Monday, September 27, 2010

So (Not) Romantic

At dinner this evening, Capt. Obvious asked Capt. Adorable if he knew what tomorrow was. Of course Capt. Adorable did not know, so Capt. Obvious explained that tomorrow is our eighth wedding anniversary. I think he said something like, "tomorrow is the day Mommy and I got married eight years ago." Capt. Adorable responded, "What is married?" Capt. Obvious' replied, "Married is when Mommy and I decided to be legally bounded (I think he meant bonded?) to one another and the take advantage of the tax benefits." While I was rolling my eyes Capt. Adorable asked where he was and I was able to inject some love into the conversation by telling him, "you were in my heart and in Daddy's heart."

Well, I suppose he was trying to be romantic. Just didn't exactly translate... :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fun and Educational

I've written a few times about how I'd like to home school my son. While my plans may have changed somewhat, (you have probably noticed, haha, that we are sending him to preschool), I am still committed to home schooling...or, teaching him at home in addition to what he might learn in school. Or, to look at it another way: doing fun stuff together which is also educational. Of course, as you know from reading this blog, I take my son to many places; I try to provide a wide variety of fun and educational activities outside the home. But you may not know that I do a lot of projects with him on those days we do stay home all day (or a quiet inside activity in place of a nap or television). In my opinion, pretty much anything we do is a learning experience for Capt. Adorable! Here are some pics of a few of the things we've done together recently.
Toy zip line.
Boiling sunflower petals to make natural dye for homemade playdough.

Boiling pine needles to dye playdough
Kneading the sunflower dyed batch of home made playdough.
More kneading
L to R: dyed with oak bark, pine needles, and sunflower petals. Oak worked best.
And yesterday we made this together:
Two story toy house made of shoe boxes. Complete with ramp for accessing second floor!

Very pleased boy and just completed toy house.
I have not included pics of the milk carton boat (which really worked!) or the milk carton bird house (which we are still working on, sigh). Nor have I pictured any of the many, many paintings, drawings and collages Captain Adorable makes. I so enjoy doing these things with him! Many props and thanks to the wonderful blogs where I got the ideas for the naturally dyed play dough and the toy zip line.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Preschool Again

On Tuesday Capt. Adorable was dropped off and picked up at preschool by Capt. Obvious. According to the Daddy, the whole situation was fine and went just smoothly. The boy was disappointed that I was leaving for the day (I was on my way to an event in DC) but raised no real objections to preschool.

This morning (Thursday) however, when he found out that today was a school day, he immediately started saying that he was sick and could not go to school. I asked, "what if I told you we were going to Port Discovery instead?" and of course the stomach ache and the sickness immediately disappeared. When I told him that today was indeed a school day suddenly he was sick again. Now, he did have a very snotty nose (and has had for a few days now) but no fever. I think it is allergies--more about that later.

In the car when we arrived he asked me to go downstairs to watch him play. I said no and worried why he wanted me to be with him still. However, once at school this morning he was happy and barely said goodbye to me. He opened his backpack (which he packs full of stuff) to show the teacher what was inside before he even went in to school! He clearly enjoys himself at school, so why is he so reluctant to go? And so reluctant to admit he likes it?

My brother and his wife were visiting for the last few days. Although they are expecting a child, they do not have any now and my darling boy was definitely swept to the side (or shall I say, plain old ignored) more often than not. I think this may have increased his need for mama love. His behavior has been crazy at times and has resulted in a lot of discussions and twice I've felt the need to leave a location as a result of misbehavior on his part. Or is it the preschool? Sigh. I just want to support him and make him happy and confident.

