Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Attempts To Spread The Love Equally

I realize that the posting here lately has been a little heavy on the Punkin exposure. It seems as though life works that way sometimes. For a good stretch of time Shortcake will be making all kinds of strides or saying hilarious little snippets worthy of sharing with the larger community, and then it flips to Punkin’s turn in the spotlight. To be make sure I keep things as even as possible to avoid any “You loved my sister more than me – just look at how many posts you wrote about her” confrontations down the road I thought I’d do a quick update on the life of our oldest daughter.


I attended my first official parent-teacher conference from the other side of the table last month. Shortcake received outstanding marks across the board in terms of her progress in the kindergarten curriculum. In some areas she’s even ahead of what is expected as this point in the school year. The only area where her teacher noted some concern was in the area of fine motor. This came as no surprise to me as this particular area of development has never been Shortcake’s strong suit. When comparing her handwriting to others in her class she’s definitely got a ways to go, but I’ve noticed significant improvement in her handwriting since the start of the year. I have some issues with this particular area of curriculum at her school, but I’ve consulted the guru of fine motor development, aired my concerns and was supported by her expertise, and now I’m trying to move on.

Shortcake informed me at dinner the other night that a boy in her class told her he thought she was cute. Her father and I are both equally disturbed by this development.

I am amazed at how well she is reading. Shortcake has always had a love of books – she is the only child I know who, at 12 months old, would sit and look at books by herself for upwards of 30 minutes. Her school is involved in the Book It program and Shortcake is so motivated by it that nearly every day while I’m cooking dinner or washing dishes she’ll ask if she can get a book and read for 20 minutes. How do you say no to that? Her invented spelling is also impressive as is her comprehension. She and I are reading “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” together and when quizzed on previous events from the book I’m amazed at how much she retains. It makes me realize how skewed my view of what’s considered typical developmentis based on eight years of working with the students that I do.

Shortcake brought the “Trick or treat, smell my feet” song home with her from school. Punkin embraced it wholeheartedly.

Shortcake is trying her hardest to perfect the eye roll and gets lots of practice using it at home. I like to think she learned this at school, but given the instances in which she uses it I know in my heart that she totally picked it up from me.

It appears as though Shortcake has a quick gag reflex triggered by gross smells or garbage of any kind. I mentioned it in the pumpkin carving post but I had observed this long before then. She has a difficult time clearing her plate into the garbage because the sight of food inside the can makes her gag as does the sight of, shall we say, waste of the human variety that has not been properly flushed. I totally know where this little trait comes from, and I feel that it will be my job as her mother to prepare her for the hell she will go through during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. I will also need to remind her to steer clear of dishwashers, taco meat, and raw chicken.

Exposure to school undoubtedly means new terminology springing forth in her everyday vocabulary. Some of Shortcake’s new go-to phrases include “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy” (thanks to the boy who thinks she’s cute), “Holy guacamole,” “What the?!?” (most definitely not my favorite phrase) and referring to anything and everything as “weird”. We have yet to hear the famous “whatever” response and for that I’m thankful.

Shortcake and her BFF missed lunch time a while back after getting so absorbed in a movie shown during indoor recess that they missed the instructions for their class to go to the cafeteria. It wasn’t until all students were back in their classrooms that her teacher (who is at lunch herself when the kindergarten students are supposed to be eating lunch and having recess) realized the two girls were missing. She saw them walking with the wrong class as they were leaving the movie, set them up in the nurse’s office for a late lunch, and all was well. Shortcake explained that she was sad about missing lunch with her whole class only because her friend was very upset. Other than that I think she was stoked about a private lunch in the office plus a nearly full viewing of Toy Story.

Shortcake’s favorite day of the week is Thursday. A strange day to be a favorite you might think, but that’s because you probably don’t realize she’s a huge fan of Survivor. She is very disturbed at what a “snake” Russell is (her actual description of him thanks to introduction of the term by Papa) and thinks it’s completely immoral that this snake lies to everyone. Shambo is her personal favorite as I learned earlier this week. I only let Shortcake stay up to watch the first challenge and she makes me promise that I will tell her who got kicked off first thing the following morning.

Although she still has her days, her kindergarten induced exhaustion seems to have dissipated compared to that at the beginning of the year. Her first day back after being sick was a little rough, but I think her body has adjusted to the demands of a full day of learning. I don’t get as many bedtime tear fests about missing her daddy although I know that she does miss him during the week. It’s tough on any little girl not to see her daddy except on the weekends, but I think it’s even harder on Daddy. Am I right, General?


Overall, Shortcake is doing awesome. She’s growing into such an incredible girl, continuing to amaze me with her compassion for others, desire to learn, and maturity. She is my biggest helper, always ready to please, and eager for compliments on a job well done. She is a ray of light and every day she makes me so very proud.


Tru Stories said...

Thursday, has always been my favorite day! Best TV, spaghetti night, close to the weekend, drink specials....what is not to love?!

Anonymous said...

I happen to remember another little girl who read books, read maps (probably at 4 yrs)spent coutlss hours in her room behind a closed door playing school sitting behind that little white desk. Hum, I wonder who shortcake might take after. I am so proud of both of you! Gramma Poke.


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