Thursday, September 06, 2012

Mommy Guilt

Noah had his first day of school two days ago.  I have to be honest, I was ready. So  ready. I know that might sound harsh, and I feel guilty for saying it, but summer felt long and exhausting.

Of course though, as soon as Noah left the house with Jon on Tuesday (Jon passes school on the way to work and does drop-off), I felt a pang of sadness. And then, ironically, I had a moment of wistfully missing him while grocery shopping. Which is so odd, because trying to grocery shop with Noah is like banging your head against a wall. 

But I missed him. Quite a bit. And I was excited to get to school for pick up. I was so excited while turning into the school parking lot, but upon arriving, I could not find A SINGLE PARK SPACE!  In my five years at this school, that has never happened. I don't know what was going on, but a bajillion parents decided to pick their kids up, all at the same time, and to not leave promptly. Noah's school is preschool -12th grade. This campus houses the preschool -5th graders. They stagger pick-up time by grades, so there usually isn't a problem with parking. It was a mad house on Tuesday though.

So I'm circling the parking lot, no spaces, and I'm starting to panic. The way things are, if I set Noah up with lots of good, solid routine and predictability, he does fantastic and is worry-free. He's awesome.  If I can't find a parking spot though, and I am LATE ON THE FIRST DAY to pick him up.................. batten down the hatches! I can't even go there. It would be bad. Like not good, type of bad. . Like, "I thought Mom forgot me on the first day." bad. Probably. Maybe. I don't know, he's grown up a lot recently. BUT WHY RISK IT!?

So of course I put in a frantic call to the classroom, and I'm all concerned that I will be interrupting the class on the first day, so I'm panicking about actually calling and panicking about the parking and blah....blah...blah.....Mom guilt! I'm a Mom, so naturally, let's panic! PANIC!

And I give Noah's teacher, the rundown of the "parking lot situation", while hyperventilating down the phone.  Because of course the parking lot is the crazy one, not me!
And I Noah's teacher  to please send Noah out to the carpool line, as this is the only place I could find to squeeze in. And "squeeze in" is the operative word(s) here because even carpool line was OFF DA HOOK.

Situation narrowly adverted, so I'm all excited to see Noah emerge on this first and historical day. (What? It's historical, right?)
And I see him running towards my car and he looks like a tiny cupid all bouncing and running and smiling. Like a tiny baby bear, all angelic and perfect and I love him.  And my heart is big and proud and I squeal. Squeal with happiness that my boy is back! He's home!

And. the. it. all. comes. to. a. screeching. halt.

Um, HELLO!!!!?????.....................................Wait, what are you doing Noah?  Noah! WAIT! Where are you going!!!!!!!!?????????????

The little dude comes bounding up to my car in the UBER busy carpool line, starts to get into the back seat, freezes, and declares : "WAIT! I have to go see...blah blah blah ...............something....someone...MINECRAFT....blahhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
And before I even know what is happening or can stop him, the kid FLIES. OUT.OF.MY.CAR and down the hill and back to his school building!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAAAAAAAAAT!? I was SO angry. Oh my gosh, I tell you. I was so mad. WHAT was he thinking!? Noah knows, as do I, as we have been reminded often and recently, to take carpool line and parking lot rules seriously. They need to get many people in and out of this zone, and you don't dilly dally. There is a LINE.....a BIG LINE of parents waiting behind us, who also want to collect their children. You don't  mess around, and you certainly do not RUN AWAY FROM  YOUR MOTHER!

Oy vey. So, again, you can picture me all panicky and I'm calling "Noah! Noah!" out of the passenger side door, WHICH WAS LEFT WIDE OPEN. But it doesn't matter because he is way too far away to ever hear me. And I'm SURE that I must look like an idiot parent who can't even control her child enough to actually GET HIM INTO THE CAR in carpool line. I'm sure they were all just way too polite to honk, even though I was holding up the line. Panic! Mom Guilt! And I'm seat belted in you see, and too panicked to un-belt, because then it would look too un-P.C. to be in a car without your belt on. Panic! Mom Guilt! But REGARDLESS, there is a rule that you are not supposed to exit your car to stand around while in carpool line, so there's no way I was going to get out and break that one.

And so I see my little squirt of a kid running around and socializing and talking to the head of the school and then finally finding the friend who he originally wanted to ask the damn Minecraft question of. We'll call the friend "Bill". 

