Saturday, September 27, 2008

School and Life and Jailhouse Rock

A few updates to keep people posted on what's new with the Hendrickson clan.

Jim the cat is adjusting well. He managed a few creative escapes into the great outdoors, but he seems to have gotten over his wanderlust for the most part.

Unfortunately one of his escapes entailed a VERY convoluted lam into the neighbor's yard....while they had friends over for a cookout. I cornered Jim at the fence bordering our properties and threatened him with bodily peril if he didn't trot his furry self back indoors. Of course, he took one look at me and grinned to beat the Cheshire cat, then slinked himself under that miniscule 2.75" gap between the fence and the ground beneath - greener grass, and all that - and disappeared into their yard.

This doesn't sound like a huge deal, I realize, but if you understood the property demarcation catastrophe that constitutes this part of our neighborhood you would understand. Due to Sanford's affinity for convoluted fencing, there is no direct route to get to my neighbor's yard, although it borders mine. The quickest way for me to get there meant I had to lope through another neighbor's property, through the town graveyard, and over the rear neighbor's stone fence, calling the cat the whole time.

I saw many a furrowed brow on the faces of my neighbor's guests as I clambered over the stone wall and traipsed apologetically down the length of their back yard, all the while calling snarling, "Jim! Jim, get over here!"

The cookout guests looked at me like I was crazy. Ok, well, I suppose that's not entirely implausible, but for story's sake that's not my point. One of them stared at me, then looked at his friends and pointed a forefinger at his chest, like he was asking, "Me?"

Finally the host turned to him and said, "The cat." Everyone looked at him quizzically.

He elaborated. "Jim." He pointed to the beastie (who had chosen that moment - when he caught sight of me barreling toward him - to beat a hasty retreat back under the 2.75"). "The cat."

"Ah." They nodded in understanding.

Poor guy thought this random female was hollering at him, perambulating distances and scaling walls in an angry tirade directed at him....

School: Jesse loves it! He's doing really well. He goes all day on Tues & Thurs, which means he gets no nap...which means it's rough on everybody once the adrenaline wears off later in the day. But he's starting to adjust to the schedule change a little better now.

He is a motivated kiddo - his teacher tells me that he is always watching the other kids, trying to emulate their behavior. That means that he now colors inside the lines, draws straight lines to match objects with each other, and is working on writing his alphabet and numbers. Keep in mind he never even picked up a pencil until four months ago.

Oh, and the 4-year-olds work on memorizing short Bible verses. Apparently, Jesse kept watching as the kids got up one by one and went to Mrs. H to recite their verse. He saw one kid after the other get up, go over, recite and then sit down. When Mrs. H finished with everyone, Jesse got her attention. He pointed to her, then pointed to himself, then pointed back to her again. She said, "Jesse, do you want to say your verse?" and he nodded vigorously. Of course, he probably only mirrored the words she said, since I hadn't really tried to help him learn any of it since the words in the verses have no reference point for him yet. So, needless to say, we now try to learn at least three words of each Bible verse so he can participate with everyone else. It is very important to him to do what everyone else is doing.

Oh, and he's learning Spanish. They get 15 minutes once a week. Ni hao, ola, hello!

Jesse gets very excited when we tell him that the next day is a school day. We choose school clothes and talk about it before he goes to bed. He bounces out of bed the next morning, gets dressed and then bounds downstairs to pack his lunch. He loves assembling his apple juice, strawberry juice, sandwich, and Spiderman fruit chews into his lunchbag.

He loves his pre-K teacher and his classmates. Apparently he has a special fondness for one of the little blondies in first grade with whom he's been cavorting at recess, but of course he's not talking about his budding personal relationships with us. We're his parents and therefore by default not cool enough to take into his confidence in these matters.

The only thing Jason and I wish was different was that Jesse was able communicate with us about his day. We know he has fun, but he just doesn't have the means to tell us all about it. Sometimes it gets disappointing when we hear the teacher say, "Your child has probably told you all about X, Y or Z...." and Jason and I just look at each other and shrug. Meh. Oh well.

Language: Speaking of talking, though.....
Jesse is doing VERY well with English. He talks up a blue streak now, although once he gets something in his brain he will just keep repeating it over and over. I tried to keep count one time of the number of times he told me his three-sentence story, but I lost track. He was so excited he just kept saying the same three phrases over and over and over and over.....

I'm sure he gets frustrated with his lack of a word bank. There's only so many words he knows, so he just wants to keep practicing them until he gets new ones to use.

In that vein, his vocabulary is really growing. We are continually amazed at just how much he understands and correctly processes. He LOVES to communicate and tries very hard, continually pointing to objects (right now he's on a color kick). And he loves to "read" books with people and show you all the things he recognizes.

Some of Jesse's favorite things:
  • Spiderman (loves the PJs)
  • Bob the Builder
  • Spiderman
  • Tractors
  • Spiderman
  • Bicycles/Tricycles
  • Spiderman
  • Thomas the Tank Engine

How the 'rents are doing:

Re: Emily
I am back to work at my permanent part-time job at the surveying/engineering company; I also have 14 piano students this year that I'm trying to juggle lesson times for. Yowzers!

Re: Jason

He's still busy training to thump perps. He has about 3 more weeks before he's in the pods full-time. Thursday he spent 6 hours learning how to use handcuffs (it takes that long to figure out?). And then yesterday he got maced and spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for the burning to stop. Piece of trivia for those interested: Tobasco sauce is rated at 2,000 scoville units; O.C. (oleo-resin capsicum, the fun thing formerly known as pepper spray) rates at 2 million scoville units. And your eyes have to be wide open when you get hit with it from four feet away. So it's a tad...toasty. You will notice his eyes are still a tad puffy, even today when we took this pic:

We are looking forward to all the fun fall activities, like harvest parties and halloween. We will keep you posted as we get a costume figured out. And then, of course, comes Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays, thus far thankfully noncommercialized) and then Christmas!

1 comment:

Angel said...

Great update!! So glad to hear how well he is doing. I used to feel the same way with Zoe. It was hard for me that she couldn't fill me in on all the details. Now I get more details than I could EVER want. LOL!! :0) Angel