Thursday, August 9, 2018

Grace's Day

After last year's day with Grace had to end early, I planned mostly low-key fun. We grabbed a donut (pink sprinkles, of course) and went to the zoo to eat it. 

Of course I tell the kids not to touch the animals, but what do you do when one is begging for ear scratches?

and licking your fingers?

Yum, donut frosting! 
Wait, is there food? I sense food...

Watching the otters play. 

Our friend Kate is one of the zookeepers, and as we were talking to her about some of the animals the zoo has had over the years, Winnie the bear tried to convince her she was staaaaarving!

Kate could not quite convince her that PVC glue really isn't food, and Winnie couldn't convince Kate to come any closer, so it was pretty much a stalemate. Kate is well out of bear's reach here, but Winnie can and did get her arm through the holes several times, which led to conversation about people who underestimate wild animals and overestimate their own common sense.

Like the others, Grace wanted to visit the aviary. The head zookeeper was with us then, and pointed out the weaver birds building their nests.

Busy little guys!

It was already getting hot when it was time to leave for Grace's hair appointment. She got a trim, too, then two braids. She had a little trouble sitting still...

but the lady did a marvelous job!

This is what I got when I told her to "look at me and smile":

Now for the real fun: a trip to the laundromat! Okay, not really fun, but I needed to wash a bedspread and sleeping bag in the giant washers, and I thought she might get a kick out of it. At first, she did - things that spin and a big sink and snacks from the gas station next door! 

There was a possibly-homeless gentleman, I think named Mike, with a dog who wears sunglasses, who we see around town a lot. He and the dog were both very nice. The bedspread finished and I tossed it in the dryer. The sleeping bag was still going. Weird...but, it was on a different cycle, maybe that takes longer. Cleaned out the car. Bedspread was dry. Sleeping bag was still going. Grace was getting antsy. No way to stop the machine, outlets are boxed in so you can't unplug them, door is locked shut.

Finally tried calling the emergency number on the wall - no answer. Finally drove across town to the 'parent' laundromat, and got an attendant who called the owner - and had to leave a message on his phone. 

Drove back to the original laundromat, and discovered Mike (?) the possibly-homeless guy had the number of the guy who opens the door in the mornings, and had called him! Mike saves the day! By the time the guy came and took the machine apart, it had been washing for TWO HOURS. It is now a very clean (but still damp) sleeping bag.

That was a LONG time to entertain yourself with spinning things, and Grace was very close to a meltdown. We went through the McDonalds drive-thru, because I knew just having sweets so far was not helping matters, but going straight to the noise of their indoor playground would not be a good segue. She ordered chicken nuggets and then changed her mind when we got them. Needless to say, she had the choice of chicken nuggets or nothing.

She nibbled enough for me to say okay, she ate them, while we headed over to her new school.

Grace has been in the same classroom for DD preschool for the past two years, and now she will be in an entirely different building, different staff, and all day. We were hoping to meet her teacher, who we knew was also new to the district. The staff was in a training when we got there, but the secretary knows me and convinced the principal to go pull the teacher out.

We loved her!!! She is very sweet, and her background is in behavioral psych, mainly working woth autistic children, which I think is a plus. There will be six kids in the class, and she was very excited to meet her first student. Gracie liked her a lot, although she was showing her inattentive, lack of focus, easily distracted side - spinning in circles and not answering questions, taking off down the hallway, etc.

Okay, NOW she was ready to be with a noisy group of kids, so we headed over to Alamo Jump. One of the summer day care groups that has been visiting the library was there, and the kids were all tickled to see me in 'the wrong place'. In fact, I knew all the kids who were there - go figure. Grace did really well interacting with the other kids, had one near-meltdown when I made her stop to go to the bathroom, but she was distracted by another kid crying, and that stopped it!

I lured her away with the promise of purple school supplies, and we did Walmart, the Sonic for slushes, then home. Then the school for an ice cream social, then supper. We're a little off on nutrition this week.

So happy I have learned her cues well enough to avoid full-on meltdowns more often, and we were able to have a good day together!

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