The boys’ school had its school swim program this week. This involves the kids walking to the ocean pool at a nearby beach, having a swim lesson for an hour, then walking back. Oscar’s aide used to drive him there and back because it was either too hot (Oscar’s body does not seem to be able to cool down like everyone else) or he was just too slow or it just completely wiped him out and made the rest of the day a lost cause. The school asked us very nicely if we’d be able to do it this year (new aide) and of course we obliged. Besides, it’d be a good way to fill the morning with Grover and then, later in the week, with Jasper as well.
So, the first celebration was Oscar happily getting in the water and being good enough to be graded into a group. In previous years his aide has had to get into the water with him and there’s been tears and stress and all the rest. After a year of awesome (and free!) lessons through The Spastic Centre in a hydrotherapy pool Oscar just got into the pool, jumped through the required hoops and was in the Goldfish 3 group (that’s the beginners who can swim 3 metres). By yesterday he’d advanced to Goldfish 10, swimming 10 metres freestyle unassisted.
What a legend.
On Tuesday he wanted to walk back to school with the group but I dismissed it until he asked again yesterday and, his aide over-hearing the request, said ‘sure’ and off he went. He wasn’t even a straggler! Today he walked down but it was SO FUCKING HOT (36C on the coast, by the water) he was a beacon by the time they got there and so we got the call to ask if we’d mind driving him back after the lesson.
Yesterday when we were down there with the two little fellas I had a gasbag with the principal who filled me in on his retirement plans and everything else (the man, he likes a chat). We ended up talking about working vs not working and money and all the rest and I just mentioned how skint we were at the moment but if the trade off was being there for the boys then I was going to try and make it work for as long as I possibly could.
SO, today Chef comes back from the school drop-off run with a card from the school. What’s this? It was a card from Oscar’s teacher, also the school’s Deputy Principal responsible for additional needs (so we’ve had a lot to do with her over the last few years) with a little note in it saying she and J, the principal had been having a little chat. Well, let’s just say they’ve done something very lovely for us regarding a rather large sum of money that was going to be required for both the boys to attend the week long school camp next month. Let’s just use the phrase ‘two for the price of one’.
I have told you all how much I love our primary school haven’t I? I mean, talk about going above and beyond.
So, Sunday night I impressed myself by removing the staples from Felix’s leg. While the doctor had said they needed to be in for ‘at least two weeks’ I think they probably should have come out a few days before I did. While the wound was OK where the staples went in were getting infected. While he missed the first few days of swim school it has all healed up a treat.
Even with the dodgy knee he tried out for the school’s cricket team and got in. This is classified as quite an honour within the school and he is absolutely stoked.
Mum has been helping me by helping the boys with their homework for the last, oh, two years? Last year she started doing an extended session with Felix one afternoon a week. Of course, to Felix this is the equivalent of being made to watch all the High School Musical franchise including the sing-a-long. Anyway, this year we decided to ramp it up a bit because his English and spelling are letting him down. Well, we’re entering Sound of Music territory. There have been extended discussions about the value in having this time with Grandmama and making the most of it blah blah blah when I finally got from him the real issue. ‘What if this is the best I can be?’ (ie I’m no good at all). Oi.
So, after some negotiating and ego bolstering for him and some discussions with mum the sessions are still in play but the content is going to be on something that interests him (rather than more generic learning how to write descriptive passages). He’s recently created a whole world and had started writing the dictionary of its language. So now Mum is working on him to realise that. All resolved.
This was Jasper’s second week and the new and so.much.better. kindy and OH.MY.GOD. Chef has called it the art and craft sweatshop for the amount of artwork we’re getting home EACH DAY. He’s made friends, he knows the names of all his teachers, he’s singing songs from kindy in the car, in the shower, on the toilet, he asks me every day if he’s going to kindy today and slumps with an awww when I say no. Did I mention he’s made friends! It’s just glorious.
And in 10 days the Turdinator has only done two poos outside. TWO! AND he hasn’t played in or with them. VICTORY!
AND – he’s had what can only be termed a language explosion. It has been taking my breath away.
So yeah, we could probably say Grover’s officially moving out of the doghouse back into the fold. We might just keep him after all.