OK – so I haven’t done a life update in a long time.
This is mainly because, due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to blog about what is really happening in my life currently. Since my natural tendency is to spill my guts at any opportunity for the world to view, this is pure torture and makes me not want to write at all. But those minor details shouldn’t deny you all the pleasure of reading about everyone else in the family.
Griffin has a week until he is officially 5 years old. He is waiting with a great amount of excitement for the big day. He really wants to be ‘big’ lately and gets angry if anyone calls him a little boy. He is too young to go away to camp this year (like his brother and sister) and often says “It’s not fair!”. He wants to make sure this birthday is special. After much back and forth, he has settled (I think) on having a party. He hopes to invite his brother and sister and his friends Ludovine, Timothé and Julia. Unfortunately, his birthday falls in the middle of spring break – so we will probably not hold the party until the end of the month. I was happy he chose a party since, first off, I like planning them. Also, when he wanted a ‘special day’ it was a day that I didn’t think I could make possible. Of course, every parent wants to make their kid’s birthday dreams come true. The sad thing is that the reason that Griffin’s dreams were doomed was not financial at all – he didn’t want to fly in a plane or meet the President! All the little guy wanted was to go to a creperie restaurant and, afterwards, have the restaurant give him a big birthday cake. I can’t remember if I informed all of you, but Griffin is once again totally gluten free and I’m pretty sure that would have been impossible. I tried to ask him if we could just have this special meal at home (since I am perfectly capable of making gluten free crepes and cake) but he was insistent that it be in a restaurant. When I explained that the restaurant wouldn’t have the gluten free food he needs he said I could just ‘bring it with me’ for him. I can just see myself… “Hello there, here is a giant cake and pile of crepes! Will you please let us sit in your restaurant while my son eats them?”
Once he turns five, lots of exciting things will happen. He is going to finally be able to swim like his big brother and sister, he is going to become an even better artist and he is going to take his training wheels off his bike. He is also going to be able to read. I can hardly wait for all these milestones! He is enjoying school and loves his teacher. I like her too, even though she recently fed him a piece of cake. (That’s right, the gluten-full kind). She said that she forgot since, usually, he reminds her. Hmmm… blaming the 4 year old seems a bit of a stretch, even if he is almost 5! Griffin loves learning and spends some time on starfall.com studying his alphabet and letter sounds. He likes to write and writes letters to his US Grammie and Grandpa. He just received a very positive midterm report card on him – all greens for everything, including things that were harder for him just last year. Recently, he has started being a bit less into stickers (the end of an era?) and more into drawing. He especially enjoys drawing people, houses and flowers (as you can see in his chalk art at left). He has become more than usually mischievous, especially when it comes to drawing on things. Within the past two weeks he drew on the floor of the art room, the wall in his room, the sheets on his bed and, cutest (or worst?) of all, all over his own body. He often gets this way when he is bored or angry. He still has a very sensitive belly and often complains he is sick, sometimes he really is and other times he just doesn’t want to clear his plate! He still loves snuggling and kisses – I fear the end of that more than I’d like to admit! He has a great imagination. When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he said “Hmm…. what’s that guy’s name? Oh, I know, Santa! Except I will give presents to the grownups. But only the good ones. Also I will have to make my own elves.” Should be interesting…. His vocabulary is flourishing in both English and French. Just earlier today I suggested he bring a toy (small robot) along on some errands. He told me it is better to use the toy at night because it has a small light inside that you can only see in the dark. “Why does that matter?” I wondered. His response: “Well, when I press the button and can’t see anything, it’s just depressing.” Depressing indeed.
Following her recent GRS triumph Callie has continued to flourish. She did very well on her report card and is growing fast recently. I think she is in a growth spurt. She loves to be in charge and boss everyone around, especially Griffin. I think it is a bit hard for her recently since Griffin is outgrowing his ‘do whatever Callie says’ days. No more minions for Callie! She was excited for the chance to go to sleep away camp for a few nights, which kind of surprised me. After all her drama over the GRS competition, I thought she’d be scared silly, but I guess adventuring is old hat for that girl. She still loves to snuggle and cuddle but is growing more independent recently, choosing to play with friends outside even if I offer to play a game with her. I like this trend! We still haven’t cut her hair and she has been trying to learn to brush it on her own – I fear what her head will look like after 3 days at camp…. I feel like I should say more about her – but nothing is really coming to mind! And no photo – poor girl!
Zander is doing well, I am glad to report. I have been really happy and (more importantly) he seems happier as well. He even chooses to be affectionate at times (which I have missed). He is getting better with doing the right thing and dealing with his feelings on a regular basis and even sometimes tells me how he feels (miracle). If he is feeling sick or tired, it is still hard for him to keep his cool, but it is a process, right? In the past few months he has only had one ‘bend the glasses’ incident – and afterwards he felt terrible and burst into tears (a first). The only truly worrisome thing was the giant hissy fit he threw on the streets of Nancy which included André literally needing to drag his body down the street and, about 10 unrelenting minutes later, some violent actions like kicking me in the face. The reason he threw this tantrum (in case you are wondering) was that we refused to retrace our steps in order to find a broken piece of a windshield wiper he had found and then (I guess) dropped. I was happy, though, that he recovered on the way home and seemed to be in a good mood again. I actually have the Nancy fit on video in case I ever need to bribe him into doing something really important for me. For now, I will only include the photo.
He is also doing very, very well in school. We finally (5 months after his teacher requested it) had a meeting with his ‘education’ team at his school. It was his teacher, the principal, his special ed teacher, his counselor and a youth representative from the state. The teacher said he has ‘transformed’ since the beginning of the year. He is learning more quickly, speaking better and trying harder. His counselor said he was improving. The reading specialist got into an accident on the way into the meeting (she was fine) and couldn’t make it but she says she definitely sees lots of progress and also thinks he is not dyslexic. The principal says he is socializing more in class. This is all great news. I am still not totally convinced on the dyslexia thing and plan on having him tested stateside at some point but he is reading better in both French and in English. He also talks about his friend Benjamin a lot. We have even invited him to play, but no luck so far.
As a whole, they seem to have pretty typical sibling relations. Most of the times they like each other and play very well together. I find it awesome that they usually speak French when in imaginary scenarios! They still share a room and read and play together nearly every night before bed. I hope this bond lasts their whole life long!