Picture this: The graduate

Bubby "graduates" from pre-K tomorrow, with plans to sing at the event and even bigger plans to attend kindergarten in the fall.

preschool photo
Bubby's pre-K school picture

My biggest question about the whole affair: How in the world can he already be that old?

Today's question:

Who are the graduates in your family this graduation season?

Losing one's cool

Megan attended parent-teacher conferences last week, learning all about how Bubby is doing in his three-year-old preschool class. As the teacher went through Bubby's progress report, she pointed out that one of the areas in which Bubby and his classmates are working hard is "problem solving."

The teacher proceeded to tell Megan that she's focusing intently on problem solving with the entire class, teaching them techniques for diffusing situations in which it's easy to lose one's cool. Stepping back and counting to 10 before reacting is one of the many techniques she's stressing with the youngsters.

The other day Megan called me to say that Bubby was in the throes of a "meltdown." Contrary to his ever-cool presence in photos I post on this blog, Bubby does indeed lose that cool occasionally and suffer true meltdowns. As all three-year-olds do. Often. Which is likely why problem solving is a big part of the curriculum in the three-year-old class.

The meltdown was not news and not the reason Megan was calling. Bubby's handling of the meltdown was the news.

Megan reported that she and Bubby had been disagreeing about something or another, when Bubby started acting like, well, a three-year-old. So she sent him upstairs to his room to calm down until he could act more appropriately and make better choices that didn't lead to his irrational behavior. (She likely used more child-friendly terminology, but that's the gist of it.)

Bubby angrily huffed up to his room. Just before Megan called, she said, she couldn't help but laugh out loud at Bubby's reaction to being sent to his room. "I actually LOLed, Mom," she said. Because once Bubby was in his room, Megan could hear him ranting and raving. Then he'd quiet down and all she'd hear is him counting. "1...2...3...". Then he'd YELL again, quickly followed by a return to the counting once more. "1...2...3...".

At the time of the phone call, Bubby still hadn't reached 10, still hadn't resolved his issues, still hadn't solved his problem.

But he was trying. And proving that even at three years old, stepping back and counting before flying off the handle does indeed make a difference.

(Even if that difference is simply instigating actual LOLing from Mommy.)

Today's question:

What problem-solving technique do you use to keep your cool when angry?

If I were handing out the grades

As some of you may recall, I made a Grandma Mail mailbox for Bubby a few months ago. Since then, I've done my best to get one or two pieces of mail off to him each week so he'll have special mail from Gramma to pull from his box. Sometimes it's a Thomas the Tank card, sometimes a page with a sticker activity, sometimes just some stickers solo.

The mail to Bubby, although nothing major, serves as a regular reminder that Gramma loves him, is thinking about him.

From what I hear from Megan, the little love notes from Gramma have had an impact.

Bubby recently completed his school assessment, which for toddlers means he correctly identified colors, he counted to 10, he said his ABCs, he built a tower, and he recognized body parts.

My smart little grandson not only did all those things with flying colors, he also identified shapes. And he got all the shapes correct. Except one.

Out of all the assessment items, there was one little shape Bubby misidentified. And I must admit here that Gramma's partially to blame for the error.

When the teacher pointed to the circle, Bubby said it's a circle. When she pointed to the square, he said "square." And when she pointed to the triangle, the oh-so-smart boy said, "triangle." But when the teacher pointed to the rectangle and asked Bubby what it is, Bubby proudly identified the shape as none other than ... "mail!"

Not necessarily the impact I anticipated my Grandma Mail would have on Bubby, but a heartwarming one just the same. And if you ask me, definitely worth an extra point or two for thinking outside the box. Or the rectangle, as the case may be.

Today's question:

I'm handing out virtual A's for effort today. For what recent effort do you deserve an A?

Schoolboy charm

Related Posts with ThumbnailsLast week was Bubby's very first week of preschool, and he survived with minimal meltdowns. Only one big meltdown, to be exact, but that should be expected from a two-year-old getting the hang of an 8 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday gig.

Preston did the first-day drop-off duty with the schoolboy while Pre-K teacher Mommy had first-day duty in the classroom -- a classroom directly across the hall from Bubby's classroom, if you can believe such luck! Here's the photo Preston took on his phone of the major event then graciously passed along:

Ah, my little big boy.

According to all reports, Bubby did just fine with his first day of school. That evening, his teacher e-mailed Megan two more photos -- the other two photos in this post -- showing what fun he had throughout the day.

I'm not sure if Mrs. L (whose real name I can never remember except that it has an ending that sounds something like "peanut") is just a super fantastic teacher and e-mailed photos to the parents of all twelve of the toddlers in her class, or if it was special treatment for a fellow teacher who happens to be the parent of one of her students.

Either way, Megan was pretty happy to see the highlights of Bubby's first day. And I was pretty happy to steal the photos off Megan's blog for use here. (Thanks, Meg!)

During his first week of formal schooling, Bubby learned lots. But it wasn't learning letters (of which Bubby already knows all of those in his name) or colors (of which Bubby already knows all the basic ones) that were his greatest achievement. It was pooping. Yep, you heard me right. Bubby pooped ... in a big boy toilet ... at school! Something he'd never done outside of the comfort of his own potty chair before. It required no begging, pleading, bribing or anything of the sort.

(I personally think it might have been the allure of the preschool's miniature toilets installed specifically for little ones that led to his crowning achievement so early in his academic career.)

Whatever the reason may be -- and the reason remains unclear at this point since he's not duplicated the accomplishment as of yet -- Bubby received TWO suckers from his teacher for his work. When he talked to Gramma that evening, his most enthusiastic comment about his school day was "Two suckers! TWO SUCKERS!"

Megan, who's been using the ONE-sucker reward system for potty training, had only this to say: "Thanks a lot, Mrs. L!"

Ya better stock up on suckers, Meg. Seems the lesson of the day is that TWO suckers are better than one. And clearly the secret to success!

Today's question:

What important lesson have you recently learned?