Friday, May 16, 2008

We All Fall Down!

So, my daughter is coming into the stage of "precocious pre-schooler." Aside from her dramatics when we ask her to do something (she's got a jaw-setting, eye-averting, won't budge stubbornness when she is dead-set against something), she's branching out to embrace the view that "all the world's a stage..."

We've been taking her to the Sacred Meadow Montessori Preschool in Accident, MD -- We LOVE her being there. She adores Miss Carolyne, the teacher, and is making friends with some really good kids. She's been successful at taking naps, helping out, and obsessing about the pet rabbits that Miss Carolyne has outside. (I wish she'd go to the potty there, but we're trying to be patient about that...) It's been wonderful for her. I hope that we can find a way to let her attend more than one day a week at some point.

It's been a little nerve-wracking for me to anticipate what stories we will hear from Carolyne about how Ingrid interacts with the other kids...or what kind of stories about her home life that she will tell...

Well, here's the first one. :)

The other day, Ingrid fell out of her booster seat after eating lunch. Since she started pre-school, she's wanted to do EVERYTHING by herself. The other day, she went to the potty to poop and I happened to walk by the open door and she yelled, "Don't look at me! That's not nice!" I told her to shut the door then... Geesh! She also wants to click herself into the carseat (which she can't do in the end...and inevitably makes us late to wherever we're going...) and climb in and out of her booster seat at the table.

I'm fine watching her climb into the seat. There are plenty of things to hold onto. It's climbing out that makes me hold my breath. The booster seat is on a regular chair, but it has sides on it, akin to arm rests. She inevitably folds her leg up underneath of her so that her balance is completely forward as she crawls out of the seat over the arm rest face-first. I don't even think I can describe her process... But she gets really angry when you try to help.

Anyway, Rowan's high chair is on the one side of her seat, about a foot and a half away, and the other side is open for her to get in and out. Well, Andrew had Rowan in the high chair waiting for his food, and Ingrid in her booster seat beside him eating her lunch. When he went to the kitchen to fix the baby's cereal, she must have decided to get out of her seat to get something for (or from...) Rowan and fell face-first out of her high chair, only to catch herself on the high chair by the bridge of her nose! The seat was far enough away from the high chair that she couldn't get back into the booster seat and couldn't get herself pushed back up from the high chair. Neeless to say, this left a mark...right down the middle of her face.

So, for the past week, she's been walking around looking like a hockey player (Andrew calls her Boogaard after his favorite Minnesota Wild hockey player--the one known to fight a lot...). Her nose is scratched in 2 places and she has one bruise going across the bridge of the nose and a bump and bruise between her eyebrows. There's no missing it. When she went to preschool, on Tuesday, I knew it was only a matter of time until someone asked her what happened.

Here's where it could have gotten REALLY interesting... Her dramatic tendencies could have made it as interesting as it was for my former professor for whom I babysat regularly the year after I graduated from college. His 2-year old told her pre-school teacher that the bruises on her forehead (which she contracted herself after falling down a few steps...) were from the fact that her dad was driving nails in her head! Fortunately, that didn't happen. Instead, she gave an answer that echoed our reassurance that everyone makes mistakes...

"Well, everybody falls out of their high chair sometime."


She lets us help her out of her booster seat now. At least until the memory fades. Maybe by then, her coordination will have improved. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tears...of joy?

I'm writing this after midnight on Wednesday, so I'm actually referring to Tuesday when I say "today..."

So, this week is very busy for me. I'm someplace different every hour of every day...traveling back and forth from home to Clarksburg and then home to Fairmont... Starting a new Kindermusik class at pre-schools... Subbing all over Garrett County... I'm tired.

So maybe that's why I got so emotional this morning. I took Ingrid to pre-school this morning for the first time. I don't know why I got so emotional. The place is great. The kids from our church go there, and our friends LOVE the teacher -- and so do we! She's wonderful. The school is based on the Montessori learning environment, and she has fish and bunnies and gardens that the kids all help with...each child learns to help make meals, clean up after themselves, take naps in the same room, brush their teeth after meals, read together, and all kinds of stuff. It's a great place. There are only 8 kids at a time, too, so each kid gets his/her attention he/she needs. And I'm doing Kindermusik for free (the families pay for the materials, but I don't charge tuition) in exchange for Ingrid staying there once a week. It's a great deal!

Last night and this morning, though, I was all in knots about her going there all day... Remember, this is the child who went to work with me or stayed with family when I couldn't take her. I just didn't want her to feel confused... or like she didn't have someone to ask questions to... or get scared when it was time for a nap... or feel lonely among loud, rambunctious kids... or get hungry because she was too nervous to eat at lunch time... I don't know. I just wanted to scoop her up and hold her. But I didn't. She was a little clingy when we first got there because the boys were loud and jumpy, but mostly just wanted to stay. There were no tears on her end.

I, on the other hand, was a mess all the way back home. I could just see her crying in a corner or her lip starting to tremble as she lay down on her nap mat wanting "rock-a-bye" before she could sleep... I tell you, I was a mess.

When Andrew picked her up this evening (she was there from about 9-5), she had had a great day. Her potty training didn't go so well, but she had a pull-up on so it wasn't a huge deal. We'll just have to try to talk about it some more and maybe have her go while I'm still there next week. And I guess my fears about nap time were completely unfounded! She slept for 3 hours! She came back with tales about a REAL pink dragon that lived in the basement that has babies in its tummy... (not sure about that one. I know the teacher has animals...but a dragon?) and bunnies that she played with. She's also being encouraged to do things independently by Carolyne (the teacher). Tonight, she didn't want my help getting out of the car -- and she wanted to carry her bag with all of her preschool stuff in it and yelled at me when I picked it up! I think we've crossed into the "I can do it myself" phase. It's cute, but it's also a little scary...

So, I've made it through another milestone as a mommy.

Oh, and I think one other reason I'm so emotional is that I'm having to start to wean Rowan from breastfeeding... My inconsistent daily routine makes it incredibly hard to pump when I am away and my milk production has decreased to very little. I'm going to keep feeding him in the morning and evening and through the night as long as I can, but I'm not going to pump during the day anymore. I'm sure all of this has my hormones out of balance... And I'm also just a little sad about it...

Speaking of Rowan, he's been saying a word that sounds like "Ingrid" every once in a while. He won't say it on demand, but it reminds me of when we thought Ingrid was saying "Bella" when she was his age (younger, actually) and turned out that she was saying it. I think Rowan is talking! He also imitated his Papa saying "Oh, Boy!" tonight. He's been saying "mama" when we play together for a while and he can say "papa" too, but doesn't use it in context yet. It's so fun to watch them figure things out! Such a sweet little boy...

So, onward and upward... And to bed! Talk soon...