Thursday, November 08, 2007

Has Anyone Got Any Fava Beans?

This from my daughter who professes to like meat, yet (like me) will only eat fish...

Sweet Pea:
Mommy, are cats made of meat?

Me: Um... yes, yes they are.

Sweet Pea: Why?

Me: Well, uh... they have lots of muscles, and when you eat meat, that's what you're eating; the muscles of chickens or cows or whatever.

Sweet Pea: What does people meat taste like?

Apparently recoil and horror at the mere suggestion of cannibalism is a learned behavior... or maybe she's just not old enough to really think it through. Needless to say, after a surprised and horrified burst of disbelieving laughter, we had a discussion about cannibalism and how that's wrong and we wouldn't eat cats either. Shudder.

And now for what's going on... yesterday Sweet Pea woke up, used the potty, and promptly announced that her tummy really really hurt. When I looked at her, her face was green. I mean, GREEN. She didn't throw up but obviously felt really yucky, even though her temperature was only 99.1. She didn't want anything to drink or eat.

An hour later, after The Bug and I had finished our breakfast, Sweet Pea, all pink now and fever-free, announced that she was hungry. So I fed her most of an apple and a bowl of oatmeal. She really wanted to go to school so I took her temperature again, to confirm her miracle recovery. Unfortunately, at that point she had a fever of 99.6. That number held for a while so I sat with her and we watched a show on TV. Maybe an hour after the first temperature reading of 99.6, I felt her forehead and my hand nearly burst into flames. I took her temperature again, and now it was 102! It got there really fast. So, there was looooots of TV watching yesterday, since all she wanted to do was lie listlessly on the couch. It was difficult to get her to take some Tylenol for the fever - eventually she agreed to take the Motrin instead, because she said it smelled less bad than the Tylenol. After that her fever did abate and she started to sit up and laugh and act almost like herself again.

We gave her meds to keep the temp down until 9:30 last night, and then let her (and us) sleep through. She woke up at 3 something and went potty and said her tummy hurt again - I thought she might throw up but she didn't. Slipshod got her back to sleep in her bed after giving her some more Tylenol. This morning she was hot again - temp 102.1 by breakfast time, but she ate and took her Motrin (not without complaining) and is feeling better enough to chase the loudly meowing cat upstairs and come very loudly into the bedroom where I was getting The Bug to sleep for her nap. Now I've got both girls running amok downstairs. I really hope The Bug will give in to the need for sleep soon, but once Sweet Pea woke her up there was no point in trying to make it happen then. Of course, now they're fighting... AUGH!


Last week we got Sweet Pea's first preschool evaluation in the mail from her teachers and then the kids didn't have school on Thursday & Friday so the teachers could do parent-teacher conferences those two days. Sweet Pea checks out age-appropriate in everything except working in groups. The teachers said that she is a very calm presence in the classroom, and they really appreciate that. While there are not a lot of out-of-control energetic kids in her class, they said that Sweet Pea is a good example to her classmates with her calm demeanor. She is really good at following the classroom rules and respecting her classmates' and teachers' rights, etc. and can apparently even resolve conflicts with classmates easily by herself! I'm very interested in that; she can sometimes see her way clear to work things out with The Bug when they both want the same toy or whatever, but usually she's not interested in doing that. I suppose it's always different with siblings, though.

Her teachers did note that there is one particular classmate who seems to be taking a special interest in Sweet Pea, who may be able to teach her to come out of herself a little more. I was interested, though not particularly surprised, to hear that she's not working a lot with other kids, though, because I hear her talking about certain other kids all the time - kids who she really likes and plays with. But I guess she's playing with them on the playground. Her teachers said that when it's work time in the classroom, Sweet Pea prefers work alone. She is working in all disciplines on her own, which I was happy to hear because I wasn't sure about that.

In Montessori classrooms there are tons of shelves around the whole classroom with lots of projects on them and the kids can choose whatever activity they want to do. There is an area with big sandpaper letters glued to paper that the kids can feel to figure out how to shape the letters when they're writing, and that area in Sweet Pea's classroom also has other materials to teach kids to practice and learn how to read and write (including the BOB books I told you about a while back when Sweet Pea was first interested in learning to read). There is another area with puzzles, an area with messy things, an area with beads that's geared toward math, sets of weights, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the gazillion pets they have in sweet pea's classroom - and books, and dolls, etc. etc. etc. They even have things like a whisk broom and dust pan for them to play with, and a spray bottle of water and a squeegee that they can use to wash the windows. I think I could spend a day in that classroom and never run out of things to do! ha ha!

Anyway, all is well with Sweet Pea at school. Her teachers say that she is noticeably happy every day, so they can tell she really wants to be there. Slipshod and I said, "Oh yes, she really does. She loves school!" Despite the not working in groups thing, her social skills have improved dramatically since she started school. She now goes so far as to introduce herself to random people in the pet store or wherever - she'll even introduce me to them by my first name, and tell them her age. Sometimes it freaks me out, and I have to tell her that while it's good to talk to people and be sociable, she has to be careful what she tells strangers. BUT, it is really amazing to see the leaps and bounds she has made socially since starting school. Yay! She even plays better with Speed Racer now, because she knows how to say, "okay, we've played your game for a while, not let's do something else" and she's learning how to deal with other people who aren't having a great day, etc. It's pretty darn cool to watch.

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