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    Turtle Sightings

    August 20th, 2016

    We went to Baby Beach today. We wanted to go snorkling with the kids, and Baby Beach came recommended by friends (thanx E and L!). The location was close to our hotel, the waves calm, the water fairly shallow and there’s a bit of coral and fish to keep things interesting.

    Unintentionally Storm and I ended up drifting away from Shane and Griffin. But we had fun regardless. We saw an awesome looking puffer fish, a family of (something yellow), and there came a point I said “I want the camera”. At this point Griffin was now up on the shores building walls of sand (remember when I said our kids were perfectly content just playing in the sand while at the beach?) and Shane was off exploring the edge of the reef.
    I took a break and went up to grab it and so glad I did… because upon our return to the water we came across this gentle giant.

    I was the guide, and as the adult in this relationship fully reserved my freak-out to my insides when I saw a very large shadow come up ahead of us. Thankfully, and amazingly, that large shadow turned into a turtle. It was literally crossing our path, and Storm and I followed. It was incredible, although a bit nerve wrecking, because as much as I wanted to stay  at a fairly respectable distance, the current brought us closer, and then the turtle did a complete 360 to face us. We didn’t get in contact, but we swam literally right over it.

    The part I find somewhat amusing is that just the day before we did a snorkeling boat ride out to Molokini Island and Turtle Town just so that we can see a turtle. The kids were over the water portion of the program right after Molokini and wanted to just stay on deck for the Turtle Town visit. From the whole visit there was indeed a turtle sighting. Just one turtle (I guess Turtle Down is like being at the Olympics for the hosting town residents — you stay away unless you gotta be there?). So they saw no turtles and I was really disappointed for them. I wasn’t expecting this meeting, which is what made it even so much more special. But you see, I wanted them to have that experience. Bummed G is a turtle sighting short, but at least my ONE wish for this Maui trip has been realized. Turtle spotted 🙂 Hoping G will get lucky too.







    Our visit was no longer than 3 minutes, we let the turtle get it’s lunch in peace and continued on.

    The kids got a big intro to snorkeling in that we never get in contact with the reef, and while pointing is fine, touching is not. He did so awesome! You can hear our squeals in the video, but though the current pushes us close to this guy (or gal???) there was no turtle touching.

    Storm is genuinely doing so great in the water! Yes, the salt helps with buoyancy a ton, but this kid kept going for almost a full hour with barely any rest, and no freak-outs about not touching the bottom — this is not the Storm I meet in the pool! So proud of this dude. To be honest, what I’m really excited about is the prospect that he and Shane will have this activity to share together. I can tell G enjoys it, but not to the level I’m seeing Storm get into it. Maybe Shane will get a SCUBA diving buddy after all. As long as Shane doesn’t mention anything about sharks, that is — think Storm’s inherited his irrational fear of those predators from me 🙂

    Beach trip

    August 19th, 2016

    There’s a ton of photos that need to be rescued (and shared) off my phone and camera. I’m caught up on editing them, and now I really need to share them.

    The kids and I went to the beach at the start of summer. It was mid-day. The wind was something else. It was pelting us in the face, but the kids didn’t care. Storm got his feet in the Pacific Ocean waves for the first time. I’ve been (mostly) taking the kids to the beach by myself, and allowing them anywhere near the water has been a big deal. Yep — we’ve been the family where the kids go to the beach to just dig in the sand. Frankly, with how cold the water is, swimming hasn’t been something they’ve been craving either.






















    The last pre-school day… ever

    August 16th, 2016

    Today marks the last day that we entered the walls of a pre-school for one of our kids. With the start of school next week, Griffin is off to second grade, and Storm is off to kindergarten. It’s surreal to think that this phase is our lives is finally here, and that’s over. For about 7.5 years now we’ve been dropping off at day care. It seemed like it would take an eternity to have big kids off to school. In retrospect, it feels like it’s gone by too soon.

