Friday, September 05, 2008

Loving School / Seeing Red (and Green)

Sweet Pea's second week of school was only three days long. Monday was a holiday and Friday all four of us spent the afternoon at the optometrist's getting our eyes checked. Here's more of Sweet Pea's art. All these pictures were drawn at school.

As you can see, this is "Ball Cat." 'Cause that's what she wrote at the top. And it's got a ball on its tail. What looks like "OOF" after "Ball Cat" is supposed to be 100, which she says is the number of balls that the cat has. The circles lining the top of the picture are lights, and I'm not totally certain but I think her border around the cat was inspired by the Tinker Toys she played with last weekend at the grandparents' house.

This is Sweet Pea's new signature on her pictures. She draws it on the back of the paper from the main picture, and it is, as you can see, a very happy cat. In its paws it holds a stuffed animal cat. hee hee!

On Thursday Sweet Pea started an after school activity: A "book club" that one of her teachers runs. It is for kids ages 3.5 - 6 and is held after school one day per week for 9 weeks. In each session the teacher reads a book to the kids and then they do multiple activities based on the story which use most, if not all, of the five senses. Last week's book was called "The Little Band." After listening to the story the kids made flower crowns (so yeah, those are flower petals, it's not a jester's hat) - they all looked different - very cute - and then they got to play with musical instruments and they formed their own band and did a little parade in the hallway outside the classroom. ha ha! Sometimes after reading a story they will cook something together, paint, etc. etc. - depends on what the story is about.

I offered Sweet Pea the opportunity to join the book club toward the end of last school year but she wasn't up for it. This year, however, she is so much more at ease at school that she was all over it (her teacher being the book club person helps too; she probably still wouldn't do it this year if it were run by a teacher she didn't know) and REALLY enjoyed the first session. She can't wait for next week's book club experience.
This picture blew me away. It is a cat in space (thus the bubble around the head). You can see the stars outside the interestingly shaped space ship, but what I thought was really cool was the food. Each food envelope says "cat" on it, because, you know, it's cat food, of course. The left-most envelope is a drink and has a drop of liquid coming out into the zero G interior of the space ship. The three purple circles on the right are drops which have already been squeezed out by the catstronaut and which will necessarily be consumed in midair. This is the kind of thing that lets me know what sticks in Sweet Pea's brain. Months ago we watched and rewatched footage of the first HD broadcast the astronauts did from the space station. They did the "bubble" of liquid trick, showed us how far astronaut food has come from the early days of freeze-dried everything (they had fresh fajitas!), and showed us around most of the space station. Apparently all of that made a big impact on Sweet Pea. I really love seeing stuff like this come out of her brain, and the creatively cute and funny ways she integrates cats into *everything.* ha ha ha!

As for our trip to the optometrist: We decided to get The Bug's eyes checked this year because we didn't get Sweet Pea's eyes checked until they were crossing, and after that experience we figured it would be smarter to start earlier with the wee one just to be sure we catch any changes like that before they become such a big problem. (How was that for a run-on sentence?) Last year the eye doctor told us they can check kids' eyes as young as 6 months old!

The Bug went first, sitting on my lap. She did GREAT. The eye exam took longer and was more involved than I expected for a two year old, but I think the optometrist may have just kept going with her because he *could* because she was being so cooperative. He did comment on how easy it was to do her exam because she was so interested and put her chin where he told her and held still, etc. She is very slightly far sighted but nothing like Sweet Pea and doesn't have any vision problems at all - checks out 20/20. For kids as young as her they have a picture chart rather than a letter chart, and she got every one of them with no problem, even on the smallest line.

Sweet Pea went next. Her eyes are doing very well since she got her glasses last year. She still needs them (last year the doc said she may grow out of this far sightedness that was causing her significant problems until she got the glasses) and will be getting a slightly stronger prescription this year, but the doctor said her vision hasn't changed significantly. The optometrist and nurses (? techs? I don't know what they're called) all felt that Sweet Pea really needed an entire new set of glasses so that she can use her current ones as a backup pair in case something happens to the newer ones (I actually worried a little all last year about her not having a backup pair, since she really needs them to see well) and they tried to no avail to talk her into choosing a different pair of frames. I knew they wouldn't get anywhere with her but I let them try. But last night she said, "Mom, can I keep my frames, even if I need new lenses?" So the outcome was that she will get new frames identical to her current ones, with new lenses. So if she breaks or loses her new glasses, she'll still have her current ones as backup, which look exactly the same. ha ha!

My vision has changed very slightly from last year. The doc said I could choose whether or not I wanted new lenses because the difference is so small. I chose to get them, because I could see the difference quite clearly, and our insurance covers new lenses for me this year. Yay!

Slipshod had the most interesting experience at the eye doctor's today. His vision is still nearly 20/20 and he doesn't need glasses, which is great. But when they show him the "bubble book," as I call it, the one that checks for color blindness, he can't see the numbers in the circles. However, if you talk to him about colors you can tell that he is not red/green colorblind. He can see most of the colors, but every now and then he says something that stops me in my tracks because the color he is seeing is VERY different from what I'm seeing. But it hardly ever happens.

Anyway - he said to the doctor, "since I'm here, is there any way you can test to figure out what kind of color blindness I have?" They had already done the bubble book and our eye doctor is colorblind (yes, really) so they were laughing together about it being a "book of lies."

So the doctor gave Slipshod a box and sixteen cap-shaped chips which were black with a different color in the middle of each. One cap was fixed in a box and Slipshod was supposed to choose the next color that looked the most like the fixed color and continue from there, sorting in order as it made sense to his eyes. After the test they put a lid on the box, turned it over, took off the bottom of the box, and then they could see the numbers inside each cap/chip. And Slipshod had sorted the colors perfectly. According to that particular test, he is not colorblind. BUT he can't see the numbers in the bubble tests. Our optometrist said he's never seen someone pass the cap test without being able to see the numbers in the bubbles.
--Insert Twilight Zone music here...-- ha ha!

So it was good that we all got our annual eye checkup, but Sweet Pea was really bummed to miss school. Which is something I love to hear. :o)
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1 comment:

Christina said...

So he's not colorblind, but can't see the numbers? How odd.

I'm always so impressed with Sweet Pea's drawings. They're amazing for someone her age. (Especially if you see Cordy's latest drawing.)

I love the cat food floating around in the space pic. Too funny!