Saturday, September 17, 2011

All of a sudden, he is not traumatized by preschool!

A lot of things have been happening lately. To tell a coherent story about our life, I really should post every day. (Haha. Sorry, I don't like blogging THAT much. I did when we were stuck waiting and idle, but now that we're living and busy, not so much.)

Yesterday was AwesomeCloud's third day of preschool. It was obvious when we got there that he'd hit a turning point. He wanted to swing on the swings and run laps around the field while we waited for people to show up. (I like being early. I think I'll keep doing it. It's more fun to spend a minute getting coats and shoes on and ten minutes running around the school grounds than vice versa.)

Then when kids and parents started gathering near the door, he came willingly and shuffled around instead of hanging onto me.

And then when the teacher showed up, he said, "Bye!" and didn't even look back for one last panicked, sorrowful look.

He was happy to see me when school was over, but actually I think he was happy to see I put his Beanie Baby cat in my purse with its head hanging out. I did that the first day of school, and he cheered up when he saw it. On the second day, he was disappointed that the cat wasn't in my purse, he opened my purse up and checked every pocket inside, even though I told him I was sorry I had forgotten Cat. Third day, I remembered. Apparently, having Cat peeking out of my purse when I get Cloud is an essential new tradition.

I like this new tradition. It's easy - as long as I can remember it.

Another weird little thing - he compares where I park to pick him up to where I parked to drop him off. At first he asked, "Moved car?" As if he were surprised I'd do such a thing. As if I'd spent 2.5 hours twiddling my thumbs while sitting in the driver's seat. He probably didn't realize 2.5 hours had passed. He probably isn't ready to wonder what I'm doing when I'm not right there with him.

On the third day I parked in the same place twice. So, in effect, maybe I didn't move the car and maybe I did sit in it the whole time he was in school. This time, however, he seemed surprised that I didn't move the car.

Afterwards we went out for lunch to the Chinese restaurant. Wo men pengyou (our friend, the owner of the restaurant) had a friend of hers working there. Or maybe they were sisters, or cousins; who knows. This new woman is a recent arrival and has a child Cloud's age. We immediately started chatting playdate. Pengyou also has a 3-year-old son.

There's also the butterfly garden. Another season is ending. It was fun to watch AwesomeCloud improving his butterfly garden skills again this year. At first he started off interested in the digging and weeding we do in the spring, but as time went on, he grew impatient with that. By July, I started going in the morning once a week by myself, just to keep up with the weeding. But then data collection began, and that involved walking and looking around. At first, Cloud was uninterested or even afraid of the butterflies. I remember his first close-up sighting - I was weeding, and I looked up and saw a Checkerspot on the orange flowers. It was right next to where Cloud was standing.

"Look, a butterfly," I said.

Cloud looked around but didn't see it.

"It's right there," I said. "Right next to you. Near your arm. On the flower right there."

He saw it and recoiled, startled. I assured him it was harmless and we stared and stared and stared.

Now he can spot the sulphurs before I do and he can even tell an orange from a clouded sulphur. It'll be a while before he learns the challenging species, like pearl crescent or American copper, but I think he's learning to ID the cabbage leaf, and he knows a monarch, even if he mangles its name.

The end-of-season party is in two weeks, and I'd love to show off his skills to the other volunteers if he'll cooperate. But he probably won't. He may be a type A personality, but he gets performance-shy just like most kids his age.

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