Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Wordlesss Wednesday: Caroline Starts School

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

school side by side school-9

school side by side 2

school-15 school side by side 3 school-18



Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Today I am dropping both of my children off and escaping. Hopefully the firefighters will find nice homes for them.

Caroline starts baby school today, 2.5 hours, 2 days a week, for a grand total of 5 whole hours. Putting them both in school now instead of at some mythical point a few years down the road feels like I’m cheating a little bit. I fully admit to being someone who has said things like “Ugh, stop calling daycare SCHOOL. It’s not the same” in the past, which makes me both a pretty big jerk and a hypocrite. (That’s pretty much all you need to know about becoming a parent – you will do tons of things that make you a pretty big jerk and a hypocrite. Also, at some point you will make up a song about poop.) But now that I am the one sending my barely-two-year-old to a “childcare center” a few hours a week I take it all back. I am sure Caroline will come home speaking three languages and reading full chapter books by the end of the month. Or more likely she’ll cry the first day, show off her coloring-on-the-carpet skills the second, and sing the song I wrote about poop to her teachers.

This was the plan all along. I signed Evan up for THIS school as opposed to the one within walking distance specifically because they offered Tuesday-Thursday classes and a 2 year old program. The class has a very small staff-to-child ratio where I’m sure her singing and drawing talents will be appreciated and fawned over.  Two and a half hours is barely even enough time for her to notice I’m gone – I’m pretty sure I’ve taken showers almost that long while she played with empty diaper boxes in her room. She’s going to love school and I need to stop trying to convince myself that’s true because it IS true.

Not to mention I could really use regular, dependable, child-free hours for myself. I took both kids to run errands on Sunday and although they didn’t actually cause any physical damage it’s only a matter of time. We are a walking comedy act, seconds away from pulling the bottom can out of a can pyramid and having the whole thing crash down on top of us. I am doing everyone who works retail anywhere in South Eastern Connecticut a huge favor by putting Caroline in school. YOU’RE WELCOME, GUY WHO BUILDS CAN PYRAMIDS.

The very small voice that is stopping me from being totally sure says that Evan got 3 years home with me before I shipped him off to school. But he also only got 20 months as an only child while Caroline is well on her way to 3 full years as the baby.

In the end, I didn’t spend a ton of time making lists of pros and cons about this decision, which is probably why I’m spending so much time rationalizing it to myself now. It isn’t doing me any good, but it feels like a little hand-wringing is appropriate in this situation. My baby is going to school where she will learn to put her shoes on the right feet and drink from a real cup and boss everyone around. I mean boss MORE people around.

I’m pretty excited in a sweaty palms, clutching my phone in my hand all morning, three cups of coffee kind of way. I might have a bit of a breakdown, is what I’m saying. But at least I’ll be able to do it alone.

*Not actually free. But I’m sure I won’t miss that kidney I had to sell to pay tuition too much.

My Week(111) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Thank you for your texts, phone calls and tweets friends. We’re in the other half of the state from the shooting so we are all OK. A friend on Facebook reposted a status update from a relative who lives in Newtown, Connecticut today, thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers but asking that we stop tuning in to the 24/7 news coverage so the media will leave them alone. I couldn’t agree more. I have no words for what happened and my children are too young (thank God) to be aware of what’s happened, so I’m trying to prevent it from affecting them by tuning out. Caroline’s birthday party was on Saturday and I am so, so thankful her 2-year-old world is untouched.



Party prep


Awesome parenting 101: don’t be afraid to use your sleeping daughter as a mouse pad.


Mr. Sparkles McBear



Stretches during Stroller Strides


Because obviously you need a helicopter when you go shopping.


I have no idea why I owned so many creepy dolls as a child



I woke up to silence & found them like this in Caroline’s room.


Buying Mormor a Christmas present in Mystic


Sharing hugs and a calculator



Caroline demanded the huge car cart then refused to ride in in. Oh, 2 year olds.


Apparently they think the grocery store is really cold?


Part prep #2



Solo grocery shopping with a peppermint mocha = dream come true.


