Wow, what a day, full of new things for all!
But first, I have to note: two of our neighbors already have Christmas lights up!
This morning, Katrina went to Melissa's as usual, but earlier. I'm glad she's already established there -- at first, she cried when I left, then pouted, and now she lunges joyfully for Melissa when she sees her.
Julian started at Kids Inc today, and I immediately had doubts. When I brought him, he was so reserved, almost fearful, not meeting anyone's eyes...should I have found a cheerier, brighter place? But even before I left, he was engaged in a sponge-stamp project, and when I picked him up, he was happily playing outside with two girls. Then tonight he was full of stories, new sayings and gestures, and in an excited mood. I love that he has to take a nap, it showed today.
Gabriel was disappointed I wouldn't be picking him up from school, but as usual, I found him happily engaged in an activity at the CDC. Little did he know (even though we told him) that Dad and Mom had been there that morning to talk to his teacher about him: Parent-Teacher Conference Day!! Goal-setting conference, as they call it.
As we expected, there was almost nothing to report. He's slow and often doesn't complete his work, but she doesn't want to rush him and is looking for creative ways of teaching kids to complete something quickly. To our surprise, she said he's very articulate and his writing is excellent. We did note that his writing has improved dramatically, and she said they do practice writing a lot. Not surprisingly, she's noticed his perfectionism and dedication to order, and showed us a calendar that the kids were supposed to fill out for November. It was a math exercise of writing the numbers from 1 to 30, disguised as filling out the dates for November in blank squares of a calendar. But Gabriel being Gabriel insisted on filling in the dates for the end of October and the beginning of December too, even (unnecessarily) splitting the last Sunday in November between 25 (November) and 2 (December). No square left unfilled, that would disrupt The Order. Other than pronouncing a few letters, in all areas he's advanced beyond what they expect of kindergartners. My guess is that he'll always do OK in school because he's so ordered. Then again, that could set the stage for a mondo teenage rebellion.
But today I was most worried about Katrina. Would she feel isolated all day at Melissa's? No problem; Melissa had two other kids with her (including her own 7-year-old son), and when I picked her up, she was in an astounding mood. With the other kids there, she was in her element, crawling around and giggling and showing off with Gabriel-esque exuberance.
All told, all the kids were in good shape. I left to pick everyone up at 4pm, and got home at almost 5pm, though I spent a lot of time debriefing with Melissa and the staff at Kids Inc, more than I usually would. Still, the pickups will be arduous, and the order will be a challenge. It'll be most convenient to pick Katrina up first straight from work, but most inconvenient to lug her around and strap and unstrap her twice to pick up the boys. It'll take a while to figure out the optimum schedule. Getting home tonight at 5pm was the max, and that's with having the main "entree" for dinner already prepared. (Get ready for this: I prepared three meals last Sunday, ready-to-go from the fridge to the oven. Think that's going to work? I give it 30% odds!)
Even though Katrina only had one nap today, she was in fine form at home. Her latest thing is to raid a cabinet, find an object, set it on a footstool, and then push it around, practicing walking.
Melissa said today she stood unassisted for several seconds....until she realized what she was doing, then tumbled to her bottom! Katrina turned 13 months old today, so nothing speedy about this walking development, but she still has 4 months to beat her brothers. I hope it's less than that.
My day was fabulously productive, meeting with our architect, then with a kitchen designer with the architect. This helped focus the discussion on both sides, and I was very happy with the thorough list of questions the designer asked me. In the end, I felt that she had a very good idea of what I want (function) and what I need (form), and will be a big help in nailing this down. I can't wait!
One more day before work starts. My Plan is to go on a big run tomorrow, but I'm not sure how feasible that will be after getting up so early to bring Katrina to Melissa's. Though it's clear the whole family operates better on an earlier schedule -- all three were in bed before 8 tonight, and I give a nod of thanks to Congress for that -- I never really will.