Paolo has had a big week. First, he moved up to the Scholars' Room at daycare, which is the last class before the kids head to kindergarten. Paolo was supposed to move up in September, but the teachers wanted to move several kids at a time rather than uproot an entire class at once. Paolo was in the first group of three to move up because--and my head is totally floating six feet above my shoulders right now--he's really smart, and the teachers felt sure he could handle the more challenging curriculum. As it turns out, they are not messing around with the kindergarten prep in that class. I have a sheet at home with six words to work on sight-reading this week: this, the, and, at, if, it, is. This kind of learning is a big jump from coming up with a handful of words that start with a certain letter. I've been working on sight-reading with Paolo, but our words are simpler: stop, go, no, play, a, I, red, blue, C-3PO and R2D2. Those last two count, right? They may not seem easier, but they are words that either he sees all the time or knows how to spell from a song. I don't know how to teach the words on the list. I've been racking my brain since Monday for a way to explain "the." Here it is Friday, the end of the week, and we haven't reviewed any of the sight-words due to my mental paralysis. And now my son is going to fall behind. It all starts here, you know. He can kiss that college scholarship goodbye.
This was also the first week of Paolo's swim lessons. They're going well, except that he refuses to get in the water without me. Parents aren't supposed to be in the water during class; the kids hang onto the side of the pool. I swore I wouldn't be that mom who hovered unnecessarily. However, by the second lesson, I had to come to terms with the fact that either (a) I get in the pool, or (b) we pack it in. Stubborn, thy name is Paolo. Once I'm in, I hang back out of the way, looking like a bobber in my maternity swim get-up, and Paolo participates in the class...for the most part. It's still a struggle for him to be comfortable in the water, but if there's a way to swim without getting one's face wet or moving one's arms at all, he's practically there.
We had a houseguest as well, which only added to the week's excitement. Sam's and my best friend from college came for a visit. It's probably weird that both Sam and I were such good friends with the same person, but there it is. Behold the power of Neal. Neal and Paolo instantly bonded, which makes sense considering that Paolo is genetically predisposed to find Neal vastly entertaining. Also, Neal presented Paolo with a cap gun. A gun. A gun with caps, little pellets of gunpowder. That explode. To a four-year-old. To MY four-year-old. Am I babbling? It would be an understatement to say that Paolo thinks the cap gun is the most wonderful toy ever and would like it to be surgically attached to his right hand. Before you call Social Services, you should know that my condition for allowing this most inappropriate gift (and I'm not offending Neal; he meant to make my eyes roll back in my skull) was that, once Paolo uses up all the caps, the gun has to disappear. This is a limited-time toy whose time is almost up. Neal, come back and see us anytime and, while I appreciate that other Arkansas children are already hunting by age 4, maybe a toy truck?