I spent the morning and early afternoon working at the office, as well as a great deal of time on the phone with my cell phone customer service again. I figured out that the sudden horrid reception was a handset rather than a network problem, so I took the phone back to the store and exchanged it for a new one. That meant numbing my thumb programming all my contacts - again. I checked out the international texting, and it seems to be the same as it has been. Of the three people I talk to in the UK, I can send and receive texts to two of them, but I can only receive from the third. I still can't figure out how the heck that's happened.
After that stressful day, I decided to treat the family to their very favorite meal - sushi. I didn't have the time to make it, but I had to run out for some things for school, so I called in an order to pick some up. We all seemed to feel better after all of the recent craziness, just to get a special meal and time together.
After dinner, Gin played with her new cell phone. Yes, she's only 10, but she bought it with the money she saved for it (it's a prepay), and she's responsible for earning the money to keep the account active and add minutes as she needs them. Some people might object to a 10-year-old with a cell phone, but we're using it as a lesson in responsibility. One thing about her, she's never shied from working to earn her own money. When she wants something, she doesn't say, "Mom, will you buy that for me?" She says, "I'm going to save my money for that." She'll even ask for extra chores if there's something she wants. And this cell phone will be a continuous motivator for her, because it's something she'll have to maintain.
Munch and I spent the whole evening working on math and spelling drills. Her perpetual flightiness of the past two years has put her behind in school, and she's now been put in a program to catch her back up. It's bizarre. At the beginning of last school year, she was nearly an entire grade level behind in reading. Within three months, she was one of only five in her class selected for the accelerated reader program because she had swept ahead of the rest in reading. And yet, she has so much difficulty focussing on tasks that she spent nearly every day indoors at recess with her teacher to catch up on the classwork that she hadn't completed in time. Part of that was intentional. She loved her teacher so much that she enjoyed the alone time and the opportunity to sit and read with her without the rest of the class. When she came home from school the first day this year, the first thing she said was that she loves her new teacher too. Pooh immediately said, "Uh oh. Now she won't want to do her work, just so she can spend more time with her." She's such a loving child, but she also loves having all the focus on her. It makes it a struggle to motivate her. Isolation doesn't work either though, because she has such an imagination that she can entertain herself for hours at a time. I've never heard the child say that she's bored. For a seven-year-old these days, that's an almost mind-boggling thing. Every one of her teachers - in fact, nearly every adult who's ever known her - has said, "She's just so happy all the time. She's always smiling, and nothing ever seems to bother her."