    I’m not teary. Just feeling sentimental. It’s just remarkable to me that we went from this:

    to this:

    and this:

    to this:

    2016-05-15 13.16.56-1

    S2 ran into school today. He’s been prepared for this day. He’s been preparing to say his good-byes, and he’s been excited about it. He’s excited about the next thing in his life. Frankly so am I — it just hit me last Thursday that this week… today would be the last week I would STOP doing something that has been such a major part of our lives. In the rush of the next phase, I kinda overlooked and took for granted what we’re leaving behind. We’ve compiled some incredible village of friends and teachers that have helped shape our boys into who they are today, and THAT part will be hard to leave.

    I brought my camera with me today. I felt today deserved it. Storm actually took it off me and managed to take a pretty fun photo of Ms. M. I had a meeting that ran late this afternoon. So much so, that Shane had to get Storm. I wish I had a chance to say good-bye to Ms. J and Ms. H, but am also glad that Shane had a chance to see them one more time too.

    Meanwhile, here was what my camera captured from our morning.







    This. This is the image that I want to have ingrained in my head to remember today. The last time he opens those doors, but so happy and proud with himself. We are too, buddy! We are too!







    HI essentials

    July 11th, 2016

    We’re going to HI in a few weeks on vacation. Storm has began packing. He brought this to me last night as the items we need to pack for our trip. Let’s review, shall we?


    A bag holder. Packs small, holds a decent amount of weight. Practical
    Shark. I guess there aren’t enough, and it’s a BYOS (s = shark) kinda state. Alright…
    A Lego Trident. Maybe to be used on the shark? But we’re surrounded by water, so a little homage to the god Poseidon might not be a bad idea.
    Jewel. Authenticity not relevant.
    Ticket. (This is actually a folded up business car Not sure what for.

    But alright, we’re ready to go!

    The mind of a 5 year old. Gotta love it!

    Pre-K Graduation

    June 26th, 2016

    We have another pre-K graduate in our home. S2’s pre-K graduation was just this Friday and we were treated to watching our kid get a “diploma”, along with a few songs, a play adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are (S2 was a “Wild Thing”, in case you were curious)… and what milestone even is complete without the “Chicken Dance”?

    I’m proud of this little dude so much. The past few month have been really good for him, and I’m really excited about this next stage in his life. I’m also really excited about the single drop-off (AND pick-up!) that will come with the next school year. I just can’t believe how big he’s gotten! Long gone are the days of the 20″ little being that would sleep on my chest and fit between my chin and waist. Today he wraps his legs around me when I carry him (and I still do, because I can… and because I know these days are numbered) and it’s just so obvious how far we’ve come.

    He wants to be a policeman when he grows up. AND a fire-fighter! He’s going to be a busy guy: that’s for sure. But at least he’s aiming to be a hero to others, and it’s hard for me not to want to support these career goals.

    We had the car packed to the gills on the way to his graduation. As soon as it was over, we piled in and headed to a camping trip we’d planned with friends for months. So you can say it’s been a very full week-end. This also means a major photo overload, so let’s just get started here 🙂





























    PS. Wow! I just realized this is probably the last time I’ll be using the “Raising Pre-schooler” tag. Sniff! Sniff! Another milestone phase complete. Wow!

    Star of the week

    April 23rd, 2016

    S2 was named star of the week yesterday. At his new pre-school this title is earned and not given. It’s based on service and behavior. Honestly, I dig it!

    Here’s what they had to say about him.
    “Our Pre K star of the week has been working very hard to be a good friend and follow classroom rules, as well as being a great helper and artist! It’s Storm! Way to go, Storm, we are so proud of you!”

    As are we!!!