We’ve never been in this toy store before. We will DEFINITELY be going back.


I kind of want a monkey riding a bicycle for my front yard.



Up before the sun, but at least he has a cat to keep him warm.


Bumpa made a joke about putting the children to work. The children insisted on following through. Note the jammies under her coat and boots. Note to Bumpa: Toddlers don’t understand sarcasm.


The last photo I took on Friday was at preschool drop off. The rest of the day I checked out of my phone.



Checking out the candy selection on the Frost Your Own Tree table


Someone please come over and help me eat leftovers.


A bathtub tea party requires your best necklace

For the rest of the day we’re going to eat leftover cookies and cuddle on the couch and watch Disney and play anything the kids want to without complaining. Actually, that’s pretty much the plan for every day for the rest of the year. We’re boring, but at least we are together.

Did you take iPhone photos of your week? Link up with one or several below! Please consider joining, even if you haven’t done it before – it’s really fun!

Caroline: 22 Months

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Let’s not even talk about how late this post is, since my reasons for being late are mostly valid. And by mostly valid I mean first we were busy traveling to Caroline’s BFF’s house on Long Island and then Caroline turned into a horrible screaming monster. We have apparently entered the Terrible Twos a few weeks early and it is taking every ounce of patience I have in my body not to turn into a screaming monster in return. Sometimes even every single ounce I have isn’t enough and I have to fortify my patience with wine and chocolate and Diet Coke. I’m getting lock-jaw from all the teeth clenching and bald patches from ripping my hair out in frustration and I could pack her entire fall wardrobe in the circles under my eyes from the stress of handling her in public.

But then she goes and does something hilarious and when I laugh she says “Caroline funny! Funny Mommy!” and does anything she can to make me laugh again. She loves being the center of attention and has no problem making friends, even with kids older than she is. Her broken collar-bone hasn’t slowed her down or made her more cautious at all – which is good, I guess, I don’t want it to hurt her. But DEAR LORD she is hard to keep out of danger.

With just two month months before she turns two, I’m trying to decide if sending her to school in January is the right choice. Right now she really WANTS to go to school. She cries when we drop Evan off and God forbid we actually have to go INTO the school for anything, since she’ll try to angry-badger her way out of my arms and run into the 2-year-old class. But in some ways she’ll still just a baby who needs a cuddle if she falls down and doesn’t understand why some kids aren’t always nice. She’s smart enough to count to three but not mature enough to negotiate a complicated sharing situation. She gets along great with her brother…except when she doesn’t. Am I trying to push her into school more for selfish, two-child-free-mornings-a-week!!!! reasons or would she do amazingly well in a school environment?

Besides counting to three (which she hilariously does anytime I threaten her with it – “Me: Caroline, get off the dog now or you’ll go to time out! One…” Caroline: “TWO!!! THREE!!!”), she’s started naming colors and shapes, reciting books we read often, and helping with Evan’s alphabet puzzle. She will repeat and remember any word you say in her presence and can (almost) tell knock knock jokes. I hope some day she becomes an actress – even if it’s only in the middle school production of Annie – since she has the most expressive face I’ve ever seen.

Favorite things include dancing, singing, reading, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, running, jumping, gymnastics, juice, cheese, iGadgets of any kind, trains, elephants, hayrides, boats, baths, The Fresh Beat Band, being naked, princess skirts, sparkly shoes, coloring, throwing things, shopping (a.k.a. throwing things into my cart that I don’t want), books, pirates, slides, cereal, eggs, and petting zoos.

Least favorite things include not getting her way, not getting her way and not getting her way.

Caroline 22 months

 Caroline 22 months

Caroline 22 months Caroline 22 months

 Caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

caroline 22 months

p.s. I made the skirt and am SO IMPRESSED with myself.

