the earth goes around the sun

josephine’s now had five days of preschool (it takes a while to rack them up when you only go twice a week) and things are getting easier for her.  her teacher told me today that she still cries throughout the morning, but that she’s getting better and calming herself down and not needing the teachers’ help.  and although initially when i ask what she did at school, all she’ll say is that she was sad and cried, i can dig a bit deeper and hear about all sorts of stuff she’s learning and doing.  she tells me about the tunnels that the new ants are building in their ant farm and that some kids call their stuffed animals “stuffies.” she has found an older girl to emulate and tells us all about what that girl did all morning. apparently the pink blocks you can stack into a tower are fairly delicate and can’t be knocked down but rather must be carefully disassembled.  she did a work today involving sorting pictures into “yes living” and “not living” piles. and she has learned that if she sticks her finger too far into her ear, she could break her ear drum (not even sure if that’s physically possible, but now she knows where her ear drum is). and she learned this fantastic song, performed especially enthusiastically thanks to the leftover birthday blackberry crisp she’d just eaten. (please note the newly-pronounced “l” in “delicious.” we are not sure what that wonderful gesture about half-way through is. some sort of new-fangled frog? also, i believe she’s supposed to be crying at the end.)

her emotionality around school was at an all-time high on tuesday when ned and i attended her birthday circle.  we delayed the special birthday celebration a few weeks hoping that by the time we did it she would feel more comfortable at school and not be overwhelmed. no such luck. she had seen two other kids’ birthday circles and was so excited for hers. the day before she wanted to practice and practice, holding birthday circles for her dolls and stuffed animals and singing the little song that goes along with the ceremony. the morning of her birthday circle, however, she woke up weepy and asked if she had to go to school that morning.  well, yes, we told her, it’s your birthday circle! ned and i dropped her off (she was crying), went for a little walk, and then went back to school when it was circle time.  we walked in the door and she started sobbing and clung to me.  she was crying as we started to get ready and then would calm down and then cry and then calm down. the activities around birthday circle are so sweet and i think i would have gotten more emotional about it had i not been concerned about my child being on the verge of a breakdown.  or had i not been worried about her physically attacking anyone who dared to place so much as a pinky finger anywhere on the white stripe on the carpet that was her path to walk around on.  but she made it through. we all did. she walked around the circle four times, one for each year of her life so far and one for the forth year she’s entering. she carried a picture around each loop, one of her as a newborn and at one, two and three. between each circle, we shared milestones she reached during that year of life. and as she walked, the kids all sang this song to her:

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