The school year began quietly. I am always grateful for quiet. Mickey’s meds seemed right and Minnie adores school. She is very studious, she loves to write. Most of the blog has been focused on Mickey, because Mickey is the challenge and Minnie is easy. So, a little more on my girl. She is amazing, loving, compassionate, a good friend and a champion of all animals. She is as girly a girl as has ever existed, if it is pink and sparkly, she is in. For all of the girliness though, she often comes home with dirty fingernails and grass in her hair and I must always, always check her pockets for bugs and frogs. She rescues them from our pool, a parking lot, etc. She often has caterpillars or rolly pollys stashed in a shirt pocket. We started fostering kittens this year and we failed miserably. Meet Sherbert our first foster and our new cat.
Minnie is sent the difficult animals after one trip to the “cat house”. Minnie went into the kitten room and was scratched rather badly by one of the semi-feral older kittens. She was told not to go in, but she didn’t listen. She came out crying, we told her to stay out, but she insisted that she needed to go talk to the kitten that did it. 10 minutes later that kitten was curled up in her lap. See, Minnie believes that if we love things enough, anything can be fixed. So, we now get the teenage kittens that need to be socialized so they can be adopted. Mickey and I provide food and litter, Minnie does everything else. Our gauge on when they are ready to be adopted is when Mickey and I can go in the room and they don’t hide from us. Minnie will have them out much sooner than that – usually in hours. But, it takes time for them to warm up to other people. Minnie is the kitten whisperer. At the time we discovered this talent, she was 6. She sits with them for hours, often sleeps in the room with them (as they are separated from our pets, Mason and Sherbert). She sings and talks to them constantly and animals make her happy.
She is the girl at school who befriends the underdog, she stands up for what is right and is offended by injustice. She came home in tears after learning of slavery because she couldn’t fathom how anybody could be treated that way. She is very sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat – usually because her feelings are hurt. But, she is also very confident – sometimes maybe too much so.
She loves dance and art. She only takes dance classes for the opportunity to be on stage. 1 year of classes and months of Nutcracker rehearsals, are just to get to the performances. She works hard in classes, but she shines on stage.
As the beginning of first grade got underway, we did have some academic concerns. She excelled at math, like her brother and she struggled with reading. Nobody was concerned, because she wasn’t far behind, the school just got her a little extra help and it seemed to help. She loved to read, but it was very slow and painful for her. But, her writing was beautiful. She often walks around with notebooks – taking notes, drawing the things she sees, etc. Her artistic side is very strong. While Minnie doesn’t have the ASD, ODD, drug exposure that Mickey does, she was fetal alcohol exposed and met more than half the diagnostic criteria for FAS, she doesn’t have that diagnosis, or any other. But, we don’t know what may or may not crop up as a result of her early years of trauma and neglect, so I am constantly monitoring her and watching for any signs of trouble.