Monday, June 14, 2010

School's Out For Summer!

That's right, it's official! Today was the last day of school (a Monday, and a minimum day to boot . . . whatever).

True to form, I found myself all tight-throated and misty-eyed when I picked the twins up from school. Crybaby Mama, that's me. I don't know what it is . . . milestones . . . the passing of time . . . knowing that my kids are growing up, slowly but surely. All those moments I can never get back. Did I appreciate them fully? Savor them? It's doubtful. I spend so much time just plodding along, trying to get through it all, and it's only looking back that I feel the big-ness of it all.

I need to work on that.

Also true to form, we are starting summer break off with illness in the house. It started last week with Finn and Lilah, who both had high fevers for two or three days. Finn also vomited for a day and they were both lethargic. Then they recovered and the twins got it (thankfully not until after the kindergarten graduation ceremony, but they did miss school on Friday, which was when their class had their big end-of-the-year picnic/party). Daisy and Annabelle recovered over the weekend, and last night, Joey developed a fever.

But here's the kicker: Joey came into our room at about 5:30 this morning saying his lips felt funny. The whole lower half of his face was swollen to almost grotesque proportions! It was most bizarre. And frightening. I've never seen anything like it and it scared the crap out of me. I was this close to taking him to the ER, but called the after-hours nurse at our pediatrician's office instead and after describing his symptoms to her, she concluded that he's probably having an allergic reaction to the Children's Advil we gave him last night for his fever, and that as long as he doesn't have hives and isn't having any difficulty swallowing or breathing, he should be fine. She said no more Advil, just Tylenol, and Benedryl.

Here's how he looked a couple hours after the first dose of Benedryl:

The swelling went down a tad, but not a whole lot. It's really strange. The picture really doesn't even do it justice - he really doesn't look like himself. Anyway, hopefully the swelling will be gone by tomorrow (hard to believe that one dose of Advil caused this, and that it's taking so long for it to get out of his system).

Needless to say, Joey missed the very last day of school. Poor babe. The kid ADORES school. As in, he thinks school should be all year round.

We did pick up Joey's final report card today, and the girls got theirs as well. Joey's is no surprise. He had a terrific year, and did wonderfully academically, socially, etc. He will be going into GATE this upcoming year, which I think will suit him. We haven't gotten Kevin's report card, as it will be mailed to us, but we were notified last week that he made the Honor Roll.

The girls' report cards surprised me somewhat. Actually, Annabelle's mostly. They are both stellar. The truth is, the letter grades on the kids' report cards usually interest me less than the teachers' comments. What surprises me about Annabelle's report card is that she got "O's" (for outstanding - the highest possible mark) in every behavioral category:

Listens Attentively: O (really?)
Follows classroom, playground, and school rules: O (seriously?)
Works and plays well with others: O (okay, I can buy that . . .)
Accepts and shows respect for authority: O (okay, come on, someone's pulling my leg . . .)
Demonstrates effort: O (okay . . .)
Does neat and careful work: O (really?)
Stays on task and works independently: O (wait a second . . . is this some other child they're talking about?)

And in the Teacher Comment section, her teacher wrote, among other things, "Annabelle is ready for first grade! She has really matured academically and socially. She works above grade level in all areas of the curriculum." (!!) (Emphasis mine) "Annabelle has a bright future ahead of her!" Does she mean one that doesn't include jail? Okay, I kid, I kid. But seriously! This is NOT the Annabelle I know and love. Which just goes to show that kids are different creatures in different settings.

I think the part that surprises me the most is the part about Annabelle working above grade level in all areas. In all honesty, I am a little ashamed to admit, I've always assumed that Annabelle might not be as . . . I hate to say bright . . . but academically inclined, as her sister. Probably because at home, Annabelle is so unruly and uncooperative, and just plain naughty. At home she doesn't demonstrate self-control or self-discipline. At home she's our incorrigible little delinquent (although we only call her this behind her back, I can assure you). I've always had this secret assumption that eventually, that's what will separate Annabelle and Daisy in school - Daisy will be deemed gifted like Joey and Kevin, and Annabelle will be left behind as an academic average (and then I will have to agonize over how to deal with that, which puts a pit in my stomach). Right now, a very different picture is emerging of the girls. Daisy also got a stellar report card, but I will say that in the comments section, there is no mention of Daisy working above grade level, only at grade level. Which is fine! My point is only that I suddenly feel like maybe I don't have my girls figured out as well as I thought I did.

Anyway, so that was kindergarten. There is, of course, much more ahead of them, and much more to discover about them.

So now it's officially summer break. I am looking forward to eleven weeks of being able to stay up into the wee hours devouring some good books, of not having to get up at the crack of dawn and rushing crabby kids to eat, get dressed, and get out the door, of lazy, sunshiny days. I am not looking forward to eleven weeks of trying to keep the kids sufficiently entertained and occupied, or of listening to complaints of boredom, which should be starting any second, according to my watch.

As for summer plans - my personal goals are to crack open those photography books I bought and figure out this camera of mine, and also to finally put together babyhood photo books for Joey, Daisy, Lilah, and Finn (that's quite a lofty goal!). We have swimming lessons and dance on the agenda, including a big production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which all three girls will appear in in all their dance finery this coming weekend, a weekend away for moi with some girlfriends in a few weeks, and a little family getaway in the works.

Happy summer!


Mumofone said...

Best wishes for a lovely summer. Its pretty cold here at the moment (Australia)!! But I'm dying to know...whatever happened with Teacher Appreciation Week?? Did you participate? Did it all work out okay?

Lisa said...

Mumofone, thanks for the comment :) I wrote a follow-up on Teacher Appreciation Week here: I did contribute money for the group gift, and that was it.

Wendy P said...

Lisa - you probably already thought of this, but did you recently purchase the Advil? Could it have been some of the recalled stuff? I know the recall was because some of the medications could have too much "active ingredient" - so maybe that's why he reacted like that?

I'm glad he's doing better!