September 23, 2013

Mom's Day Out

I don't know what it is lately about not wanting to sit down and write. I have several posts floating in my head but when it's all said and done and the boys are in bed, the last thing I want to do is sit and type. I've been on a reading kick for the last couple of weeks and before that I had the television to myself in the evenings for a while so I caught up on my shows and a few films recorded from free HBO weekends. I know I'll kick myself later (for the boy's sake) when down the road I'll have missing posts that I would have benefited from writing now. Basically I'm using this blog to track all their milestones and then "one day" put it all together in a baby book. I suck at scrapbooking so writing is the better outlet. My apologies if future posts seem to run a little long.

Back to business however...I had been saying to myself and to the husband all summer long that I wanted to put Noah in a Mom's Day Out (MDO) program. He needed the interaction with other kids and I needed the downtime to either get things done or have one-on-one time with Aaron. I ho-hummed around the topic for so long that I almost missed our window of opportunity to get him in a program. I didn't realize that most MDO programs follow the regular school year. I think it was two weeks before the start date when I finally began to make calls. Noah sort of forced my hand.

We had barely been awake for an hour or two and playing outside and I kid you not my toddler was acting completely bored! There's a difference between needing me to play with him and being bored. He wouldn't do ANYTHING without my full attention and involvement. So that kicked my decision into gear to get him into "school".

Once we were locked into our new MDO school, I attended orientation (yes, they had a "Meet the Teacher" day) and Noah seemed fairly please to find all the cars and trucks and buses he could ever want to play with. He'd be attending every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-2pm. Noah's first day of school (see photo below), we got him excited and showed him his lunch and backpack, etc. I'd even taken a photo of Noah and his teacher at orientation so we could talk about her all weekend long in preparation for going. Drop off went great and of course the entire day, not one minute went by where I didn't think of him.

I decided that my first week with Noah in MDO I was going to spend that free time just for myself. I went shopping, had lunch with a good book, signed up for a massage and facial. I'm the first to say I think it was well-deserved.

Picking Noah up from his first day put me a little in shock. I expected him to cry. I expected him to be non-compliant with the new rules and schedule made by his teachers. But when they told me he didn't want to eat snack and he didn't want to eat his lunch, I held back tears. My kid loves to eat! I understand it's all new and he was probably thinking, "Who are these people trying to get me to eat this random food?" I tried to pack all of his favorite foods but it didn't take. So we had a late, late lunch back at Grandma's while picking up Brother.

Day 2 of school was the most difficult morning. Having experienced a full day there at the preschool, Noah was beside himself as we walked into class. I'm a believer in making goodbyes short and sweet but loving. The longer you stay the harder it gets. His teacher had to hold him so I could walk out with Aaron in tow and Noah bawling his eyes out. Sometimes I forget that he is the age he is and when he cries like that, it's a reminder that my little guy is still little. After that I needed reassurance from my mom and some friends that yes, it would get better.

And it did! Surprisingly, Noah ended his school hunger strike and ate lunch that day. He still had a hard time but I figured if he could eat, then he'd eventually be all right. His teachers kept telling me that it would take time and adjustment. Although I had the feeling that one of his teachers breathed a sigh of relief once I had arrived. Haha! My first job was working at a daycare and perhaps every teacher can tell you that there's this one kid who you can't wait to go home at the end of every day. Noah seemed like he was on target to being "that kid".

Fast forward a few weeks and tomorrow starts our fourth week with Noah in "school". He fusses a little when I drop him off but every pick up now comes with a good report! They say he is giggly and laughing and of course LOVES playing outside. His naps aren't consistent yet but I'm hoping that changes as well. He smiles and points to his teachers so I know they've earned his trust which makes it that much easier for me to drop him off those mornings.

As for Aaron, he goes to Grandma's house most days when Noah's at school. I drop him off or he gets picked up and then I have several hours to get things done around the house or errands completed. I still take the occasional time for myself but in moderation. We're still working toward getting our house on the market and I can get alot done over time with the boys out of the house. One step at a time, it will get done.

Even though it's not true school yet, I feel like it's preparation for when that time comes. I pack his lunch and follow the school's handbook. Noah even will have his first picture day in a few weeks! Already I can see a difference in Noah in regards to interacting with other kids. At first he would stand by and watch and act silly or show off around new kids; but now he's beginning to engage them and play "with" them whether he knows them or not. My little social butterfly is definitely getting his wings.

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