Leo starts third grade in the morning. Think he looks cool enough to go to school with the big kids? I think he'll be fine, I trust his teacher, he spent some time in the new class during summer school to help ease the transition, and I'm looking forward to helping support some great learning this year. I think he'll be thrilled to get back to school and a super-structured routine.
He's had six summer weeks without any weekday daytime aide support, teaching, or respite (excepting one week of sleepaway camp). We've never gone that long without at least some daytime in-home support. But Leo's in such a good space with both his temperament and his ability to occupy himself that it's been really no problem for either of us -- as long as I keep an eye on him when Mali's around. (I hope this good period lasts, as his respite hours -- which we use for two witching hour evenings per week and a few hours on the weekend -- just got halved.)
This last week or two has seen lots and lots of talking, some spontaneous patterning: "Blue star green star red star orange star! Red heart purple heart yellow heart..." Also a lot of repeated phrases from books & songs but with his name inserted, e.g., "Leelo happy! Leelo sad! Leelo good and Leelo bad!" (from The Big Book of Beautiful Babies -- a favorite since he was a baby). He's been doing really well with pronouns, especially proper use of Me. And he's on another creative call-and-response vocal scatting bender. Really cool patterns there.
He's also been more willing to try different foods. We got him to eat peanut butter & banana, and pb & honey sandwiches! I also got him to chew a Marcona almond but he spit it out. Still, he put it in his mouth and chewed when asked. There may be new food options coming for our boy, yet.
As for the rest of us: Iz has one more week before starting sixth grade. This milestone apparently requires a quest: we need to journey to San Francisco to find her the perfect plaid miniskirt. Hokay. Maybe once we're there we can find someone to satisfy her question as to whether the geographical jurisdictions of San Francisco City & County are identical.
Mali is adjusting to kindergarten. By the end of her second week in class, she was able to endure an entire day without any formal disciplinary sanctions. She says she's too tired to speak in Spanish when she gets home, but if you start speaking Spanish to someone else and she understands you, she can't help but join in. She is not yet bucking against the quite boring dress code, and instead goes for fabulous the moment she gets home (if you scrutinize the Leelo picture above, you'll see her reading a book while wearing her gold tiara, a flower lei, a tutu, and dress-up shoes).
She has also taught herself to swim down to the bottom of our pool and retrieve the dive toys Leo usually plays with. Watching someone that tiny swim like a mermaid is pretty cool.
Seymour continues to have the best job ever. Two days ago he hiked Angel Island with an archaeologist, in a couple of weeks he goes to Jackson Hole. And that doesn't even cover the cool things he gets to do in the office, and the amazingly talented people he gets to do them with.
Meanwhile I'm tired (count many times I wrote "cool" in this post) and my computer has gone kablooey and I'm writing this on Iz's laptop. The problem with my beloved 3 1/2 year old MacBook Pro workhorse is not (just) the overfull hard drive -- that is supposedly not damaged. No, something's amiss with the OS, says the Genius Bar people. So I tried an OS reinstall. That failed, but in doing so it took up all the remaining space on my hard drive -- no space for a restarted reinstall. Back to the Genius Bar in two days. If you've tried to contact me on my personal domain email address since mid-day Friday, I'm not ignoring you. I just can't access that account right now.
Off to bed. Badger lent me a nice quirky page-turner called A Fistful of Sky and I want to conserve enough energy to get through at least three paragraphs.