Sunday, February 28, 2010

Busting My Buttons

I'm just so proud of the whole family this week, so I've gotta share.

Daisy has been her usual charming self, showing off her keen powers of observation and complete unwillingness to be left out of anything. This week, she has shown up all her sisters by becoming the youngest of our children (by, like, two years!) to learn the value of a very important word. I'm sure all parents can relate to the challenge in teaching children to be polite while still at the age when the world revolves around them. Daisy has learned, though, that when her sisters ask for something, they get a glare from Mom until they remember to add the word, "please." Daisy's working vocabulary still consists of only a few easily recognizable words: mama, dada, hi, bear, ball, and uh-oh. When she wants a snack, lacking the words for "juice" or "goldfish," she still mostly whines, points, and stomps her feet. But now, when she gets the reflexive glare from Mom, she adds, "beese." This has worked so well that she is starting to come up and tug on my leg and say "beese" without the whining. I know that our communication issues are far from over, but still, I'm pretty excited about the development!

Oh, and here's the picture I promised of the first ponytail. This is also a good illustration of her attitude about food, which may explain her motivation to master "please" when it gets her snacks faster.

Aslan has just been a trooper this week. She finally got to return to school for the first time in two weeks, and she celebrated by painstakingly signing her name to each of the seventeen Valentine cards for her classmates and teachers. OK, so she had to ask me to spell it almost every time. She still did all the writing herself!

She also helped entertain kids of friends who stayed with us this week for various reasons, as well as helping distract her baby sister while Mom helped out with the Daisy Scouts' weekly meeting (the troop leader was late because the school at which she works had its roof cave in under the snow, so she's stuck in alternative sites for the rest of the year. Puts my driveway shoveling gripes in perspective!). And last but not least, she also provided cheerful company as we waited in the line to pick up our troop's 83 cases of Girl Scout cookies. This is especially noteworthy when you consider that due to her food allergies, the only variety she can now eat are Thin Mints, and she doesn't care for those.

Buzz had a good week too. Report cards came out, and she was awarded a writing award for her grade level this quarter. She also continues to make reading progress. But the accomplishment I'm most grateful for came early Friday morning when she fell victim to a stomach bug and proved that she has now reached the point where she can recognize she's about to throw up, navigate the bunkbed ladder, and get to the toilet in time. Of course I was sorry she felt sick, but believe me, at 3:00 am, this was still a big favor for Mom.

And let's not forget Bookworm, who not only made the new honor roll this quarter, but also spent Saturday being my right-hand woman at the National Air & Space Museum where I was volunteering to help out with a family event. We were helping run a station where kids of all ages were assembling and decorating some fairly snazzy paper airplanes, complete with fuselage, wings, tail fins, and propellers. At first she was a little worried when I told her we would be there for three hours, but after finishing her own "Valentine airplane" (completely covered in little hearts), she really got into assisting the other kids, prompting a visitor with three little girls to comment to me how good she was in relating to them. When I told her it was time to go, she begged me to stay longer. So hopefully she'll want to come with me again sometime; the volunteer coordinator was delighted to have her.

Side note: we had lunch with my former boss from the museum, who asked Bookworm what she wants to do when she grows up. Bookworm's answer surprised me, as it's a change from the former librarian. Now she wants to be an inventor. My boss chuckled and told her she could still spend plenty of time in a library that way. (At last check: Buzz still wants to be a ballerina, and Aslan, a mermaid. Daisy doesn't yet have an opinion on record.)

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