Tag Archives: mother/son

And so it goes

We are about to embark on a big journey into the world of kindergarten. A world without naps. A world of freedom, choice, and new learnings.

As I get the school notices and calendars, I realize how sheltered my little man has been for the past five years. The same daycare. Spending his days in a room that only changed every 6-12 months. Familiar teachers. Stringent routine.

As I watched the graduation night slide show, I recognized how hard I tried to give him freedom within that shelter for those five years. He was safe and secure, free from most judgement and criticism. Free to be Jake. I saw him wearing PJs on days where all the kids were dressed for Valentine’s day. Rubber rain boots on sunny, hot days. Cowboy boots with shorts. Buzz Lightyear costumes on a random Tuesday. It was Jake. And as much as my working put constraints on his schedules and days, he was free to be who he wanted every day.

I recognize things will have to change as he enters kindergarten. No more costumes on a random Tuesday. Seasonally appropriate clothes. I recognize that on the few days I let him break out of this norm he may get teased and it breaks my heart.

And so it goes. I send my little man, the one who likes to play with kids who (in his words) “are really good everyday and have excellent days for the teachers”, the one who still sucks his thumb when he’s uncertain, and curls up on mama’s lap for comfort…I send my little man out into the real world.

As much as I thought I was thrusting him into the real world when I went back to work at 8 weeks, leaving him in the care of people I barely knew, I realize now, that wasn’t really the case. And so the big step happens now. He will be fine. In fact, he will thrive in an educational environment.

Me, on the other hand, I may just need a little extra help to make the leap.



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Maybe/maybe not

I thought Jake was just plain excited about kindergarten. But I should have known his wheels were turning.

I pulled the mail out of the mailbox the other day and he asked if there was anything special in there for him. Lo and behold my five-year old has ESP. I handed him an envelope addressed to us from his school and told him we could open it once we got in the house. Of course he couldn’t wait, and mid-way up the walkway, he was tearing into the envelope that housed his teacher assignment, bus badge, and list of school supplies for kindergarten. That was it. It’s official – he’s going to kindergarten.

I read him the letter and the list of school supplies. “Jake, isn’t that great? We can go shopping and get you what you need.”

“Mom, can I watch a movie now?”

“Uh, sure, Jake.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this sudden bit of indifference. But I let it go, knowing that something was brewing in his head.

Fast forward to two days later. Jake and I were headed to the grocery store, just the two of us. I struck up the old kindergarten conversation.

“Jake, I was thinking just you and I will go out and buy you school supplies. We also need to get you new sneakers and some new pants and shirts. Oh, and PJs, because you seemed to have outgrown all your PJs.”

“Mama, I get NEW PJs??? Really??? Do they have PJ day a lot at school?”

“Um, no Jake. Maybe once or twice. But you need PJs and I figured we’d be out shopping…”

“Oh, ok, mom.”

I looked back and saw him peering out his window, deep in thought. I was torn between letting it go and trying to help him solve whatever was stewing in his head. So we went over the list of things for school, laughing at the fact that he had to bring baby wipes in on the first day. He thought that was pretty funny.

We marveled at buying four packs of crayons, and markers, and colored pencils. We surmised that you must do a lot of writing at school.

We wondered why we didn’t have to buy any paper. Would they have to write on the walls, their hands, their shoes? Hmmm…there were just so many things about kindergarten that we didn’t know.

Then I talked about all the new experiences – gym, music, art, cafeteria, playground, and friends. Yes, new friends. I mentioned that we’d get to go to school the day before it starts and meet his teacher. I told him we’d find his cubby and that there would be lots of new friends there that day also getting to know their way around. I asked him if he was excited.

“Maybe, mom, maybe not. I don’t know those kids and maybe they won’t be nice.”

It just about broke my heart. But finally, we were at the root cause of this sudden indifference. The mood in the car had gone from excitement and anticipation (and giggles at all we didn’t know about kindergarten) to hesitation and uncertainty. And who could blame him? I’d been feeling the same way myself. Turns out, my little man wasn’t as strong, self-assured and resilient as I’d thought.

No, my sweet little five-year old was feeling a bit off kilter with this big change looming. Absent of a security blanket, he put his thumb in his mouth and covered his eyes with his fingertips, letting me know that he too had feelings of uncertainty.

I know I won’t be able to erase the anxiety on the first day. But I can spend the next few weeks preparing him for the change, reassuring him that he is wonderful and kind and a great kid to be friends with, and reinforce all the positives that come with this change.

And on that first day, we’ll wait for the bus with our brave faces on, give one another a quick hug, and he’ll be on his own to handle this change by himself. A pretty big step for a five-year old, isn’t it?

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Belinda Carlisle Rules

I didn’t expect it. We got in the car, and Jake said “Mama, please put on R’s song”. Whoa. She has a song. If you missed the previous post about this ongoing love triangle, you cand find it here (https://momdrobe.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/tale-of-two-girls/). So now R has a song. I’m not even sure what to make of it.

“Jake, which song is it?”

“23, mama”

“But there’s only 4 songs on this CD”

“Mama, that’s it” (as he sees the number 3 come up on the dash).

Belinda’s voice rings out over our speakers “Oooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth? Oooh, heaven is a place on earth. They say in heaven, love comes first. We’ll make heaven a place on earth”

Ok, what’s a mom to do? Not only is my son smitten, he’s now chosen a love song. I hold on, hoping this is a phase. Hoping that the extra attention he’s getting from her is causing this absurd infatuation…knowing that it’s really only the start.

I am in denial…unrequited, 4-year-old love. Who would have thought?


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Farts in the bed

This is going to be the MOST undignified post EVER. But hey, I promised to be real, tell the truth, and talk about parenthood. My four-year-old loves talking about bodily functions, so to avoid mentioning them in my posts would be dishonest.

But really, this post has a point. Sometimes my kids are difficult. Bedtime, daycare drop offs, PJ time…it happens. I’ve finally learned that battling them as an adult, setting boundaries, and being the stern parent doesn’t always work. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are great with their time outs, don’t touch things they aren’t supposed to, and are generally well-behaved.

However, there are a lot of moments that require a different parenting approach – it’s about coming down to their level. And with my son, it requires some mention of bodily function.

Case-and-point: My son loves to push my buttons at bedtime. Lollygagging around his room, he’ll do anything to keep from settling down and reading a story. I used to battle it – counting to three, leaving his room, telling him we wouldn’t have time to read. Until I found the cure-all approach.  It goes like this:

“Jake, if you don’t get over here right now, I’m going to fart in your bed”

Yes, this is highly uncivilized, unladylike, and outside of my character. But what happens when I say this to a four-year old? My loving little boy bursts into laughter, forgets his belligerence, and jumps into bed, saying “No mama, no farts in the bed!”

So you may think I’m crass, crude, or just a bit crazy. But I challenge you…on a rough night, try it out. You may just find you have as much fun with it as they do! I know I end up in fits of laughter, teasing him, and having him laugh and tease me back. And besides, fart jokes are always funny!

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