Then, something happens, that makes me even MORE upset, if that is even possible. As I'm flailing around, STILL SEATBELTED IN for some reason,  trying to close the passenger-side door. Because, you know, maybe if the door is closed, I can fool people, and it'll just look like Noah hasn't come out of school yet. MOM GUILT!

So Noah starts heading for our car with Bill in tow. And precedes to do the ONE.THING.

The ONE THING PEOPLE, that his Father and I asked of him for this year. (Other than listening and doing his best.) The one stinking rule we went over the day before. To STOP putting me on the spot after school, asking for a play dates with BILL. You have to understand, you MUST understand. This is how it goes................................Every single annoying day last year, I would pick Noah up and Noah and Bill, without fail,  would run up to me and say "Can we have a play date!? Can we!? Caaaaaaaaaaan weeeeeeeeeeeee!?". Which would not only put me on the spot but force me to AGAIN, for the quadrillionth time explain that I'm sorry, if they want a play date, we need to "plan ahead" and that I need to speak with Bill's parents, and that we don't live near to each other and that because of time constraints and distance, Bill's parents and I think weekends are much better for play dates. Which you know, to them sounds like "wha wha wha wha, and evil daggers of parental reign. (And of course I would then have SPECTACULAR MOM GUILT.  I would say "Sorry guys, not today, but let's plan ahead for another day." And then the boys would frown and sometimes Noah would start to cry, and without a doubt he would be angry with me, and let me tell you, those car rides home with an angry seven-year-old....oh. WHAT a pleasure. What a lovely treat. 

Where was I...... so after you know, just  abandoning me in carpool lane, he eventually saunters back with  Bill to ask "THE QUESTION" and I just say "NO!" and I am seriously shocked. SHOCKED that he would just run away from my car and all the way back to his building and then come and ask about a play date. And I am upset and tell him so and then he yells: "MOOOoooooooooooMMMMMMMMM!" in front of everyone. Which is like, not only inappropriate to yell at your Mother, but SUPER embarrassing in front of the whole school, while you're also, oh, just holdin' up la carpool lane for five minutes of so........ I tell him to get into the car and that he has lost his "Minecraft Time" for the day. You'd think I ruined his life. The tears, the hopelessness, the loss of one hour of computer. I must have no humanity. And guess what? We have YET ANOTHER! Great ride home from school. Said me, never.

And I'm thinking to myself: "Ok, I'm alright with the school year starting....after all. " But, to be fair to my sweet, angelic, little baby cherub bear of love....................

I want to give the kid a lot of credit, I heard he had a GREAT first day. (Minus a small argument with Bill at the Lego table.) And I can not tell you how proud, super , super, SUUUUUUPER proud I was of Noah  for going to school with no tears! He was so brave! And positive! That takes a lot!

What a huge step this was for us. Noah has cried ever single year of school, especially in the first several weeks (or years). Can you say "EPIC MOMMY GUILT"!?
Things finally started getting better mid-year last year. This separation anxiety runs in the family. Myself, and even my MOTHER, did the exact same thing as kids. I finally stopped my daily drop-off cry in Third grade. (Oh, they must have LOVE me, huh!?)

I just couldn't be more proud and happy for Noah. He walked into school with lots of confidence.
I have to give him props for that.

And did I mention that he started third, THIRD grade!? I thought he was like, still in Kindergarten. When did this third grade stuff happen? Time really flies..................

I've been feeling sad recently, contemplating the third grade thing and how fast the years are going. K-1st-2nd seems like "early elementary" and 3rd-4th-5th grades are later. It's almost surreal. I second guessed myself this week. Noah is a little young for his grade, especially with the trend of "Red-shirting" in our area. He's still seven, and won't be eight until mid-November. Almost every single one of our non-school buddies, of the same age, started Kindergarten a year later than we did. They're all starting second grade this year, and I'm sad that I don't get that extra year with Noah at home. GUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILT!!!!!!!!!!! Mom Guilt!

But, it's worked out for us. Every kid is different. Our school made the suggestion of when to move on to Kindergarten, and it worked out.  I'm sure he would have benefited from an extra year to mature, (Psssst. guilt.)but in other areas, it's been a  perfect fit for him  and I can't imagine Noah being without the friends he has now.

