23 October 2009

Fall Lineup {notes to self}

We're six weeks in, so I thought I'd give an update. I struck a good {for us} balance of busy and free this time around. Just how we like it. Buby has preschool ~ with any concerts, assemblies, field trips ~ on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Bleu has her 45-minute Little Gym class on Wednesdays. Both kids have 30-minute swimming lessons at the YMCA on Thursdays. We held off on Musical Munchkins for Bleu {even though Buby did it at her age}, because we need a day where nobody is taking attendance.

None of our extracurricular places are close to home, so we like to have one totally FREE DAY during the week. That's Tuesday. It can be our no driving day. No appointments-unless-necessary day. Surprise Daddy with a carrot cupcake day. Take a two-hour nature hike day. Say hi to the neighborhood day. Eight new library books day. Dress up and make believe day. Messy art + craft day. Talk to Grandma "Kean" on her day off day. Nothing messes up Bleu's nap day. Buby gets to watch something day. There is no rushing on Tuesday. Next year we won't have a day like that ~ with both kids ~ so for now we enjoy.

A few notes to self. Because someday I won't remember all of this.

Adrienne's the "Bunny" teacher, and she is awesome. There are 10 other four year olds in the class, eight of them returning friends and two new girls. Buby works on projects with Camila, John, and Mehak. He's smitten with a certain Sophia. His gal pal Grace is downstairs, and they see each other during music, lunch, and recess. He looks forward to running into her. Most of the time when Bleu + I arrive for pickup Buby is on the rug quietly immersed in a puzzle or reading a book. And he doesn't want to stop.

I can see a huge all-around difference between last Spring and now. Buby gets on stage and performs. He's more confident and mature. He raises his hand in crowds. He works hard on all of his "life skills." He loves knowing everyone in the school and having them all know him. It's his community. He takes tremendous pride and joy in sounding out and rhyming, adding and subtracting, and learning Spanish through song + dance. He wants to go to school in the mornings and comes home full of clever new curiosities.

Buby's preschool experiences are helping to foster his love of words, art, music, and community. Still... If you asked him what his fave part of the day is, he'd say lunch. Definitely. Because at the end of the day, Buby is a food man.

This is a fast-moving 45-minute parent/child class. Erin is the teacher, and Bleu is a "Bird." Buby was enrolled at the same gym from ages 1 to 3, and I swear it was his favorite hour of the whole week. The class structure is basic aerobics, stretching, gymnastic skills, rhythm + song, sign language, ball play, and bubbles. There is plenty of free exploration. By the way, the moms in this class are pretty awesome as moms go. Most of them have four year olds in preschool, so we've all done this before.

When Bleu wanders off the red mat during a warm up exercise, I continue my goofy galloping without her. And she always comes back to me. Like a boomerang. Her favorite apparatus is the uneven bars. She swings like a monkey from the high bar and then drops to her tush and laughs. She's good on balance beam and claps at the mention of bubbles. She likes to run and fall. Run and fall. The girl has energy and needs to get it out. This will be especially good through the winter months. Her least favorite tasks are tucking her head for rolls and doing the Special Skill of the Week. She doesn't like anyone other than me spotting her, and she bolts if the teacher even looks like she might reach for her.

It's a 33-minute drive to a 30-minute class, and it falls smack in the middle of dinner on a school night. Not ideal, but it's the only time slot where both kids can simultaneously learn to swim. Plus, every family there is in the same boat. I try to feed the wee ones at home first, and we can NOT be late. Alex is Buby's teacher. He is young but completely talented. He + Buby hit it off instantly. {I worried initially, since he just had a year of private lessons, and he's a lot less comfortable in groups of excited children.}

But thankfully Buby looks forward to the class every week and has made incredible progress in it. He no longer needs a bubble of any sort {though I think he'd use one until he was 30 if we let him}, and as of this week, he can swim from one end of the pool to the other with no breaks or assistance. Or bubble. Amazing, right? Winters here are icy, cold, dark. Nighttime swim lessons for two tired tykes and one me may seem like a hassle some weeks. But seeing what Buby has accomplished {and is still striving for} it's so worth it. Every minute. Every penny. And we want give Bleu the same opportunity.

It's a parent/child class at the opposite end of the pool from Buby's. Karissa is the teacher. I find myself looking over to watch Buby, but I'm getting better at focusing. We do a lot of singing and splashing and drills. Bleu is a lil' mermaid. She's a hardcore kicker but forgets to paddle with her arms. She has no fear of dipping her face under. Her favorite part is jumping into my arms from the edge of the pool. Eventually I'll just spot and let her go all the way under. She's old enough for a 4 bubble now.

After the three of us get out of the pool we head up to warm showers. I try to distract with laughter so my lil' nakies forget how freezing cold they are while I get them dressed. I bring Buby's shampoo, toothbrush and pjs, since there's a chance he passes out in the car. So far he hasn't... he's too busy begging for another snack and singing the "Piggy Polka" song with his sister.

1 comment:

Grandma DJ said...

whew .. love you forever