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Not so little anymore

standard September 7, 2010 1 response

On Thursday I took Little L for her 3 year check-up. This is the first of the “big girl” check-ups. The one without the baby scale and tape measure. She stepped on the scale and stood up straight and tall to let the nurse measure her. The results astounded me. She however was completely unfazed and went on to ace her eye exam. She skipped off to the exam room where she charmed the socks off the doctor. One no-shot-today happy dance later and we were out of there, medical record sheet for the school in hand.

As I buckled Little L into her car seat I marveled at how big she’s gotten. She was talking a mile a minute and for a moment I couldn’t see even a glimmer of the baby she used to be.

Her big girl status isn’t just being tested by the doctor’s office; she starts preschool tomorrow. In the morning I’ll pack a change of clothes and some diapers into her brand new Dora backpack and I’ll walk her into her classroom. Tomorrow I get to spend the morning with her, but Thursday I’ll have to leave her at the door. I’ll be leaving her with teachers I don’t yet know, but who come highly recommended by people I do know and trust. She already has a friend in the class, and knowing her she’ll have ten more by the end of the week.

You’d think I’d weep as I walk away. But I really don’t think I will. 

This is going to be an amazing thing for my baby, the one who is already rhyming and learning her letters. She’s going to be on her own there, not in her sister’s shadow, and she is going to shine. I see glimpses of the preschooler in her when I watch her do crafts – cutting things out with intense concentration. Or when I hear her starting to stand up to her rather bossy older sister, insisting that the game go the way she wants it to for once. And I know that preschool is going to be great for her because it’s going to allow her to hone all those skills and develop new ones.

On Thursday she measured a whopping 38 3/4 inches tall -that’s a full 2 inches and a quarter taller than her sister was at that age – physical proof that I’m not kidding when I tell my friends that my baby is a monster. Or rather, as the doctor put it, that she looks like a 4-year-old and it’s a good thing she speaks and acts like one too.

So, yes, my baby hasn’t really been a baby for a while. She’s not even a toddler anymore. Tomorrow morning she’ll officially become a preschooler and while I’m sad to say goodbye to our infant years, I’m not worried about her in the least. On Thursday when the doors close, I’m going to walk away knowing that she’s good and ready for this transition.

Whether I’ll ever be ready to stop calling her Little L is a whole other question.

A very successful first day of preschool

standard September 10, 2009 3 responses

I might be all wrapped up in my Kindergarten search, but C still has a whole year to go before that even comes into play. A year she’s spending at a brand new preschool. (Well, new for her. The school itself has been around for a while!)

In fact, today was her very first day at her new school and she couldn’t wait to get started. Every day this summer we waved to the school on our way to daycare. A few weeks ago I took her on a tour. And then we learned that her best friend from daycare would be in her class. After that there was no containing her.

First day of preschool dress!
And the bear she got the day she was born.

This afternoon when we finally pulled into our parking spot and got out of the car she did a double fist pump (yes, even the 4yo set know how to fist pump) and raced towards the main doors. I had trouble keeping up. Three minutes later she was signed in and playing.

C and her daycare buddy.
Doing what they do at daycare every day.
I stayed for the whole session, but it was purely for my benefit. She didn’t need me there at all. She was even able to find her own name on her box.

And she lapped up all the art projects that were set up in the room.

Paint stampers!

And then there was circle time. Or rather huddle around the teacher’s feet time. She read them The Kissing Hand and I had to fight back tears. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

We wrapped up the class time with a rousing time on one of the school’s three playgrounds. C was a huge fan of the swing. I think the teacher was a huge fan of C.

We wrapped up the rest of the day with some frozen yogurt. My baby and I and a couple of preschool friends, talking about how great a first day it was.

Kindergarden angst

standard September 4, 2009 7 responses

When we moved into our cozy little house we were young and kid free. M was starting law school and we really just wanted a house that was close to his school.

We never considered the school district.

