When I'm not trying to work or sleep or keep my fool kids from killing each other (it's sweet actually how much they love each other--they hug and kiss and everything, which if you don't think is adorable I have some concern for the cold black granite that is YOUR HEART--but hand-in-hand with this adorable snugglefest is the fact that they fight like puppies crammed into a wicker basket only given one very small squeak toy to share) sometimes I try to update this blog. Clearly I have failed these past two weeks. But that Virgina Apgar thing was still pretty cool, wasn't it?
The big news these past few weeks is that Joe has left the world of academia and has now joined Paces Plastic Surgery, an excellent and highly respected plastic surgery group in Atlanta. It was tough to leave the university setting, but we're all very proud of him and excited for his prospects. To be totally honest, Joe is one of the very best doctors I know, and he cares about people and families more than just about any practitioner I've ever met. His patients are very lucky. So here's to new beginnings for him, and for us.
Cal has been...well, Cal has been great. You probably remember that I had some reservations prior to the start of this school year (we just switched schools, after all, so I had some concerns about the, shall we say, elasticity of the curriculum) but we've been pleased and actually delighted at how attentive and responsive his teachers have been, especially given that we'd actually not said anything to them at all.
"Maybe we should tell them to give him some harder math problems," Joe said near the beginning of the year, as we looked at Cal's homework (which was a giant worksheet of, essentially, counting problems).
After I duct taped him to his chair and stuck a sock in his mouth, I hissed at him don't you dare say anything, because it was the first week of the school year and the last thing I wanted to do was position us as the insane pushy Tiger Parents who don't know when to shut up. I wanted to trust the teacher to make that assessment on her own. Cal had a long history (particularly in preschool) of being perfectly able to do things well, but being too stubborn to show anyone that he could. It led to talk of remediation a few years ago, for chrissake. So I figured, just let it be for now. Cal would either show what he could do, or he wouldn't. And the teacher would make an assessment of what he should be doing, or she wouldn't. But the first two weeks of school was way, way too early to start inserting ourselves and insisting that, HEY, MY KID CAN READ HARRY POTTER AND DO MULTIPLICATION, ARE YOU DOING HARRY POTTER AND MULTIPLICATION IN SCHOOL YET? There's a fine line between advocacy and just being a pain in the ass.
So we didn't say anything. Cal has been having fun at his new school. He loves his teacher. He is making new friends. These are the big things. But also, on the other end of things, his teacher has told us that she's going to start pulling him out of their regular math class and that the "Enrichment" teacher is going to design some special extended projects for him to do during that time so that he doesn't get bored. This really makes me happy, because the worst thing that could happen to Cal would be for him to become disenchanted with school--already he's asked me why, if school is so easy, does he have to go every day. (Because of THE LAW, son.)
Anyway, I'm really impressed with the school's flexibility, it's certainly beyond what I had expected, and I'm even more glad that they came to that decision outside of me or Joe pushing anything. Or perhaps it was Cal doing the pushing, as he'll regularly finish up his homework, and then, on the blank page on the back, write himself an entire new worksheet of more difficult math problems, and then finish those too.
I'm proud of my boy, is all.
(ASIDE FROM MEMORY LANE: When I was in fifth grade, I remember the teacher letting me and this other boy, Frances, do our own writing activities during the phonics curriculum, because phonics was, well...pretty ridiculous. So what Frances and I decided to do was a booklet of political cartoons centered around the 1988 presidential elections, where we lampooned each candidate, as well as the sitting president at the time, Ronald Reagan. I believe there were a couple of comic strips featuring Mikhail Gorbachev as well, and I remember studying his nevus flammeus very carefully so I could draw it just right. And that, friends, is what you call a Baby Nerd.)
It's probably been observed to the point of stereotype that after a bringing into the world a particularly bookish, adult-oriented child, your second child is bound to be the human equivalent of a monster-truck rally, and that is most definitely the case at our house. Mack is like...well, he's like a Mogwai. Starts off real cute, ultimately destructive, and should not be fed after midnight. (If it turns out he starts multiplying in number after he gets wet, however, we're in big trouble.)
The weather has finally started getting cooler here, and after four straight months of 90+ degree weather, I could not be more ready. It's been a long summer, but autumn smells like beginnings.