Monday, September 27, 2010

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Okay, well, the tantrums are still occurring at random intervals, along with the moodiness, but I hope it's beginning to even out. The transition is difficult, going to full-day school, and G's freelance gig has been heating up a lot lately, so that good ol' Mommy doesn't have as much free time as she once did. And believe me, Daddy is no substitute whatsoever.

However, that told, Gaz is still doing funny things. We occasionally play all sorts of odd musical bits, here and there, and she latched on to the opening bit of Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge" (check it out in your online music source of choice).

The opening has Mr. Mothersbaugh going "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, yeahyeahyeahyeah!" And Gaz adapts that rhythm to whatever she wants.

"Salty peanut, salty-peanut, saltypeanut!"

"Macaroni, macaroni, macaroni!"

"Hello Kitty, hello-kitty, hellokitty!"

So that's hilarious.

We also have this elementary school program called "ROBERTO" which stands for Read Or BE Read TO. And we read to her nightly. The requirement is 20 minutes a day, but it's not uncommon for us to run 30 minutes, and last week we had two nights that stretched to 60 minutes. So that's good, right? Problem is, I'm hoping her teacher doesn't actually check what it is they're being read, because she'll see a lot of issues of "Batman: The Brave And The Bold" (which is a pretty fun kids Batman comic) and "Tiny Titans" (which is like Muppet Babies only with the Teen Titans, so more like PreTeen Titans) along with the usual Seuss and Disney and Kipling (Gaz loves Kipling's "Just So Stories" for some reason).

Tonight I read her an issue of the Scooby-Doo comic she had me buy over the weekend, and finished up with the wonderful "Bats on the Beach." That's a good mix, I think. But then after I turn out the light, Gaz wants me to tell a made-up story, and while I can do that, I'm pretty tired myself, so I do what I've been doing the past week or so: I tell her about comic book characters. She's heard the origin stories of Superman, Wonder Woman (a favorite), Batman and Robin, Green Arrow, Green Lantern... what little I remembered of The Flash, and Martian Manhunter. On the other side of the fence, I've told her about Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, and tonight I explained The X-Men.

Oh, the X-Men. She'd caught a glimpse of a little sketch of Wolverine over my shoulder when I was looking at a comics blog, and she asked who that guy was, so I had to explain mutants and Professor X and as many of the X-Men as I could recall offhand before I started to describe Wolvie. She was really impressed with his healing factor, and she loved the idea of an unbreakable metal skeleton, but she got really tickled when I explained the claws. However, despite thinking they were really cool, what she wanted to do if she had Wolverine's powers was to jump around really high! And she'd want Nightcrawler's teleportation, and Jean Grey's telekinesis power (I didn't explain to her about the whole Dark Phoenix thing becuase... you gotta leave room to grow, right?), and so on. This girl is gleefully investigating the whole nerd culture thing, and she's not even into her second hand worth of years. I love it.

I suppose I should investigate Wikipedia to refresh my memory on some of the superhero origins for tomorrow night... we'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School, etc.

Jeez, now that Blogger has stopped telling me about all it's fab new features, I can finally type something! Not that I will be typing a long something, though, because I'm about to fall over. But first things first.

Gaz is finally in school. (Check out her back-to-school get-up! She picked it out herself, as you can probably guess.) I got her registered with little trouble on the 2nd (the third attempt being the charm), and classes started this week. It's somewhat shorter days this week, which is a drag on many levels (one of them is Gaz's lunch period is so short that she's not eating most of the food I send with her; that's one drag that I am especially frustrated over), but it's a massive adjustment for everyone. I'm still not sure how *I* feel about this school, but I don't think it's monstrous. Gaz's teacher *does* have some strange, trollish teeth. . . . But anyway, I'll be happier when Gaz is less keyed up all day and night.

Gaz loves school. She sins excited songs every morning as we walk to school, and the stretch of sidewalk that takes us to school has one section where someone once drew a Batman symbol on the wet concrete, so we even get to geek out in a DC Superfriends manner twice a day. She enjoyed gym today, and is looking so very much forward to art class that she has plans to bring in a special piece of painted wood to give to the art teacher, whoever she is. She's in class with one of the neighbor girls, which is more fantastic than I can begin to describe. They get along already, and now not only do they get to spend more time together, we have an easy connection for getting Gaz to and from school in the event of some kind of emergency or schedule insanity. We love the neighbors anyway, and now they're even super useful. What could be better than that?

We have had some difficult sleep this week (Gaz woke me up in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to ask me to tell her a story, and to ask for a drink of water, and to ask for company on a bathroom trip . . . ), and my girl has been much more short-tempered with everyone and clingy with me. I know this is just a transition thing, and I am trying to give her all the extra support she needs to keep on being her big, crazy self. We'll get through this. We did okay overall with preschool and weaning; we can survive the kindergarten adjustment.

But how am I holding up, people ask. You would not believe how well I am doing right now. I've got so much editing work that I have been desperate all summer for school to start up again. Working from home and being the stay-at-home parent at the same time has been nothing short of hellish for me* and has resulted in many weeks where the dishes overtook the kitchen and started singing medleys about overthrowing the slovenly human oppressors. (You who have mechanical dishwashers: you are lucky, lucky creatures who darned well better appreciate your modern luxuries.) We're managing to maintain appropriate levels of apartment hygiene, but clutter is another story.

So no, I'm not at all upset by the start of the school year. It's making life tolerable again.

But once more, I am frustrated by the needs of work interfering with my spending time with Gaz, especially now that she needs extra cuddles and reassurance to get her past the stress of full-day school. I try to spend the time from after-school to Mark's arrival home and dinner time with her, scheduling my work day for before she's up and while she's at school, but she's been waking up quite early. We're having to do the other hard transition of less me at bedtime and more Mark, and she's really used to me being the one who gets her settled in more often than not for most of her life.

I am very far behind on blogging, uploading pictures, replying to email, visiting relatives, and who knows what else (apart from the dishes; I know how miserable the dish position is on any given day). I have no idea when I will be digging out from under the backlog, but between Gaz and work both needing me and everything that had to be done for school registration, I have been completely tapped out. I do hope to get more regular with the blogging again, but anything longer than your average Facebook status update or Twitter entry is difficult for me right now. Please be patient (and send patience. And coffee. And scones. And sleep!).

* And specifically: exhausting and cranky-making