Luckily, that’s just me and not my friend, Barack. Today has been “one of those” days. I’ll try to tell a story since that seems to be what I do, and try not to whine too much, though that’s what I really feel like doing right now.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. I helped out at school today for “picture day” which is a whole other blog to itself, trust me. Nicholas went with me and joined his soon-to-be classroom. He was doing just great until another friend got upset about something and started crying. Being my son, and very empathetic, he cried with her. He just couldn’t stop. She cried louder because his crying was bothering her. And he cried more because she was still crying. So as I passed the classroom about a thousand times walking children to get their pictures taken, all I could hear was the pathetic cry of my son. For those of you who don’t know him – he is the quietest child you have ever met, until he cries, and then he can take you to your knees.
Time for his photos (I think they humor me sometimes). He cried through the group shot – sorry to all the other parents that wanted a happy smiling bunch. Then he cried for his solo shot and then he cried for his sibling shot. I think they might have gotten a few between sobs where his face contorted almost into a smile and hopefully none will be the wiser.
But I will know. It’s not the photos that concern me. It’s that he seems so unhappy. Last week he had a better couple of days and I was so optimistic. Today I wonder if I am pushing too hard, too fast or just too excited for a day to myself that I’m not “listening” to my son like I should. He is supposed to spend the next two full days (today was just a half day, mind you) so I can work on a project. I guess we will just take it day by day and hour by hour.
He starts “for real” in January. Do I keep him home until then and let him mature a bit? Do I keep sending him now, here and there, and see if he can adapt? Do I jump in with two feet – start him on a regular schedule and let him figure it out?
I know, I know. PLENTY of kids go way younger than he is. PLENTY of kids go five days a week. It’s not that. It’s that I waited with Maggie and sent her off when she was 2 1/2 and she smiled, waved goodbye and never looked back. It totally put me at ease with my decision. This is not putting me at ease at all. Maybe it’s my parenting skills that would make him a better candidate 6 months from now. I don’t HAVE to send him right now. Attachment parenting works best when you let THEM decide when to spread their wings.
I was a different person when Maggie was the wee one. I had only one person other than myself to parent (unless you want to count my husband.) Two is a much bigger deal for me. Because I give 24 hours to each child, I am left with a negative balance at the end of the day. Now I crave my alone time. I think I will be a better mom to both of my children when I can get my sense of self back. But do I have to do it right now at the risk of undoing what I consider to be a pretty good job of parenting? Couldn’t I find myself in a couple of months when the waters have calmed a bit?
I remember distinctly the children that were pains in the rear when my mom was a teacher. I don’t want my child to be the one that sends a chill up the spine of the teacher. I want him to walk off smiling, wave goodbye and not look back. I guess that’s why parenting never gets any easier – you figure something out and the next one comes along and blows it all to hell.