Friday, March 13, 2009

Nutmeg

Trying on one of the outfits I got her at the Parenthesis volunteer sale:


Last night we had our second and last conference with Nutmeg's preschool teachers. They said they are so happy with how much Nutmeg's behavior has improved this year. In the beginning of the year, she was having up to 3 meltdowns a DAY in class. Now it's more like a couple times a week, and less intense, more likely to blow over. They've noticed, as we have, that being able to read is a great source of comfort and escape for her. If you can get her to pick up a book, she can go off "on her own" for awhile and find the calm that she needs to go on with her day.

We were very happy to hear all this, in addition to the expected comments on how well she's reading and writing and what interesting things she says.

But I worry that the whole cycle of freakouts will start anew when she hits kindergarten next year. After all, these teachers have gotten to know her very well, learned how to calm her and avoid upsetting her in the first place. What will she act like in a class full of new kids and a new teacher that isn't as interested in putting up with that kind of s---?

Her teachers say they don't think she'll start from Square One. They think she's matured a lot this year and six months from now when she starts kindergarten things will be a little better.

Let's hope.

I have to say, there are a lot of days lately when she makes me very proud. Like today. We went to Pebbles' class, and since the teacher has been very sweet about including Nutmeg even though she's not enrolled and is too old for the class, Nutmeg sat at the table with the 2-year-olds while they were given juice and a St. Patrick's Day cookie.

First, the boy next to Pebbles was pounding the table. His hands hit Pebbles' hand, and she cried out. Nutmeg moved her sister's chair away from the boy and towards herself, and told Pebbles, "Stay closer to me, honey, so you won't get hurt."

Then, when the kids got their juice and Pebbles and the other 2-year-olds started pounding it, Nutmeg told her, "Save some of your juice for your cookie."

One of the other moms said, "She's so protective."

I never really thought about this before, but she is. And I love it. Tonight at dinner we talked about how eventually the two of them will be at the same elementary school, and I will not be there, so Nutmeg will have to look out for her little sister.

But my favorite conversation about this was the one we had just after Pebbles' class this morning. I pointed out that siblings have to help take care of one another, because after all I am just one person and soon we will have three kids. I asked Nutmeg if she thought she would look after her baby brother like she looks after Pebbles.

She thought about this, and came up with a better solution.

"You take care of me, and I can take care of Pebbles, and Pebbles can take care of the new baby. See? It's a chain."

Yep. I see.

8 comments:

Kori said...

I love it. She is clever and sweet. What better combination could there be? I love that kid. :)

CW said...

"Stay closer to me, honey." That is so sweet. That totally makes up for the haircut she gave Pebbles back when, doesn't it?

Sara said...

Awww...you gotta love big sisters. Good for Nutmeg. And how wonderful that you all found a school where the teachers are willing to take the time to understand their students and adapt to meet their needs. I'm sure Nutmeg will be fine next year...

Bert said...

I love that brilliant, caring little kid.

Durgagirl said...

Nutmeg is sooo good for you too! Heap it on for MAXIMUM enjoyment! Delicious piece you have here!

Jeevita said...

Wow that's really sweet of Nutmeg.
I am sure you've mentioned this before, but what class is it that Pebbles is attending? Is it a preschool too?

Carrie said...

Kori, I don't know, how about smart and strong? :-)
Jeevita, Maybe I didn't mention it. Pebbles is going to something like a mini version of preschool, just once a week for one hour, and the parents have to stay. This fall I hope to enroll her in something we have in our town called playschool, which is a couple times a week for about 2 hours. I am currently sacrificing to the baby synchronization gods in hopes that I can get a baby nap going at the same time as playschool happens.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Insightful girl. Sweet, too. She will surely teach Pebbles to be a good big sister, too.