    Each day they send us a little flipagram of photos of what the kids did that day. For yesterday, it included video, showing S2 getting his nomination. Kinda melts my heart. See it here: https://flipagram.com/f/o3DdtYP2nD

    He really has been working hard. The stick rewards has been really good for him, and while he doesn’t get all the sticks every day, it’s rarer and rarer that he doesn’t. The friendship stick is the most illusive one — not every kid gets one each day, but this week he got a friendship stick I think 3/5 days. You have to help a friend or do something for the classroom to earn a friendship stick. S2 got friendship sticks for cleaning up a classroom area he didn’t play with and helping friends on the playground.
    In turn his behavior at home is also much calmer, too. Perfect? No! But being at home with both kids this week on the scale of stressful to enjoyable, is definitely leaning on the enjoyable side. Heck, I’m sitting here writing this up with both kids hanging at home, peacefully today (in between baseball games).

    Now, since this post is about S2, and his classroom sticks, here are some photos 🙂






    Great Wolf Lodge: our latest trip

    March 30th, 2016

    I’m not one to mix reviews on this blog, since so much of my focus is to preserve this in our family books, but since we’re one of the first NorCal families to make our way down there and my friends have asked for reviews I’m doing this in a more review-y format.

    The kids had fun. It’s something they want to do again. That matters.

    From an adult perspective, I’m straddling the line between “I had fun” and “What the hell?” I’m going to lean the “I had fun” route, but here’s how YOU can make sure you join the fun camp: it’s all about expectation setting. My general note is that you should expect for this to NOT be a budget vacation, and you should expect to that activities take time and you should prepare to wait around.

    S got a stomach bug on this vacation. Again! If you’re counting, we’re 2 for 2 now with SoCal family trips and S picking up something on the way. We’ve joked that he’s simply allergic to being there. Who knows. I’m sure he can give you his own review of the amenities of being tied to a bathroom, but the summary from his side would likely be “GWL needs better toilet paper”.


    Some pluses: rooms have free Wifi (priorities… you know?), a fridge (no freezer though!) and a microwave. It’s a place built around family vacations so you are surrounded by other families and the rooms felt generally sound-proof. I didn’t hear other showers, toilets, feet running around or kids yelling at 6am in the morning.

    Room access was interesting. Our wrist tags had embedded chips in them, and when you rubbed your wrist against the door reader, your door would unlock. Very cool from the perspective of not needing to carry a key card with you (kind of hard to keep one in a lady’s swim suit), …. BUT you literally had to get your wrist on it. Not awesome when you have both hands busy carrying something else.


    Food. Food was good (except for their pizza — I thought the pizza was not good). But expensive. And the wait were so bad. We didn’t make a reservation on their main Grill. The wait was 45 min for a 2-top table, and a full hour for a 4-top. I got S2 squared away with some pizza back in the room, and then G and I went down to the grill. I was initially thinking we’d leave the hotel, but then when I started considering getting to the car, finding a place, it would be 45 min anyway… we stayed. I kind of regret it. The wait staff was nice, but the wait to get our food was also rediculous. We were seated at 7:50pm. We didn’t get our food until close to 9. It wasn’t even that busy at that time. This kid is usually asleep by then! The waitress joked around that they were growing the food they were serving us.
    There ARE restaurant options outside of the hotel and driving to/back isn’t bad. Most of them are chains (Red Robyn, Outback, etc.), but if you’re into Asian cuisine it’s totally your place, because most of the non-chain options were Asian fare.

    Other Amenities

    Target is a hop away. You could probably walk there if you needed to. Good stop for snacks, and other forgotten/non-packed items. Like Pepto-bismol.

    Water Park

    The water park is redonculous. Here are two (crummy) photos captured from the main lobby.


    (not pictured : the waves in the wave pool)


    In honesty, these photos don’t do the place justice, because they don’t capture how big it is. You don’t see (well) the boogie board area. Not illustrated at all is the adventure pool, or the outdoor pool, or the impressive water slides. Again: this place is huge! Maybe look at the tiny little adults for size reference. I didn’t bring any electronic equipment in there, so this is the best you’ll get. I took a lot of mental snap-shots though.

    S2’s favorite spot was the wave pool. He could probably spend all his time there and be happy. Mental Snapshot 1: sitting, potty-style on each of the fountain heads. He ran from one to the next squatting on it. I’m starting to think this kid would enjoy a bidet. Second mental snapshot: laying down in the water with his hands behind his head just floating in the wave pool as it pushed him around.

