Thing is that all this week, for some odd reason, Jet's been sleeping later in the morning. Instead of getting up at 6, he's getting up around 7:30 or, some mornings, not getting up at all until we wake him up! Both John and I agree that he really needs to go to sleep earlier, but when we tried that last night, Jet just was active and wiggling until his usual 10 pm bed time, and then went out like a light. Yeesh. And, of course, he wasn't up in time to get us to Joan's on time for the 8 am start time at her house. I have to admit that I never thought that Jet getting up later would be a problem for us!!
Anyway... John went off and took Jet to Joan's. I worked. It rained outside for most of the day, as it did yesterday. There was a thin cover of snow on the grass, but most of it had melted. When John came back, he said that Joan was going to take Jet to the Mall, and wanted to just drop him off afterwards. I was good with that! Then the gas plummer came and the house cleaners came, and we had a house filled with people running around and doing things. The nice thing was being able to just close the office door and work away happily.
In the midst of the chaos, Joan called to say that she'd be later than she thought, which was okay by me, and when she did come, it was one of the house cleaners that opened the door. Hee. Jet walked in, happy as a clam. He ate some lunch with John and I and when I asked him how he wanted to go down for his nap, he chose nursing, so we did and he went to sleep and I put him on his new bed. And he took a full hour and a half long nap! Yay! I guess the Mall wore him out, enough, with the play area, the kids, and all. Plus having enough food in his belly to keep him from being hungry was good, too.
John and I worked. John needed to catch up, something fierce, after all the time he took for the move. And he was pretty happy with where he was by the time he finished. When Jet woke up, I fed him some more, and then we all got ready go to Brenda's. Brenda wa the lady that Bonnie recommended for day care. We went.
It was a small farm house just off a really busy road between Longmont and Boulder. When we got there the car sounds were really evident, and there were no signs as to where to go. We parked in a gravel parking lot, and went through a well-closed (i.e. no toddler was going to be able to undo that...) gate into a sand filled yard piled high with a chaos of sun-faded, weathered, beaten up toys. There was a goose in the yard in front of that, wandering about, outside of an enclosure that contained a bunch of other big, white geese. Jet was fascinated by the big bird that was moving around, and he clearly wanted to dive into the mountain of toys as well; but we managed to shoo him towards the little, old house.
We knocked on the door, and a big woman came up and said, "You knocked. You must be the interview." and smiled at us. She then spoke directly to Jet, "Would you like to come in?" He nodded up at her and she grinned and let him in.
We sat or stood in the tiny house for a good two hours. It's filled to the brim with old toys, garage sale fodder, as Brenda fondly told us. The kids were well-behaved, played great together, and they shared toys really well. Jet dove into the car and truck portion of the livingroom and got out every single toy set in there and methodically went through every piece and everything that every one of them did. We asked what questions we could think of and then just talked, to see what she was like, who she was, and how she interacted with the kids. The kids liked John and I, too, and one little girl from China who had CP seemed to like me a lot and contently sat in my lap for parts of the conversation. Brenda was impressed, as the girl usually likes men not women. I didn't voice the semi-obvious reality that I'm Chinese, too... and she may still have had some impression that the Chinese women she'd known as a baby were safety.
It helped that Brenda finds a special rapport with parents who only want part-time care. It also helped, immensely, that she kept making observations about Jet or the other kids that showed a lot of her direct experience with taking care of other people's kids. It also helped that when the other kids stole toys from Jet he just watched them to size them up and see what was happening. "He's the most polite three-year-old I've ever seen," said Brenda.
When all the kids were picked up by their parents. Jet found parts of at least three sets of stacking cups. He then patiently tried to fit them all together, inside each other. Given that some of the sets had cups of the same size, he found it difficult going; but he just kept working at it, doggedly. Patiently trying cup after cup after cup after cup. Brenda noted that Jet had started with all the green ones, and then asked if someone had told us that Jet was gifted or not, as he was showing patience and an attention span far beyond his age group's. Huh. When I asked her what she believed should be done for a gifted child at this age, her answer reassured me. "Make sure he's a balanced person. The Rec. Center should help. Maybe gymnastics. Make sure he gets a solid social footing, so that he enjoys interacting and playing with all kinds of kids."
Yeah. Oh, so, yeah.
He'll pick up all the other things, no problem, that's what he's good at. Balancing him out. That I could really go for.
I am still mildly skeptical about the chaos of the house and yard and barn. But safety has been taken care of with a solid, eight-foot fence in the areas that the kids can get to or out of. It was really obvious, though, that Jet really enjoyed being there and he wanted to go back. Brenda has been a licensed pre-school program for more than thirteen years, and it shows. They have enough structure, but she knows that kids are kids. It's a marked contrast to Wendy, who sometimes comes across as if she's reading a book and relying on her expertise with her two kids. Brenda comes across as the real thing. Into it for the kids' sake and into it with all her heart and life.
That's pretty amazing.
We have an tour and interview with Seven Oaks on Tuesday. They'll be clean and organized and bright. We'll see if they have nearly the personality or if Jet's nearly as happy or comfortable there. But he may well be, given how much he loved Marina's pre-school. Anything with lots of kids, toys, and challanges may be all he's looking for. I'm still not too sure what I'm looking for.
After the interview, we had pho at the local place. Jet ate half a bowl of rice, half a bottle of lemonade, and then another bowl of noodles with soup. Hungry boy. I enjoyed the noodle soup with the cold weather. It's more satisfying, I think, when it's cold and wet outside. I love the wet weather. Some of the local newstations said, tonight, that we gained a good 9% of the 'normal' snowpack up in the mountains from this one storm. Yay for wet, soggy April storms!
Yeah, it feels more like 'home'. *grin*