Letting Go

Today is Jack’s last day in daycare.  He’s been with G for over two years (a miracle when you think back to all the daycare dramas early on in his life) and made some awesome little friends there.  G’s house is basically Jack’s third house – there were many weeks there where he spent just as much time there as he did at my house or his dad’s.  G feeds him and teaches him and celebrates his victories and birthdays.  Jack was potty trained there before he was at home!

In the last 2+ years, G has taken only ONE unscheduled day off – for Jury Duty.  One day, you guys!  She is simply amazing.

I’m having a hard time walking away from this lady.  She is one of the most reliable, dependable, trustworthy, and caring people I have ever known – it has been a BLESSING to be able to put Jack in her care.

I don’t think it’s hit Jack yet.  He knows today is his last day and that he’ll have a goodbye party, but all he could say was that he was hoping for presents.  :P   We tried to tell him this isn’t the kind of thing you get presents for.  In any case, he starts school Monday and I’m guessing somewhere in that week he’ll really start to miss G.  I know I will!

I had a difficult time coming up with a gift that conveyed how much we love G.  What we ended up with was this poem made into an artful poster by Etsy artist MySoulShines and matted/framed:

They Will Remember

by Eileen Koscho

I take care of your children.
I love them.
I teach them.
I clean them, and I feed them.
And when nighttime comes,
my heart worries about them
I take care of your children.
I see their first steps.
I hear their first words.
I share their happiness, and
I feel their hurts.
I take care of your children,
as if they were my own.
And when they are grown, and
no longer need me,
My love will be a part of them
deep within the heart of them.
They will know that I was there for them unconditionally.
And they will remember!

 

This morning it occurred to me that I should have had a coffee mug or something made with Jack’s artwork to give to her.  Dang it!  Maybe I’ll ship that to her…

Here is a picture of G with Jack on his birthday (she is so cool – she got him the alien space ship Legos):

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Random notes on Jack

  • He wants to be a bat for Halloween.  NOT Batman (which is unfortunate because he has quite a few costume options there).
  • He is determined to grow his hair long “like a Viking warrior.”  I have a feeling this idea came from his dad.  I haven’t been able to convince him to cut his hair yet and, to be honest, it is pretty cute.  Still, I’ve taken to calling him Beiber Boy, especially when he swings his head to get the hair out of his eyes.
  • Jack is suddenly very modest.  I’m not allowed to see his “parts” and usually have to leave the room while he is getting dressed (even if he is getting dressed in the living room).  This made for a conundrum during bath time last night because he wanted company while bathing.  I was instructed to look at the ceiling at all times, even while launching him into the bath like a rocket.
  • Naps appear to be a thing of the past.  Jack doesn’t seem to need them anymore and bedtime goes more smoothly without them anyway.
  • Jack will do almost anything for chocolate.
  • Scooby-Doo is now a big deal.  I wish he would have consulted me first.
  • We can usually interrupt Jack’s television or movie watching if we promise to record it.  He has that Tivo down these days and even paused a show all by himself to use the bathroom.
  • By the way, he is super fully potty trained.  He can still hold it for hours, though.  It’s pretty awesome that he uses the toilet, wipes his butt, and washes his hands all without help.
  • He is a child of a million questions, usually something that goes like, “What does doll mean?”  I feel like a walking dictionary.
  • Half the time he says something so grown up sounding that we feel like we couldn’t have heard him right.  I couldn’t figure out what the hell he was saying about “My gray shun” and that was because he was talking about migration.  It’s not totally my fault, though – when he’s not using big words, he is making up words like “swack” and “cackrages.”
  • Thankfully, Jack will still snuggle with me.  Other than that, I can hardly see a trace of baby Jack in him.  He is growing up!  *sniff*
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This Morning

Jack climbed into bed with me to snuggle under the blankets.  He laid his head on my chest and said, “Mom, I love you.”

While in the shower, Jack came into the bathroom and said Wall-E and Eve wanted to show me something.  I peeked out of the shower curtain to see Wall-E’s arms around Eve.  “Look, they are hugging because they love each other!”

Jack watched me while I applied my make up…

Mom, what are you doing?

I’m putting on make up.

