all services relating to a "free and appropriate public education" for her. I'm still sorting out how I feel about all of that. The classroom was a great supportive environment, but not appropriate for her at this time. I'm taking it just a piece at a time. I realize that my educational goals for my children are significantly different from the public school system. I also am realistic enough to know that in order for me to provide all that I can for Buggy, I need respite. Right now, I have access to Buggy's preschool. They have graciously allowed her to stay for another year. It is the perfect environment for her. When that is over, I'll have to reassess.
For now, that is enough.
I feel myself getting very nesty and very little energy with which to nest. :-) I am glad that the lazy days of summer are finally starting. We can sit outside all day and play. I am excited about my pending birth and hoping that I am as ready this time as I was last time. I spent so much time practicing my hypnobabies last time and I haven't been as diligent this time around. I have done a lot of studying around the cultural attitudes surrounding birth and my Faith. So much of our culture has seeped into my religion about birth, but it has absolutely no foundation in doctrine...in fact, it often runs counter to the doctrine that we believe as LDS people. Understanding the reasons for this and then wanting to shout from the rooftops the disparities has me exhausted. I also know that I need to respect the choices of others if I have any hope of being respected myself.
HeaterBoy and I have discussed this often and he is a great sounding board when I get frustrated or have an epiphany. I feel like I have grown, as a woman, very much during this pregnancy. I understand my purpose a little bit better. I understand my role and its importance along with the attacks being made on me and all of us as adults while we struggle to understand what gender has to do with our lives in this universe.
I am grateful for personal revelation.