The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What are those crazy kids talking about?

Mia and Norah have been talking quite a lot recently. Let's break it down!

School seems to be helping Mia with her speaking. She's still not stringing a lot of words together too much, but she does seem to be remembering a lot more words and is able to say them when we ask her. She does quite well with colors, even though she's not perfect. She can also sing "You Are My Sunshine" almost completely. Well, not sing, but speak the lyrics in rhythm. It's pretty keen. She is still enjoying school very much, and we hope she continues to learn.

Meanwhile, Norah is making a great deal of progress. She still isn't saying more than 2-word sentences, but Mia's speech therapist is pretty happy with what she's doing. She has also begun identifying colors rather well, and she is getting better at asking for food and other things. She really likes shopping, because she's a girl. Krys took her to the mall recently and she was jazzed about looking at the clothes. Krys went to the home section, and as she passed the kids' clothes, Norah said "Clothes" quite longingly. The other day, I went to buy my comics, and when we got to the store, she said, "Shopping?" I told her that I was going shopping, but she wasn't. Her 2-word sentences have gotten more descriptive, too. When she gets up from her nap, she asks, "Mia home?" and I tell that yes, Mia is home. The other day, Mia broke part of her wheelchair (sigh). Krys and I patched it together, and when Krys and Norah went for a walk, Norah kept saying, "Chair broke. Mommy fix." And variations thereof. Today she said something interesting, something Krys will be very happy to hear. She was sitting at the table eating lunch and said, "Mommy went to work." It was a bit tough to understand her, and she might not have said it, but it sure as heck sounded like it! She definitely said "Mommy" and "work" and the two middle words sure sounded like "went to." It was very cool.

We're pretty happy with how both of them are doing. It's somewhat depressing to realize that Norah is very close to passing Mia in communication skills (if she hasn't already), but Mia is still doing very well. It's very cool that Norah is making such good progress, and our hope remains that she will help Mia along with her as she gets better at speaking. That would be nice.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mia lost a tooth!

Mia's lower front tooth (incisor?) has been loose for a month or so, and it fell out on Tuesday at school. We've been waiting for it to go, and then we missed it. Her teachers noticed it but couldn't find the tooth, so Krys didn't get to keep it like she wanted to. We're wondering if she swallowed it. I guess we'll never know!

When we noticed it was loose, I called the dentist and asked if she was losing her tooth too early. They said that it's unusual but not terribly unprecedented. Her teached mentioned it was loose last week and then said that in kindergarten they do a whole "seminar" on losing teeth, so I guess it's not that unusual for a kindergartener (although Mia's younger than most kids in kindergarten). Her new tooth is busily pushing through the gum, so that will be fun to deal with.

She was 5 years and 12 days when her tooth came out. We'll see how long it takes for another one to drop. For us, 11 September will always mean the day Mia lost her first tooth. I can't imagine remembering it for any other reason!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Norah is ready for her own HBO show

Our younger daughter has reached the stage in her speaking development where she knows plenty of words, but still doesn't put them together independently too much. What she does these days is simply repeat what you say to her. She usually just repeats the last word you say, but occasionally she'll say the final two or three words. I'll say, "Get up in your chair," and she'll say, "Chair," and then I'll say, "Okay?" and she'll repeat it. Whenever we say "Come here" or just "Come on," she says, "Mere" (a combination of "come" and "here"). She'll say a lot of this kind of stuff, but she still isn't initiating too much. Except, interestingly, stuff about Mia. She always points at Mia's milk and says, "Mia huck" (which is her word for "milk") and more than a few times, when I get her up from her nap, she says "Mia home" and I tell her yes, Mia's home. We're still a bit frustrated by her lack of talking, but she's getting better.

Meanwhile, she loves dressing up. I guess most kids do, but as she is one of the two cutest children in history, it's cuter when she does it! You know it's true! When Krys comes home from work, Norah must follow her into the bedroom and put on her work clothes. She looks like this:

Bow to her cuteness!

(The title of the post, by the way, refers to the now-canceled John From Cincinnati on HBO, in which the title character simply repeats what everyone says to him. If they had simply cast Norah, that show would still be on the air!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The first battle with the school - averted!

Mia has been getting home from school about 3.40-3.45. She's on the bus about 40 minutes, which is fine if not perfectly ideal. She likes the bus a lot, but there's no air conditioning, and Mia has some problems regulating her body temperature, so I'm really looking forward to when the weather gets better.

Then on Friday morning I got a phone call (it went to voice mail) from the Transportation Department. The woman said that two kids were being added to her route and she would be dropped off at 4 o'clock. I thought, "Fine." I wouldn't want her to come home any later than 4, but if that's the time, I can deal with it. So when the driver dropped her off, I asked him about it. He told me that his time for drop-off was 4.11, but he didn't think she'd get home earlier than 4.30. He has to go to a different school prior to picking her up (ironically, the school where she went to pre-school) and then head the opposite direction to get her. Then, he picks up two junior high school kids at 3.45, and then drop them off before coming home with her. He actually suggested that I complain about it.

So I did. I called the Transportation Department and left a message with the woman in charge of these sorts of things. It was Friday at about 4.15, but they must have left for the day because they never got back to me. I didn't think I sounded particularly mad, and I was trying to be conciliatory. I explained that I wasn't too happy with her sharing a bus with 12- or 13-year-olds, even though she has a bus monitor and the kids would be, after all, disabled in some way (Mia rides the short bus, in case you didn't realize). Still, she's only 5. That, I explained, wasn't the biggest problem I had with it. I told them that the driver said he wouldn't be dropping her off until 4.30, and I really didn't want her on the bus for 90 minutes. I don't think she'd mind all that much, but I don't want her there. She also has Occupational Therapy on Monday at about 4, so that would mess up her schedule. I even said on the message that I wouldn't mind seeing what happened for a few days, but if she got home any later than 4 we'd have to change something.

This morning I got a phone call from the Transportation Department. The woman said that tomorrow she'd be back on her old schedule, with her drop-off time at about 3.40. I barely got a word in - I just thanked her and ended the call. I told Krys I didn't think I was too mean on the phone, but they acted like I had threatened their lives or something. Whatever. I'm just happy that we didn't have to fight about it. I don't want to have to fight with the school system for everything. That would suck. I know she lives far away from the school and might have to share the bus with other children, which adds to her time on the bus, but it would be nice if they could figure out a good route so that none of them is on the bus too long. I'm just glad this got worked out so easily and quickly. I know we're going to have to deal with plenty of stuff over the next years, so I didn't want it to start now.