last

today was abigail’s last day of kinder. it seems a bit hard to believe she could be ready to go to school already but if you ask her about it she will tell you with great excitement just how ready she is.

she keeps telling kristian that she won’t see him anymore when she goes to school. she means that she won’t see him when they would have both been at kinder and on they days they wouldn’t be at kinder but stephanie is at school, but the way she says it makes it sound like he will not see her for days or weeks at a time once school starts. poor kristian.

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i worry a bit about how she will handle school, and the presence of so many other kids. she has so many little … quirks, ‘ocd’s, preferences.. sometimes I just can’t imagine her being able to adapt. at kinder, to a certain degree, her uniquenesses could be worked around, tolerated, but it doesn’t always work that way at school and I see the potential for her to become very upset by something that matters only to her and other people see as so trifling that they have no time to accommodate her eccentricities.

i wonder how much of this concern is warranted because I know my daughter and see many of the same reactions to certain types of situations that i have… or do I dread her going to school because I am mistaken about how much like me/us she really is and I am preparing for her to react the way i would when in actual chance she might be totally fine. I really hope that is true!

tired now, Coherent in theornong!!!

what i tried to write there was that i was tired and hopefully i would be coherent enough to finish the entry in the morning :) it took me several tries to just get the last line that good, before that i couldn’t even tell what i had been trying to write.

abigail

last

an excellent thing

A few weeks ago when we were in the pool, Abigail did something that was a new achievement in her water/swimming learning process and we told her that it was excellent. Excited by her own greatness that day, when we announced that it was time to get out, she demurred, saying she just wanted to “do one more excellent thing.” Since then, “excellent thing” is kind of the ‘official’ terminology for any new milestone.

Kristian was doing excellent things today. We have two pools that we go in often – my mum’s, and the one here in the complex we live in. My mum’s is small and not too deep – Abigail can stand up by herself in it but for Kristian it’s still a bit of a stretch. In the one here there is a shallow end and a deep end, and there are several steps and a ledge that you can sit on. I’ve noticed he seems to be much more at ease and confident in our pool, particular with the steps that he can stand on himself and hold onto the edge of the pool for security.

One of the things Abigail learned when she had swimming lessons was how to jump out to us from a step or the edge, as a prelude to us getting further and further away and her actually having to swim rather than just jumping and being caught. Kristian’s seen us doing that with her and has decided he should have a turn a few times, but with him it’s more of a lunge than a jump and he’s pretty much touching you the whole time. Today, though, he was fearless! He was actually jumping to me from the step and one time, he was in such a hurry to do it “agin! again! shjump agin!” that i wasn’t fully ready for him and he went fully under the water before I caught him. Standard operating procedure in unexpected events such as this is to immediately launch into gushy, over the top praise about how clever that was and how great they did and all that. Usually you can distract them from getting upset and then they forget that they didn’t quite like it since they didn’t expect it and they want to do it again because you thought it was so cool. So I did that. It worked. So then I purposely started letting him go into the water and getting his face and head wet before I lifted him up. He was fine – so long as he could hold a ball that we brought to the pool with us while he jumped. He wasn’t into it if I suggested it might be easier if he put the ball down. Ok, weird, whatever.

A bit after that is when I noticed: each time he came up out of the water, he carefully held the ball in both his hands and wiped his face with it. It’s a plastic ball, so it’s pretty much useless as a tool with which to wipe the water off one’s face, but that’s what he was doing. I laughed out loud and caused Daniel to ask what was so funny, so I explained and Kristian was kind enough to demonstrate again, which kept cracking me right up. What a dork.

As if that wasn’t enough excellent stuff for one day, though, he then moved on to “sitting jumps” to me from the edge of the pool, again going right under the water. I was amazed! Half the time you take him in the pool he just about tries to climb up your body, as if the water is too cold for his delicate little boy bits. (He’ll tolerate just his feet dangling in.)

Stephanie will be doing an excellent thing tomorrow: it is the first day of school for the year and she will be starting grade three. I have consented to accompany her to the classroom, since she asked, even though I don’t really want to because a classroom filled with kids and their parents who don’t know where they should be sitting or putting their stuff and they are all making chit chat about what they have been up to is really not at my list of ideal places to be at 8.30 in the morning. And also, since next year I won’t be able to accompany her to the classroom to do all that stuff – I’ll be busy accompanying Abigail to her first day of Prep.

