Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting for Montessori

. . .and we are first in line on the waiting list, but in the meantime, Jack is going to a local preschool. I like the teacher. I thought I liked the aide. Then this morning, just when we entered the classroom . . .

Jack spied a small, brown moth on the floor. He crouched all the way to the ground as only rubbery children can, to inspect this gorgeous creature. The aide spied the bug, smashed it with her foot just under Jack's nose, and walked away, leaving the oozing pile of wings while she got a tissue to mop it up.

We'll be right there, Maria!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kit's Sixth Birthday

Today Kit turned six. It was what most would call a good day, not a grand day, but that Kit considers it a "best day ever," renews my belief that the simple days are the grandest. In most ways it was pretty typical . . .

Since everyone was gathered in our bed at 6:30 this morning, (except Daddy who was with us finishing getting dressed) we presented Kit with her birthday present: the long-awaited Kit Kittredge Doll. She knew it! She knew it! Oh . . .she just knew it! It was enough for everyone to be excited about. But routine takes hold and next on the morning to-do list was The Daddy Send-Off where everyone runs out to the sidewalk to jump up and down and wave goodbye to Daddy. (He's a rock star coming and going.) Gabby and Jack usually run up the block as well, during which I hold my breath, but eventually get to exhale: they return for breakfast.

Everyone went to school today including Jack (bigger exhale), so I made my thousand phone calls, interfaced with my Down syndrome list serve, tweaked a flyer for a conference and gathered up 26 cupcakes for Kit's class, which I was only allowed to distribute at lunchtime in the cafeteria. This was tough as I had to walk the gauntlet of 120-plus first graders, many of whom I know, but to whom I could not, by Wyngate Customs, distribute cupcakes. On my way, I ran into Kit just about skipping into the cafeteria wearing a paper hat that said "It's My Birthday!" as if you couldn't tell by the grin on her face. The stringent Wyngate Customs made the very special 26 kids in Mrs. Fitz' class feel all the more special, of course, so I ignored my drooling neighbors and got to sit with Kit. That is, I got to sit with Kit until Mary Forline showed up and then I had to move. At least Kit shared her carrots with me. (Had I only remembered to stick a bottled Frappucino in her Hannah Montana lunchbox . . !) I had to reassure one child that there were no peanuts in the cupcakes, just chocolate cake. "Well then," she countered, " have any of the ingredients been produced in a plant that manufactures products which include peanuts or treenuts?"

After school Gabby and Jack presented Kit with their present: the Target version of an 18-inch doll, about $85 dollars cheaper than Miss Kittredge, roughly the same quality, and perfect for including your sister in doll games. It worked. Except it triggered Jack's afternoon tantrum (also routine) wherein he pounded his head into the floor and screamed "I WANNA DOLL!" How did I not see that coming? (Particularly after yesterday when he left 3 three-year-old boys in the front yard playing with cars because, he said, "I want to bake.")

Marius and his mom, Maitre, were wandering the neighborhood, so they came to play. Noah and Alex from next door came over at 5 (with mom Marlie, and our babysitter friend Elle, too). We had pizza, polished off the cupcakes, and played with dolls and trains. Kit never took her paper hat off until bed. Miss Kittredge went to sleep in the Target baby doll clothes and sleeping bag that Alex and Noah gave her tonight, right next to Miss Kit Fleming. Her last birthday request was that she didn't want to take a bath. I couldn't bear to wipe that smile off her face anyway.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Special Stevens Family Visit

Friends like Melica are what make my life especially blessed. Add ice cream and popsicles, and you've got bliss.

A new special attribute of our summer life, now that we're back in the US, is that we get to see friends who are coming through DC on their way to various posts. We are super fortunate that Will's Dad lives in Bethesda. In spite of a sea of busy schedules: Melica and Will--and Harlan and Riley and Mia and Emmett--trying to juggle language training and visiting friends and family and the beach; and us Flemings tied to camp, workshops,and trips to our own families, we still managed some amazing moments together . . .

. . . welcoming Baby Emmett in person . . .

. . . visiting one of Melica's favorite parks in Vienna . . .

. . . taking a trip to the zoo . . .

and just hanging out at Chez Fleming!