21 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Kicks ball forward – Yes, although she could work on her aim.
Follows two-step requests (e.g., “Get your doll and bring it here”) – When she feels like it she can follow a 10-step request, but mostly she’d rather run away and drive me insane.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Does simple puzzles – Loves to do the big dinosaur puzzle, but loves smashing it up even more.
Draws a straight line – Only if she’s coloring on something she’s not supposed to be coloring on. Like the tv or the dog.
Names several body parts – I think she knows pretty much all the body parts. Or at least the common ones – I doubt she could find her uvula.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Puts on loose-fitting clothes – Puts on and takes off clothes at will. Usually in public.
Might be ready for a big bed – Been in a big girl bed for months, although still chooses the crib at night most of the time.
Understands opposites (e.g., tall vs. short) – I know she knows UP/DOWN, since she enjoys screaming it at me when she wants to jump.

Life-Life Balance

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

I have discovered a secret about motherhood that I’m a little worried might not ACTUALLY be a secret. Maybe every single other mom already knows and I’ve just been lalalalaing my way through the past 3+ years.

Having a schedule makes me better at my job.

I was going to say “makes me a better mom” but it’s more than that. I’m better at managing my time, I’m better at feeding everyone healthy food, I’m more interested in playing blocks and reading stories, my house is in better shape and I sleep better at night. A schedule is like the opposite of kryptonite to this SuperMom. Sunlight. Sunlight is what made Superman strong, right?

After I left/lost my job when I was pregnant with Evan, I realized I needed to fill my time with something besides couch naps and daytime TV. I spent hours redecorating the house, painting the entire second floor and third floor. I blogged like it was my job. I baked a lot. But “busy” is not the same as a schedule and giving birth made it worse. At home with a newborn I was just trying to SURVIVE. It took almost 5 months before I could even commit to showing up at a breastfeeding support group regularly. Since then we’ve added a lot of activities and favorite places – Stroller Strides, gymnastics, the zoo, the aquarium, playdates, whatever – but none of those are mandatory and/or took up more than a couple hours a week.

But now we have SCHOOL. And don’t tell me it’s not mandatory – my kid might read this blog one day and I have told him quite firmly going to school is The Law and Mr. Policeman would be very angry if he doesn’t go. It structures our week. It gives me a few hours during which Getting Shit Done is much, much easier so Shit Gets Done. Laundry, check! Cleaning under the couch, check! Setting up the DVR for all the fall shows, check! Organizing the kids’ dressers with fall transition clothes and dropping off old, outgrown, non-favorite stuff at Goodwill! I’ve only got 2.5 hours so prepare for some of the fastest sock-sorting you’ve ever seen. I could win the sock-sorting OLYMPICS.

For the first time in more than 3 years I have to say “Let me check my calendar” before committing to stuff because I might actually have somewhere to BE at 11 am on a Tuesday. My phone is set up with alerts like “bake for bake sale” and “preschool open house” and “switch laundry to dryer” and I love it. When I wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose – especially a purpose that requires me to put on pants and be out the door in 2 hours – I don’t get to 5 pm and think “oops, there goes another day”.

I suspect this is part of why people say being a stay-at-home-mom is so hard. It IS hard to spend your entire day taking care of small humans who don’t appreciate it in any way. It’s hard and thankless and frustrating and repetitive. It’s easy to fall into a “who cares?” pattern when it comes to the state of your hair and your floors and your life. I’m not saying there aren’t amazing, super, awesome, fun moments too. There are. Every day. But if you look at parenting as one big long stretch, those first few years as a SAHM are an endless blob of unstructured time, with days and nights often running right into each other and pants being worn for far too many days in a row.

Maybe I’m still in the preschool honeymoon period and pretty soon I’ll realize all this driving back and forth and remembering snack for Special Helper Day and avoiding PTA phone calls is for the birds, but until then I’m really enjoying only dragging ONE screaming child around Target and mopping the floors more than once every decade.

…Although right now I’m using the time mostly to deal with the Saddest Teething Baby Even In The Whole World Who Is Getting Her Two Year Molars Or At Least I Hope So Because Otherwise She’s Just Turned Into A Huge Jerk.

caroline in an apple orchard

Don’t let her fool you – she flounced off and pouted under this tree for like 10 minutes because I wouldn’t let her eat a rotten apple off the ground. WORST. MOTHER. EVER.