Monthly Archives: July 2012

Why brush my teeth daddy?

One of the "Why?" questions that Grace asks daily is, "Why brush my teeth daddy?" (while brushing her teeth). I have the standard answer about healthy teeth and holes and dentists, but tonight it was story time…..

Once there was a little tooth who lived inside of Grace's mouth. Everyday a little bit of plaque would come and sit on the tooth, and everyday Grace brushed her teeth and got rid of the plaque. One day Grace stopped brushing her teeth and the little bit of plaque sat on her tooth and scratched and scratched until it made a hole in the tooth. "Ow, my tooth is so sore," said little Grace, "I need to go to the dentist." The dentist looking inside of Grace's mouth and said, "There is a little hole in your tooth – I will clean it and put a filling in it." So the dentist cleaned it and filled it and the tooth was all better. So that's why we brush our teeth, so that they can stay healthy.

A few seconds after finishing the story Grace says, 

"Want another book." 
"Grace, it was just a story, not a book." 
"Want another story."

Phenomenal

“Grace is doing phenomenally today.” That is the text Donné received from the principal this morning.

It was such a relief after what I considered to be a really hard drop off. Yesterday Grace had been saying, “No go to school,” but this morning she was quiet about it, not saying anything about it when school was mentioned.

In the car on the way she ate her snack, and was just her normal self looking at cars, spotting white Citi Golf’s, and asking where people are going and about the different cars.

We got there and I went around to open her door, and her eyes just welled up. No crying or moaning, just these sad eyes filled with tears. The crying I can deal with, but those sad eyes just broke my heart.

In we went as usual, and later in the morning we get a message that she is doing really well. No tears when we collected her and good feedback from the day. Progress.

Daddy’s helper

Grace helped me to put together her little brother’s cot and impressed me with her Allan key skills. It is probably the first time that I have really felt like she was helping with this sort of thing.

It was quite weird to be getting Grace’s old room ready for the new baby. There was a moment when all the sleepless night, rocking to sleep and a white noise filled room came rushing back to me….the best word I can find for it is anxiety….but it is not that. It was the sense of the reality of what lies ahead.

Who bought this?

Grace has hardly ever asked "Why?" questions, but she is asking lots of questions at the moment, the main one being, "Who bought this?" (to which the answer is usually, "Mommy"). She has a list of questions,

"What is this?"
"Who's car is that?"
"Where did it go?"
"Where did it come from?"

And if you ask her a question which she knows the answer to, "I don't know," said in such a sweet way that you've just got to love her.

We built a school for the animals and ran through the school motions – arriving, saying goodbye, activities, playing and so on.

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The end of the week

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After a long week of school….

Today's school day was short. After a week of school, waking up and lying awake from 1h30 to 2h45 and not eating breakfast properly this morning we didn't expect too much today. Donné collected Grace at 10h30 and she just chilled around home for the rest of the day. I think she is looking forward to the weekend, spending some time with us and absorbing the past week. It will be good to just chill together.

I think the week went really well. It is clearly a huge adjustment for Grace. On Tuesday & Wednesday she was super hyped up when she got home and stayed that way for the rest of the day. On Thursday she seemed like she crashed from her high, and today she just seemed tired out (which is partly from lying awake last night). It is a lot to take in for her.

It is good to see that she is bonding with Janine and it will be great when she starts to bond with some of the other children (which will hopefully allow Janine to be able to go to the bathroom on her own…)

For us the change is mainly getting used to a new routine and supporting Grace as much as we can. I know that in a week or two we'll be through all of the adjustment and she is going to be excited to be going everyday.

Missed you mommy!

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Chocolate frio's on a warm winters day to celebrate a good day at school

When Donné arrived to collect Grace from school today she was sitting on a chair with the teachers while the other children were playing. When she noticed Donné had arrived she burst into tears. Donné picked her up and said, "Why are you crying?" (because she hadn't been). Grace replied, "Mommy, I missed you so much."

The day went well. Lots of tears when we arrived this morning, but she settled down okay. She fed the fish, watered the plants, threaded beads, sung along and picked a current bun in group today, helped tidy by sweeping and pushing in the chairs, played with play dough and warmed up (a little bit) to one of the other teachers. Slowly, slowly, we're moving forward.

The photographer

Donné got a new compact camera for her birthday and we decided to make her old camera (which we haven't used for a while) available to Grace to take photos. The idea is that she can take photos, explore and just play with a camera a bit (kudos for the idea actually goes to Retief Krige, a friend and colleague who is an amazing industrial designer).

So Grace has been playing…..and playing….and playing, absolutely loving taking photos of anything and anyone. She points the camera in your general direction and says, "Smile for photo daddy!" The other thing she likes to do is point the camera at herself and take photos…..which I am sure is going to give her arc eyes with the flash going off 10cm from her face…repeatedly.

This morning while we were getting ready she goes, "Smile for photo mommy!" Click. "Smile for photo daddy!" Click. Turns the camera towards her face, "Smile for photo me!"

A self portrait

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Second day of school today. We have decided that our routine will be for me to drop her off and Donné to collect her. She was happy to go off to school and the first complaint was as we arrived and stopped the car, "Not want to go to school," but she was happy to get out and go in. The tears started as we came around the corner to the door, which is pretty much as I would have expected, so we went through the routine of going to put her bag in her locker and saying goodbye. I have been through this kind of thing with her before with swimming, and we trust the people there to look after her, so although it would be great to leave a happy smiling child waving goodbye I am also comfortable that it is sometimes best to establish a routine and stick to it.

And she seemed to have a really good day at school. She was there longer than yesterday, lasting all the way until about 11h30 (starting at 08h00), which is nearly a full day. She swept, watered plants, fed the fish, made a sandwich and cut herbs. The sandwich was for Nelson Mandela day and we had to go and find someone in need and give them the sandwich, in Grace's words, "Give to someone who not have any food," (which we guess are the teacher's words). She appears to have bonded with Janine (the principle) and is fine as long as she can see her. She is definitely making good progress.

She was definitely hyped up when she got home, and remained hyped right up until bed time. We think there is just so much that is new and to process that her brain is zinging around. Things are going well and we're very proud of our little girl.