The end of another week

Some weeks go by with nothing much going on.  This was not one of those weeks.

The Queen came to town.  Queen Elizabeth of England.  Not that people were allowed to see her.  But it did snarl traffic up nicely.  And there were some bomb scares, but according to the news they were bombs designed to not harm, but to make a point.  oooookayyyyy…

The BBC also reported “riots” happening one night.  So I clicked on the article.  The “riot” was a group of 30-40 protesters with signs and Irish flags, surrounded by Garda. Not an overturned burning car in sight.  They quickly stopped using the term “riot” when everyone mocked it.

But my concern was that the Queen’s visit, and subsequent street blocking/train schedule interrupting, would throw off my attempts to reach the brand new Disney Store in time to buy Maura a bunch of Tinker Bell stuff for her birthday.  Luckily, the Queen headed out of Dublin, and all was well for my trip into City Centre.

Wednesday we had a meeting with a psychologist from the special school, in hopes of getting Maura into a school somewhere.  I’ll admit, I haven’t been too keen on the idea of a special school after visiting it.  Many of the kids aren’t that verbal, and Maura seemed to be the most engaged kid there.  It was also a gloomy day, so that didn’t help.  But I couldn’t help but thinking that my bright cheery beautiful girl just didn’t belong there.

I have let my concerns be known to those I’ve talked to from the school since then.  In their defense, Maura has not been her usual somewhat chatty self around any school person until this week.  She’s been too busy taking in everything, and when she takes in everything, she’s very quiet.  (She can only do so many things at once.)

But this week’s visit with the psychologist was helpful.  Maura was herself, showing off some of her strengths – like playing with her dolls, having them talk to each other, etc.  Of course, she also left the room and came back half-naked with a dress-up outfit in hand.  Sigh.  But then I mentioned we had an iPad for her and the psychologist wanted to see it in action.  Maura instantly impressed her with it, with what she could do on it.  She said “She really is varied in her skills!”  Yep, she is all over that map.  She also said that Maura doesn’t have a lot of disabilities compared to other kids there – this is a positive.

She was also a bit reassuring to me about what Maura could gain by going to the special school.  Primarily – potty training.  Seriously, if we could get this girl potty trained, it would open up more doors for her.  They also go swimming at the special school, which Maura would adore.  By the end of the meeting, Maura had charmed and impressed her, and I felt better about the special school being an option.

One funny moment – she asked if we had received respite care for Maura.  I laughed.  Respite care.  No, no extras for us unless we paid for it out of pocket.

In the vein of school news – Collin is doing well enough in his new school, but the teachers are concerned about him taking exams being only a few weeks in.  Primarily, they’re concerned about how far behind he is in French.  So we have plans on making his summer a little miserable with extra French lessons.  But Josh promised him a trip to France if he catches up.  On the plus side, he gets to skip the French exam entirely.  For his History exam, he’ll have to write about a rebellion leader – he’s going with George Washington.  They also had a Field Day today, where he qualified for the javelin throw.  The teacher announced him with “And representing the United States…”  He said he did pretty well, 4th or 5th place.  Not bad for someone who never touched a javelin until two weeks ago.  He almost qualified for high jump, made it to the finals.

This week at school, Miriam got “Student of the Week” in Irish.  As the certificate she brought home says “Rinne Miriam a dicheall ina cuid Gaeilge i rith na sechtaine.  An-iarracht deanta crici. Maith thu.”  Yes, my spell check just underlined almost every word in that sentence.  Translation – “Miriam did her best in Irish all week.  Excellent effort made by her.  Well done.”  She also has joined choir and is doing handstands in swimming.   They’re big on swimming here.  I guess because we live on an island.

Yesterday we had Maura’s birthday.  She had a great day but this morning she woke up bleary and puffy-eyed.  I said “Got a sugar hangover?”  She said “Yeah.”   I produced a box of Fruit Loops yesterday morning, which she hugged.  Then I got out her favorite shirt and we met Josh at the train and rode it down to City Centre, where we went to the brand spanking new Disney store.  Maura saw the “Pirates of the Caribbean” display in the window and said “Pirate!”  Well, that’s new.  Inside was jammed packed, but we made it upstairs, where all the Tinker Bell and Hairbrush stuff were.  Hairbrush is what she calls Rapunzel.  She loves Rapunzel.  Not as much as Tinker Bell though.  We let her pick out something and took note of what else she wanted.  Then Josh took her to Mc Donald’s down the street while I ran back in and bought too much stuff for the birthday princess.

Maura and I then discovered that Fallon and Byrne, the high end grocery store off Grafton Street, had Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips!  I won’t scare you with how much I paid for them.  But I did a little happy dance.  They don’t sell chocolate chips here.  I also found some Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce – and threatened the  kids lives if they opened the bottle.  I’m saving it for an occassion.  However, I went there looking for cornmeal but didn’t find it.  Boo.  However, we turned down an aisle and found Goldfish crackers, which made Maura’s day.

We had a little party for Maura, who loved all her gifts.  Grandma got to hear her squeal over the Tinker Bell costume she made for her.  Maura also loved the Tinker Bell shirt, sunglasses, sparkley sandals, jacket and Hairbrush jammies.   But the best moment came when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her.  She sang along with us, and before blowing out the candles, she said “Wish!” – pretty stinking cute if you ask me, especially since we didn’t say “Make a wish.”  She just knew.