Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting there

So, Frank has settled in fairly well to Pre-K. His first day of not crying when I dropped him off was Monday, his fourth day of pre-K. I fully expected to almost start at square one after having the weekend off, so this was quite a pleasant surprise. Maybe switching to a totally new school for kindergarten next year won't be as much of a trauma as I fear it will be?

He's been wearing underwear to school, too. Not that he's actually using the potty, yet, but, as his teacher, J, said, "His accidents are getting closer to the toilet each day!" Today he actually held it until it was an emergency, and peed on the floor in front of the toilet because he simply couldn't hold it any more. His pants were off and everything. He still insists that toilet is not private enough, and asked Darrel the other day if he could build a door to put on there.

He greeted me after school the other day with the words, "Mommy, my ear hurts." Okay, this is the kid whose head has hit the driveway, and slid down a flight of stairs on his butt and laughed both incidents off, so the fact that he was complaining of pain would have alarmed me, anyway, but we had just been to the ENT three weeks ago to check on his tubes, and they are "still lodged in there pretty firmly." So I was quite freaked.

When we got home, it was too late to call the doctor- the office was closed for the day. He didn't have a fever, but I gave him Tylenol, and a half hour later, he told me his ear didn't hurt anymore. The next morning, we dosed him with Tylenol again, and sent him to school. (This early in the school year, I cannot be calling in sick, and Darrel just started a new job two weeks ago, so that would look pretty bad to be calling in sick or asking to work from home one day this early on.) Because I interpret stright through in the mornings, I told Darrel to call the pediatrician and make an appointment for immediately after school. I took Frank in, and sure enough, he has an ear infection, a bad one. Is that tube not working anymore? Not sure. He got an oral antibiotic and ear drops. He's going back in two weeks, anyway, for his yearly exam, and she said if his ear wasn't markedly better, she was sending us back to the ENT.

She also, because of his drippy nose the past few weeks, advised me to give him Calritin for the next few weeks, because seasonal allergies are really bad for a lot of people right now, and she thinks that's what's causing the drippy nose. Yay, not only do we have to put ear drops in, give him an oral (liquid) antibiotic once daily, we now have to give him liquid Claritin as well.

All of the above are going over with the boy as well as you might imagine. I had to sit on him and use my legs to pin his arms down this evening to put the ear drops in. As for the liquid meds? I bribe him with extra juice boxes. He is normally allowed to have only two of the tiny-sized juice boxes a day, and knowing this, he hoards them and reserves them for late in the day. I told him he could have one extra juice box per dosage if he took it without incident, and this evening that actually seemed to work.

There are days, weeks, even, when I feel like all I am doing is treading water. This has been one of those weeks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Make it stop!

Okay, so we have one child. About six months after Frank was born, I was seriously ill, ill enough that the surgeon who put chest tubes in me told me that if I had walked around in that condition another couple of days, I could have died. Tha doctor and another both told me that another pregnancy was not a good idea, because they "could not guarantee a positive outcome". Darrel and I easily read the handwriting on the wall and said okay, we're done. We had been leaning towards only having one child at that point, anyway, so it was a pretty easy decision for us all around.

Lately, I am surrounded by pregnant women. One coworker just gave birth to her second child two weeks ago, another one just announced her first pregnancy two days ago, my sister in law is pregnant with her second child, Darrel's cousin's wife is due in a few weeks with her first child, and three teachers at school gave birth over the summer.

I am finding, since I am being bombarded with pregnancy all around me, that I am jealous. And there's really no reason for me to be, because, as I said, before Mother Nature essentially made the decision for us, we were leaning towards that very decision, anyway.

I find myself wondering what a daughter of ours would look like, what she would be interested in, would she and I have a close relationship or an adversarial one. I find myself feeling like I want to be pregnant again, which is the stupidest part of all, because I HATED being pregnant. You know that feeling you get when you're getting sick? You don't have a sore throat or anything yet, you just feel yucky? That's how I felt the entire pregnancy. Add in morning sickness the first 14 weeks, and shortness of breath for most of the rest of it, and I was not happy for nine months. And I suspect, although he's never said anything, that Darrel wasn't really happy, either, because I'm sure I was a tiny bit difficult to be around sometimes.

So, why these twinges of wanting another baby? I don't know why, but please, God, make them stop!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Red-shirting kindergarteners?

So, this article, appeared earlier this week:

It's really got me thinking more about this whole parenting thing in general, and my own child in particular. Frank's birthday is September 20th. The cutoff date in our district is October 1st. Most people in this position, especially with a boy, would "hold back" their child until the September he turns six. We plan on sending him when he turns five, next year. The amount of crap we are getting for this decision is incredible. Everyone from my mother ("This is one of the worst possible educational decisions you could make for him. He will struggle for his entire educational career.") to coworkers ("I held back my son. It was the right decision. I'd do it again.") has an opinion on my son's education, or rather, when that education will officially start.

You're really damned if you do, and damned if you don't when it comes to parenting, I've found. It starts before birth, even: What kind of birth are you planning? You do have a birth plan, right? And, then, the birth itself: Really, you had a c-section? There are entirely too many c-sections in this country. They're not neccessary. Our ancestors gave birth in between working crops and humanity has turned out just fine. Then: What do you mean you're not breastfeeding??? Breast is best! It'll keep your kid from having ear infections! And so on.

I was prepared for a lot of things when I decided I wanted children. I was prepared to lose a lot of sleep, for starters, although, as an insomniac, I haven't noticed much difference from before baby to after. I was prepared to constantly worry about the child. I even knew there'd be a constant roller coaster of emotions that went with motherhood. (When you work in a field that is dominated by women, you learn stuff just by listening at the lunch table.)

I never thought I'd feel like I have to explain every decision I make for my child to people in my life who are not my child's other parent. No, I should not feel like I have to explain things to others, but in real life, I am incredibly nonconfrontational, and telling people to butt out is still a skill I have not yet developed fully.

As for the future kindergartener? Well, my husband and I have taken into account everything about him, his personality, his skills, and his physical development. The only thing that concerns me is the kids who will be a year or sometimes more older than he will be. My concern is that his behavior, which should be age-appropriate for chronological age five years zero months will look not as good compared to age appropriate behavior displayed by kids who are chronological age six years and zero months.

First Day of Pre-K

Summer is over. Mr "I don't like change" had been visiting his pre-k class a few times over the last couple of weeks, and told me the other day, "You know, Mommy, pre-k is nice, but I really like my preschool class better." (Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there?)

So, I didn't really have a huge amount of optimism for how today, the first full day of pre-k, would go. Call it a self-fullfilling prophecy, but it went pretty much as I had expected. He sobbed at home to each of us in turn, telling us how much he liked his preschool class and that he really didn't want to go to pre-k. No matter how much we tried to rationalize ("You didn't like preschool when you started last year! Mommy was nervous on her first day of school last week, and it's fine now! Daddy was nervous on his first day of his new job last week, and it's fine now!"), he's three going on four, and therefore incapable of rational thought.

I had to carry him into the building, and hold him, as he sobbed that he really didn't want to be there, and could I please not leave him there. I left to the sound of him sobbing, which, may I tell you, is not an awesome way to start one's day. But when I called later, around 9:30am, I discovered that he only cried for about five minutes after I left, and he was thrilled because he was the Helper of the Day. (All we have been able to get as explanation for what this entails is, "I held the door open for everyone!" Apparently this is a Very Big Deal when you are four, or nearly so.)

Anyway, he greeted me when I arrived to pick him up with, "I had a super day!" However, "Tomorrow I would really like to go back to my other class." Um, I hate to tell you, kid, but that is not how this whole school thing works...