(A couple of weeks ago we were in a fabric shop and a woman who worked there was straightening all the shelves of fabric, and talking to Stephanie and Abigail while she did. She was asking Stephanie about school and Abigail decided to interject that soon she would be going to school with Stephanie too. The woman chuckled and shook her head and said that she didn’t think Abigail was big enough for school yet. Stephanie explained that “soon” is “a year away” and she’s in kinder at the moment. My mum and I were talking about this later. She said the lady was right, Abigail isn’t “big” enough for school, but she is nearly “old” enough. (And then I again started worrying about how I will ever manage to get a school uniform to fit her.) … (Any one know where to get growth enhancing drugs..?))

I thought I might also mention that it has been abysmally humid the last few days, making the temperature seem much hotter than it actually is. And I am so over it.

an excellent thing

backwards

This afternoon I stupidly reversed into another car as I was leaving kinder after I collected Abigail. I was about to pull away from the curb, I wasn’t going very fast, but there was a bump. The other person’s number plate got a decent dent in it from our towbar thing. Their bumper has a small dent. My car is fine, since it was only the towbar that touched the other car.

My head, not so much. Driving and cars have the potential to make me very anxious. When I do something stupid like reversing into someone, that potential is realised. Even if I am trying to park somewhere and misjudge or something and then have to back up and come at it again, and there are people waiting to go past me, I just get really flustered and that just makes it even harder to do what I am trying to do. The parking in front of Stephanie’s school is parallel parking which you have to reverse into. Yes, this is generally one of the more difficult types of parking to do. But that knowledge doesn’t make me feel better when I have misaligned myself the first time around and backed into the space only to have half the car sticking out into the road still. Trying to go back forwards and fix it doesn’t work because there are usually other cars waiting to drive past you, there are other parents standing around outside the school staring at you while they hold their idle chit-chats. If I miss it the first time I have more than once just driven straight back out and gone around the block to let the people forget about me and come back able to start fresh.

This kind of paranoia isn’t restricted to driving type issues and situations, I just have it particularly intensely in those kind of situations.

Before I learned to drive I wouldn’t have thought that I had any psychological problems with cars and driving. Maybe not.. before I learned to drive. Maybe it would be better to say before I was old enough to learn to drive. If you aren’t old enough to drive then no one expects you to. Once you are old enough to drive, everyone assumes that you have a license. Once I started trying to learn to drive I think it woke up some kind of suppressed fear in me, about making mistakes, or having an accident. Or hurting someone. One would assume that these worries stem from having been injured myself in a fatal car accident. I don’t know if there is any way to fix this problem in myself. Other than not driving, of course, which is really not a practical option.

Driving is something that normal people do and I have become aware or been made aware of how I am sub-normal in so many ways that any mistake in a driving related situation makes me feel stupid and useless and so very very not right. Not right in the way that a serial killer is not right, not not right in the way that someone who wears tea-cozies on their head is not right. I try to escape that conditioning and sometimes I’m quite good at it. Sometimes I have a bad day though and I hear the voice and see the face that shows disgust and disdain at my flaws and I can’t help but to feel those same things for myself.

backwards

oops

I got myself into a little bit of trouble at kinder today, sort of.

They have a questionnaire that they ask you to fill in at the start of each year. It’s things about your child.. their favourite activities, what they don’t like, if they have any fears, how they are progressing with toilet training, if they have any special needs like dietary or medical or religious. On the question about what methods or techniques you use when trying to help your child with toilet training, I wrote “Asking nicely. Crossing fingers. Giving encouragement.” Then I was feeling in a silly mood, so after that I wrote “Animal sacrifice.”

When I went in this afternoon to pick Abigail up, the leader in her room said she just had to ask me a question, and got Abigail’s little folio book out and opened up to the page where the questionnaire was and I said “Oh, is that about the animal sacrifice? I was just being silly.” She got such a look of relief on her face. She said she just hadn’t been sure if I was joking or if maybe we had some kind of religious beliefs like that or what and she didn’t know how she should approach it. I assured her that it was just completely a joke. (Which I thought had been quite evident.. are there still people in western culture who practice animal sacrifice??)

Evidently, not as amusing to them as I had found it. At least when I told it all to my mum just now on MSN she was laughing, so I know it wasn’t completely unfunny. :)

I think she had been quite worried about it. Today Abigail wore underwear all day for the first time ever, and I’d asked her before we left if she wanted to go to the toilet first which she declined. Then when we got to the gate she decided she did want to go, so we went back inside and Jane was in the office telling the other ladies there that it was alright, it was just a joke.

oops