    The kids liked the lazy river a bunch. After my 3rd go around on it, I was getting bored, but they liked chasing each other in it (they refused the rafts and swam it instead) and trying to hit up every splash zone in it. My job was to bob for a kid once in a while if I didn’t see them pop above water as the current dragged them on.

    MY favorite part was the water slides. Coyote Cannon and the Alberta Falls (blue line) are a must! As the theme of the review goes: the lines are long, so each 1 min thrill ride was preceded by a good, long, 20 min wait (at least). The resort tries to be really inclusive of all ages. As such, very few rides are restricted for older kids/adults. You are measured by height upon entry and then issued a wrist-band. Only 2 slides require you to be 48″ in height. So of course, the lines for those lines were significantly shorter, since most of the attendees included families with kids below that height. The lines for the slides make NO SENSE on your first go-round. You really kind of need a guide. You walk up to them and there are signs telling you of the attractions, but no association of which ride corresponds to which tube. You climb the stairs and then see some arrows pointing you to each ride. You are then assigned a paw color (per ride) that you should stick with. Good luck remembering which ride you wanted so you can figure out which color you need to stick by. You’d think that the colors on the paw correspond with the color of the tube. But, no: no such luck! On our first go, I took the advice of a dad who lead us to the shortest line, only for me to discover all the way on the top that our kids were of course not tall enough for that one, and we were now stuck. Luckily a mom alone with a single kid took pity on us and told us we could join her raft, which thankfully allowed up to 5 people. It was perfect! To boot it was a good first ride to go with the kids.
    The next day, it was just S2 and I doing the slides, and armed with a bit more knowledge, I paid better attention, so was able to maneuver this area of the park a little better.

    There are two sad things about the waterpark:
    1) while the water is warmed to 84 degrees, it’s only 84 degrees, so within 2 hours you are seeing your kids teeth chattering and their lips turn an interesting shade of purple. G asked to leave because he was cold. He actually didn’t want to go back the second day because he didn’t want to be that cold again. There IS a way to combat this, if you don’t mind being a little environmentally non-friendly: extra towels. I had a strategy, where whenever we would move from one section of the water park to another, I would grab another towel for each of us and dry us off on the way.
    Tip. Start with the big water slides first, before you even get wet. That way, you’re still feeling warm from the humidity of the park, and being in line for awhile won’t bother you as much.

    2) no where to put your stuff. I mean it. ALL THE CHAIRS ARE TAKEN. I’m pretty sure some families walked in at 9am when the water area opened up, camped out a set of chair, leaving behind a towel/anything to claim it and then walked off for the rest of the day until they decided to come back. It wasn’t as big of a deal for me with my boys, because they’re energizer bunnies and wouldn’t sit anyway, but for a family with a smaller kid that needs the rest/place to warm up, this would be a major PITA. Finding a place for a stroller, accordingly is also hard — if you were lucky enough to find a spot AND were lucky enough to find a spot where a stroller would go by, you should play the lottery.
    The one bonus to NOT having a place to park our stuff is that it gave me flexibility to hang a dry towel right next to the exit of whatever area we were in, so we can quickly dry off.

    Other Activities

    So… what do you do at a resort that’s all about a water park when you’re done with your 2 hours of swimming for the day/morning? Good news is that GWL jas a bunch of activities for that too. You don’t have to hang out in your room. They have a bowling area, put put golf, arcade, build-a-bear-like thing, and an immersive role-playing game/treasure hunt called MagiilQuest. There’s also free story-time (in the evenings), dance party, craft area, chess zone. Some things have assigned times, so you gotta hunt them out.

