After a slightly rocky and emotional first week, preschool has been going great. My son proudly brings home art work each day, is always excited to tell me about what classroom job he had (line leader, calendar, etc.) and I’m loving the free mornings it has opened up.
Before school officially started, I attended a “welcome parents” meeting where we were given the handbook for preschool, an overview of the school and a run down of the daily routine there.
One specific issue that was brought up was carpool. (Carpool is what they call it when you drive up in front of the school and wait in line with other cars, a teacher comes and let’s your child out of the car and walks him over to the sidewalk in front of the school building so they can walk in by themselves.)
The director mentioned that for the first week or so, they were fine with parents walking in their children but really encouraged us to let kids try the drop-off carpool lane as well. We’d be surprised how much they’d enjoy it, how proud they would be to walk in to the building alone, carrying their own bags and then back down to the car for afternoon pick up.
I’ve been slowly re-reading one of my favorite books and came across this passage that was the perfect reminder for me right now.
Asking ourselves Where am I going? we might speculate on what the world holds in store for us. We imagine the world outside us providing events and developments that determine our capacity for happiness. What truly determines our ability to be happy , however, are our responses, attitudes and beliefs about these external events. While we cannot always control external events, we can control our reactions to them for we can choose our thoughts. So, our karma is, for the most part, in our own hands.
– Buddhism for Mothers of Small Children by Sarah Napthali
The past week was a struggle that I ultimately had to give in to to avoid becoming really upset. I continue to get frustrated at times with finding the time and energy to do everything I want or feel like I need to do. I often get impatient and daydream of the “perfect” set of circumstances.
I’ve written before about the struggle I’ve had with finding things to do with my son over the summer. He’s just a tad picky. At least, that’s how I’ve felt at times. But getting frustrated and feeling hopeless about the situation did absolutely nothing to help.
I was stuck and changing my attitude and outlook was the only way out.
Obviously, trying to force the usual, standard activities that other kids enjoy and then repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, wondering why he wouldn’t just like them was not working for anyone.
Lou is definitely an individual. Even at three and a half, he has very strong opinions.
I’m officially sending out a cry for help, from my blog to you.
I need your help as I am wading my way through a kind of summer labyrinth, a maze of mood swings and unusual, unpredictable dislikes from the toddler.
Let me introduce you to his current list of disdain.
#1 – Movies
Some of our local theatres are showing FREE kids matinee movies this summer. I researched the schedule and let my son know that we could go see Puss in Boots the following morning because it would be too hot for the park or outside play (106 degrees that day). He was all excited and in to it.
That morning, he wakes up in a horrible mood and says no way is he going to any movie. He actually wakes up “in a mood” fairly often and then snaps out of it later so I didn’t pay much attention and off we went.
45 minutes in, I’m embarrassingly walking out with my son after he won’t stop yelling (in between mouth fulls of popcorn), “Bad Movie! Let’s Go. I’m going home NOW!”.
I’d been looking forward to today, Saturday, all week. A day that would be, “my” day.
An afternoon at the library or book store, just to relax, browse quietly, leisurely flip through books and magazines and even start making some headway on the growing list of post ideas I have not been able to work on the past few weeks.
Yesterday evening, bedtime goes well with my son. He’s tired and goes down fairly easily, this is a good sign.
This morning around 5am, he’s at my side of the bed, asking for my phone and wanting to listen to music.
Through the week, he gets up around 6:45am. WTF is going on here. I give him the phone and lay back down. From five to six thirty is on and off sleep in-between toddler requests and promises mommy will get up soon.
I get up and force my eyes to focus, feet to move, mind to function. I close the bedroom door so my husband can sleep.
I was kind of surprised when I realized a week had passed since I’d written a new post.
In the past, this is something I would get upset, feel badly about and possibly beat myself up over. I would worry, will everyone forget about my little space here? Will people think I’ve abandoned my blog?
But if I’m really honest, I can admit much of my discomfort came from comparing myself to others. I have not been at this very long but I still don’t understand how some have time to post every single day without fail and still others – several times a day!
I have to remind myself not worry about it and remember what I’m doing this for, what it’s really all about, what’s important to me today and what I can control (which is very, very little).
Because I do have weeks when things just jive. I can’t stop writing and my blog is consistently up to date, offering up new content and brimming with ideas. But some days and weeks, not so much.
Just as there are good times and bad in life, easy days and really difficult ones, the ebb and flow are natural and never ending.
Thoughts of sending my son to preschool this fall has been on my mind for most of this year.
Our past experiences with daycare didn’t go so well, but the idea of preschool with more of an atmosphere and focus on learning as well as play sits so much better with me and I feel like my son could really thrive there.
And as much as I get out and about with my son as much as possible during the week; trips to the library, playing at parks, etc., I don’t have mommy friends of my own where we live with kids my son can play with on a regular basis.
I want him to have friends, feel more comfortable with other kids his age and just having more fun overall.
So I was pretty surprised at how things went when we visited an awesome little preschool the other day, very close to our home and with the exact schedule and price range I’ve been looking for.
The parent du Jour is a web site with a goal:
“Our goal is to feature 365 moms and dads from around the world.
Each day we serve up a different parent telling us, in their own words, how they combine work, family, and life. Dads are featured in our “A Dad a Day” series, moms in “Once Upon a Mom”.”
Well, I’m pretty excited to let you know, today is my day!
I’m today’s mom on the site and I hope you’ll have a few moments to check it out. Here’s the link: theparentdujour.com/2012/06/anna-mahler-the-mommy-padawan
You can learn more about this really cool site on twitter by following @TheParentDuJour or by visiting the site at theparentdujour.com.
Today began with a very tired start but also some accomplishment. It’s not something I often get too excited about but I was able to completely knock out the kitchen and transform it from looking frat party trashed to cleaning day clean!
It even seemed to take less time than usual and felt like less work, probably because Lou was happily watching one of his favorite shows while I got to work. I admit it, I was basking in the glow of my spotless kitchen but while my son was very satisfied, juice in hand on the couch, for some reason I started wondering about what some might say regarding our morning so far and how I could be harshly judged for it.
You see, as “crunchy” as I may, I let me son watch t.v. and honestly, I don’t think it’s that terrible.
For the first year of my son’s life, my husband would often watch him with a worried expression. Lou was a very serious baby. He loved to play and be held but most of the time, he wore a seriously stoic look.
“He is just a deep thinker” I’d tell my husband. “He’s really studying and concentrating on things.” I even nick named him “the little professor” for a while because I could just tell he was ok but the wheels were always turning.
And there was definitely nothing to worry about. Lou has grown in to a very lively little boy who talks non stop and loves to laugh though he has kept a seriousness and intensity about him. He has a strong personality with definite opinions and preferences and is not afraid to let me know when something is not to his liking.
Thus, the title of the post. Potty training is not going well and that is putting it mildly.