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Rosie had no school on Friday, due to parent teacher conferences, so another parent and I swapped time watching our kids so we could attend our respective conferences. He and his daughter also joined Rosie and I for lunch. Then that evening Rosie and Brian and I went out to dinner With Justina Ireland and family, the first chance for the two families to meet each other since Justina and I met at the Baltimore Book Festival and I learned that they had also recently moved to York. Everyone got along well, though Rosie got a little melty near the end (having already had a long afternoon of sharing with a friend) and was really jealous of how well Justina's 6-year-old could draw. The food was really good too -- an authentic Mexican place on the East side called Guadalajara.

Brian approves of the cakeSaturday was Brian's birthday, but I wasn't there for the first half of the day because Justina and I headed out early to drive to Arlington for the SFWA business meeting at WFC. Justina is a YA spec fic author who is thinking about joining, while I had put an item on the agenda that I needed to be there to speak to. We hung around after the meeting chatting with people (nice to see Steven Silver and Stephen Leigh), had an early lunch with Steven Gould, whose family Brian and R and I had gotten to know during our time in Albuquerque (almost all the male friends I ran into were named Steven.. what's up with that? Thanks, Howard, for being the exception), then we headed back to York (about a 2-hour drive, and I really appreciated that Justina drove the whole way - my early waking time was catching up to me). Then I scrambled to make the cake for Brian's birthday with Rosie, after which I headed out to see Box Trolls with Brian - my arranging for a babysitter having been my most significant present for him. She was such an awesome sitter I left her responsible for taking the cake out of the oven. It was a delightful movie and nice to just sit and relax together for a bit, especially since he's just getting over a cold and I'm fighting it myself. Back to the house for dinner, presents, and cake, and I enjoyed watching Brian and Rosie play a little rocket-race game on the birthday card we'd found for him.

During her parent teacher conference, Brian and I both learned more about Rosie and how she is at school, and shared with her teacher some of our concerns and questions about how she is developing in general. We learned she is the youngest in her class -- a young 4-year-old in a class where 5 out of the 12 students have already turned 5. Accordingly, she sometimes has trouble getting other kids to play with her, since she hasn't learned yet how to join in with someone else's game or idea rather than trying to get people to do what she wants. And she isn't always good at sharing.

Cognitively, however, she has already accomplished most of what they look for by the end of the year. She can recognize most of the alphabet, understands what numbers mean and can count to 20, and can draw neat geometrical shapes, for instance. She loves to draw right now, and also to dance. Her teacher described her as dramatic, energetic, and enthusiastic. She said she did a really good job talking about her trip to the Indian Echo caverns the other day at Show and Tell. Mrs. Snyder gives each kid a turn on their own day to do show and tell all by themselves, rather than having a big shared show and tell once a week. It seems to work well. Rosie really looks forward to her next turn at Show and tell. Last time she shared some feathers that she found by the lake when we went to a park with her grandmother Mary while we were in the Seattle area.

Hopefully as we get to know more people in the area, she'll have more playtime and practice sharing. Brian and I will try to help her develop her social skills some ways her teacher recommended.

All in all, I'd have to say it's been a pretty good weekend. And we get today to just be quiet and clean up the house from all the cooking and Rosie's playdate... :)

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