The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Various August items

August is usually a busy month, as the kids go back to school, but it seems unusually busy this month, so whenever I want to sit down and write about the kids, something else comes up. But now it's the last day of the month, so I'm taking time to write about them!

Item! It's always fun to do bad news first, so of course Mia is having medical issues. Her scoliosis hasn't stabilized, and has in fact gotten a lot worse, since we started putting her in her brace. The surgeon warned us it might, but it's still discouraging. He left the state and we got a new surgeon, who saw her, took an X-ray, and immediately began making plans for surgery. I have no idea why it's progressing so rapidly - it took years to get to the point where the surgeon thought a back brace would be a good idea, and then about 6-7 months from there to SURGERY!!!! We have an appointment in October to sort out when we're going to do it, but it seems to be getting worse, so I'm going to call this week and ask them if they think she should come in for another X-ray. Surgery is awesome, especially back surgery where they have to work on the spinal column, so I'm sure this won't cause any anxiety in the house at all. Sheesh.

Item! Mia started sixth grade this year. Careful readers might note that she started sixth grade last year, and they'd be right. We're in no hurry with Mia, as her curriculum is largely dictated by an IEP, so we thought it might be a good idea to have her repeat sixth grade. She was 11 when this school year started (she turned 12 yesterday), and we thought that socially, that might be a bit young for seventh grade. Most kids turn 13 at some point in seventh grade, so we didn't think it would be a big deal. The cut-off date for school around here is 1 September, so Mia was always about as young as you could get in any particular grade. She doesn't care if she's in her school another year, and they were perfectly happy to have her back.

Item! Unfortunately, her aide from the past two years got a better job (meaning: better benefits), so she took off. Mia has a new aide, who of course has to learn how to handle Mia. Mia seems to be better behaved this year than the end of last year, but she's still being a jerk too often. A few weeks ago, the aide stopped paying attention to her and Mia tried to stab her hand with a pencil. I told her that if she stops paying attention to Mia, she needs to get away from her, because Mia likes all the attention! She thought Mia was angry at her specifically, but I disabused her of that notion - Mia might stab me with a pencil if I stopped paying attention to her. Since then, I think Mia has been better behaved, but that's still annoying. It's just so hard to punish her because she forgets what she does so quickly that she doesn't really know why she's being punished.

Item! Norah, naturally, is doing well in fourth grade. She's still trying to figure out her teacher - she moved up from second grade, so a lot of kids in Norah's grade had her two years ago and love her, but Norah didn't, so she's still trying to figure her out. Norah is ridiculously busy with extra-curricular activities, which we're trying to monitor closely so she doesn't get burned out. She really likes them, and we don't over-burden her, I don't think, but we're still trying to make sure she doesn't go crazy. On Monday, she has art class after school. She's been taking tennis on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I'm not sure if that's just a summer thing - I have to find out after this session ends, which should be in a week. She had Girl Scouts every first and third Tuesday of the month. She decided to join the school's orchestra, which practices before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought it would be a good idea for her to learn a language, and we decided on Latin, so she's getting tutored in that on Fridays. On Saturdays she has karate. She ran for student council and didn't win, which I think might have been a good thing. So yeah, she's busy. One reason we don't mind her doing all this is because we're not making her compete in anything, which I know eats up time. She does these things for an hour or two a week, and that's it. The second reason we don't mind is that she doesn't have anyone in the neighborhood to play with - our neighbors either don't have children or they're fairly anti-social, and in Arizona, summertime is NOT a time to play outside - so she's making friends in all these activities, which is nice. I do keep telling her that she needs to let us know if she thinks it's too much to handle, but so far she's fine.

That's about it with the kids. Things are humming along, with some bumps along the way - Norah is still a bit too sensitive about things, although I'd rather she be sensitive than not - and we're hoping that Mia's health improves and that Norah continues to be awesome. I don't think we'll have to worry about either of them not being awesome, though!