09 September 2009

Preschooled

Two days of preschool down.

The first day went off without a hitch. Here we are, ready to get in the car and head out:


As you can see, Maddie is pretty damn excited. Both Maddie and Riley insisted on wearing their big kid backpacks, which really are adult sized, which is especially comical in Maddie's case because she actually wears it on her back and even with the straps as short as they go, it pretty much hangs down to her ankles. Riley mostly just drags his on the ground. That look that Riley has, the "Me? I'm going to preschool? Me? Really?" look, the one that is a mix of excitement and disbelief tinged with a bit of skepticism is the look he wore most of the morning. As for me, the look I wear is one of pride and fear, with a hint of annoyance about the fact that at breakfast Maddie whined, "Riley's foot touched my tights! Now they are smelly!" and thus her tights had to be changed. The annoyance is both with her for feeling like they needed to be changed and with myself for giving in.

Dropping the kids off went fine. We had visited the school for open houses a couple of times, and they walked in like they owned the place. We actually arrived so promptly that the door was not yet unlocked. Maddie and Riley did this until a teacher took pity on us:


Poor Maddie and Riley. They are destined to be the first kids dropped off every day (so that I have a minute chance of getting to work on time) and the last kids picked up (and even to be the last parent there, I actually have to leave work early).

At pickup, both Maddie and Riley were happy to see me, but did not have an air of desperation. They were praised by their teachers for being cheerful and cooperative, and for knowing the routine around things like Group Nap on a Mat and other daycare-type endeavors which are old hat for them and new to most of the other children. They ate a good lunch. Maddie pronounced that snack was her favorite part of the day. Riley successfully used the potty numerous times. I had drawings to take home and reports of the day's activities. I had feared utter exhaustion from a day of All Things New, but spirits were high and moods were good, so we supped at a local pub. Riley ate noodles with butter and cheese. Maddie ate some noodles and most of her Ba's cabbage/potato/sausage soup.

Today's morning routine was smooth. Riley did say, "Mama, today I will go to work with you. We'll pick up Maddie later," but he was not upset or worried. I think he was just seeing how I'd react ("I'd love to take you to work, sweetie, but everyone at preschool would miss you so much!") Today's pickup, however, was more like what I expected yesterday. The kids were again happy, but not desperate, to see me. Maddie was minorly miffed about a situation with her milk cup, but we recovered. I was informed that their nap had been brief. We made it to the car, and from then on out, it was one of those evenings when unicorns and rainbows and kittens and ice cream and all other manner of good things could have poured from the heavens and it still would have been All Wrong. We made it through, and I put the kids in bed at 7:30 instead of their usual 8:00. they were asleep almost instantly.

It's not surprising, really, that the exhaustion hit tonight. There's the cumulative effect of so! much! stimulation! during the day, plus new kids, new routine, new everything. And yesterday was all about being carried through by adrenaline. But even with the whining and tantrum-throwing and foot-stomping and needing to be carried and coddled of tonight, I'm so proud of both Maddie and Riley. We've been through a bunch of transitions since June. We moved across the country. We lived for a month with my mom and stepdad. We left a daycare that was like family to us and got a nanny. We moved into a new house. We made the switch to big-kid beds. Riley is potty-trained. And now, preschool. Maddie and Riley have handled it all like champs, sometimes better than I have.

I didn't think I was all that sentimental or stressed out or an emotion of any extreme around the kids starting preschool, but I have been utterly exhausted for the past couple of weeks. The past couple of days, though, not so much. Preschool is the last of the big transitions for a while, I hope. The last of the known big transitions. I know that life could throw us a curveball or two, but I'm hoping beyond hope that this fall marks the beginning of a period of relative calm in our house. May I not be asking too much.

28 comments:

Keen said...

I LOVE those backpacks. The picture of the kids peering in the window cracked me up. Now it also cracks me up that my initial reaction upon seeing the pictures was, "Gosh, Maddie's wearing such cute tights!"

Glad school is going well. And kudos to the kids--and you--for handling so many transitions so gracefully. I sometimes forget how much we ask of our kids--Secondo's going through a rough patch and his psychiatrist pointed out to me that he's actually doing pretty well, given the chaos of this summer. Having a child psychiatrist is a good thing sometimes. :-)

I'm sure once the routine is more established, that period of calm will begin. I'm so excited for you, Maddie and Riley. Lots of love to you all.

K

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

You guys really have gone through a lot in the last few months, really the whole summer and spring were in transition-I am glad that things are getting into a more chill regular routine for you.

Amelie said...

Maddy looks so cute with the huge backpack. And I think you're all doing very well with these many transitions.

Donn24g said...

