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How’re The Kids?

The actual children (as opposed to the furry children down at the bottom there) started school this week, despite the attentions of not-a-hurricane Fay. Girlchild is in 3rd grade this year, which I expect she will ace just as thoroughly as she did 2nd grade…straight A’s all year, and she was doing third grade math independently of the rest of the class a few months after school started and the babies are at the house enjoying the time and toys from the Product Expert site online. She’s also reading at an off-the-charts level, last tested around 7th grade reading level. She’s going to be like me, I think, who (to hear my parents tell it) missed all of Europe, most of the Mediterranean and Africa, because I had my nose in a book.

Yeah, but I now have the vocabulary of a GOD, thank you very much.

The Boychild started 6th grade, which is so far different from elementary school as to be actual college. He has EIGHT classes in his 8 hour school day, but check out this schedule:

  1. Chorus (apparently the punk has quite the nice singing voice)
  2. Advanced World Geography
  3. Advanced PE (I really couldn’t tell you what makes it “advanced”)
  4. Earth and Space Science (I’m so bloody excited about this class that I offered to attend it for him)
  5. Language Arts
  6. Advanced Reading
  7. Advanced Math (!!!!)
  8. Art/Art Appreciation

I am LOVING this schedule. Last year was a math nightmare for the kid, mainly due to personality conflicts, I think…but not to be discounted, a crappy teacher can completely ruin a kid. My ninth grade math teacher, Mrs. Blackburn (may she burn in hell), completely destroyed my interest in mathematics for decades, and is why I am not a robotics engineer right now. The boy apparently tests very well, though, since placement in 6th grade is determined by the (ridiculous) FCAT test.

Middle school is quite different than elementary, not just in the different classes, but the almost exponential increase in responsibility for the kids. They’re expected to get to each class on their own (after the first week of orienteering), they’re expected to get themselves to lunch, etc. etc. etc. It’s perceived as more freedom, too, I suppose, in not constantly having someone telling you where to go/what to do…which is very important to the newly-pubescent, particularly the offpsring of two very Alpha parents. Most importantly, though, the Boychild seems to have undergone an attitude shift, maybe listened to us one of the thousand times we exhorted him to not let someone else determine his destiny, and is determined to do well this year. I think our visit to Uncle NASA’s workplace this summer was a nice prod for him, too. He got to see the real world, and see how seriously cool it can be. So, cross your fingers for him, once the homework starts piling on things might go straight to hell. *bangs head on desk*

As for the other “kids,” both orange babies are growing like weeds. Hermes has gone from pretty kitten to gorgeous adolescent:


A better view of his target:


Oliver is not so lion-faced anymore, but still a lovely boy:


This white spot on his chest just appeared this week:


De-Everything Day is in about two weeks, which, after receiving claws in the bottom of my foot whilst trying to sleep, as well as regularly prying a horny Oliver off a screeching Hermes’ back, I await with almost gleeful anticipation.

HAH! I had to stop in the middle of writing this post to take clean shorts and shoes over to the Boychild’s school. He apparently tried to stop a basketball with his face, which resulted in the routine nosebleed. And that reminds me that I’ve started a new project site called This + That, in which we snark on news, current events, and our child taking a basketball to the schnozz. We’re looking for more contributors, so if you’re interested in joining, drop me a a line.