Sunday, November 22, 2009

essential media

Well, any child of ours.

Now that she's four, it's time to start her on Daddy's favorite things: comic books and Star Trek.

Her first two comic books, which she picked out herself at our usual comic shop, are Super Girl #8 and Scooby-Doo #143. Super Girl was the last half of a two-parter, so it was confusing for all of us coming into a new series with nothing but half a middle and an end of a story, plus, it features Mister Mxyzptlk, which I tell you is a sheer joy to have to read to your kid over and over and over again.

Scooby-Doo was suitably Scoobish, and the first adventure in the ish took place at the White House. There was some cryptozoology bit in there too which was actually interesting and not insane. Overall, I think Gaz picked some winners. Now we just have to teach her about the virtues of mylar sleeves and acid-free cardboard. Oh, and she'll need her own box. For the moment the books are (gasp!) on the coffee table.

For Star Trek, Mark started her off yesterday on "The Enemy Within," which would not have been my first choice, but Gaz seemed to enjoy it. Now they're watching "The Corbomite Maneuver" and she's asking a million questions about every possible plot element you could imagine. It's cute if you aren't trying to actually watch the episode (for instance, if you're blogging in another room). But she really digs aliens, and the spinning cube thing was a big hit.

school and vaccines

Gaz's second week of school was marred by an evil, evil chest cold (what is it with this kid and chest colds?!). On Tuesday as we walked home, she complained that she didn't feel well, and also that she wasn't looking forward to the fire drill the next day at school. I assumed the two were related until she developed the cough and fever that evening. Friday we went to the doctor to get an official opinion on the cold and get Gaz on the list for the H1N1 vaccine, which our doctor assured us they keep getting more of, but they only do the vaccines by appointment.

This past week Gaz made it through a whole week of school again, but we had a little meltdown on Thursday. I thought the week would get easier for her as the days wore on, but I hadn't allowed for the cumulative exhaustion of each day building up quite so much. It was picturesque and memorable, and I hope next week we can completely skip any sort of tantrum. She's been insisting on an earlier bedtime this past week, so I think if we just roll our schedule back a little that will fix most of our problems. At least, I hope that works, as she refuses to nap even while sick.

This weekend we had a nice but all-too-short visit from the Grandparents Mitchell. While everyone else was out having a good time, I went to check out the free city-sponsored H1N1 vaccine clinic at a conveniently-located city college. Since I'm in the high risk group (asthma--don't get any funny ideas, youse), I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity. I was surprised to find that they had the flumist as well as the injection, so I may bypass the annoyance of dragging her down to the pediatrician's office and just take her to the next clinic day. I hope Gaz being generally healthy as a horse will qualify her for the flumist. I can't avoid the needles, but it would be nice if she could. If not, they do have a Blue Bunny ice cream vending machine in the lobby.

Friday, November 6, 2009

School Daze

Gaz has now successfully completed her first week of preschool. Best of all, we managed to survive it.

Getting to school was only an issue twice, and then only because Gaz frequently refuses to believe how cold it is outside and so refuses to put on her coat. You'd think she was a Yukon nudist or something. After I explained that we weren't leaving the house without her coat on, and if she never put on her coat she would never get to school that day, she grudgingly complied. I didn't even make her put on a hat most days (though I brought hat and mittens every day, in case she wanted them). I suppose as problems go, that's the kind you want to have. And I know in a few years that whole "if you don't obey you can't go to school" thing won't work quite so well. I'm milking it while I can.

Coming home from school is a very different animal. She really doesn't ever want to leave once she's there. Day one there was a screaming, sobbing tantrum all the way through lunch (fools that we were, we thought going out for lunch would perk her up) and all the way home, to the tune of about an hour and a half. Day two we didn't go out for lunch, and just screamed and cried all the way home. Day three I bribed her with Halloween candy. It worked much better than I expected, and she was so very compliant (and I was so wiped out) that I took her out to lunch. Day four the candy worked again, though there were tears about not getting hold the black bear. Day five I bribed her with the promise of a special treat (Dunkin' Donuts is on the way home) but she was still mopey about not being able to bring the pink floam until we started collecting a family of bright yellow maple leaves that had freshly fallen on the sidewalk. I was glad to have taken hand sanitizer with me so we didn't have icky leaf hands when we got our treat.

While at school, Gaz is apparently a joy. I have yet to hear about her having any difficulty at all, and yesterday when I stopped in to get her, the program director came up to me with Gaz's file (oh no!) to give me a printout she made of some goofy face photos of Miss Gaz (whew!). They had been taking the kids' pictures to put with letters to Santa and Gaz made a lot of silly faces. She's definitely my kid! So we've got bonus pictures. I love 'em. We've also got school pictures coming up soon. I'm excited to see how this goes.

In other school-related news, Gaz and I journeyed forth to River Forest last week to entertain enlighten some psychology students as to the workings of a four-year-old girl's mind. She said a lot of things that made my little nerd heart glow with pride ("What do you want to be when you grow up?" "A Transformer! Or a fairy that transforms into a scientist!") and some that made me groan a bit ("What animal would you like to be?" "I would like to be a pig, because pigs don't have to poop in the potty."). It turns out that that pig comment, according to the professor, represents thinking on a higher level than most four-year-olds, though, so I guess that's a win. What a way to prove your mental prowess! Gaz was a champ with the interviewing, and even wrote her name on the board (and I quote: "AGAAAA"). We had a good time and want to thank Auntie Abby again for inviting us out to her class. :)