I think you are doing fabulously through all the transitions, this fall will bring many good, calm and happy memories. I love the pictures, those two kids are way too adorable!

Mommy, Esq. said...

Very cute photos. You mentioned you had a nanny - can she do pickup for you so that you can stress less about leaving work? I found the "have to be home" time really tough on us as a family when my husband was traveling (and you do this solo every day). Or maybe arrange with your parents 2 days a week they can do pick up and dinner with the kids so you can stay at work and maybe go running or something in the afternoon. You are a beautiful family and we miss you in Boston but are so happy things are going well.

Teacher Mommy said...

They are champs. It amazes me how resilient kids can be. You're doing a great job of making them feel secure no matter what changes come their way!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

This post made me tear up a bit. So many changes for you and your twins and yet you all have handled them so beautifully. As Vivi starts preschool this morning, I'll be thinking of you all and hoping we are just as successful with our transition!

Anonymous said...

Great pics and woman ur hair got SOOO LONG! You look great! Glad it all went relatively well, u handle it all amazingly well, and the kids too! I'm hoping for some transition free time for you too!

lots of love,
lil'sis

Domestic Goddesque said...

Wow- what a massive few months yo have had, and how well you are all coping. These pics are so adorable my hormonal heart is breaking!

Single Parent Dad said...

Excellent Riley retort, and I am glad they are both settled.

My boy has started school this week, in a similar vein.

Cool stuff.

Anonymous said...

Если врач знает название вашей болезни, это еще не значит, что он знает что это такое. Никогда не приписывай человеческой зловредности того, что можно объяснить обыкновенной глупостью. Человек может долго жить на деньги которые он ждет. Реальность это иллюзия вызываемая отсутствием алкоголя. Женщины едят за разговорами, мужчины едят заедой.

tree town gal said...

You are not asking too much for a period of calmness, peace, and joy. M and R look like eager and confident little students of preschool. You have done a miraculous job at getting your family to a hopeful, new, and yet familiar place, Snick. And good heavens you look healthy and young... Oregon looks good on you.

Diane said...

Snick, your family is beautiful. Maddie looks so much like you in that side-by-side shot. Also, the happy & healthy curiosity in the window shot was a joy to see.

Anonymous said...

ADORABLE.....ALL THREE OF YOU!!!!
GMG

Bethany said...

The backpacks on them are too cute! I'm glad they are enjoying school! :)

elaine said...

you all so look so beautiful and well adjusted from all that change

mames said...

the picture of them peeking into the windows is so adorable, with the big backpack hanging down. i hear you on the exhaustion, our set started a few days a week in school, i am reeling a bit, but we are hanging in there. sounds like you are too.

Rosepetal said...

"Maddie and Riley have handled it all like champs, sometimes better than I have"

I think it's fair to say that the major reason why they have handled it like champs is down to you!

I don't comment here often, but wanted to say I'm really happy for you that this move and the job are working out so well for you all.

Sandi said...

I switched my kids pre-school and the one they are in now is filled with mostly children who have a stay-at-home parent. Mine are the first dropped off in the morning and the last picked up in the evening, too.

django's mommy said...

LOVE this. You're doing an awesome job, and so are they.

Angela said...

Wow! You have done a lot in a very short amount of time and the kids have all handled it so well. Obviously, huge credit goes to your parenting style. I hope you get a chance to get some time to relax and recharge after the hectic pace you've had recently.
Btw, your kids are gorgeous! You look great with long hair.

Karyn said...

Yeay! So glad it's continuing to go so well. You are all amazing to handle so many huge transitions in such a short period of time. I love preschool; love the projects, the songs, the friends. So cute. Glad they love it.

Their backpacks are adorable, but HUGE! They have some adorable smaller sized backpacks at both Lands End and LL Bean, which I highly recommend, especially with your Thanksgiving trip coming up. Then, the backpacks are comfortable enough for them to carry their OWN stuff on the plane. Highly recommend that. I haven't carried stuff for my girls in a good long time and it's awesome. :-) Just thought I'd suggest it...

Steph said...

So cute!
And I love your hair long like that!

Christine said...

Great picture, Snick. So glad for you. Sounds like a promising start. Yay Maddie and Riley!

uberimma said...

I love the picture of the kids peering in the window. I would have found it irresistible and opened up too!

Roads said...

I wish I could get a rucksack that big to carry my stuff around.

Everything's bigger in America, they always say, and obviously it's true...

Azulao said...

OMGoodness, what an adorable picture of them looking in the window. They're lovely. I'm glad it's going pretty well in the first few days.

wifemotherexpletive said...

wow. what a lot of transitions in a short time!! and to think, i was having my own desparate time over the switch to long pants. dude. its nice to find your spot and nice to hear a good tone involving mothering ups and downs...