Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ride or Die

M and S are daring, in life, yes.  But most glaringly when it comes to amusement rides.  Which is a dang shame for them, because R and I are decidedly not daring, preferring to ride the Merry-go-round, rather than anything that goes fast, or high, or upside down.   So when M and S asked, nay - begged, to go on the Scream Machine while on vacation, I had to suck it up, slap a smile on my face and beg God that I wouldn't stroke out.  A is like R and I.  Though not as comfortable with it, fearful that she will miss out on something. She whispered in my ear that she didn't think she would like the ride, but that "I should tell her all about it when we got off."  Unfortunately, we were the last 3 people to get on the ride, so there were 2 seats left next to each other and another down 4 spots.  I put M and S next to each other and took my place at the end, next to a girl about 6 years old.    Poor, poor girl.  The ride was like the worst, most turbulent plane ride you could imagine.  You know that horrible belly feeling you get when your plane drops 2 feet?  I had that feeling for 3 solid minutes.  And every time they would raise it up and drop the ride again, I would scream "I hate this!  God, when will it end?!"  The girl may have learned a few choice curse words too.  I'm sorry for that, but I couldn't help it.  It was an involuntary reaction.  Is there such a thing as situational Tourette's Syndrome?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh, my aching belly!

My girls have taken to school like ducks to water.  M has had a harder time.  He seems to be suffering from separation anxiety.  Not from me, but from "his girls".  Even though they are in the same classroom, the girls seem to be a bit more open to meeting new friends.  And that Pisses.Him.Off.  I know 'cause he told me the first day of school.  Came out all smiles and half way home, he broke down and growled in a hurt/confused/angry voice that "his girls didn't play with him and he wants them to only play with him and not make any new friends!"  Though he has continued to go willingly into the classroom and comes out full of stories about rice bins and songs he's learned, he still won't make any new friends.  And then, his belly started to hurt him.  All the time.  After breakfast.  In the bath.  Many, many times during the night.  For 1 week.  I took him to the doctor, just to do my due diligence.  She felt his tummy, asked me all sorts of bowel-related questions, told him he was doing a great job of eating and growing and sent him from the room, so she could speak to me alone.  Physical manifestation of Separation Anxiety was the official diagnosis.  Like pediatric irritable bowel.  Poor boy.     

As a real time update to his stomach woes, he had a great week in and out of school and miraculously, his belly no longer hurts him.
However, I know how he felt.  On Wednesday, when the kids were in school, I stopped at the dry cleaners.  The old lady there smiled widely and said "Ahhhh, free from your kids!"  The lump took over my throat.  My eyes welled up.  I wanted to scream that I didn't want to be "free" but I couldn't speak.  I shrugged and nodded.  She noticed my reaction and asked "How many days are they in school?"  I still couldn't speak.  I held up 2 fingers, paid my bill and walked to my car.  I drove to my sister's to drop something off and along the way, I saw a dump truck.  "Look M, a dump truck!" I yelled.  I turned to see his excited reaction.  He wasn't in the car.  The water works stared again.  I popped into Target to pick up a few things.  I took the elevators, out of habit, so the Salad could press the buttons.  But there was no Salad.  While I was shopping, I heard a sweet little voice singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."  Help.  I can't stand these constant reminders  anymore. 

I raced to the school and picked them up a half hour early.

Because my belly hurts without them.  Damn irritable bowel.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ocean City, Cliffs Notes, 1 month later

"Cool Rider"
 To Infinity and Beyond!
Girl Time with Sophia, Mommy, Grammy and Aunt Jo

Just a few things to mention about this vacation, so we don't forget.
* Hurricane Irene cut short our vacation by hitting the east coast Saturday and Sunday.

* The Salad slept in bunk beds.  They told everyone that we met for the 2 weeks before we went away "We are going on a beach vacation.  We're sleeping in a bunk bed.  Then when we get home, it will be our first day of school!"

* We took the Salad miniature golfing.  At one point, R was trying to tell S to hit the ball harder.  His exact words were "Hit the ball like you're angry at it."  So she did hit the ball like she was angry at it.  Except that it wasn't a golf ball, ifyouknowwhatImean

* Weeks before the trip, S mentioned that she wanted to "ride the tree that was cut in half, where you get wet."  So of course, we rode the log flume.

* We had family and friends in and out of the house all week. I think it was our best beach vacation yet.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Salad goes to School

The Salad started preschool Wednesday, September 7.  We had talked about it, visited the school 2 times, pretend played school more often than I can count.  Our preparation payed off, for they got up, got dressed, fed and out the door by 8:15, with excited smiles.  They bounded through the front doors of the school and practically ran into their classrooms.  M and A gave R and I big smooches and S punched it out with fireworks, then asked for permission to go play.  Clearly, I have well adjusted children. 

I bit my tongue so I could make it out of the school without crying.

Thankfully, we made it to the car before the tears came.  And they kept coming on and off for the next 4 hours.  Little things brought them on - being alone in the Target dressing room, listening to adult music in the car, having an uninterrupted conversation.  Ok.  Those things don't sound like they should bring on the waterworks.  In fact, those things were pretty awesome.  But they were painful reminders that my normal is changing.  And I didn't like it one bit. 

Much like the Me and my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day post, the I-cried-on-my-kids-first-day-of-school post seems so tired, so passe.  But here it is nonetheless. 

We have very good friends that are homeschooling their babes.  I think they rock.  They are committed and confident that they can raise intelligent, well-adjusted, socialized children.  If I had even 10 percent of that confidence, the Salad world still be here, safe in our bubble - taking our time eating breakfast, wearing stained clothing with unbrushed hair, playing with friends who overlook such things.  Not an hour after we dropped off the Salad for their first day of school, R and I saw one of these homeschooling friends in Trader Joe's, with her brood following along.  I welled up immediately.  When she caught my eye, I gave her the "I can't talk right now, my heart - it's in my throat" look from across the store.  She nodded.  She got me. 

I bit my tongue so I could make it out of Trader Joe's without crying.

And while I admire these women, I know that homeschooling is not the right path for our family to take.  Wanting to protect your babies from boys who tell your daughter that her cheese stick is yucky, or girls who tell your son that he can't play because he's a boy is not reason enough for us.  Wanting to shield your 4 year olds from knowing who the "Transformers" are or ever seeing an episode of "Sponge Bob" is not reason enough for us.  Fearing your son will be made fun of because he still shares his room with his sisters is not reason enough for us.  Worrying that your baby daughter, who often becomes too affectionate too quickly, will be pushed away is not reason enough for us.  Dreading the day that your babies might be negatively influenced by their peers is not reason enough for us.  I feel like these lessons, which seem so big and looming at this tender age are stepping stones, to the bigger, harder lessons that are sure to come.

So I have to remember to tell my babies that people aren't always nice, but we need to be good examples.  That some people aren't blessed with siblings, so they will never understand the closeness that being born at the same time brings.  That affection may not always be returned, but when it is, there is nothing more special.  That peer influence is fine, so long as it is positive. 

My heart and mind are tired and a little heavy.

Now, I am going to bite my tongue so I can make it up to bed without crying.