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The September Swing

Gracie in pool

It's September, and that means we're back into the swing of things. I don't understand those people who say, "Oh, I can't wait for September! Finally, some peace!" We're running at full tilt here.

Grace has started preschool, as you may have read. So far, it's going spectacularly well. She continues to tell me "Okay, goodbye" as soon as we walk through door. We got a flyer just before school began that said if we want to spend 10 minutes or so doing some quick activity with our kids before we leave (like reading a book or completing a puzzle), we're welcome to. I really want to do that, but Grace isn't interested. Oh well, preschool is her gig, not mine.

We're also back to swimming lessons at the YMCA. Grace has been held back this year, if you can believe that. She's still a "Pike" and not yet a "Mako Shark." They say it's because she's still a bit timid in the water, which I say is due to the boisterous, over-the-top instructor who treats all the kids like they're hard of hearing. I'm sure there are kids who think that loud = fun, but Grace kind of wigs out. Imagine sharing the pool with Fozzie Bear, and you'll get a good idea of swim class.

Grace has had the same instructor for two semesters now, and when we arrived two weeks ago for her first new class, we saw Fozzie poolside. Grace said, "But that's not my teacher." I said, "Sure, she's your teacher, honey! Won't you have fun?" Grace said "Oh" and did the sad Charlie Brown walk to the pool. I could almost hear that mournful piano from the Christmas Special as Chuck found his mailbox to be free of Christmas cards yet again.

Finally, we're back to ballet. This one is a hit. After taking the summer off, Grace was a little rusty. William dropped a huge bomb once we got into the waiting room, of course, so I had to change him on the folded-down front seat of the car.

Towards the end of class (we can listen from the room next to the studio), I heard the instructor (we'll call her "Mrs. B") make a Classic Little Kid Blunder. When I was a preschool teacher many moons ago, I learned that you never ask a room full of 3- and 4-year-olds an open-ended question unless you have a lot of free time. Mrs. B gathered the girls around and asked, "Does anyone have anything to say before we chat for a bit?" I shook my head.

"My neighbor is nice," announced one little ballerina. "I have to go to the bathroom, but only at home," said another. "I went to Florida," announced a third, and by then Mrs. B had totally lost all of them to a stream-of-consciousness explosion that was only building momentum, like a snowball on a steep hill.

As for me, I'm back to my stay-at-home dad schedule, which is just great. William and I have a grand time while Grace is in school, hitting playgrounds and story hours as a twosome. It's really nice to be able to remove my referee jersey for three hours a day, three days a week.

So, how about you? Is September less crazy, or more so?

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