Sunday, June 21, 2015

The End of Vacation

We've had a whirlwind three weeks in America.  We started off in Florida; spent a few days in the mid-Atlantic region to pick up our new car, get the keys to the house that we are going to be renting for the next year, and inspect the other school that we were accepted into; drove up to New England in the new car and spent time with my husband's family; traveled to see my family for a few days; traveled back to spend a few more days with T's family; then drove back down the eastern seaboard yesterday and the day before; and spent all day today cleaning/unloading furniture from the Uhaul (it had been in storage in New England).  And, I start work tomorrow.

Florida was a lovely relaxing time, but we planned to spend way too few days there.  We were trying to cram a little family time into our "vacation," before running around to catch up with family and friends.  If I had it to do over again, I would have cut that part, or extended it and made it longer.  Longer wasn't really an option this trip, because of other obligations, but the last three weeks have been so hectic that I can't wait to start working again.  It will feel relaxing!  But the kids had a blast, and that is what really matters.  We gave them a really magical three week vacation full of memories, and that is what I wanted for them.  We had pool days and Disney days and days with friends and lake days and beach days and days with both grandmothers and visits with grandfathers and favorite aunts and cousins and museum trips and zoo trips and a trip to my favorite childhood candy store (it's now Miss M's favorite, too--the giant array of penny candy sealed the deal).  Miss M has really blossomed during this time.  She is having such a blast, and she is such a joy--so happy and full of curiosity about the world, and so eager to share her theories about how something might work or how something might have unfolded.  I love it. 

SB has been her cheerful, if challenging, three year old self this vacation.  She is vibrant and happy, and constantly sings and dances.  The arts-based preschool we had her in while in South America was really good for her.  She is constantly coming up with a dance routine or a new song.  It's really cute.   Less cute is the penchant for hitting that she seems to have picked up for an older boy in her class.  Any time she doesn't get what she wants, she turns into a little caveman.  It's all about the brute force, and her tantrums are epic.  We've tried every punishment under the sun, and the only thing that works is kindly, calmly, picking her up and putting her in a room by herself.  It's no easy feet, with her flailing arms and legs.  She literally pinched me, pulled my hair, slapped me and kicked me while I tried to pick her up the other day.  I was so horrified.  Now that we are back in our own space again, we will definitely be focusing on working with her on her behavior.  I know she understands that it is wrong, because she changes her tune very quickly after being put in another room by herself, and settles down and becomes compliant.  Sigh.  She is such a love, and so very sweet and charming.  But  as my mother says, when she grows those little horns, watch out.

This next thought is probably worthy of another post entirely, but I'm short on time, so I'm going to dump it here.  We had a chance to tour the second school that we got into, after they agreed to extend the deadline by which we had to respond.  I specifically told them that I wanted to visit the classrooms where my children would be next year.  Honestly, I expected to love this place.  It has a lot of hype surrounding it.  When I got there, I didn't love it, though.  I thought it was indeed a nice little school that's trying to do some good things, but. . .that's it.  The school we have already enrolled in had more resources, bigger classrooms, and a nicer physical plant.  And, despite my request to see the classrooms, they told me they were doing work, and I couldn't see them.  Argh.  But in the end, even that did not matter, as I just was not terribly swayed.  Academically, I discovered that there would be mostly a new crop of English speaking kids in Miss M's class (with no prior Spanish), which I thought would hold Miss M back, since her Spanish is way ahead of where the class will be (in the school she's in, pretty much all of the kids have been in for 1-2 years already, and/or come from native speaking homes).  While the new school was a bit more diverse than the school we are currently enrolled in, it was strangely not as diverse as I had thought it would be.  And, I hated the location.  It was much less convenient than our current school.  So, we declined to enroll.  

Finally, I am wrapping up a course of antibiotics.  About a week into our vacation, I got a sinus infection.  I tried to use a neti pot to get rid of it, to no avail.  Antibiotics can really do a number on my digestive system and kick into gear some other problems I have, so I really try to avoid them.  But after two weeks of misery, I finally broke down.  Little by little I am getting better, but I am still a fountain of yellow snot, and my nose is peeling from blowing it so often.  JUST the impression you want to give on your first day in a new job.  And with that, I'd better go to bed.