8/8/2014

Monthly Miles Memo #79

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:59 pm

My special Miles,

You have a new favorite person.  He’s small (relative to you), cute, and likes pictures of pigs.  His name is Baby Aleks, and he’s your very first first cousin.  That is, he’s Uncle Tyler and Aunt Oxana’s son, and you love him like crazy.  We got to go meet him for the first time at his home in Lincoln a couple of weeks ago, and you took every single opportunity you could to hold him.  You invented a game called “Touch the pig,” which involved you holding up a picture of a pig and telling him to touch it.  He did it enough times that you’re sure it wasn’t coincidence.  Sometimes you sigh about how much you miss him and speculate about how much he surely misses you.

Photo by Gary Clarke

I knew you were excited to meet him, but I was surprised by just how enthusiastic yet gentle and loving you were.  That’s even more evidence of what a good double-big brother you’re going to be.  Our Lincoln trip also involved a trip to the surprisingly large and fun Natural History Museum.  You liked the dinosaurs, the interactive computer-based activities, and the identify-a-smell challenge.  We agreed that the “chocolate” smelled terrible, like stinky feet.

Photo by Denny

You’re enjoying a couple of weeks off before school restarts.  We got to spend some time with Nana, Papa, and other extended family on a recent trip to Des Moines and Albia, as well as when Nana and Papa stopped by our house for a quick overnight.  Now we’re at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house for “mini-vacation,” which involves a lot of sweets and late bedtimes.  You’ve also had fun building and decorating a cardboard tunnel, splashing in the little pool, and playing in the sandbox.

We had a fun trip to Dubuque to see cousin Maxwell’s performance of Shrek:  The Musical.  We spent the night, and the next day the whole gang of us went to the Mississippi River Museum.  You and Max and Meredith and Tobin had a great time exploring that place.  There was an enormous tank with sharks and other sea creatures, and opportunity to touch a real snake (you declined), and a cool wiggly river raft simulator.  Your favorite part was the mock-up of a wood-fueled riverboat.  You got to put logs into a pretend furnace and watch them glow as if on fire.  You did that about forty times.

Photo by Denny

Another thing you’re currently obsessed with is making prank videos to publish on YouTube.  We stumbled upon one in which a guy faked dropping his wife’s Nintendo 3DS into their swimming pool, and you got it into your head that you needed to make prank videos too, and that you’d get a million subscribers.  We’ve only made one so far, and I think your dad is our only subscriber, but maybe our following will grow as you perfect your craft.

You’re all done with summer school now.  This seems like a short summer, considering how late you got out of school in the spring due to so many snow/cold days and the fact that school starts on the 19th of August this year.  We got school supplies, which was kind of fun, although you don’t get much flexibility in color or style of your items.  I remember finding it fun to choose exciting folders and pen colors, but your school supply list had very specific requirements.

Photo by Denny

First grade will be starting soon.  We have the Popsicles with the Principal event coming up next week, when you’ll drop off your school supplies, have a treat, and find out who your teacher will be next year.  I’ve heard good things about all the first grade teachers, but there’s one you’re a little nervous you might get.  The description I’ve heard of her is that she’s “tough but fair,” which sounds fine to me.  You heard a rumor that she yanks kids’ wiggly teeth out of their heads, and you’re terrified that you’ll be her victim.  I’ve tried to reassure you that if you get put into her class, I’ll talk to her and tell her she should keep her hands out of your mouth (which is probably a moot point, as that sounds like the kind of story like I heard about Mr. Tosten, the supposed dangler of children out the second-storey window by their ankles).  Odds are that you’ll get one of the other two teachers anyway, but even if you end up with her, I’m sure you’ll do fine.  One of our Hy-Vee friends has a son who thinks she’s the best teacher ever.

Photo by Denny

You’ve lost yet another tooth, and two more are wiggly.  This last one got a special boost from Tobin, who bonked it and hastened its departure from your mouth.  You were a little freaked out by the blood, but you got over it, and the tooth fairy visited the top bunk for the first time.

Your reading and writing skills have grown over the summer.  You read enough to earn the special Wii U game your dad offered up as a prize.  You’ve also been doing lots of spontaneous reading and writing.  You’ve written me notes, and I see you reading signs in your environment and books over people’s shoulders.  You’re excited about the Magic Treehouse series right now, along with the Laurence Anholt artist series.  Mubby and Skittergramps bought you a Laurence Ahnolt book that our library doesn’t have, and you got just as excited for that as you did for Super Mario 3D World.  Leonardo da Vinci is your personal hero.

Photo by Denny

The next time I check in here, you will have been a first grader for a couple of weeks already.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you learn over the next year and what you get excited about.  I hope you make great new friends and keep in touch with old ones.  I hope you eat something in your packed lunches besides grapes and Wheat Thins.

I’m not placing any bets on that last one.

But I still love you.

Love,

Mommy

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