When Miriam goes to school, it's like a switch flips, and she is ON. Active ingredients as my family likes to call it. She is loved by everyone, from the moment we get to the bus stop she is Miss Social. She chats with kids of all ages, and their grown-ups. On the playground in the morning she is surrounded by friends, not just from her class but from all over the school. She seems happy and care-free and confident. She is fun and playful and cheery.
She is in school all day, five days a week. We leave the house at 8:30 and don't get home until 4:00. And when we get home, the switch flips and she is OFF. She is cranky and picks fights with her brothers. She cries and complains about all the things that went badly at school. She is tired and overstimulated and she just crashes in front of cartoons. Occasionally when she is particularly ornery I'll send her to her room, and find her fast asleep when I go to get her for dinner.
I'll skip over all the ways Richard and I have analyzed this, and things we've observed about her and solutions we've discussed and just say that one of the things we thought she might need was just some one-on-one time. I decided to take her out, just the two of us, on a Friday night.
First we took the train to Covent Garden and ate dinner. Then we walked around and looked at the Christmas lights and decorations, and finally made our way to Hamley's so she could choose a birthday present. She was so delightful. The people in the restaurant at the table next to ours, and our server and other servers, all made small talk with her, and she politely obliged. She was a trooper about walking, we walked and walked, rather I walked and she skipped. She is just so full of life.
We spent over an hour at Hamley's. She saw a few things she really liked, but she spent most of her time just playing with the numerous toys they have out on display. She chose a Playmobil set for her birthday gift and we made our way back home. On the train home someone asked about her Hamley's bag and she told them all about how much fun she had in the store.
I'll write more about Mim on her birthday post, but I'm so grateful to have her.