Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book of the Week....and birthday bears!

It's been a long time since I took the time to make note of what book is capturing the interest of the little people around here. Ever since I got a Kindle for Christmas, I've been altogether too interested in what books are capturing MY interest again! It's great though to see that both of the kids share my love for books, and that they're not just reserved for bedtime-story use.

Meredith's favourite right now is a neat book called "Imagine If....." by Karen Halpern.

It's a coil bound book with each page divided in to three sections inside.

The child can flip the top, middle, or bottom section to whichever image strikes their fancy that particular day. It provides you with a subject (teacher, invisible kid, space alien), an object (presents, a race car, ice cream cones), and a location (at a waterfall, in a science lab, at a birthday party). The rest is up to your imagination. We take turns telling stories, sometimes flipping the pages randomly, sometimes choosing the panels carefully. It's so entertaining to listen to Meredith wind a tale, though in true Meredith style, it usually has several chapters!

The subject of greatest attention around the house these days though, is her upcoming birthday. She turns six in TWO MORE DAYS. We've had a countdown on the whiteboard for the last 22 days. A spare calendar has been hung below the whiteboard and has the first 24 days of March x'd off. Everyone in a three mile radius knows her birthday is coming!

Her wish this year was to have a birthday party at the Build-A-Bear workshop, so we're off to the mall on Saturday with six of her Kindergarten friends to celebrate. I'm gathering the last of the loot bag items tonight, and included will be little monogramed t-shirts I made for each child's bear. This is Meredith's first Build-A-Bear, Sarah, modelling the finished product:

And a sadly blurry shot of the rest of the shirts.

Her excitement is contagious, even though the prospect of my little girl turning SIX is enough to make me want to search out the Centrum Silver.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vector of transmission

Meredith's toy recorder will never be quite the same.
Not since it was thoroughly contaminated by the red-headed vector of virus transmission. Chief of Disease Spread.
Otherwise known as the child with an ear infection, maybe a chest infection, and green stuff oozing from every possible orifice.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reporting in

This was report card week for Meredith's school. We started a tradition in November when she received her very first report card by rewarding her hard work with a little gift. We're really proud of what a great kid Meredith is, and it seemed like a nice opportunity to acknowledge that school is her 'work' and she had a positive 'performance appraisal'. Better still, she likes the boss. In fact, I'd say we all like the boss.

Madame Katie is royalty in our household.

One of the funniest of Aaron's expressions this year, has related to Meredith's Kindergarten teacher. Since meeting her in September, Meredith has been truly enamoured with this gifted early-years teacher. Many a sentence in this house starts with "Madame Katie says...." Like so many little siblings, Aaron tries his best to do just what Meredith does. So when she talks about Madame Katie, he talks about Madame Katie. Except he can't fully enunciate all the consants in quite the same way....

Enter the phrase "Damn Katie is Mer Mer's teacher. She's gonna be my teacher too."

Ahem. It's a Herculean effort to keep a straight face, yet we practically bait the poor child into saying it more often so we can enjoy it.

Anyhooooo, the report card arrived on Tuesday, the evaluation was all good, and Meredith's reward was a shopping spree at Toys R Us for anything her little heart desire.

As long as it didn't cost more than $15.

Meredith is now the proud owner of a Littlest Pet Shop virtual pet or some such creature. She tells me it's a zebra and his name is Zee. Or Zed. Depending on her mood.
We're off to see Damn Katie tomorrow morning for parent-teacher interviews, or student-led conferences as they're now called. You can't help but feel more cheerful and optimistic about this world after spending 10 minutes with a Kindergarten teacher.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gettin' a grip

I'm ashamed to say that I rarely take the time to sit down and work at the table with Meredith. She doesn't have homework from school as yet, and it seems like the time after school and before bed is so jam-packed with activities and dinner and toy-related mediation. that we rarely sit down together to do pencil and paper activities. We spend some time several times a week practising piano together, but most of that doesn't involve the use of a pencil. It came as a bit of surprise to me then, a few weeks ago, to notice that she has changed her grip on the pencil from a traditional tripod grip, to a four-fingered or quadripod grip. When I tried to get her to hold the pencil in a tripod grip, she said her hand hurt, and quickly moved back to what was comfortable.
I'm an O.T. so I'm supposed to know something about this.
Sadly for her, my line of work involves contact with very few kindergarten-aged kids. If she was showing signs of dementia, or perhaps needed her risk for falls assessed, I'd be the O.T. for the job. Fortunately for her, I know other O.T.s who spend their day with the preschool set, and who were very helpful!

Enter the pencil grip.

Her favorite is this charming little orange number called "The Claw". Sounds much more sinister than it really is.

Second on the list is the traditional triangle grip.

Not featured in our little pencil grip photoshoot was a third style called a crossover grip that was altogether too big for her small hands, and has been relegated to the depths of the junk drawer.
I'm really amazed by how comfortable she finds the grips, and how eager she was to use them. Part of the appeal may be her recent desire to have a disability! We recently read a book called "You, Me and My OT" by Paulette Bourgeois. It's a very cute story about a grade-school girl named Emma who has an O.T. come to her classroom to work with her. After reading the book the first time, Meredith woke up the next morning and announced she "wished she had a disability, just like Emma." It's so fascinating to look at life through a child's eyes, and a constant challenge to figure out how best to respond!
In retrospect, the timing of the book and then introducing the pencil grips couldn't have been better. I'd be a liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I even pretended that I'd thought any of it through before it happened. I'll happily take the credit for how well it's going though.