Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Parent-Teacher Conference

So Friday was my first parent-teacher conference. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I guess I'm glad I didn't have any expectations, because it wasn't too interesting. I basically looked over a checklist, had the opportunity to ask questions, and we chatted a bit about our difficulties with Jacob. The biggest issue they have with him is that he doesn't play with toys appropriately. Everything somehow turns into sports. I guess he's finally starting to get a little better with that, playing with the kitchen stuff a little more appropriately. But I know that most of what he talks about at home is sports-related, and I'm sure it's much the same there, even when they do other activities that have absolutely nothing to do with sports. They want us to encourage him to play with toys appropriately, but unfortunately most of what he's got at home is, indeed, sports-related. We don't have a lot of non-sports toys because he doesn't want to play with them. So...now what?

But the more I think about it, what's so wrong with making toys work for his interests? It displays creativity, right? At least he's imaginative. Yeah, I get that he needs to be able to play nice with his friends and follow rules. He can't be trying to shoot Legos when everyone else is building towers, but I have this feeling that eventually he'd get that others wouldn't want to play with him and he'd conform a bit more. This can't last forever, right? There always has to be one oddball, and I guess he's ours.

They don't seem to have any other issues with him that we should be concerned with. I think anything he's going through is age-appropriate. They'd like him to be more verbal when he's upset, and I couldn't agree more. Nothing bugs me more than when he's upset and instead of talking about it, he just whines or screams. He needs to learn how to talk about it and express his feelings. I encourage him to do that but it doesn't seem to work. He does lose it a bit when he's upset, hence my tendency to try to pull him aside and try some form of timeout, because that's the only way to get him calm enough to start using his words again.

But as a whole it was pretty low key. He was happy to see me there to pick him up early if nothing else. We were planning on having a nice dinner with Craig, but it turned out that Craig had to work for a good chunk of the evening, so we could only meet him for a quick dinner at Moe's in Henrietta before heading back home for the night. Saturday was a doubleheader for Craig. I hated to miss a Knighthawks game, but since that was the afternoon game and the evening Amerks game featured one of my favorite acts ever, the Zooperstars, we were going to skip the matinee. I needed to run a couple errands in the morning and of course Jacob fell asleep in the middle of them, which threw off the rest of the day. I did manage to get a pair of wellies (rubber rain boots) for just $7--cute black and gray plaid--which will be outstanding in the spring mud and on our visits to the pumpkin patch or any other messy outing. I'm planning on getting a pair for Jacob this spring because I have a feeling the playground might get messy. We'll see if I can find them cheap. Anyway, we came home and had some lunch. I knew he wouldn't nap right away, so I tried to get him down later when I could no longer keep my eyes open. Did I mention that despite late nights all weekend, Jacob didn't sleep in at all? Ugh. After trying to get him to nap with me, I relegated him to his crib. He only cried a few minutes and went down for over an hour. He probably would have slept longer, but it was getting late and we needed to eat dinner before heading out to the hockey game. Lori came over to go to the game with us, and we reluctantly headed out into the snow. It ended up being worth it, as the Zooperstars were funny and we had a good time. And in case you're not familiar with the Zooperstars, here are a few pictures. They're basically giant inflatable mascots. They're all animals based on a professional athlete. That night we saw Mario LeMule, Whale Gretzky, Bobby Orrangutan, Alex Frogriguez, Mackerel Jordan, and Peyton Manatee (no, not sure why they sent those last three, especially because I know there are more hockey guys out there). But anyway, the costumes are somehow rigged up to do funny things--wiggle ears, shoot silly string, gyrate bizarrely--and they generally dance to music, slam themselves against the glass, and do random skits. Every time I've seen them, one character literally eats a human--enveloping him into the inflatable costume. It's funny. Here they were dancing to the Tootsie Roll, if you remember that song.


Later they ventured out into the stands. Here's Mario LeMule...

And here is Peyton Mantee invading someone's personal space...crazy!

At first Jacob was afraid of them (maybe their heads banging off the glass wildly had something to do with it), but by the end he started to see the humor. He's been pretending to walk around like one ever since. Kid doesn't miss a thing.

Sunday we slept in and went to church late. It was a bit of a trying experience, but we got through it without any major scenes. Of course, Jacob fell asleep on the way home and slept right through lunch. After Jacob's late lunch and an afternoon of playing and hanging out, we headed off to our friends' Superbowl party. We're always the youngest couple there, and only one other couple brings a kid (he's older, maybe 10, but he does play with Jacob a bit, which is nice), but we still have a good time every year. Oh, and we eat ridiculously well because they cater it. And this year they sent a bunch home with us...dinner for two nights! We ended up taking Jacob's hockey rink just because it's the one thing that will hold his attention for long spans, and it did keep him occupied for quite a while. It fit perfectly in my reusable IKEA bag so it was an easy thing to bring. He got a little loopy near the end when he was getting tired, but other than that, he was pretty good. He searched for their cat, played with his game, snuck treats, and devoured a cupcake. It was really a fun evening.

So now we're back to the grind for another week. Check in tomorrow for the update on Jacob's mole removal...

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