Photo: What’s that? The Brothers Ursa working on a puzzle together? Without any parental help? Just straight up collaborative building??? Yeah, that’s the magic, right there! I was like, “hold it together long enough for me to snap a picture!” It all went to hell probably 10 minutes after the photos were taken! Oh well. It was awesome while it lasted!
Oooooooooooo, there be some grouchy guses up in here today! Not a single happy New Englander in the whole region! Just frowns and sighs and grunts and groans and huffs and behaving badly in your car! Oh my!
And I’m not even gonna lie, I’m pretty grumpy grouchy myself! The sun is out and I am trying to call up some of that happy, optimistic attitude I like to have… but it just…it’s deep down in there. Somewhere. Far away. Or maybe it went on vacation. I dunno.
We made it out to school this morning and I had the distinctly fantastic (read: utterly annoying) job of being parent helper in Major’s class today. So, while all of the other moms got to skip off for coffee or breakfast or quite work time or babyless grocery store runs (the thing I really need to do), I had to stay. And play. And serve.
and be pleasant.
Which is like… work. You dig?
And I had to watch my son have a not-so-great day at school. I see so much of myself in him when I see him at school: he tries to play with the other children, but it’s painfully obvious that he’d just rather play by himself. And I saw moments when he was pouting over something or another, and I can relate. He was sitting with his cars and trucks all lined up in his way, and he would have shared with anyone should someone had noticed him and wanted to… I just see him so clearly, as if it were me as my 4 year-old self, my 8 year-old self, my 22 year-old self… So anyway, I tried to play and engage with him as much as I could. My problem with helping in Major’s class is that they keep me so busy: clean the bathroom, prep the snack, serve the snack, clean the kitchen… it’s a lot! It’s hard to jump in for play after all that is done, you know? Besides, I find it hard to “play” with this age of kids anyway. I feel like I’m just interrupting the flow of things.
That is clearly a “me” issue, not a “him” issue.
Anyway, I get to be back at it on Friday for the big Valentine’s Day party for all of the kids. Cookies! Frosting! Valentines for 30 children! Wooopie!! (Read: I need a vacation. Or the winning Powerball ticket!)
At least we got out of the house today. This place is seriously transformed! Snow banks taller than the car! Sidewalks barely shoveled/plowed/treated. Parking lots with snow mountains that soar above rooftops. It was a complete bitch to find parking this morning and then I had to walk the boys to school in the street because the snow was up to their knees in some spots on the sidewalk!
Can we go back to Major and school for a moment? Sorry, my mind is a little bit all over the place…
One of the things I’m learning as I try to navigate school as a former educator and a mom, is that I don’t have as thick of a skin as I realized. I see myself doing all of those classic “mom” things I used to loathe as a teacher. I’m taking it really personally, I think that the teachers are out to get him or me, I have moments when I feel like we aren’t being served and…
it’s outrageously stupid. Just, seriously, out-the-box ridiculous. There is no reason to feel that way at all.
Major has to learn how to cope with things. He doesn’t bounce back from anger/frustration well (he’s 4. yes. I know that) and he’s quick to sadness if he feels excluded/slighted. He can be controlling and manipulative, which is also expected. He’s working through a lot in what is an expanding world of feelings and understanding. I have to step back and remember that, first, the child is 4. Four. And that he has a whole entire school year in front of him before kindergarten, and he’s going to change 10 times between now and then. Second, he’s totally normal. There is no “perfect” kid in his preschool class who is perfectly ready for their first day of kindergarten. No messiah babies up in here. Major has his moments of brilliance and his moments of yuck. Minor will do the same thing when it’s his turn next year. This is also first-born syndrome for me: I don’t know what to expect, my expectations are monstrously high, I’m over-educated and entitled… this is the perfect storm for hurt feelings, overcompensation and bravado.
Ahh… ok. I’m glad I worked that out. I feel better.
But I am worried about what is going on in his little head. He’s an introvert, as vocal as he may be. When is mouth is open and he’s talking to you, he’s only giving you maybe 60% of what he’s really thinking. I hope that he can find a very small group of very close friends who he can share with and feel safe with. Though he’s mighty mean to his brother, he plays with Minor with far more openness and joy than he does with any of his classmates (save his “favorite friend,” who we have for playdates often). So I know that he can create trusting, safe relationships, even if they are tumultuous. It’s gonna be a journey like everything else, right?
Anyway… can you tell I’m just about at the edge of my sanity???
Can I just add one more thing about my day? I watched a kid pick his nose, lick his fingers and then pick up toys to play with. In that order. I near about gagged and died.
Ok, ok… clearly I need to go to bed at 8 tonight. Obviously.
How are you doing out there, dear reader? Who is hogging all of the nice, warm air? Who is sending me the winning Powerball ticket for Valentine’s Day? Or a new minivan with 4-wheel drive, at least? Come onnnnn… one of ya’ll has a minivan around that you’re not using… right?
Oh my God, I’m so crazy.
A crazy woman’s Quiet Thoughts on Friday? Do you really want that? I feel like that could go downhill very quickly.
See you then!