• Master Negotiator

    Minh: “Aw, sh*t.”
    Leon: “Daddy, you can’t say sh*t.”
    Minh: “You can’t say it either. Only grown-ups.”
    Leon: “But I’m going to be a grown-up…”

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  • Teacher, Teacher

    Today I had Leon’s parent-teacher conferences with Ms Patty! She said he’s doing great academically – and she quickly added that he won’t hesitate to tell her if she gets something ‘wrong’. The example she gave was when she asked, “Basketball starts with… hmm… P?” And he immediately shot back with, “Ms Patty, basketball doesn’t start with P. That’s puh-puh-puh. Basketball starts with B, like buh-buh-buh. And also butterfly and balloon and…”

    Truly like his mother’s son, she said he enjoys structure and rules. She said sometimes she even has him lead circle time, because he knows exactly what to do – and if they say the Pledge of Allegiance wrong, he’ll say, “Uh-uh, start over!”

    She did mention Claudia by name, and said the two of them always play together but get on each other’s nerves; Leon will get frustrated that Claudia isn’t following the rules (“Ms Patty, Claudia isn’t using restaurant manners!”) and Claudia will get annoyed that Leon keeps telling her what to do. But she said whenever she tries to redirect them and have them do separate things, they get upset because they want to play together. 

    She mentioned that sometimes she’ll notice that he’s isolating himself and not engaging with his friends. When she asks him what’s wrong, he’ll say something like, “[Friend] took a toy from me.” So she’s trying to prompt him to communicate a little more. This goes hand-in-hand with us trying to convince him to speak up if he’s hungry and needs an extra serving, rather than starving all day until he gets home (and then eating nonstop until he goes to bed).

    She also said he’s doing great with his art. She said he’ll draw scenes where she can clearly tell what he says is happening in the picture, and he’ll often try to draw from something else as a reference. When I told her I spend a decent amount of time making photorealistic drawings from reference photos, she didn’t seem surprised and actually said that makes a lot of sense.

    All in all, nothing surprising! 

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  • Learning about Thankfulness

    Me: *on a step-ladder vacuuming the top of the kitchen cabinets, sweating, trying to pull the hose up high enough without flipping the vacuum over*
    Leon: *desperately calling for me*
    Me: *climbs down from step-ladder, turns off vacuum, asks him what’s going on*
    Leon: “Hey Mommy, I’m thankful for my water bottle!”
    Me: … 😒

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  • Excuse me 😍🥺😭

    Earlier this afternoon Leon and I walked around outside to find “fall items” he could use for an art project at preschool. As he picked up sticks and leaves, he said, “I’m going to leave some so the neighbors can have some too.”

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  • Still Small?

    Leon: “Mommy, am I big or am I small?”
    Me: “You’re small now, but you’re getting bigger because you’re eating your vegetables, and you’re –“
    Leon: “Mommy… When I get bigger, can I say ****?”
    Me: 😳

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  • Leon’s “Fine”

    I haven’t posted here for a while, but that’s kind of par the course with personal blogs, right?

    COVID-19 is still a real concern, but we’ve relaxed somewhat on quarantining ourselves — partially due to knowing more about the virus and how it spreads, but also due to giving up since no one else is taking the virus seriously and it almost feels inevitable that we’ll get it eventually. 

    Leon is in the Pre-K room now at school, and he loves his new teacher —and I love her because she sends pictures and videos all day long! His best friend is in the class with him; they’re only 6 days apart so they’ve always conquered the classrooms together.

    Leon’s doing great with reading now, and I’ve already had to buy a more difficult set of books for him. He does well with many three- and four-letter words but usually uses context to guess longer words. Although he knows how to sound out each letter, it hasn’t quite “clicked” that he can essentially just use the sounds of a word to read, so he typically relies on sight-reading.

    He’s talking up a storm and is suddenly articulating words more clearly! After 3+ years of translating, it’s kind of strange that other people can understand almost everything he says now. He makes sure to remind us about all bad words, “We don’t say ‘XXXX.'” He’s expanded his reprimands to other non-curse words too, sometimes without understanding that they have different meanings in different contexts. I told him a few weeks ago that it’s not acceptable to sarcastically holler “FINE” after I tell him to do something, which he’s more or less taken to heart. I swear, he could be upstairs in bed, and I could whisper the word “fine,” and he’d wake from a deep sleep to come tap me on the shoulder and tell me, “Mommy, we don’t say ‘fine!'”

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  • Pedi+Podi Observations

    “Daddy’s feet are hard. My feet are soft. Mommy’s feet are soft too.”

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  • They’re ALWAYS Backwards

    Me: “Hey bubs, did you know your shorts are on backwards?”
    Leon: “Did you know bees make honey?”

    I guess he thought we were just sharing interesting facts 😂

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  • Quarantine: Month Four, Day 4

    Despite spending more time working from home, I’ve had a harder time finding opportunities to update this blog.

    We’ve been more or less staying at home since mid-March due to COVID-19. I say “more or less” because last month we decided to re-enroll Leon in preschool three mornings a week. Staying home all day every day, with no communication with anyone other than Minh or me was really not ideal long-term for someone his age. We chose just three mornings to limit exposure, but with Minh hopefully getting a new job soon (he lost his job due to COVID-19), it may be necessary to put him back in full-time so we both can focus on work. Or we may have to take him out completely due to the surge of cases. Everything changes so fast, and it’s impossible to plan ahead any bit.

    Despite being in preschool significantly less, he’s been learning so much the past few months. He can spell some three-letter words from memory, and he can read some three- and four-letter words. About half the time when he talks (and he talks a lot more lately), he picks a letter and then lists all the words he can think of that start with that letter. He understands the concept of addition and can count on his fingers to find the correct answer. His articulation is improving, and he has a pretty big vocabulary to go with it. He’s also showing interest in what new color two colors make when combined, but his biggest focus by far is the alphabet.

    He also must be going through a growth spurt because this kid eats so. much. food. He eats at least half a dozen snacks between lunch and dinner. It’s like 10 minutes after he’s done eating he’s hungry again!

    That’s all with us lately! Rumors are spreading that the governor will order a mandated 30-day lockdown soon, so we might not have to make a decision on daycare either way. Leon loves his fabric mask though, and he sometimes wears it around the house because he thinks it makes him look like Spiderman! 

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