This page is my first attempt at using style sheets. It is set up to "gracefully degrade" in Netscape but really does look its best in IE5+.
This spring Caltha, my oldest daughter who turned five in March, learned to read. She can read pre-primmers and sometimes primmers. She has been attending an gifted and talented after-school program two days a week, and maybe this has helped. She looks forward to this time in June because she can bring her books to school with her. Remember when we were all so excited about school.
At the moment Caltha is perplexed over why some people write left to write while others write right to left. The reason is that she has seen prayer books in synagogue and learned that Hebrew reads right to left. She asked when she can learn Hebrew. It will be another year or two. One language is enough for now, though I wouldn't rule out French immerision some day. Both my younger sister and I got a big kick out of learning French in high school. Hebrew is something I still don't know. Maybe someday Caltha nad I will learn it together.
Another thing that Caltha enjoys is the garden. She has some child sized tools, and she is always ready and willing to "help out" any adult who wants to weed, hoe, fertilize, pick chard or flowers, or just observe what is going on. Who knew gardens were so much fun to watch!
Caltha is a small and physically cautious child, so Jacob and I decided not to try to take the training wheels off her bike just yet. She seems to ride fairly well with them, and she fears falling and accidents in a way that a lot of kids don't. Caltha of course has figured out a great use for her small bike. She ties our little red wagon to it with a rope and then gives Typha a ride or goes and fills the wagon with rocks and junk and hauls that around.
In July, Caltha will be attending a day camp rather than her usual day care. This is a bit of a wrench because it will be the first time she is away from her little sister five days a week. The day camp, however, offers swimming and I'd like to see Caltha get her Red Cross Beginner's card or at least learn to float. She does not seem to be particularly scaird of water, so I figure she has a good shot at this.
Of course Caltha is looking forward to our trip to California which is now only a couple of weeks away. She has never been across the country before or slept overnight on a bus. I'm not sure she will sleep. This should make our two day adventure all the more fun. One has to keep an open mind for such things. Caltha will be meeting her California aunts, uncles, and cousins. I also promised her she can hear her father read the paper he is presenting at the meeting in Palo Alto.
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Typha is different. That is all there is to it. I suppose we are all different, but in the past few months as Typha has become able to talk well enough for me to discuss things with her, I realize how different she is from most of us. To Typha, who turned two in January, the world is a place to move around in and to be pulled, pushed, shoved, and thrown about. Typha builds fantastic structures out of blocks, puts puzzles together and takes them apart, and turns somersaults and cartwheels. She learned this by watching the "big girls" through the fence at day care.
Typha has never thrown a temper tantrum. Her weird startle reflex is another matter. She has a way of waking up screaming and wailing from a sound sleep. No one knows why and maybe it's better we don't. Instead of screaming and crying, Typha disrobes. She removes every stitch of clothing but her harness if we are in public. She does this quietly, and while I can not get her to dress again without a screaming fight, she will hand me the clothes for safekeeping until she feels like putting them on again. By the way, Typha can now dress herself, and even handle zippers, snaps, and simple buttons. When she wants her clothes back, she asks for them politely. then sits down and puts them on as if it were the most mornal thing in the world.
I've gotten used to walking around the supermarket with a nude toddler at the other end of her harness. You get some pretty rude stares. I'd rather have a kid who takes off her clothes than one who screams and throws a fit. I still hope she will stop disrobing when the weather gets cold. She did not do it much all winter, but this summer she is back to her old tricks.
I finally asked Typha why she likes to take her clothes off. She answered "cause I can mommy." I think Typha is quite intelligent. It is just a very different kind of intelligence than Caltha's verbal brilliance. I just hope Typha is wired enough like the rest of us that she has no trouble learning to read. If she can learn and behave like most children which she pretty much is doing now, I think she can sort the rest of her self and her relation to the world out, without labeling or interference.
Typha is also looking forward to going to California though she does not yet have the time sense to count the days. Two days on a Greyhound bus doing mostly sitting is going to be absolute Hell for this child. I'm glad she doesn't know the ordeal she will face.
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