Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh, Kindergarten!

Today Leah and I had an appointment to "tour" her new school and Kindergarten class for next school year.  I was excited, she, not so much. Once the tour ended, she was ecstatic, me, not so much. I went into panic mode. It is a perfectly lovely school and the speech and language programs seem to have been designed for Leah, but, I think those people think my baby is all grown up!

I am used to small Catholic schools where everyone knows everyone and we look out for each others' kids. Where the cafeteria ladies know the children by name, there likes and dislikes and security is tight. Not by armed guards but by little old ladies, nuns, and other staff whose only job is keeping everyone safe.

My attack started the second the tour started:

1st stop- Cafeteria
Tour Guide: This is where the children have lunch. The children are given a lunch number the first day of school, the teacher "drops" them off in the cafeteria and they proceed to the line, choose their lunch, give the cashier their lunch number and go find their table, sit with their class and wait for the teacher to return for them.
Little Voice in My Head: What?! My child has to remember a lunch number ( like a credit card number?). My child will be "dropped off".  No adult to lead her to the place she is supposed to go to? Wait, this is Leah, what about the 42 million things that will distract her on the way to that line. What did you just say, sometimes the line is long and she has to wait her turn and may only have 15 minutes to eat because she waited"patiently" for 15 minutes to give her number to the cashier?
Tour Guide: Down this hallway is the restroom they use if they need to go during lunch. The raise their hand, ask the cafeteria monitor for a pass and walk (unattended) down the short hall, 2 doorways and through the clinic and to the bathroom.
Little Voice in My Head: What?! Alone? Will she find her way there? Back? What about the 42 million distractions along the way? OK, seems I will volunteer to be Cafeteria Monitor.
Tour Guide: Down this hallway are the kindergarten classrooms. The rooms are divided into learning centers, they have computers and there are only 18 children in the classrooms with 2 teachers. The restroom is in the classrooms so they don't need to leave the room. they do have music, art, PE, Spanish and (One more thing I can't remember) with different teachers,
Little Voice In My Head: OK, classroom is nice, well equipped, everyone seems really nice, none of the children are crying, nice art work on the wall, seems like a happy place.
Tour Guide: At this moment the speech class is meeting, would you like to see that?
Me: Yes, please. (The shaking has started to pass)
Little Voice In My Head:  Wow, this is amazing, the teachers are phenomenal, almost animated, the children are excited, paying attention, talking, engaging in conversations with each other and the teacher. Soooo much language happening here. The teachers are giving the right kind of cues to encourage communication and the children were so receptive and learning so much! there were 8 children and 2 teachers!   Doing the happy dance! Now I have to block the lunch thing to get through the summer!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Disney Again for New Year

In EPCOT at the entrance to the Nemo ride

Hands in the mouth of a shark!

Parade on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom

Leah in "Torelli's house. That's what she calls Cinderalla's Castle.

In line at the Haunted House

Our own Disney "Must Do"....Dumbo ride

Another farewell to Disney and still no character pictures. Leah loved Snow White's Scary Adventure and the Haunted Mansion was not too bad, but heaven forbid she see a character, even a princess, there was no way she was going to get close enough for a picture. I am sure the screams could be heard from the space station. When I figure out how to put my camera phone pictures in here, I'll add the ones from New Year's Eve, including her dance video

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Circus is in Town!

Leah's favorite were the elephants. She waited and waited and the excitement in her face when they came out was priceless. When she saw them do this she said "aaaawwww". Except now she wants a real elephant in the back yard.
The circus is not like it used to be. It was OK, but certainly not the "Greatest Show on Earth". I don't know if it is because the Disney generation has seen and lived Disney Magic and not much can compare. Or maybe the PETA people blocking the entrance to the arena with posters and chants. I am not sure where I stand on this but I certainly don't want animals being abused. There were very few animals to begin with, we expected animals, and in reality that is what my daughter wanted to see. Yes, she has been to the zoo, but there's something about seeing them up close interacting with people. But we did have fun and it was Leah's (and David's) first time to the circus.