I mean, why would we? It’s not like we had kids or anything. We assumed that we’d wait a long while to get ourselves some cute little rugrats and it would be even longer before they started school.

And now, years later, we’re still in our cozy little house, and we have not one, but two kids, and one of them is supposed to start Kindergarten in the fall of 2010.

Which means that we need to figure out where she’s going to go. (And, yes, I know I only just figured out where she was going to go for her last year of preschool, but these things just never stop coming!)

Our school district? It’s not the best. OK. Maybe it’s worse than not the best. The schools are testing way below the State recommended average, and while I know that test scores aren’t everything, they aren’t nothing either. Especially in a State that is ripping school funding apart and denying these poor underfunded schools the money they desperately need to start improving.

It’s still early. I have months in front of me before we need to make a decision. We’re considering some local magnet schools and a few private school options. Nothing is ideal, either because of the timing, the parental volunteer hours required, or, quite frankly, the price tag.

And yes, I know, it’s just Kindergarten and she’ll probably be fine no matter where she ends up. But she’s my baby. I wanted the best car seat for her when she was born, then the best formula and food, and, call me crazy, now I want the best school for her.

I just haven’t found it yet.

The love in the words… on the picture

standard August 6, 2009 7 responses

When I woke up last Tuesday with a fever I thought I was in some serious trouble. On any other given day it wouldn’t have been a problem. M would have dressed the girls and taken them to daycare leaving me alone at home to nurse my cold. I would have probably slept all day, waking just about when they walked back in the door at the end of the day.

But no. Not last Tuesday. See, last week our daycare was closed. They close all of two weeks a year. One in the summer and one in the winter. And just my luck, I chose to get sick the week the girls had nowhere to go.

I waved M off to work and dragged myself out of bed, blearily looking at the clock to see how soon I could put them down for a nap. Unfortunately 4 and 2 year-olds don’t nap at 9:30am. I had a ways to go. My head was pounding. I was shaking from the chills. My nose was stuffed up and running at the same time. And I had absolutely nothing planned to entertain my hopeful children. I wanted to go back to bed. They wanted to play. With me.

We got through the morning unscathed. Not that I remember what we did, but I also can’t remember much fighting or crying so it must have gone well. I’m even pretty sure that I didn’t pass out on the couch. But it’s not impossible that lunch was served on the very early side and that nap time also came early that day.

As soon as their light was shut off and their door was closed I gratefully slid back into my own bed, closing my eyes long before my head hit the pillow. I figured that with any luck I’d maybe two hours to sleep before I had to get back up and play more games. Imagine my surprise when I heard the door to the girls’ room squeak open barely 45 minutes after I closed my eyes.

I squinted at the sheepish little figure standing in the doorway and made a hasty calculation. If I let her lie in bed with me maybe I’d get another 10/15 minutes of sleep. Three minutes of massive wiggling and giggling later and I made another calculation. At the ripe old age of 4 C was more than able to entertain herself quietly while mommy napped a bit. She hastily agreed and hopped out of bed.

She didn’t make a sound from the other room and I gratefully slid back into sleep.

I was woken up a while later by an odd and somewhat startling crinkling sound coming from the side of my bed. I lifted my head and looked around wildly. C stared at me, frozen in place, horrified that she had woken me up.

“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“Nothing. Just bringing you this.” She whispered back, pointing to something on my nightstand.

I mumbled a thank you and sent her back to the other room. Little L still wasn’t stirring and I was desperate for a few more minutes of sleep. She tiptoed back out and I put my head back down.

When Little L finally woke up a bit later I dragged myself back out of bed, but before I went to get her out of her crib I took a look at what C had left for me.

It was a picture. Or rather a note. Her very first written sentence.

Don’t see the note? Look closer:
She even wrote “mom” with a birdie in the middle. Best medicine I got all day. It gave me the strength to play with them until their daddy came home from work and I was able to head back to bed.

Happy Love Thursday everyone. May all your love notes have birdies and toothy grins in them.