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Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

  I share a lot of sweetness on this blog, and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. This is not a magical house where no one ever yells or makes mistakes. Case in point: the story of the last few days. 

Two days ago, the Boo was in a state of what I can only call emotional overdrive. Every answer that was not to his liking brought tears, hitting, throwing or screaming (thankfully not all at the same time). The high point, drama-wise, was when he hurled a cereal bar across the room because I said “You’ve had a lot of treats today, so that’s not one of the choices right now.”

He ended up losing his cartoon privileges, which made him very sad. I know this because he said, over and over and over, “I’m sad I lost my cartoons, Mama.” And cried. Quite a bit. Initially I comforted him tenderly, but by the 17th time I was mumbling, “Mm-hm.” because as far as I could tell, he just needed to hear himself say it.

Yesterday, pre-nap time was the minefield. He didn’t want to even try to take off his shoes or hang up his jacket, because “I don’t have enough energy, Mama.” When I asked him to try and said I would help him if he needed help, he dissolved in tears. After a while, I said, out loud, “You know what, it isn’t worth it,” and took off his shoes and socks and hung up his jacket. 

But that’s not where the fun ended, oh no. 

On our way upstairs, he asked me a series of questions about the furnace, because that’s his wheelhouse. Questions about mechanical stuff. Sometimes he doesn’t even wait for the answer before he asks another question. He asked a fairly technical question about the humidifier and instead of making up an answer, which is what I do half the time because I get tired of saying “I don’t know,” I was honest and said “I don’t know.”

He screamed at me. Seriously. I turned and looked at him with my right eyebrow raised as far as it would go. I managed to ratchet the eyebrow a bit higher. I turned away and walked into the kitchen. I thought for a moment and said, “I know you’re frustrated but it is never okay to scream at me. If you choose to scream at me again I will not read you any books at nap time.”

He did not scream at me again. Probably because he really loves books. 

He did, however, cry repeatedly about every tiny thing he was unhappy about while I was trying to brush his teeth. Not enough toothpaste. The wrong toothpaste. Me asking him to stop jumping while I brushed his teeth. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and started mock-crying with him. “My fingers are too short, boo-hoo! Waaaaah, my nose itches! Waah, I don’t like that rug!”

Thankfully, my strategy did not backfire. I got him to laugh-cry, and the rest of the day was relatively drama-free. 

Maybe I should have put on a show sooner…

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To say that the Boo has grown tremendously throughout his first school year is like saying chocolate is good. Massive understatement. 

In the beginning, he would not only cry when I left but wander around like a lost, weepy lamb. This, despite a goodbye ritual that included a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a series of kisses and hugs and a lovey to comfort him in my absence. At one point, there was discussion of whether we should pull him out of school for a while. Instead, we decided to try adding a few more tricks to the bag — a photo of me to look at, a favorite CD. It was early November. 

Shortly after we expanded the comfort program, right after Thanksgiving, something clicked for the kiddo. He didn’t cry as I left. He started blowing me kisses goodbye. He began to find his place among his friends. We kept up with reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, though, partly because I enjoyed it so much — his classmates would cluster around us, chiming in on their favorite parts and beaming like only little kids can beam. 

A few weeks ago we dropped the book reading from the routine. Then we started doing our kisses and hugs in the hallway so the Boo can walk into his classroom like the big boy he’s become. Every time, we stop a bit further away, backing slowly toward more independence. 

One day about a month ago, the Boo came home with a bright orange flyer pinned to his backpack. Photo Day was coming, it said. Here are the 88 choices of print packages. Once I settled on a reasonable option and wrote a check, my thoughts turned to The Outfit. Surely something with a collar for Baby’s First School Photo. Shirt and tie? Polo shirt? 

I decided to involve the Boo by presenting a few possibilities the morning of Photo Day. I explained what a big deal the photo was, that both grandmas would have a copy, that it would be a good idea to wear something fancy. He considered the choices I held up and rejected them all, insisting instead that he wanted to wear the pajama shirt he had on:

 

I didn’t fight him. Why bother, when he picked the perfect reminder of how far he’s come since September?

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