Why?  So that you have eyebrows?

Yup!

Little mister

Sometimes I look at Jack and can see our future, see him as a teenager.  He is so serious when he says, “Well, mom, when you said that it hurt my feelings,” or “Mom, I didn’t like that.  I’m going away from you.”  He is trying to be grown up and yet so obviously unprepared to deal with what that means.  I know how he feels.

Jack has a close friend at daycare again.  He and Sydney are often chasing each other around when I arrive to pick Jack up.  On the drive home yesterday, Jack told me, “Sydney is my best friend, mom.  She’s a nice girl.”  I’m thankful her parents have kept her in the daycare rather than moving her to preschool.  I worry about the day the two kids will be split up, though.  I wish I could give Jack the kind of childhood where he grows up with the kids down the street.  I’m not sure that kind of life exists in the city.

When we get home for the day, Jack usually runs to the front door and announces “I beat you!”  This time, he forgot to run and I got there first.  He dissolved into tears because he wanted to win.  I tried to explain that sometimes other people have to win: “you can’t win all the time but you should always try your best.”  He didn’t like that, of course.  I took him back outside to redo the “race” and halfway to the door he turned around and hit me to make sure I wouldn’t beat him to the door.  That brought on another explanation about how we don’t sabotage others just because we want to win very badly…yes, these are the conversations I have with my not-quite-4 year old child.  I’m sure I will repeat them over and over as he grows.

Lately Jack has become attached to a stuffed monster he calls Starbucks.  (How’s that for a sign of the times?)  He brings that monster to daycare every day.  Today he forgot and I was running late so I neglected to remind him prior to leaving the house.  We pulled up to G’s house and I unbuckled the carseat.  Jack started looking for Starbucks right away and my heart sank.  I saw his face when he couldn’t find his monster and when he asked me where it was, I told him the bad news.  Cue tears.  I felt like crying, too.  “I’m sorry we forgot Starbucks, honey.  I will bring him to you when I pick you up today.  I know you will miss him today.”  I considered going back home to get his toy before driving to work…  “He’ll recover,” G said.  I know she was right but still…I wish I had gone back home.

Becoming Self-Sufficient

Today started off quite differently than yesterday.

Yesterday Jack threw a fit when he was told he should use the potty first thing when he gets up in the morning.

Today?  He happily marched into the bathroom, used the potty, and washed his hands without help.

Yesterday I had to wrangle him into his clothes for the day.

Today he picked out his own outfit in its entirety and dressed himself (shoes included).  This is a FIRST!

Yesterday wasn’t all bad.  We tried out a yellow bell pepper since he loves the red ones so much and he devoured the entire thing.  When prompted to use the potty and get ready for bed, he peed, washed his hands, and brushed his teeth all by himself.  I was rather blown away.

Gosh, my little boy is growing up.

Pretty Much There?

I can’t remember the last time I changed a dirty diaper.  That’s significant and AWESOME.  I think that means we’re doing very well with the potty learning over in Casa d’Ewok.  Jack is consistently using the potty and can switch between the small one and the large one with ease (at least, with peeing).  We haven’t had any accidents in a couple weeks at home.  *knocks on wood*

I almost considered him potty trained as of this weekend but am not quite sure when we can consider that milestone “met.”  Is it when he stops dirtying his pull up even when away from my house (seems he is saving his dad’s house for last)?  When he starts wearing underwear?  When I don’t need to remind him to go a million times a day?  He hasn’t wet himself at night in…gosh, I don’t even know – probably over a month.  He totally has the abilities mastered – it’s all a matter of his mood and will and level of distraction.

I’m in awe, especially after all the difficulties we had for so long.  Whew.

Regression

Jack has suddenly regressed with the potty training.  All of these months he has been consistently peeing in the potty at daycare and nowhere else (okay, a couple times at my house, once at a friend’s, once at his grandmother’s).  As of yesterday, he is not even peeing in the potty at daycare.

I haven’t been pushing potty use at home.  I ask him every few days if he is ready to use the potty and he replies that he doesn’t want to so I drop it.  I know there have been some potty training efforts made at Jack’s dad’s place, with little success.  I’m not sure if something changed over the weekend or if this is just Jack being stubborn.