The picture below is proof that he is indeed a third grader, with third grader, "I am a big kid now" ideas.
He has announced that he "isn't into plaid anymore" . STOP!

Do you know!?. You DO KNOW, right? That plaid is Noah's "signature pattern"? I was very gracious and accommodating when he refused to wear his "signature item" anymore....the OVERALLS , but come on, now the plaid too!?

Perhaps he'll change his mind. Fingers crossed. For now, he covered the plaid with his favorite new tee-shirt, because the tee-shirt has a mustache. A Mustache was the draw.

Do you think mustache = the beauty of plaid? I know, neither do I.

He also requested, very guy-ish, A-a-a-a-a-thletic sneakers instead of sweet, little school shoes. 
And when I was trying to hurry him out the door by assisting with the shoes and socks, he corrected me and said: "No, Mom, I like to wear my socks like this!"
Whence then he proceeded to pull them up as high as possible.

Oooooooooh to be a  third grader. Not a baby anymore.

We started a new rule, (Mom Guilt!) that so far, is going great. No screen time in the morning before school. Noah liked to watch cartoons before school, but we really want him to focus on getting ready, eating and staying calm. He doesn't seem to miss TV, and he's been reading each morning. Noah loves to read. He was doing great this past year, reading interesting and varied subjects, challenging himself with Harry Potter books........... But then!... Since summer began, he has almost exclusively only read the same six books, over and over and over. And as GUILTY as I feel about that, we just let him.

The dude is OBSESSED with the Diary of a Wimpy Kids series. He proudly proclaimed last week that he read 24 chapter books back-to-back. That is all 6 D.O.A.W.K. book 4 times. In a row. And now, Dude is on the 5th re-read. Will he EVER get sick of them!!!???? Although, I must confess, with a lot of Guilt,  I did hand him a Nate the Great book the first morning of school and he was pretty down with it.

The following picture is Noah "eating breakfast", which meant he didn't. He's not a big eater this guy. (MOMMY GUILT!) Which makes me wonder, is he really related to Jon and I? Last school year, actually, for the past five years, we've tried and tried and tried to get Noah to eat, especially his school lunches. We've let him pick out lunch boxes and special bags and special ice packs and little cartoon silverware and chop sticks. CHOPSTICKS. We've bought SPECIAL lunch boxes like the Goodbyn and the Planetbox.  We've found awesome looking bento boxes and even ordered cute, little animal tooth picks and tiny cookie cutters and HARD BOILED EGG MOLDS in the shape of bears. Anything! Anything to get this kid to eat!

For years. YEEEEEEEAAAARS, every single school night, Jon or I would boil water. We'd make buttery Parmesan pasta for his lunch box and hard boiled eggs. Seriously, for two years, all he would eat was hard boild eggs. We'd chop every veggie you could imagine, delicately load them on "cool tooth picks" in hopes that he would eat them. We tried everything and anything....because he absolutely did not, claimed he COULD not, eat a sandwich. Because, it had.........two things touching.

So guess what happened now!? The MOST AWESOME THING EVER!!!!!!! (even though, it is also including an unheard of amount of Mom guilt.)

Ok, ready.................................................................................................................................................................................................................  We bought Noah a .....................................

............ LUNCH CARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And WOULDN'T YOU KNOW......The boy who has never ever ever ever ever ever eaten his lunch,

On the first day he ate, and I quote: "Chicken! And corn! And eggs! And vegetables! And milk! And a Rice Krispie Treat!
And yesterday he had: "Pancakes! and Eggs! And Sausage and milk! And a rice Krispie Treat!

"And I wanted to go back for seconds of eggs, but I've been eating a lot of eggs lately and it's too much cholesterol."

"And Mom, guess what? Today I was the ONLY kid in the whole school at lunch to ask from the green beans."

Yep. Lunch eating problem solved!
And although I feel like a bad Mom, because SERIOUSLY, I would keep making homemade lunches if he ate them! I'm also at the moment like:  
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have to peel anymore hard boiled eggs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But then again, how could you not want to peel a hard boiled eggs for this sweet, little third grade muffin bear?


Redecórate con Lola Godoy said...

Hello, I love your blogs, it's great, a hug from Spain

Lauren said...

Hello Maria!

Thank you for your kind comment! :)
You have a very lovely, lovely blog. You are so creative!!!
Sending a hug from America!

Lauren :)