Monday, September 29, 2008

"We're getting there"

That's what Jack's teacher said when I came to pick him up Friday. He played mostly outside (he tends to stay inside when he's tired/sad), seemed happy, and stayed for 2 1/2 hours. Maybe we'll try for 3 today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting back on track

We thought we were all getting perfectly adjusted to preschool. For the first 2 weeks, Jack clearly enjoyed himself there, slept and ate better, and came home buzzing with enthusiasm. He did not seem to miss me when I dropped him off, though was always pleased to see me when I came back to take him home.

Then we hit a little bump. Last Wednesday Jack fell asleep at preschool, and I had to go pick him up and bring him home. This was the prelude to a little cold, and he spent the weekend crabby and napping, which threw off his sleep schedule.

So Monday rolled around and I filled in for an ill teacher during Jack's preschool shift. He was still a bit tired and wanted to go home early, so we did. I kept things mellow on Tuesday, and he continued to recover from his cold. Wednesday was my first preschool snack day -- I brought melon, red pepper strips, and zucchini bread with cream cheese for all the kids, and Jack "helped" me set that up in the preschool kitchen. Then he didn't want me to leave. Over and over he said "ready for mommy to pick me up now." I hung out a bit longer, and after consulting the pm director, kissed him goodbye and took off. According to the director, he cried for awhile and then pretty much moped around. When I came back to pick him up after 2 hours, he was starting to warm up to the idea of preschool, but was still a bit low. Jack finally did not nap and had a decent (and somewhat early) sleep last night, so I'm hoping that will put him back on the no nap/early bedtime/sleep until past 6am train again. Toot toot.

Today both Hans and I approached the preschool topic gingerly with him. He said a few times he didn't want to go, and I countered with "you'll just go for a little while and then I'll pick you up," which seemed ok. When we got there he said again "ready to pick up now," and his chin quivered a bit. I read him one book and then kissed him goodbye. I know the director will call if he's beyond coping, so I'm watching the clock and listening for the phone until his early pick up time.

This has been a good lesson for me. I've had to really scale back my expectations and desires for what I want preschool to be like for me, and focus on what's best for Jack. I had hoped to get some good 4 hour chunks to write, cook, maybe even lounge about (gasp!), but that's not really happening now. It will at some point. Right now I need to be patient and give him more emotional support when we're together at home, rather than letting him play by himself and trying to squeeze in one more load of laundry or email. I see the difference when I stay to close to him -- he is more secure and less whiny. So instead of a rest time before we headed off to school, today I read with him.

I'll update tomorrow how things went for him today....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not quite star struck

I went to college with students who went on to work for the New York Times, major television networks, and countless other prestigious places. And now I can say I went to college with a dude on Dancing with the Stars.

Jeffrey Ross lived on the floor below mine freshman year, only then his name was Jeff Lifschultz. It's kind of strange to me that he ended up as a comedian, since out of everyone I knew in college, he was not nearly the funniest. Perhaps he is the worst dancer though....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

He hides/mommy fumes

Jack's a sweet, smart, funny boy, but he has one "hobby" that really drives me nuts. He hides his number and letter puzzle pieces, and then wants me to find them. Two problems here: he's really good at hiding them and I don't want to find them anymore -- it's like a toddler version of Sisyphus in that it never ends. I keep encouraging him to look for the pieces himself. When he does find one he is very pleased, but all day long he begs and whines for me to find the pieces. Is this some strange developmental stage? When will it end? Should I just take the puzzles and pieces away?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Watching movies

Since Jack goes to sleep earlier, we're getting a chance to watch some movies these days. Netflix tells me we watched only 3 movies from July to late August, but we've already watched 4 in September.

We loved:
This is England -- British movie about 1983 England, skinheads, and the aftermath of the Falkland war
You're Gonna Miss Me -- documentary about Roky Erickson -- be sure to watch the update in the extras all the way to the end, which is nothing short of shocking
Into the Wild -- I didn't expect this from Sean Penn -- really loved the acting and the way he captured the spirit of the book

Not so much:
Stormy Monday -- director Mike Figgis's first movie. It's a long way from this stinker to Leaving Las Vegas
Eastern Promises -- loved Viggo, but I thought the movie was emotionally flat
Tristram Shandy -- a mess of a movie, but I had one good laugh at the chestnut scene.
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford -- thought Brad Pitt was miscast and it was waaaaay too long. Nicely shot though

Anybody care to offer some titles for our Netflix queue? We'd love a juicy blockbuster from the last 2 years....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Worn out by preschool

I remember at our preschool orientation one of the parents said that the afternoon kids get so worn out they barely make it through dinner and bath before passing out. I scoffed at that -- no way this would happen with Jack, who a few months ago could run and play and talk all day long but still would go to sleep at 8:30 or 9 (or later).

I'm happily eating my words. Since school started, Jack's gone to sleep around 7:15 or 7:30 every night (except for the one day he had an accidental car nap) and sleeps until 5:45-6:45.

Yesterday when I brought him back from preschool I asked him if he wanted to read a book. He said yes then got into bed. "I'm tired so I'm getting into bed," he said. Wow. I was speechless.

Yea hurray for preschool!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Mondays

For the first time in a long time, I'm preferring Mondays to Sundays. Because Monday is a preschool day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

He's loving it!

Jack adores preschool. He starts saying "ready to go to preschool!" about an hour before his session starts. When we roll up to the gate I can barely contain him as he struggles to climb out of the stroller and get inside the grounds. I drop him off with a kiss and return 3 hours later, to be greeted with "mommy came back!" No tears.

Yesterday when we came home from preschool he was practically bouncing off the walls with energy and joy. We see a change in him after less than 2 weeks of ps; he relates differently to people and his brain is engaged in a new way. He is tired too -- last night he slept from 7:30 - 6.

And amazingly enough, yesterday he had no pee accidents, not even at preschool. Ok, he did poop in his pants once at home, but he also pooped in the potty once at home, so that's hopeful.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First two days of preschool

In two weeks, Jack's potty training has progressed really well. On a good day, he has one or two accidents, but they are usually fairly small, rather than floor-drenchers. Even better, Jack'll now often pull down his pants and underpants by himself and pee, rather than have us do it for him. We do still have a rough time in the late afternoon -- puddles do appear if I'm not on him constantly.

His first 2 days of preschool were really quite wonderful. Both days were extremely hot both inside and outside of the building, but Jack didn't seem too bothered by the heat. He mostly stayed inside exploring. Tomorrow he'll stay for 3 hours, which includes circle time and snack -- I'm hoping he can sit still for ct.

I feel like I've been training him for a marathon, and now it's started. He may win, he may lose... but at least he's out there running....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Parenting essentials, from birth-age 3

These are/were my top picks, how about you?

breast pump (not fun, but needed it)
sling/backpack (for walks and hikes)
washer and dryer (cloth diapers)
bouncy chair (for a few minutes of distraction)
extra help (should have asked for more family visits)

safety gates and childproof latches (we needed them)
stroller (got constant use)
highchair (fantastic for when he started to feed himself)
mini food processor (baby food)
playpen (otherwise how would laundry ever have been done)

Ibuprofen (for me, not him)
sweatpants and washer/dryer (potty training)
baby monitor (fun for playing "what is he doing in there?" at bedtime)
cd player (for mellow music at bedtime)
earplugs (for when my kind husband lets me sleep late)
memberships (Coyote Point, Zoo, Discovery Museum)


First day

Well, after all our potty training drama, we made it to Jack's first day of preschool after all. Jack was a bit overwhelmed (me too), but he did great using the potty and explored the school a bit. We're going back today!

Monday, September 1, 2008