Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's a new world

Biscuit tied his shoes for the first time this evening. And as much as I hate to admit this, teaching him to tie his shoes wasn't even on my radar.

All but a few pairs of his shoes (mainly baseball and soccer) have closed with velcro, so there was no need for him to know.

I learned to tie my shoes when I was 5. My cousin taught me at my Granny's house, and once I had mastered it, he gave me a Kennedy half-dollar. I was so proud of myself.

And when the boy tied his soccer cleats before practice, he was proud of himself, too.

I had a couple of errands to run after work, so I met Jeff and Biscuit at practice. As I was driving home by myself, I started thinking about how things were when I was Biscuit's age.

We had chalkboards in school, and every Friday, the teacher would pick two of us to go outside to the end of the school building and beat the erasers on the red brick walls of the school. Now, they have whiteboards with dry erase markers. The kids have little individual ones, too.

We only had analog clocks. You know, big hands and little hands. Now, the time is displayed on digital clocks, or at Biscuit's school, on the TV screens.

Our announcements were done over an intercom. The announcements at Biscuit's schools are done on TV - the same ones that display the school's logo and the time all day.

By the time I was Biscuit's age, we were starting to learn to write in cursive. They don't even teach it anymore. Biscuit asked if he could learn, and I had to order him a workbook so he could practice on it at home.

But I think the task I tackled this morning was the craziest.

I had to download an app on my smartphone that connects me to his teacher and class information. I can see announcements, photos and videos the teacher takes in class, a daily progress report about Biscuit and upcoming events. I can also send a message to the teacher, and she can respond.

I love having that much access to information, but I kinda feel bad for the teachers because they're more "reachable" than ever. Jeff and I aren't really hovering parents, but I've already met several parents at Biscuit's school who are. I can just imagine them messaging that teacher several times a day!

Now that I think about it, this app is an update even from first grade. Last year, we had to email the teacher, and Biscuit got a color each day for his behavior. How antiquated!

I'm guessing by the time Biscuit gets to middle school, Jeff and I will have to hire some young whippersnappers to help us with the technology!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Biscuit - Day 2

I turned 48 this summer, and my dear sweet brother decided to treat me like I had turned 87 instead. He sent me text messages about every hour that day wishing me a happy birthday.

I finally texted him back and asked why he was sending the message so many times.

He said, "Well, you're getting kinda old. So I figured I better keep sending it over and over in case you forgot that I had said it."

And let me interrupt my story by sharing that this is the same guy who got ahold of my cellphone on our family trip to the mountains in June and took 84! EIGHTY-FOUR pictures of himself!

I haven't thought of anything devious enough to get him back yet, but I made a start this morning.

I took the slate Biscuit held yesterday that said, "First day of 2nd grade," and changed it to "Second day of 2nd grade" and texted the photo to my brother.

It's a small drop in the payback bucket, but Biscuit and I certainly did enjoy laughing deviously together this morning as we took the photos.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back to the business at hand

Everybody who is close to our family knows that Jeff's dad passed away earlier this summer. I would really love to share some stories and/or photos at some point, but not just yet. It's still too hard.

So here's what happened today. Biscuit started the second grade! And he doesn't look like a little kid anymore, does he?

The slate he's holding was a gift from a friend of
mine who brought it back for him from Scotland.

On the last day of school in June, I drove Biscuit away from school with tears in his eyes. He was truly sad that school was ending for the year.

So this morning, he was raring to go! Jeff went up to wake him up, and I heard immediate chattering upstairs. He was talking 90 miles a minute.

Apparently, Biscuit had a dream that he was in the Amazon rain forest when Jeff and I showed up out of nowhere. We thought we were supposed to be at Biscuit's school for a parents' event. Then one of Biscuit's friends came driving up in Jeff's Barracuda.

"And guys, he's ONLY a third-grader!" Biscuit said laughing. "And with all of that going on in my dreams, I only slept half the night. I'm just so excited!"

We went to the school's open house Thursday evening to find his classroom and meet his teacher. The kindergartners and first-graders are on the same hallway, but the second-graders are in a different part of the building. We found his classroom and walked in. He introduced himself to his teacher (who looked to be about 12 years old, by the way), and she said, "Oh, I've heard about you." But she didn't say WHAT she had heard.

I asked Jeff later what he thought she meant by that, and he said, "Well, she said it with a smile and in a good tone of voice, so hopefully that means she's heard some good things."

Let's hope!

I picked up Biscuit this afternoon, and the first thing he said after I signed him out was, "Mom, today was AWESOME!"

He said he likes his teacher and classroom, he met a new friend, he's getting to read a book about tigers (his most recent favorite animal), and he knew some kids in his class from kindergarten and first grade. That does sound awesome.

Here are a few more pictures from this morning: 

Cute smile (even though he's looking down instead of at the camera).

Pretending to be scared.

Pretending to be happy (although he looks like an excited puppy).

Showing his excitement - no pretending needed.