    Guess what our kids pleaded for? If you guessed MagiQuest you’d be right. I blame my love of Harry Potter and our ongoing reading for the past few months. S2 saw the wands wondering around him, and the moment he saw a kid unlock a chest by waving his wand at it, the kid lost his mind. I really thought this game could be a 30 min reprieve from boredom. Fast forward to the next day and what felt like 8 hours of running around the hotel later we actually completed a quest. To be honest, the game IS fun, but… BUT after the 7th time (of what felt like hundreds) of taking the elevators up and down the building to get the next rune, or moss, or what-not my feet were just no longer happy. Bring comfy, well supportive shoes. I was wearing comfortable shoes, but not comfortable enough to be walking/standing all day in them. Ow! The game CAN be played by younger toddlers, but you will need to assist and be prepared to do some of the challenges on their behalf (like taking care of the Goblin King). If you have a kid that reads on their own AND you feel comfortable letting loose in the hotel on their own, you don’t have to supervise. Enjoy the free babysitting! If you don’t — well, get ready for the adventure. Bring drinks! Man, I wish I thought of that. Spiked, preferably.
    Ok, so speaking of the Goblin King battle — we spent over an hour on this part alone. It’s a team effort. One person needs to flick their wand, while the other interacts with the computer. It was maddening. There were 4 families around us that were all stuck, so imagine the line of 10+ kids trying to win this level, each taking a turn, failing and getting to the back of the line. We bonded. We celebrated our victories. We were jealous of those that got it before us.
    Oh — I’d like to thank the little, snotty 8-yr old that convinced S2 that you could only win the Goblin King battle if you dished out $15 for a special wand topper. I spent $70+ on the game/wands to begin with, didn’t really need him helping my kids have reason to ask for more money to be spent. I didn’t cave. We won the battle. Better still, G (with the help of two older girls) won the final Dragon battle the first time, with no special topper to be had. Does the topper help? Probably. Do you need it? NO!!! Partner up with people that have done it before and can get you out fast. Or, go back to the store and ask one of the people behind the counter for help. If they’re not busy, they’ll actually go with you to the spot and guide you through it.
    Personal tip : for each rune you need to get, and each creature you were supposed to befriend/conquer you have to go to just about every floor where the game is played (there are 5 in total). Start from the 6th floor, and work your way down. Usually the last “guardian” you’re supposed to turn your stuff in and then get your next assignment is in one of the two lobby floors, so working down is the way to go. Take photos w/ your mobile phone of each thing you need for easier recollection.
    Second personal tip: Cover the tip of your wand whenever you walk by a “portal” kiosk. If you don’t, and have a sensitive wand it will go off. Then the next person that comes up to the kiosk will see your profile, and if they don’t know what they’re doing they’ll erase your progress. So huzzah for that awesome UI feature. Not!!! And yes, it happened to us. The day after we won the Goblin King. Luckily at that time we were pros and got the battle right away.

    G loved playing the game. He was excited about it, and was really invested. He has asked that we go for a full week next time so he can do the next 2 quests. We played a bit more after check-out because we were so close to being done, and he just really wanted to see it through. S2 was over it, and was kind of done after Goblin.


    Would it be a trip I would do again? Yes. I’d prefer to go with another family, though. In ideally 2 more years. Then we can hang out with the kids, or let them loose and everyone can have fun.

    The hotel is also a 7 min drive to Disneyland. It’s on the same road. Given the cost of a hotel on the Disney property, this is comperable, and walking to the park aside, I can see a family staying at GWL, doing their 2 hours in the waterpark and then the rest at Disney park. Can’t be sure, but S thinks he saw a shuttle from GWL to Disney.

    Oh — I almost forgot, a proud parenting moment for me: I lost a kid! Yep. First time this has ACTUALLY happened. Luckily it was G, and he had the sense to go up to the room. When you’re soloing it with 2 kids, that walk at different pace, and one is just tired of all the walking, this happened. They did OK enough for the most part staying together, but man this was rough. It was just what I needed after being cranky, tired and hungry myself. I was SO mad. Thankful he was OK. Happy he was easily recovered (by the time I had noticed he was MIA, he was already knocking on our hotel door), but SO not what I needed.

    Now onto the photos.
























    First day, dragons and voter fraud

    February 19th, 2016

    Following up after my last post, S2 had a GREAT first day at his new pre-school.

