School starts this month. Most of my friends and strangers on the subway whose conversations I eavesdrop on are talking about “my babies! My babies are growing up.” Well, my babies are going to the third and sixth grades. In two weeks. While I feel wistful and nervous about both, it is the boy who my mind is on this week. For today, he goes into a new room at preschool. A room for two-year-olds. I don’t think his teachers can count. He’s not two until next month. You shut your word porthole! I know he’s ready: he says the ABCs almost coherently, says his name and the name of every child in his room. He can count to 10 (one, two, three, seven, ten!). He’s able to read (the books are usually upside down). He can hold a conversation in which you understand precisely 72% of what he’s saying, but he’s so damn engaged you think perhaps it’s you who is speaking baby babble.
I am fine with this move. What I am concerned about is the way it’s done. There is no integration. There is no preparation for the move. It’s just Monday you’re in your regular classroom and Tuesday, bam! Total routine upset.
Have I mentioned that my boy has taken to flailing his arms and legs when distressed? Well. Perhaps they don’t know this yet. But, I predict some amount of flailing.
And then it hits me: what if I’m wrong? What if I haven’t given him enough credit and he goes to the room next door without a peep? What if he sees his friends who left him a few weeks ago and is happy to be reunited? WHATEVS. That’s so not happening, especially after this morning.
He woke at 4:20. And by woke I mean absolute, positive full-on awake. Talking and laughing and jumping up and down and “Watch Gabba?”, “Elmo?”. We let him stay in his crib for awhile, then I went in and changed him, gave him something to drink. I thought he’d go back down because it was, after all, 4:40 and still dark. Um, no. I said awake, didn’t I? I hid the remote and Daddy brought him into our room. He immediately searched the bed for the remote. “Hey!”, he said, followed by some random babbling and “Elmo?”.
He would eventually rest on me but not for long. Awake, I said. The clock goes off at 5:00. How would I extract myself from his head upon my stomach? His awake head, mind you, because he never dozed off. By 5:20 I had to get up. I put him back in the crib and let him try to work out his feelings about that. His feelings were anger and distress. The girls were so docile compared to him. Never did they attempt to climb out of the crib. By the time I came out of the bathroom there was too much snot and tears to wipe with just one tissue. Also, his foot was on top of the crib as he was mid-climb-out. Hardwood floors, likely headfirst fall, emergency room visit, possible call to CPS…it’s not even 6 a.m., just lie back down because this house is so not clean enough for “the people” to come and make sure it’s safe and clean enough and kiss my ass I did not throw my baby.
As I ironed my dress in the basement I could hear his screams. As I made my lunch his wails continued. When I opened that front door, though, absolute mayhem ensued. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that sound from him. The realization that I was leaving put his screams into overdrive. Closing the door on my screaming toddler made me feel as though I was literally hurting him. That I had to leave the house with him in such distress was nothing short of mental torment. That he is likely tired and cranky in a new room at school? Let’s just say I have a facial tic at the thought of not seeing him until nearly 6:00 tonight. Twelve hours apart. Twelve.
I want to get up from this desk, grab mah keys and mah purse and hug my boy. But, you know, there’s that whole gotta work IDIOCY…