So, I haven’t given any indication on the blog about the latest schooling decisions, but we had some major changes. In August of last year I decided to homeschool the Chunks. Reasons: a) I’ve always wanted to and b) I felt good about the timing. Really. The timing felt good. This detail is very important in the history of my little family because well, so many things happened after that.
More on that later. I just want to focus on this girl:
So, we homeschooled from August to December. After Christmas, I decided it would be good for us if the kids went back to public school, at least for the rest of this year. The morning of the first day, this girl was up and at ’em, a clear indication that she was excited. I was glad because I mostly worried about the transition for her more than Chunk #1. She had only attended public school for kindergarten and never had a six-hour day. But her enthusiasm made me think she would be ok.
She was ok. Except for one little detail. You see, about a year ago Chunk #2 had a habit of sucking her lips so hard that the skin around them would turn red. She looked like she had lipstick on or a really strange rash. The habit stopped and I hadn’t thought about it again…..until she got home from school on January 3rd. It was back, along with a very clear light bulb. Ah, it’s a nervous habit! No doy!
So we talked. We talked about feeling safe, about being loved by mommy, about having her friends back (she was soooooo glad to see her old friend, let’s call her Guadalupe). I also made a joke – I said: “When you get nervous and start sucking your lip, think of Animal in the Muppet Movie. Just say ‘under control’ just like Animal.” This made her laugh (just go see the Muppet Movie for your reference).
The next day I picked her up and she updated me on her lip-sucking progress. “Mom, when I went to suck my lips I did what you said. I said ‘under control’ and I didn’t suck my lips.”
“Did you actually say ‘under control’ or think it?”
“I whispered it to myself” (lots of giggling).
“Did anybody hear you?” This was a casual question, really.
“No, I don’t think so,” still giggling.
This made me laugh. In my exaggerated motherly concern I imagined “the new homeschooled girl” off in a corner of the classroom whispering to herself “under control” in the voice of the most incomprehensible muppet. It was a great image. All she needed was a mouthful of paste. Aaaah the things I think about when it comes to my kids.
Oh well, she is like a Muppet. In any case, she seems to be transitioning well. She is still a little shy but has made more friends and enjoys all the perks of being a first grader (you know, P.E, Art, etc…..).
FYI, if you were wondering when the early morning enthusiasm would end, it only took about a week.