Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Other News, I'm About to Lose It.

Apparently, I can be on top of the world feeling like a Domestic Goddess, and then have a few bad nights of sleep in a row... and I'm about to lose my youknowwhat. My calm, patient, able-to-handle-it attitude is pretty much gone. It's not a problem with it being 2 kids versus 1, as having 2 to juggle seems normal these days.

It's much more bad nights of sleep and having spent 10 weeks home being "Mom." I'm just not cut out for being a stay at home mom. I honestly have so much respect for those who do it, but I'm seriously getting close to losing my mind.

There is no real time off. Maybe I get an hour to myself to decompress, or maybe I get out for an hour to run an errand or for a doctor's appointment, but usually I at least have the Pookie with me. I get stir crazy being home all day, day after day, but the Pookie is just not that great at running errands. The Pumpkin would scream in the carseat the whole way to wherever we were going, but then I'd slip her in the sling and she'd (usually) be happy as a clam in high tide as I wandered in stores and walked around. The Pookie cries in the car most of the way, maybe falls asleep either in the carseat/stroller combo or in my sling, but then wakes up and is FUSSY. He's HUNGRY or needs a DIAPER CHANGE--usually both. It's just one thing after another after another, until I say uncle and we head back home where he can be fed and changed and entertained on demand.

Add to that some fussy Two-ness from the Pumpkin and some very poor sleep thanks to both of them, and I'm insanely tired, grumpy and moody. Oh, and let's not forget the hormonal craziness I'm still getting 10 weeks postpartum. Oh, and and and... the stress of getting the Pumpkin ready for starting school (and my nervousness about that) PLUS going back to work, which includes figuring out with my managers what I am coming back to. Well, I'm just feeling like a hot mess these days. A big ole mess who can barely handle anything.

Amazing how this roller coaster ride keeps me on my toes, eh?

When I was feeling so good about handling the two kids and getting the house back into shape, I kept saying to Londo that I could totally see having a third. That I even really think I still want three. Londo is pretty sure he wants just two. We've gone back and forth before on this, many times in fact. Over the last week, Londo has had some perfect timing in asking if I still want three.

Like after none of us sleep much Friday night due to a really loud thunderstorm, and on Saturday both kids were extra fussy and both adults were extremely tired. There was one moment when the kids were yelling and crying and we were both about to lose it, he looks over at me and asked if I still wanted three. Or when we were trying to get them both in the car on Sunday to go to church and the baby was screaming and the toddler was being obstinate, and we were trying to juggle them, pick up my grandmother and still get to church on time, Londo looks up at me and asks if I really wanted another one.

He makes good points. hehe.

So it's not all rainbows and unicorns. I (and we) have some really great moments, like when I had the baby in my lap and was reading books to the Pumpkin who was sitting next to me. There are many other moments that put me right on the edge. Those moments pass, but I just want to be sure to share the good and the bad.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Question of the Week - Starting School

Update below

Next Monday, the Pumpkin starts pre-school. I'm excited and nervous and everything in between. She seems excited, and she tends to handle big changes pretty well (like when we stopped nursing, moved to the big girl bed, moved into her big girl room, brought home her baby brother, etc.). But starting school is going to change her entire day, her normal routine that she's had for a year and a half with the nanny.

We are going to have to get up and ready in the mornings, drive her to the preschool and leave her there. I truly think she will thrive in such a social environment, but I am worried about how she will adjust to structure, especially on the days when she is being particularly Two-ish.

So this week's question of the week is...

How did you adjust and help your child adjust to major changes in your child's normal, day-to-day routine(s)?

This morning, we are going to visit the school again. She'll get to play a bit in the room she'll be going to be in. I will get to talk to the teacher(s) and pick up the Parents Handbook (we had a copy, but it's been lost in our having-a-new-baby stupor).

We've been talking up her starting school and pointing out who on her TV shows goes to school. We took her to the store and let her pick out a backpack over the weekend. (Of course, she picked one with Dora and Boots on it, which is against my whole minimizing the marketed material, but she kept picking that one when I offered others. Finally, I just had to let it go. We told her she could pick, and she did. I might not like it, but she really seems to love it.)

We are not adjusting her napping in any way. She still drinks about 3 ounces of milk from a bottle while the nanny (or us parents when we try--and fail) lies with her until she falls asleep. I'm of the mind set that it will be an entirely new environment, so everything can just be different starting next Monday.

What did you do to get ready for a big change like that?

And does anyone want to give me any advice for starting school? I read the comments on Ask Moxie about this same thing, but I would love any additional thoughts!

Update:
We are back from visiting her school. We stayed almost an hour, and we were outside on the playground just about the whole time. She loved the playground, and I got to chat with the teacher about what she will need to bring and how they do things. I also got to tell the teacher a little bit about her. I feel it's very important to tell/remind people that even though she is tall, physically capable and very verbal, she is still just 2. Three of the Pumpkin's cousins are a year older, and often my family and friends forget that she is a year younger and not developmentally where they are yet. It's easy to forget when you see her running around with older kids.

Which brings me to the hardest thing I think I've written yet...

The Pumpkin was off playing on one of the jungle gyms while I was talking with the teacher. I was just wrapping up what I was saying, and we were heading over to her. I noticed two boys from the older room (I think 3 but maybe 4 years old) were talking to her. Then, one slapped her hand!!!

I very calmly said, "Hey, no hitting!" The two boys moved a step or two back from her. The Pumpkin's face fell, and she started crying. I reached her and hugged her. The teacher asked what happened, and I told her one of the boys slapped at the Pumpkin. The teacher asked which one, and the boy who didn't do it said the other boy's name. The boy who had slapped her hand said it was because she was in the area where they wanted to go play. I held the Pumpkin while the teacher explained that she was just two and he shouldn't hit and he should say he was sorry. I was explaining to the Pumpkin that the boys wanted a turn to play, though we know it's not okay to hit. He said sorry. But you know, kids. Do they even get it?

Sounds like it all went okay, right? But inside I'm DYING! I was able to wait until I was home and alone in the bathroom to start crying. We weren't even there an hour! Already, she got hit by some other kid. The teacher hadn't even seen it happen because she was fixing another kid's shoe.

I know what must have happened. The boys must have told the Pumpkin to move, but she didn't get what they wanted or simply was getting ready to do it--or not do it. She takes things in and takes time to adjust to doing what other people want her to do. She generally complies when other kids ask her for something or want her to do something, because she's good about sharing and likes to make other kids happy. But those boys don't know that. They don't know that she probably didn't even understand what they were asking her to do or that they wanted her to move right away. They might have not realized that she was as young as she is. And when kids don't get what they want, many can't resist the urge to hit or bite or shove or whatever.

But that was my little girl! Sure she was fine a minute later, but I am already traumatized. How do I do this? How do I let her go off to school? She's only 2! And she is so wonderful. Will they see that? Will they all realize how special she is? How sensitive she is? How deeply she feels things? Gah!!! I know I'm still totally hormonal with the postpartum, but I don't know how to do this. I've never really had to let go of my children yet. How do I know she will be okay? How can I be okay with it?