Thursday, May 26, 2011

If I Could Write the Story of Their Leaving Us

I drove my rattly old 4Runner over to the preschool for the final time til next fall today, to pick up Peabody after his last day of "school." I didn't think I'd cry, but I did when I said goodbye to his teachers. With all the cleaning and scrubbing and polishing I've been doing at home trying to get ready for both kids' bein' home all day during the summer, I haven't taken much time to reflect on this school year - my first year with a child who climbs on the bus and rides away from me for full days, my first year with both of my children going off wearing backpacks -- to play and learn and change and grow.

I'm so proud my little offspring. I believe (and since to my knowledge none of the kids' teachers read the blog no one's going to correct me if I'm wrong) that we're raising two children who behave well (except for their Mama) and vigorously enjoy learning and exploring and interacting with all sorts of people, young and old. They've both mostly come home each day happy and charged up and excited to share what they've been doing.

Honestly? It amazes me that these two vital pieces of me go out into the world and BOOM! are their own people. When you think of having children, when you're pregnant and then nursing tiny newborns, then cooing over infant smiles, then chasing crazy toddlers, you just feel like you're their world, and they're yours, and how was it ever not that way, and how could it ever not be that way again? But then you ease them gently into the world, little by little, and the world accepts them, and they accept others into their lives and hearts, and before you know it, you're sitting over breakfast being told that Mrs. Cappachio says you should drink plenty of water, whether you're cold or hot, and that fried foods and butter are dietary no-nos. (GASP!) Or you're rocking a little guy before bed, singing Icky Bicky 'Pider and he raises his little arms to show you the RIGHT way to make the rain come down, see, like Ms. Carla does it.

And it just makes me smile. And sigh peacefully. And feel achingly glad my kids are open to more than just me, will adapt to more than just my ways, can readily appreciate diverse ways of thinking, and, blessing of all blessings, in turn be loved and cherished for who they are by people outside of their teeny-tiny little world here at home. That teachers hug my children, kiss their boo-boos, understand their gibberish, and laugh at their odd little idiosyncrasies and even call them by the silly nicknames we've given them brings me enormous comfort, joy, and pride, and lets me know their eventual departure from under my proverbial petticoats for good and all has begun well -- warmly, and gently, just as I would write it, if I could write the story of their leaving us.

It's been a good year. A year of growing, changing, laughing, stretching, of pulling apart and of coming together. Bean can read, calculate how much five nickels are worth in cents, tell the time and tie her own shoes. Peabody knows his colors, recognizes all of the letters and counts to twenty. And best of all, they've learned these things in places and with people who've kept them feeling safe, and loved, and special. My gratitude for what these, their first teachers, have done to lay the foundation for their feelings and enthusiasm about school and learning, knows absolutely no bounds. NONE.

I really just couldn't have asked for a better start.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where I've Been: Spring Cleaning and Battling a Tiny Tyrant


I've been Spring cleaning pretty much since the beginning of April, and since I've really never actually OFFICIALLY Spring-cleaned, I have a question for you.

How do you know when you're DONE with the spring cleaning? Seems like while I'm busy Spring cleaning, the whole house just keeps getting dirty again. I'm pretty sure I've started over at least twice, but I never seem to get DONE. Is that how it's supposed to work?

Also, I am seriously not sure I'm going to survive this two-going-on-three-years-old stage with Peabody. He is still very cute and he's learning to talk and sing and he's funny and smart and sweet, but he's also a total ranting, foaming-at-the-mouth, snarling, spitting, hissing tyrant, and the job of parenting him is physically and mentally and emotionally draining right now. Pretty much every other thing I try to do with him involves a battle. There's so much battling that when something happens without a battle, I'm actually SURPRISED. Is that how it's supposed to be at this age? Am I doing something wrong?

Al seems to think I'm too lax with Peabody, while I would guess there are others who think I'm expecting too much from him at too young an age. My own gut instinct vollies between believing each of those things, back and forth, back and forth. I don't think Matthew is abnormally difficult, I just think I'm abnormally unsure about how to deal with it, and equally as abnormally upset and stressed out by his (probably normal and age-appropriate) negativity.

And I swear, if ONE more person says, "Oh, enjoy this stage. It gets much worse!" or "Oh, this is the easiest time of parenting. Just wait!" I don't know WHAT I'm gonna do, y'all.

It HAS to get easier with this boy! It really, really does. Tell me that it will. Please?

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