Friday, June 15, 2012

Last day of school

When I was a teacher I couldn't wait for summer break.  The days leading up to the last day of school were exciting, and even though I missed my "kids" every year, I was so happy to finally get a break and do adult things like traveling and not having to worry about grading papers while on a date.

Now that I have young kids, the opposite is true.  I'm far more likely to have "me time" when the kids are in school.  So today was a sad, sad day for Mommy.

It was also a sad day for Rachel.  Her favorite person in the world is her preschool teacher "Miss Lena."  Several months ago I would ask her, "Mommy or Miss Lena, Rachel?"  And she'd giggle and say, "Miss Lena!" which resulted in tickles by Mommy as I feigned shock and disappointment.  Next year Rachel won't be in Miss Lena's preschool class of the "Friendly Frogs."  I took a picture of her saying goodbye.

This is Eric's first day of freedom, or in his opinion: utter boredom.  His teacher sent him home with a CD filled with horrendous preschool songs that are likely to cause cerebral aneurysm.  Most of them make the Barney theme song sound like Alice Cooper.  I want to shoot myself when Eric brings it into the car.

During nap time today, Eric played on the ipad and I got a video of him playing a game of basic math.  I have never taught him math, and I have no idea where he learned how to do it, but the kid blew me away:

He can also read, which I am still amazed at.  He's only four!  I hope he continues to love learning once he transitions out of preschool and into standardized testing.  I would like to take credit for Eric, but as I started to read around the 1st grade I give props to John's DNA over mine. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inevitable? Or Payback?

My daughter discovers the joy of being completely naked.  Probably because I chase her around the house with underwear and shorts in hand while she runs away, screaming like a banshee the entire time.  I call this "inevitable."  My parents laugh and call it "payback."

So even though I wasn't completely thrilled yesterday when Rachel discovered Eric's clothes, I was overjoyed to see her dressed...

... even if the end result wasn't exactly as anticipated.

At least everyone at her preschool thought it was as amusing as I did. :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where does the time go?

When I first began this blog, I was struggling with a baby and was pregnant with another.  I was hopeful that if I could squeeze just 30 minutes or so from my long, blurry hours I would be rewarded with an online chronicle of those long-forgotten days of having little ones.  I also assumed that as the kids got older, I would have even more time to spend blogging.  I was even hopeful I could get a couple of scrapbook pages done every now and then. 

It's now four years later and I think time is speeding up and being stolen from me on a daily basis.  Three years ago, I had two under two.  I couldn't wait for my kids to grow up.  I thought all my problems would get easier.  Now I know the problems don't get easier, they just get larger as the children get bigger.  Oh, the wisdom all us moms could impart to anyone about to have their first child... if only we could remember what we wanted to say.

Rachel is now completely potty-trained.  There are no more diapers.  This is an amazing milestone, and I have no desire to ever go back.  I read in some mothering magazine that a woman knows when it's time to have a baby when she gets nostalgic about diapers.  Yeah.  Not happening in this house.  But there are days when I wonder what it would be like to have another child, a chance to start over and do things even better than before. 

Eric continues to be our sensitive child, always eager to please, but difficult to correct.  If you point out something he's spilled or anything he needs to improve upon, he says, "I'm sorry..." in a small, soft voice that just kills me.  He takes things so seriously, and I hope that his gentle spirit won't be crashed when he transitions from his insulated special education preschool environment to a regular kindergarten classroom.  He continues to astound me with everything he takes in and understands.  He can already read at a second grade level.  He has a way with numbers and technology and is starting to learn addition and subtraction.  He's a future engineer.  I worry he may be bored with another year of preschool.  I wonder how he will handle kindergarten.

Rachel makes us laugh yet also manages to show us every day how the teen years will truly suck.  She is beautiful, intelligent, and willfully disobedient.  John and I try daily to use positive reinforcement to get desired behavior, hoping she won't form her identity in being the "bad child" the way Eric seems to have found his in being "good."  I am reminded of the scene in "The Help" when the main character Aibileen tries to say good words over the little girl of an emotionally distant and overbearing mother, knowing she doesn't have much time to show the little girl how good and precious she is.  It reminds me of how precious my time with Rachel truly is.  She amazes us with how quickly she learns once she sets her mind to it, like potty training.  After a year of trying to get her to "go in the potty," she wouldn't use the bathroom until she decided she was ready.  When she washes her hands ("I don't want to wash my hands!"), she scrubs all the way up to the elbow.  I'm thinking, 'future surgeon.' 

I have high hopes that this summer will be one where we can get out of the house more and enjoy spending time together.  We have a water park summer pass, the local mall, and lots of indoor gyms nearby... all the necessary extras to ensure Mommy doesn't have to go on Xanax or sniff glue.   I'll let you know how that turns out...