    Drop off was surprisingly easy. It was like …. “wait for the shoe to drop” kind of easy. He walked in, wrote in his name (that’s how they sign in for the day), showed off his lovey to his teachers, and let us go. No clinging, no tears. I probably was holding back more tears than him.
    His teacher welcomed him showing him his seat on his cubbby, some building toys she thought he would like, and invited him for breakfast (they serve breakfast there as well as lunch).

    At pick-up both the director (at the new school) and his new teacher commented on what a great day he had. This program does two positive reinforcement techniques, which I think are cool:
    1) A “stick” chart, where you can earn different sticks for doing good things. Like a friendship stick, for doing something kind for a friend. S2 got all his sticks today. Sweet! Maybe it’s first day sticks, but whatever — great way to start off a new environment. And it’s awesome that it’s something that he can feel he has accomplished.
    2) Popcorn party. The class, together, earns a popcorn kernel whenever they do something good. When they get to 20 popcorn pieces, the whole classroom gets a popcorn party. They’re one kernel away, so hopefully sometime next week they’ll get to that 20 — for a kid like S2 that digs popcorn, I think that will be another great perk to experience.

    His teacher read the evaluation report we gave her from the parenting coach that observed S2. We talked about it, and it was really good to hear her talk about her own approach to the classroom.

    The class recently did a chapter on Chinese New Years. They made a dragon head, and since they were done she was going to throw it away. Guess who requested to take it home instead? Yeah — we’re now the proud owners of a cardboard dragon head… and apparently a 5yr old dragon. I’m cool with this — yet another piece for our mounting cardboard box collection in our living room.


    Oh yea… voter fraud. The class is talking about presidents this week. Hence the white house project. Also they voted for a class president. S2 voted. For himself. Twice! Alas he didn’t win.

    I’m relieved to be honest. I know this is just the start. I know that the true test will come when he shows bad day side. But I’m glad it started off on a good foot.

    Parenting & hard choices

    February 19th, 2016

    This blog post has been months in the making. For better or for worse, each time I think of sitting down to write it I have no energy to, or no time. So it’s been brewing in my head. And then when things open up, there’s a new development.

    Summary: S2 is moving pre-schools. Today. It took S and I a long time to actually see that the place he had been attending was not a good fit for him.

    I’ve been a big proponent of this program, and as of this year have come to learn that 1) It’s not all that; 2) What they say about different kids needing different things is entirely true.
    I’ll talk about the second bit first. S2 is not the kind of child that is motivated by punishment and privileges being taken away. He is very much a positive re-enforcement kind of kid. Think more carrot than stick. So much so that if you use the stick approach he digs in [deep] and things get out of hand quickly. This is SO frikkin hard. As a parent, with sometimes little time to be patient and come up with a different approach, it feels impossibly difficult to think constantly on the spot how to come up with a new plan and de-escalate a situation. Especially when there are times you just want him to do what you ask him to do. The other half of the equation is that I’m constantly asking myself, and feeling judged that when we use this approach people (like the director in said preschool) thinks we’re too soft with him, and he just needs stricter discipline.

    The issue at hand is his impulsive response to situations. He’s not violent, and doesn’t harm anyone physically. But if he doesn’t like what you say he rolls his eyes at you and mocks you to your face…. without any regard to whether he’s responding this way to another 5 year-old friend, or a 50 year-old teacher. Totally not appropriate! I make no excuses for that. Being the subject of this ridicule is enough to make you incensed pretty gosh darn quickly. Aaaand, of course, it’s his go-to reaction to being corrected.
    At home, we’re working with him to tell him this action is really disrespectful, and teaching him other ways he can respond in these situations. Depending on how we talk to him he stops, or escalates. At his pre-school it was straight to time-out, so you can be pretty sure the escalation path is his go-to there.

