Tuesday, August 12, 2008

school and trepidations

Top O' the Mornin' to you!
Hmmmm, today's post has me thinking ahead to the upcoming first day of school jitters. Maestro will be starting school in exactly 16 days and Little Red will begin his foray into the educational experience at preschool in exactly 23 days. Those of you who remember what it's like to send a child off to school may be able to help me with this milestone for my little men.

Maestro is so excited he can barely contain himself at the thought of school. He's a smart little whippersnapper, sometimes it's truly exasperating to keep up with him. He's a complete sponge and needs constant input. I do not say this as a bragging right of any kind, but the kid's a brainiac. I was the same at his age, so I'm told, so this is not completely unexpected for us. But, I have gained a new sense of appreciation of just why my parents were so tired when I was a kid. He's up at the crack of dawn and the second his feet hit the floor (which is not until 7:00 am, it's a rule) he's full of energy and questions and curiosity. Me, I just want to get in the first cup of tea before I need to answer the big questions in life, like what's the state motto of Nebraska, how is rain made and what's the square root of 245? Okay, so I made the last one up, but it won't be long that he will be onto such things since he's already reading at a 4th grade level (yep, I did say he was 5 folks), and doing math at a second grade level. He's known his alphabet, upper and lower case since was 18 months old. He can read words like Washington, scientific, and prescription and knows what they mean. It's amazing. But, it's also very exhausting as a parent. We just don't feel like answering the 45th question in a row, sometimes I just need to be inside my own head for a while. So, I have to tell him, "hey Einstein, that's enough questions for the question machine, it's closed for repairs". We have researched things on the internet that I can't possibly know the answers to. He loves the computer, though so far he's only been allowed to surf the PBS and Peep and the Big Wide World sites (oh, if you've not seen Peep, you HAVE to tune into this show. It's absolutely hysterical, no really...a children's show that doesn't make my mind melt into mindless goo is always a good thing!!). So, to say he's excited about school is putting it mildly.

Little Red is somewhat less enthusiastic for school. He's never, in his whole 4 years been without either myself, his daddy or big brother. And I do mean never. So, he was all excited for school until he asked me the other day if I would be there with him "the whole time". I had to burst his bubble and tell him that no, I would not be there, he would go to school for a couple of hours by himself and make new friends and play with new toys and then I would be right there to pick him up after he was done. He was virtually silent for a while and then said "I don't want to go to school". And that's the way it's remained since that conversation. No amount of trying to talk him into it is working, he wants no part of it.

Now, those of you who know us, know he's not potty trained yet. Believe me folks, this is not for lack of trying on our part. We have tried EVERYTHING. We've been at this process for almost 9 months now. We did the hard line, took pull ups away, that was the end of that. Well, he would not go for up to 9 hours. He's a camel, I'm convinced. After a week of this and him crying and circling me for literally hours begging for a pull up, I finally called his pediatrician to see if he could be doing permanent damage to his bladder with this withholding situation. Sure enough, my worst fears were real when the nurse told me under no circumstances should he do that, he would permanently damage his bladder by doing that now. Great, so there is no answer for this. She told me "he will give them up when he is ready". Okay, gauging by his "readiness" for other things, I will have the only child in the history of the world to go to college in a pull up. Do they make them that size or what? He's supposed to be trained by the time he goes to this program, but on the advice of my sister-in-law, we're sending him anyways. She's a preschool teacher and has seen other children get the hang of it seeing their peers go to the bathroom, so maybe it will work. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. He can make it the 2 1/2 hours he'll be in class, so hopefully that will work until he's decided to give up the security blanket, oops I mean pull ups.

So, we're anxiously awaiting the upcoming first days of school here. I put on the brave face and tell them how much fun they are going to have and now much I loved school when I was a child, all those things good parents do. But on the inside, it's a whole other story. We've made a conscious effort to raise our boys completely non-violent. We don't even watch tv around them that may have the hint of violence in the commercials. Consequently, they are "nieve" about such things in the world. Having witnessed boys at their ages playing guns and spiderman fighting and all those things, well, I'm terrified to lose our innocent, wonderful, beautiful boys. Them turning into violent, gun playing, fist fighting little war machines. I don't approve of children seeing violence from a young age and firmly believe that is what is so wrong with our society today. When I was a child, the worst thing I had to contend with was getting picked on for my weight, poor clothes and southern accent. There was a little pot around in high school, but that's about it. Now, they have to worry about if they can hit the floor in time to dodge their classmates bullets and that meth, tried just once, can make them an addict for life. I'm projecting into the future again, I know since I'm sincerely hoping these issues have not made their way down to kindergarten yet. Live in the moment, mommy, live in the moment.

But, these are the things that keep me up at night. If I didn't have to go back to work, we would seriously consider homeschooling. But, we've intentionally positioned ourselves in a town with an excellent public school system (with these taxes, it better be!!) and have to hope that the values we've instilled, and the open communication we're working hard to develop will pay off for them. That they will have the spiritual base to make wise choices for themselves and their bodies. What more can parents do? I will hold their hands, kiss them goodbye and lead them to their classrooms and pray that it will all be okay. I must have faith that the world will take care of them when we can't be with them. That spiritual foundation must start with me and their daddy, and we'll rely on it to see us through the inevitable tears.

Until next time, ~Peacemom

1 comment:

edlee_51 said...

It is nice to know that you appreciated our move to NH and found your own happiness with the rural life, it does give one a different view of their own being. Enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more of your tales and insight.