I recently listened to a podcast all about taking an inventory of your kids and their individual needs. Take 30 minutes to just think about that kid, what they need you to start doing/providing and what they need you to stop doing. Temporal, spiritual, physical, emotional needs. The whole gambit. So I decided to do this with Gwen.
I didn't take 30 minutes and write stuff down. I took 3 minutes and just thought about Gwen and what she needs and then bounced ideas off Dan when he came home. It's amazing how simple of an exercise it was and yet how helpful.
Gwen, as the middliest middle child, sandwiched between an older sister with a couple of special needs and a baby brother, is oft neglected. Words that describe Gwen--SOCIAL beyond all get out, my helper, STUBBORN, loves getting out of the house. Social butterfly does not begin to describe this child who still cries every single time we leave a play date.
Ironically, June is my homebody but started school when she was 3 years old due to her ASD diagnosis. She wishes she could stay home all of the time. Gwen, on the other hand, would have killed to go to school at 3 years old. I wanted to send her to preschool this year because she's 4 but preschool is just so expensive in New Jersey, and i can't seem to justify it.
She has a summer birthday, and I have contemplated making her stay home one more year before kindergarten so that she will be the oldest instead of youngest, but I just don't think I could do that to her. So she's off to kindergarten next year and is probably the only kid going who hasn't attended preschool.
Anyway, as I thought about her, I decided she at least needed more activities. She attends story time at the library on Tuesdays, basketball on Wednesdays and kindermusick on Thursdays. I loathe being overscheduled, and I especially detest 4 year olds having tons of activities, but I knew she needed something else.
I found a dance studio two minutes away. All of the other kids have been attending since September, and there is a recital in June. So we are really behind. But I left a message for the owner anyway, and she called me back the next day to say that there is an opening in a class but that it started in 30 minutes and if we were going to be in the recital we had to come THAT day so that we could get her costume figured out.
So I made Harris get up from a nap I had just put him down for 12 minutes prior and we were on our way to do a trial class.
Gwen hopped into the class with her street clothes on. And she was so happy. It's a combo class of tap, ballet and acro.
After class, I asked her if she wanted to continue, and she said YESSSSSSSSSS A THOUSAND TIMES YES, so we bought a leotard, tights, ballet shoes, tap shoes and a costume.
If I'm totally honest, it's hard for me to sign up my girl to dance. I feel like there are two types of people in this world--dancers and musicians. Okay, there are obviously way more types of interest than just those two, but that's definitely how I felt growing up. Yes, I'm grateful I play the piano but I was always so jealous of the girls who danced at my school. I felt like I was betraying myself.
Good thing I don't have any lingering childhood issues!! Because that would be pathetic at age 34.
In other news, June doesn't take the spelling tests with the rest of her class. But I feel like she probably could. So awhile ago, I started requesting the spelling lists be sent home so that she and I could look at them together.
Why do I do this? Why do I add to my own workload? I don't know.
But last week, the work started paying off. I gave her a spelling test on contraction words, and she scored 100%. I put it in her backpack to show her teacher, and her teacher put it on the board with the other tests.
It's hard for her to retain the words over a long period of time, but we'll keep trying.
Also, June made a birthday card for one of her aides. It has pictures of corn all over it "because Mrs. V and I both love corn!" Naturally! Who doesn't want corn on their birthday card?
Seriously, so many corn pictures.
And snow. And more snow. And still supposed to snow some more this week.
Yesterday, I sent a text to check in on a nice lady in the ward who has been sick and missing church. She told me she was still feeling yucky, and I sent her a text back that said, "Sorry you are feeling so junky!" but my phone autocorrected to "Sorry you are feeling so kinky!"
And now I have to move out of state.