    Late last year, we had a parenting coach come in to do an observation of S2 at school. The report we received in return was really disheartening. Actually less so on what she wrote about our son, and more about what she observed in the program: public shaming of kids; quickness to negative repercussions; and very much a “my way or the highway” attitude. In speaking with the director, she was faced with a response of “These teachers have been at it for 30 years, and there’s no reason for them to change their approach”. We did implement a star-chart, with much annoyance on their part to have to do something different/special with him… except what was supposed to be a positive reinforcement of good behavior became a focus solely on the periods of time he had a time-out.

    At the time we stayed for the incredible parent community we met and their support. I will miss this, but hope that the friendships we’ve formed in the past 2 years will span beyond where he gets dropped off in the morning. Ultimately what forced our hand at moving was a second episode where S2 got sent home for bad behavior (yes, they do this… paired with being required to stay home the day after) and us asking the director how teachers have handled situations like ours in the past. The answer was “We’ve never seen this before!”. Really?!?!? That night S and I had a very long, and very productive conversation with a pre-school teacher at another school. She was amazing. She told us all the approaches she takes with kids when they act the was S2 has and how she’s worked with families to consolidate on handling things at home as well as school for consistency. S and I haven’t gotten this type of support. There’s been no working as a team, no other ideas being recommended to us, with the sole expectation that this is a parenting problem that should only be resolved through stricter discipline. This doesn’t work for this kid. Now what?!?! However, what we took away from the call and prompted us to instantly start looking elsewhere was our friend (the preschool teacher we talked to that night) telling us that her concern at this point was how not just how his teachers were responding to him, but the fact she was concerned that this was setting a precedent for him that this is how teachers will treat him for the rest of his life. He had no advocate in his current program, and someone he could turn to when things were difficult for support and encouragement. With a kid going into kindy next fall and looking at another 13 years at a public school, we can’t take a chance that the feeling of “always being wrong” is how he’ll feel about school for the rest of his life.

    Let me be clear — I’m not saying that S2 is fine just the way he is. His behavior with the eye rolling and the lip mockery sucks. We ARE working on it. But we need a partner in this that can help us. Because parenting is pretty frikkin’ hard. Especially when what works for one of your kids doesn’t work for the other.

    S and I were fortunate to have found 3 options in programs he can move to. We were open about our challenges with our son as well as his current environment during our visits. I hope we found the right one. No lie, I’m nervous.

    It’s not making it any easier that S2 doesn’t WANT to move schools. He’ll miss his friends. He’s up-front about that. He doesn’t want to go to a new school, because week-end play dates are not enough. There’ve been tears. He doesn’t understand why he has to move, and I can’t explain to him either. What do I say “Your behavior was bad, and your teachers don’t want you there anymore?” (<- over-simplified and not words I would actually use, but you get the point) Nope — wouldn't that. He's really frikkin' smart and draws connections like you wouldn't believe. How would that not encourage him to continue acting poorly so that he'd be asked to leave the next program? Instead we've been focusing on this being a great school that will help him get ready for kindergarten in the fall.
    In the last two days he's been starting to talk about his move as a more matter of fact. Still I have no idea what to expect of today. Or of next week.

    This week-end one of S2's buddies (that moved to CA just two year ago and remembers moving preschools) tried to comfort Storm by telling him that his first day would be sad, but after 3 days in his new school he will see how much fun he's having. It seriously melted my heart. 1) Because this kid was amazing in trying to comfort his friend, without any prompting (and he's only 5 himself!!!!!!); 2) because I so hope he's right.

    Gah! This sucks. I KNOW my son. I KNOW he's not a bad kid. I DON'T KNOW how to help him and make this whole thing go away. It's a process. I know it's on me and S to "fix it". I just… want a partner to help.

    Wish us luck?

    PS. In late March we do have an appointment with a child psychiatrist to talk about S2. Possibly have him evaluated for ADHD. The director of the current program kept hinting at it. We're doing it. I'm not in a position NOT to consider that possibility, because all I want is support and help for/with my kid.

    He has WiFi

    December 18th, 2015

    S2 (while watching C3PO introduced in the Phantom Menace): That’s C3PO! He knows everything. He has WiFi!