Monday, September 27, 2010

First Day of Preschool

So I know this post is a tad tardy. Owen actually began preschool three weeks ago. But I haven't dared write about it until now. I wasn't altogether sure preschool would happen this year. You see, the picture above tells a very different story than what happened on the first day of school. Let me fill you in.

The morning began normally. We had spent the previous days and weeks prepping Owen for his first day of preschool. He had visited his classroom, even met his teachers. He expressed excitement about all of it. To an outsider, it would seem Owen was well-prepared for this new experience. But as his parents, we knew Owen had a track record of not welcoming change. Transition, he does not. Yet with all the cheering and prepping, he seemed to be handling everything really well. We took a picture of our proud preschooler just before heading out the door to drop him off.

It was a big day, so we all piled in the car to give Owen the big send off. Gavin and I were still in our pj's so Mark walked Owen in to school, hand in hand. Things were looking good.

45 minutes later....

Gavin and I were still sitting in the car outside of preschool, waiting for Mark to return. Things were looking a little grim now.

When Mark finally returned to the car he confirmed my suspicions. Owen refused to stay at school. As you can imagine, there was a lot of talking, arguing, reassuring, threatening, pleading and the like going on. But Owen would not let Mark leave the classroom without him. He kept following him out, disregarding his teachers and fellow classmates. Now I'm not sure how it all went down. But Mark was late for work and just needed to leave. So the way Mark explained it to me was something like:

The teacher grabbed hold of Owen and held him down while I ran out of there. All the while Owen was screaming, "Let go of me PLEASE!"

Upon hearing this story, I felt awful. I felt a whole range of emotions.
I knew we shouldn't have done this.
What a terrible and traumatic first day.
He'll never want to go back.
Poor Owen.
Poor teachers.
What could we have done differently?
What's wrong with my kid?
I'm a terrible mother!

The rest of the day was pretty awful. And the next few days of school were also kind of awful. (AND, this was all happening during my "be a carrot, not an egg" phase). It was a mess. I was a mess.

And that brings us to today. Owen got up for school. We cheerfully loaded the car. He said, "I'll wave to you Mom!" We waved goodbye and I dropped him off like nothing had ever happened. I think I'll pretend like today was the REAL first day of school.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be a Carrot, Not an Egg

I've been going through something lately. A rough patch. A hard time. It's a natural cycle I suppose; a period of stretching and growth. But man, it's taken a toll on me.

The last few weeks have been just plain hard. It's one of those times when the balls are flying and I can't seem to keep control of them. (And yes, I have control issues). Mark is super busy with work and outside-of-work work. He has responsibilities that occupy his weeknights and weekends. And it will be this way for awhile. So I'm willing myself to get used to it. Owen is going through what I'll call "the terrible fours". We experienced the terrible twos and threes, so why not keep it going? Only difference is, he is pushing and resisting on a whole new 4-yr-old level. I guess I should be prepared for this by now, but I'm not. He breaks me down. And Gavin. Sweet Gavin. He is my shadow. I cannot make a move around here without Gavin attached to me. And while it's nice to be loved, I find it quite suffocating lately. Plus, he's decided it's time to assert himself and make his wants known. So his newest tricks involve high-pitched screams, dropping to the floor in agony, and banging his head on the closest object in sight (a trick Owen used to do) when he doesn't get what he wants.

So it's a culmination of things really. The aforementioned factors mixed with the daily duties of trying to keep the house in order, fulfill other responsibilities, and have some time (ANY time) for myself has just been exhausting.

I was recently reminded of a phrase. "The same boiling water that softens the carrot also hardens the egg." In other words, I can choose to react positively or negatively to these circumstances. And while I think I've reacted rather negatively thus far (read: wicked witch of the west), I am making a renewed effort to see the positive. I plan to slow down and enjoy this stage as much as possible. I plan to have renewed patience. I plan to not give up. And for goodness sake, I plan to be a carrot.