I’m not sure what to do at this point.  Go the naked kid route or lay off completely?  I’m not worried about it; I know some day he will use the potty and there is no burning need for him to do it now.  It’s just perplexing that he knows what to do and refuses to do it, even when we have been good about keeping the pressure off.

I guess this is the part where my mom gets payback

It’s happened.  I’ve been dreading this development…Jack has figured out that he can climb right out of bed and come knock on my door at night.  He has apparently decided that no more will he lay there idly in bed calling for me – he’ll just go ahead and get his mama when he needs her.  Or, more accurately, he will plop himself down outside of our bedroom door and play with his toys noisily until we open the door.  When asked why he isn’t in bed, he will reply, “I had a bad dream.”  He pays no mind to me when I point out that I know he hasn’t actually been sleeping…

Added to this new interest in leaving the island that is his bed, he has also decided he’s not very tired at night.  Sunday night he didn’t fall asleep until around 1am and he was up at 8am.  Last night it was closer to 11 even though he had a shorter nap than usual and we started the bedtime routine (brush teeth, don PJs, read books) at 8.  David and I take turns going into Jack’s room to reassure him that he’s safe, we love him and will protect him, etc.  He gets lots of hugs and kisses and we snuggle, too.  And after all that and not falling asleep until late, Jack was up this morning bright and early at 7:30 but clearly still tired!  I don’t get it!

I know this is a phase and it will pass and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a horrible one.  I am aware that staying in bed when you can’t fall asleep isn’t a healthy sleep habit, so it’s not as if I’m going to lock him in his room.  I just worry about leaving him to his own devices while I go to bed because I clearly remember being of a similar age and disposition…my mom still has the dresser that is caked in the evidence of one of my late night “baking” experiments.  She is also fond of reminding me about the time I climbed out of my bedroom window (at 2 years old) and ended up in the neighbor’s yard down the street crying because I was lost.  These are not things I stopped to consider before having a child of my own.  Doh!

Tricky Kids

Evidence that Jack is a smart but tricky little kid:

  • We’ve made no progress on potty training – he completely refuses to use the potty at all at home now.  BUT he uses the toilet pretty reliably at daycare.  At home he tells me: “Mom, you like to change my diaper!”
  • I was informed by his daycare provider that not only can Jack remove his shoes, but he can also put them on by himself.  Additionally, he can undress and get his shirt on just fine without help.
  • I bought the Super Why Alphabet game thinking Jack needed some extra study time to learn his letters (partially because he won’t sing the ABCs).  We have played a few times and Jack was not responsive to the questions on the cards wherein he was asked to identify various letters of the alphabet.  I figured he just didn’t know his letters well enough yet, but this theory was disproved when he pointed out and correctly named letters all over David’s shirt one day.
  • Jack will ask me the names of the Disney princesses and/or the seven dwarfs…if I say I don’t know, he will recite each name to me.
  • Jack has said on more than one occasion that he wants to play “inja” or wear his “inja” shirt.  One day David tried to correct him and Jack replied, “NO!  It’s not ninja, it’s inja!”  David was suitably chastened.

Beware, parents.  These kids are more clever than you may know!

Drop-off Drama

Jack has suddenly become super clingy during daycare drop-off.  This morning it took me roughly 20 minutes to extract my legs from the tangle of his limbs and get out the door.  I tried every trick I could think of:

Jack, will you do me a favor and close the door for mom?
Jack, I have a job for you.  I need your help!
Jack, your friends need you!  They want to play with you.
Jack, there’s a party today!  Don’t you want to have a party?  (this is true)
Jack, mama’s work is no fun.  There are no kids there.
Jack, G needs a hug.  Can you give her a hug so she isn’t sad?

The kid didn’t budge.  Finally I picked him bodily and stuck him inside the door and quickly closed it behind me.  I just about collapsed on the stairs, though.  Days like this break my heart because I feel like I am abandoning my kid.

I am not sure if this is a phase or what.  The reading I’ve done suggests that is the case.  I’m fine with that…but I’d like to find a way to make Jack feel more secure and get myself to work on time.  If it’s just a matter of waiting it out, then I hope this passes quickly.