Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seven is Heaven!

The instant gratification of FaceBook has all but ruined me for blogging, I admit it.

Instead of posting something like a Sweetie Saturday as I used to, now I just put the cute/funny/silly/whatever thing Sweetie just did to make me laugh as my status on my FaceBook profile. And people usually comment on them. More usually than people comment here - that's for sure! Probably because my FaceBook friends are mostly actual friends and/or family of mine. Most of whom know Sweetie in person and can truly appreciate her goofy brilliance in all its glory.

I update my status, I get to spout off in short little spurts about my awesome Sweetie, and people respond. It's great!

The only downside is that I feel sometimes that I write too much about Sweetie in my status updates. Oh well. That's a mom for ya.

But anyway, Sweetie really has been so great lately. So many things she's doing and saying to make me and her Daddy so proud of her. All really starting with her fantastic attitude and help during our move. No adverse effects of moving for this girl! She's handled it all in terrific stride!

Her latest report card - brought home about a month ago - showed improvement in several categories. She's always been a great student academically speaking, and she definitely loves school. But the social and work ethics portion of her grades have suffered a little bit. Comments from the teacher on her 1st report card of the year stated what we already knew - that Sweetie finds it difficult to accept the opinions of others. Also she tends to be slow in getting her work done. But this 2nd report card that she just got - not one comment about her interactions with her peers at all, nor her typically slow work habits. This time, all the teacher noted was that Sweetie's problem solving skills are just as strong as her reading skills (which are at least a few grade levels above where they "should" be.) Basically, she is doing really well in school and is loving every minute of it.

Now, not only do we have this fantastic report card to show Sweetie's school success, but we have also been made aware that in addition to the reading enhancement "extra" that Sweetie and a couple of her classmates partake in once a week to give them more challenging work than what is done in her regular classroom, Sweetie and one other student are now in a similar extra curricular program for math enhancement, focusing on more challenging problem solving skills than what is addressed in the regular classroom. Wow! Go, Sweetie! Not only that, but "Go, School!" I'm thrilled that they are recognizing the challenge that Sweetie needs and are providing her with the tools to thrive at her advanced pace.

And as for those social development issues she'd been having, oh, since FOREVER? Well, not only has her teacher obviously noticed a change in Sweetie, but we at home definitely see just how much the girl has chilled out.

My best story I can relay to give an example of Sweetie's much improved behavior is the following:

My cousin and her 2 children were up visiting us a week or so ago. She has a 6 year old daughter and a 2 (possibly 3??) year old son. (I think I have those ages about right, anyway) As we adults were talking, the 2 year old used a quick moment of no one really paying attention to him to start taking apart a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle that Sweetie's been working on for weeks. She had the whole edge completed and the main picture inside all but done. Probably 200 or so pieces left to put in before it was finished. And now it was being taken apart.

Sweetie brought all of our attention to her and him when she yelled "Stop!, Stop!" Tears were in her eyes. She looked at me and Hubby with an imploring look of "Please help!" But she didn't do anything much more dramatic than that. In the past she would probably have pushed him away. And screamed like crazy - much worse than her sad yells of "Stop!" She would have gotten herself in trouble with her behavior, most likely. But now the worst she did was yell her pleas for him to stop. "Stop! Stop! I've worked really hard on that!"

Of course, it was very sad for even us adults to see Sweetie's work being disassembled. We definitely understood the importance of getting him to stop the destruction. Sweetie had put a lot of work into this puzzle, largely doing most of the work all on her own. She really had every right to be angry. But she really displayed her feeling very well - using her words to give a good reason why she wanted him to stop.

In the end we got him to stop taking the puzzle apart and worked out a deal where he could take apart the edge, but not touch the picture in the middle. Edges are easy enough to put back together, after all.

And so it was.

That evening, at dinner, I told Sweetie how proud I was of how she handled herself with her little cousin, and I reminded her that it wasn't long ago when his actions would have caused her to flipped completely out, scream, push, and get herself in trouble.

To which she answered, to my utter amazement,

"Yeah, well now I know that would be silly to do that over that. It's just a puzzle!"

Wow. Yeah. Just a puzzle. That it is.

Great attitude improvement. A helpful, sweet, smart little girl who can't wait for the weekend to be over so she can go back to school. Thriving in school and life.

Seven really has been a fantastic age.

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