This year has been weird.
Last year was a big adjustment for Katie. She moved into the middle school and there was drama and there were tears.
This year it occurred to me, as she opened up her locker like a pro during the open house we went to on the second day of school, how much one year changed her.
Last year she had a hard time getting around to her classes and getting her locker to open... she was doing okay, but it was tough.
This year she's just more confident; she speaks up for herself, she's taking care of her homework (mostly)... she's just really matured.
We had conferences recently and her teachers were so complimentary. They all mentioned that they like having her in class (one teacher even said she was a pleasure to have in class, which is awesome to hear) and that she's working hard.
There's only one class where she's got to work on something and it's gym class. She doesn't change into her uniform.
Now, I want to support the gym teacher and make sure Katie knows that it's important to be prepared, so we talked about making sure she changes into her uniform every class and explained how important it is.
I'm saying all of the parent-y things I should say, but inside? I'm like whoa... my kid is going to gym class AND she's participating in gym related activities???
She's already putting more into the class than I ever did just by showing up on time and doing the thing the teacher asks! (I hated gym and I think my gym class participation may have ended with learning line dancing in middle school. The fact that participation usually involved exertion, which usually meant sweating didn't help though.)
She PARTICIPATES, and that means doing sprints and RUNNING! Which kind of blows my mind.
I don't even care if she ever comes in on time with whatever tests are used to measure physical fitness, I'm just so impressed she makes the effort!
Plus, she's a smart, sweet, kind kid. And that's awesome.
Jacob is doing great too. He'll have homework and he'll guesstimate how long it will take, and he'll tell me it will take 3 minutes (or something really quick). And he'll get it done! He's soooo smart. He's smart in math and with reading.
And he's got two really good friends that live close and he loves to have them over for play dates and sleepovers. They play Terraria and Minecraft for as long as they're allowed and only go to bed when I make them shut things down! He includes Jack too, and that makes me so happy.
Jack is learning a lot too, but I think he has a short attention span which makes it hard for him to sit still. He's also having a hard time keeping his hands to himself. (*He's* pretty tough but other kids may not want to play like they're professional wrestlers or boxers and he's got to tone it down.) He's getting better but it's something he needs lots of reminders about.
The school is great; they have a program kids join when they have a hard time paying attention AND/OR keeping hands to themselves. They also have groups for kids and the groups meet to talk about friendship or parents who are divorced and there are a few other groups, too. I'm so thankful they support students and parents.
That said, school conferences are coming up... I usually kind of hold my breath till their teachers get through the first part of the feedback sandwich (you know, say something nice then talk about the negative thing and then say something nice so no one leaves feeling totally awful).
It's okay if you just lay it out for me. I already know my kids, and if you tell me that Jackson's a sweet kid but he makes you crazy most every day, I'll probably say "I hear ya." Because I totally get it.
And Jacob is pretty much always doing well in class and following the rules, but if he doesn't see the logic in what he's being asked to do, he'll ask why. And if he still doesn't think it makes sense, he'll ask why again. He wants to understand and, I think, he's weighing the pros and cons of doing the thing the teacher wants him to do with how it lines up with what he thinks is okay.
For example, last year he wore his winter coat, WITH the hood on, all day in class.
The teacher would ask him to take his coat off and he would. For a minute. And then he'd put it back on.
I asked him what was up and he told me, with a really disgusted tone, that kids cough and sneeze and don't cover their mouths. I wanted to laugh because he sounded like a grumpy old man, but he was really bothered by it.
He felt like his coat protected him from their germs.
We ended at an agreeable impasse. The teacher looked the other way going forward, and he didn't have to disobey requests to remove his coat.
So, hopefully we have some good news at conferences.
That's about all I'll write about tonight! It's super late and I'm not going to edit this like I normally would... I think I'll just post what I've got and head to bed.
Oh! I'm hoping to sleep really well again tonight! I actually slept so well LAST night that I woke up and had a panicked feeling... the same type of panic I felt when a kid started sleeping through the night... I'd wake up in the morning feeling rested and then realize it's because I actually SLEPT the night before instead of getting up three or four times with the baby, and then I'd jump out of bed to check on the (at the time) baby to be sure they were okay!
This morning I woke up after a really good, deep sleep and felt panicked, but it was short lived (whew) because I could hear Katie and Jacob talking in the living room. So I went back to sleep!