These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today you went for your first day at your new preschool, the ECEC. I have fretted and stewed about the decision to switch you. The center you were at was good, but I had some issues with some of the teachers and felt that this new center had a lot more structure and would be good for you before moving onto Kindergarten. Plus, it's a little more challenging. I think you are up for that as I think sometimes you got bored at your old center.
When I dropped you off, the breakfast table was already full and you were seated at a table by yourself for breakfast so I joined you and kept you company while you ate. Afterwards, you were shy as the children headed to their centers and you held back picking out solitary toys to play with and watching the other kids. I wanted so badly to help you and couldn't resist asking a few kids their names before I headed towards the door so you would know a few names and wouldn't feel like everything was too strange. There was a Henry and a Brian and a girl name Charlotte. She was less than kind when you asked her name twice she said "I'm not telling you!"
Your feelings were hurt and you looked at me and I couldn't help myself. I said "ooooooooh - so you don't have a name, huh?" She looked at me incredulously and said "YEEEEES! I DOOOOO have a name! I just not telling you!" So I pushed it a little further: "No, you must not have a name or you would" "IT'S CHARLOTTE!" "Charlotte? Oh! That's a really pretty name! We love the movie Charlotte's Web, don't we Jack? See, Jack? Her name is Charlotte."
I was going to be gosh darned if she was going to start your first day off like that....!
I met your teacher last night at the WCCC. I was nervous because Jack just left the center and I want to be sure you are getting the best we can give you. In the interview with the teacher, I was quick to share that, too. I told her that safety is definitely first importance, but I'm really concerned that I be happy about our choice to have you at the center. Turns out your teacher, who is also named Audrey, has been with the center for five years and started out volunteering at the center so she could spend time with the babies and they insisted on hiring her. She pulled in several parents whose children she has taught since they were your age and they insisted that I've drawn a lucky straw in getting Audrey as your teacher - that she is the best.
I'm, therefore, very optimistic about both of your school futures. It's more positive than I'm used to being because I'm the eternal worrier!
Jack, I think your friends will get to know you and LOVE you and the structure and challenge at the new center will be great for you.
Audrey, I think that your teacher will be nurturing and caring and I'll be sure to talk to her regularly to make sure I feel good about everything you get - stimulation, being talked to, etc.
I promise to be both of your best advocates!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Tonight was very interesting. Daddy is travelling and we spent a whole day together at the Magic House and then meeting Audrey's teacher.
I was going to put Audrey down for the night which is usually when you need me - when I'm trying to get her to sleep.
"Mommmeeee! Can I have a snack?"
"In a minute!"
"IN A MINUTE!"
"CAN I HAVE A BANANA?"
"YES! BRING IT TO ME AND I'LL OPEN IT OKAY?"
(return to what I'm doing)
(minutes later I hear grunting)
"Mommy - this Pineapple is SOOOOOO heavy!"
"OH! Don't bring the Pinapple, Jack! Bring the banana and I'll open it for you!"
"Do you have the banana?"
"Yes. I have one for me and two for you."
Sound of dropping and grunting.
I head to the top of the stairs and my jaw is hanging open as I watch you climbing the stairs carrying six bananas in your hands and dropping them on each step. Every time you bent over to pick up another one that fell, another slipped out.
(exasperated)"Jack! Just pick one banana and bring it to me. I don't want one."
"You don't want one? Do you want one in five minutes?"
"No. I'll get those, just pick one and bring it to me."
(Audrey is screaming in my arms by now)
"Okay, Mommy. This one looks good!"
As you proudly hold out the chosen banana and step forward towards me, you step directly on another banana and I am so amazed and frustrated by it all that it suddenly becomes funny. I give you the banana and go back to finish resettling Audrey for bed. When I come back down, you have picked the bananas off the floor, but there are still pineapple leaves everywhere and I can only imagine the parts of the story that I missed.
You are so great!
Monday, August 10, 2009
In addition to road trips to Chicago and Wisconsin, we have been to the Lake, the Zoo, the Magic House, Purina Farms, Grants Farm, The Science Center, the City Museum and just about any place fun for children.
Last Thursday, we even took both of you kids to Six Flags for the first time for both of you.
Jack had such a blast - a full day at the park! He went on the log flume twice - once with each of us - the pictures cracked me up! I was screaming and laughing and Jack - your face was filled with the dread and horror of the inevitable end of your life. I wanted to buy it so bad, but the $10 price tag for the one small photo scared me off and now I'm haunted by the fact that I didn't get it. I still remember the number of the picture: 24353 and I NEVER remember that stuff. Damn! I should have gotten it! It was priceless!
Oh, well. Woulda, shoulda, coulda - I guess.
This Saturday, due to the temperature, I got creative with ideas for what we could do with you and decided we would go to the Art Museum. I told you about the Mummies that they had on display where you could see X-rays of the bones of them inside of their sarcophoguses (sp?).
We took you both to the museum and walked through many displays and saw the mummies. We made our way out at the end and home for lunch. When we walked into the house, you turned to both of us and said "That was SO BOOOOOOOORING!" "Wasn't that boring?!?!" "That was SOOOOOOOO boring!"
That made me laugh. It reminds me of my own feelings about the Art Museum when I was younger, but it also made me think how it's absolutely inevitable that you would feel that way.
Look how high we've set the bar!