Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monkeys, 'Mingos, and a Kitty

Before we decided to send Alice back to school, I mentioned to her uncle that we should take her to the Zoo before he headed to Spain. (He is currently in Spain for an Architecture class and was only home for a few days between the end of the semester and him leaving and I wanted them to have some time with her before he left.) I thought it might be less crowded with schools not being out yet and the weather wouldn't be too hot. So we picked a Thursday and invited the aunt too.

Only we sent her back to school. But it's okay, we just went after school! She wouldn't last an entire day there so a few hours would be perfect. There was no rain in the forecast for the day so of course, a storm blew in. Whatever. We were determined! She wanted to see the MONKEYS!!! 

Mom called when we were on the way in and asked if we were still planning on going. She could hear Alice in the backseat chanting, "monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!" and I said, "yes - the child wants monkeys."

We drive through scary skies and make it to the zoo in a light sprinkle. And while it rained heavy on us twice, we took shelter until it stopped and it was fine! The park was practically empty and the animals were entertaining. 
We stopped at the Red Panda first. Alice wasn't impressed. Only a monkey will do. We also stopped to talk to the Meerkats. They're so cute and just watching us. And then a bumblebee landed in their habitat and Meerkats came out of the ground and POUNCED on it. Yeesh.

We saw Elephants and Rhinos and Giraffes and so much more! And every time we did - she asked where the monkeys were. 

Double yeesh.

We finally found the primates. She waved to every one. Our zoo has done a fantastic job of creating an environment that's very wild. It doesn't look like animals in a cage. It doesn't feel like the animals are uncomfortable. And it's also very easy to get lost. They give you a map but thanks to JK Rowling, I always expect to see our bubble letting us know where we are at all times. I mean, seriously. 

We spent lots of time at the tiger habitat. Alice kept saying, 'here, kitty kitty!" And he was extremely willing to stop for a photo.
Uncle Travis and Alice got to visit the zoo last year around the same time. I took a picture then and I took another one this trip. I think it'll be a new yearly tradition. 

We saw Zebras and Flamingos and Triumph, the Bald Eagle and a really ugly turkey. The zoo is also full of bunny rabbits and chickens. We skipped the bug house. Nope. And the reptile house. Double nope. 

It was a great day. She talked about monkeys and mingos (flamingos) and elephants all night and first thing the next day. And that makes the rain totally worth it. She won't remember the rain or the having to wait out the storm. All she remembers is talking to the lion for a little bit longer and getting to spend time with the people she loves. And that's the point. 

Until next time....

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Raptor vs. Raptor

Months ago, I overheard mom and Travis talking about a new incentive he came up with. IF he got nothing but A's for the rest of his college career, she would buy him a new Raptor. 

I mentioned since I was in college too, if I got all A's I should get a dinosaur as well.

In his annoyed 'my-sister-is-the-lamest-ever; voice (seriously, you should ask me to do an impression of him when in person - HILARIOUS!) he says, "Timberley, it's not a dinosaur, it's a really nice, expensive truck!"

I say, "what do I need a truck for?! I have a vehicle! What I really need is a dinosaur! I want a Velaptor Raptor!" (I KNOW that's not right, but I'm not studying Paleontology so it doesn't count against me.)

He rolls his eyes - again. 

He mentions the truck throughout the year and I mention my dinosaur. This always earns an eye roll and head shake. His sister is just exhausting. 

This semester was a little different. I took my very first online classes. Online classes were not an option my first time through college. I took the two computer classes required for the program so I was able to get the assignments done at my own pace. And while it's not my favorite, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I discovered I have lots of questions and require lots of feedback and you can't 'read' an instructor via emails. I also had to make myself slow down; I go too fast and make silly mistakes and that's just dumb. I also managed to get through Pharmacology. It was a lot harder than Medical Terminology mainly because studying for it was completely different and drug names are HARD. But I made it through!

And I got all A's this semester. 

So, you know what that means?!



Until next time.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Biting Mad

About three weeks ago, I picked Alice up from school and had to sign an incident report because she bit a boy on the hand. 

Hold the phone, she did what?! 

They're not sure what happened. They were cleaning up after nap and he started crying. When asked why, he said Alice bit him. When asked if she bit him, she shook her head yes and said, "he mean." (There are only 4 kids in her class - 2 girls, 2 boys. It was not hard to figure out which boy it was.) I fussed at her and told her biting is NOT okay! 

The school has a strict biting policy - two bites and you're out for a week. This was put in place after last year when they had a serial biter they could do nothing about. 

She went to her Wednesday class (with the older kids) and had no problem.

On Thursday (back with the younger kids), I get a call from the Director saying she's bit the same little boy and I have an hour to pick her up. I'm not sure what they would have done with her at minute 61. So I spent my commute FUMING. How did they allow this to one week...with the same boy. 

I fly into the school like the Wicked Witch of the West. They have her waiting in the office. I calmly asked what happened. "Well, that same little boy was shoving her off the scooter she was on and she bit him in the back. It's an extremely age appropriate reaction to being threatened but there's the Policy so she has to be suspended for a week." At 2 1/2. This has to be some sort of record. 

I asked what happened to the little boy who started it. Oh well, he got a talking to and he's back in the gym. I responded with, "playing with the scooter he wanted in the first place?" No response. I go on to ask that since this seems to be a problem with this particular little boy if she returns, can she return to the older class for the remaining three weeks. She says that's not going to be possible but she will be shadowed when she returns. I ask, "why wasn't she being shadowed after the incident on Tuesday?" No response. "Okay" I say, "I'll let you know by the end of next week if she'll return" and we went home. 

I spent the weekend so very upset. I can't punish a behavior I don't see firsthand. We can talk about it until I'm blue in the face - it won't make much of a difference. She doesn't understand. And now she's labeled The Biter while The Shover no longer has to share his toys. 

We talk about it and weigh options and decide it's not worth the stress of sending her back. From where we're standing. all he's learned is if he provokes her in to biting him - he gets the toy he wanted in the first place. And she learned that if she bites him - he leaves her alone. So - shadowing or not - it's going to happen again. It's just a matter of when and I'll need to be within an hour of the school at all times.

I sent the Director a lengthy, wordy email about why she's not returning and while Daniel was picking up her pictures and the rest of her stuff, she told him that they decided Alice could go to the older class for the rest of the year. 

We talked about it and thought it might be a good way to test it out - see if it's a biting problem or a certain boy problem. 

Last week was a good week. This week is only starting. 

These are things I'm sure of:
1 - what she did was a natural response
2 - she doesn't bite at home and until she does, I can't bite her back
3 - her school loves her and hated that they had to enforce the Biting Policy for the very first time with her
4 - her Tuesday/Thursday teacher is not a big fan of me right now
5 - my loyalty is with Alice - not her teacher
6 - I am a Momma Bear - a hotheaded, "not MY baby!" Momma Bear. I need to work on that. Maybe.
7 - I'm not upset she defended herself. We're not raising a little girl who thinks it's okay to be shoved around by ANYONE.

When I was picking her up after the second incident, the Director said, "she's usually so good about saying 'sorry'. I asked her if she wanted to apologize to him and she said, 'nope!." That's my girl!

Until next time.....

Thursday, May 7, 2015

First School Pictures

They took school pictures at Mother's Day Out. 

They are adorable.

She even smiled. Sort of.

And her hair is tame! Bless the Dada!