Worked in the garden today - after a 3 hour long playdate at the park with Elijah and Liam. Lots of fun. Gabriel helped me level the rasied beds. More later - I just spent an hour getting all the pciturs downloaded to the computer and reuploaded to the site.
Laughing so hard we cried wtaching the puppy raced back and forth in the hallway (from our bedroom - down the hallway - to the boys bedroom and back) thrilled he had somehow snuck past the gate. Several dozen time sof pure puppy joy! Then he found the cat toy and the thrill began all over again - this time much louder!
Sitting here by the fireplace, reading the paper and listening to gabriel work on my present in his bedroom. He was up early this morning to finish it - and has kept it very secret! I do know it involves paper, colored pencils (that is keeps coming in here to sharpen) staples and - a wire cutter. Hmmm.. .
I heard Ty delivering him cashews and bananas this morning ("room service") while I slept in.
Just now, as I type this he came out of his room popping bubble wrap: "mama, are you ready?" Pause - jump on the bubble wrap. "Your birthday is going to be wonderful!"
Now he just kicked his kitten out of his room - I think she was trying to help.
He has informed me I can't open my present until we get treats at sweet life this afternoon.
And now...(days later)..pictures of my present:
My card: The front is Gabriel and I holding hands while red ribbons rain down on us. The back is a picture of me with two heads, two bellies and four legs. :-) The inside says "Boker Tov" (good morning in hebrew) and "It's nice to meet you." The right hand side is a picture of him sledding down the hill on the blue sled (once facing up and once face down.)
And then the book he drew for me. Note all the garden pictures (with the new raised beds); Kale, broccoli, and peas! (the garden grows as the pages turn). Also - I loe the colors he put in the tree. This is exactly what our tree looks like right now - pink lossums, some new green leaves and brown branches.
Gabriel informed me one day after school that his teacher "only says mom and dad and never baba." The then went into very specific examples (when learning sign language, when passing our things to go home...) I noticed the same a few days earlier when they sent him home a small packet of sight words to practice readings (all of which he could read already, btw) and 2 of the 10 words were 'mom' and 'dad.' Really? Out of all the sight words that a 6 year old should know - these are in your top ten?
We talked a bit about how it made him feel - a little left out, a little frustrated. But what was most awesome about the conversation was how Gabriel instantly went into "this is not fair, let's do something about it' mode. Made this mama so proud! We decided we would talk to his teacher after class. I asked him if he wanted to bring it up or if he wanted me to start the conversation - he wanted me to start it, but wanted to be there when I talked to her. Sure enough, as soon as I started the conversation he jumped right in and gave the same examples he gave to me. She was wonderfully receptive and aplogized to him. She also told me that she is really trying to use more inclusive language (we have one lesbian family and several grandparents raising their grandchildren in that class) and was sincere in her wish to work more on this. The experience of seeing a teacher say she would change something was incredibly empowering for him!
On a side note - I did struggle with answering his question "Why would she only say mom and dad?" I always hesitate with the obvious - because the majoirty of kids who have two parents have a mom and a dad. I know we are minority - and I don't want to hide that fact - but I also searched for an additional explanation. So I added that most people simply use words and concepts that *they* have experienced - and how important it is for everyone to realize that their experience is not the same as others. We discussed how other kids might feel if he only said 'mama and baba,' and they had a mom and a dad, or a grandma. We discussed how others might feel if he was the teacher and only talked about jewish holidays, but not others. I think not only did this allow him to understand a bit of where he teacher was coming from, but also take some responsibility for his own actions. At least - I hope! A few minutes later we were talking about fairies and farts - so not sure how much sunk in!
"Can you snuggle just a few minutes mama?" said the boy, after a half hour a map reading time with baba. I climbed up in his bunk with him and tucked his blanket around him. He pulled the blanket up all the way to his chin and culred his legs under, saying "this is the most comfort spot - I feel all warm." I then laid down beside him and said the shema. Goodnight, sweet boy.
(a few minutes later he had me get pippen so she could curl up with him after I left)
It was bound to happen some time, yes? This year Gabriel did not dress up as a fairy or butterfly. He almost went as tinkerbella again - but at the end decided on a "karate-man." And yes, I was a little sad about that. Luckily he still begs for a 'fairy story' every night!
Unfortunately poor karate-man was sick most of Purim and missed the wonderful dancing that he so loved last year. We did make it to the sunday morning carnival though.