I have to go pick him up now. Qucikly I will add that I gave him allergy medicene this morning just to see if it would make him stop sneezing and snotting. He was much less snotty by the time we got to school; I wonder how it will be when I pick him up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alligators and Superheroes

Yesterday Captain Adorable told my brother and me some stories. Here's the one I enjoyed the most.
Once there was a little alligator and his name was Spider. He had a mommy and her name was Tree because she was all green. Spider and Tree were hungry so they tried to kill a shark. They tried to smash its bones. But they had to keep fighting and fighting and the shark ate Tree. Spider tried to fight the shark to get his mommy out but he couldn't and the shark ate him all up.
 Here's another one, which he told me later in the evening.
Spiderman was looking for some food. He was swinging on his webbing and he crashed into a tree. He broke his mask and his leg and all his webbing came out. He had to go to the doctor. His leg healed and he got new webbing but he could not find another mask so he had to get a Batman mask.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Good Start

Today Capt. Adorable had preschool again. I started talking about it yesterday. (We had a playdate with a boy Capt. Adorable really likes and a mama I really like, plus a supercute baby brother.) I mentioned the names of his other friends who go to preschool (they all go to different schools, unfortunately). I mentioned how he was going to have fun and dwelt on the fun things he has already described to me. He was still not that into and mentioned how the school was too far away.

Last night he was playing with his backpack and packed it with stuff to take to school. I saw that as a good sign. This morning, while we were having our morning cuddle in bed, I reminded him that he was going to preschool today. His response was, "the floor is too hard." Of course I had no idea what the significance of the statement might be, so I asked for clarification. He told me that it hurts his butt when they sit down. I told him he should ask the teacher for a pillow, and then suggested that perhaps he could sit on the little sheepskin rug. He was not into either idea.

After breakfast he willingly ran upstairs to get his socks so he could wear his grey shoes. He put them on and then I sat on the floor with him to talk about how we would say goodbye to each other when I took him to school. I told him each step as it would happen (we will get in the car and drive to school. I will hold you in my arms while we sit on the deck and wait for the door to open. I will give you a kiss and a hug and then we will walk inside and I will leave). He cooperated fully and we got to school with enough time to sit together for a few minutes before we had to go inside.

While walking from the parking lot to the door, he said, "I think Miss Teacher and Miss Aide are getting ready for the children to come now." I thought that was a sign of anticipation. While sitting together on the deck, he went through his objections again: "This school is too far away; I want to go to a different school; et cetera." I kept silent (there was a lot going on and he was watching the other children already there and the ones arriving). We were only there for 2-3 minutes and then it was time to go in. I asked him if he could go in by himself or if I should hand him to Miss Teacher. He replied,"You should not hand me to Miss Teacher." Sure enough, we walked in together and he was fine with getting in line to go downstairs (and out to the playground) by himself. I was eager to leave, to get out of his sight; to make sure that the sight of me there did not change his mind and cause him to feel regretful and clingy. However, Miss Teacher wanted to talk to me about a form I had to fill out (later when I looked at it I saw all that I had to do was check all boxes no and then sign it) and she was talking to another mommy and did not seem to be hurrying, so I kissed Capt. Adorable and walked out (he calmly blew me kisses with a smile). She popped out after me quickly, which surprised me because I was so concentrated on getting out of there with a happy child inside...oh well, I think everything turned out alright.

When I picked him up he was once again not the first kid out and was happy to see me, but was also clearly ready to go! It was a little hard to contain him while I filled out the form (quick as the task was), but we got through it without any misbehavior. I wanted to follow Capt. Adorable's lead and leave as quickly as possible, so I got the form filled out and set it on the table and left without waiting for the opportunity to make nice before I left. Hope that was ok!

On the way home Capt. Adorable yelled at me because I told him I did not have money to take him to a restaurant for lunch. (Should post about my attempt to explain household budgetting to someone who cannot add or subtract sometime.) He also told me I was being rude and that I should not ask him about what he did today in response to my questions concerning just that.

After lunch we went to the library to return all our books and sort out a problem. Then we went to a craft store and bought masks and paint and little shiny things to stick on the masks. We have been painting and glueing and having a good time but now it is time for the stuff we've put on already to dry, so we're watching Little Bear for a bit.

Looking forward to another playdate tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Family Fun on the Water

Lately we've been doing sunset sails. We leave at about 4-5 in the evening and get home at about 8:30-9:30 (but usually about 9). We motor till the channel is wide enough and the wind strong enough to sail in the river and then just sit back and relax and watch the sunset. Usually we have dinner from Subway (I know, I'm a loser but at least it is vaguely healthy...) and perhaps Capt. Obvious and I share a bottle of wine. Or he has a beer or two and I have water. It is nice and relaxing and has given me plenty of opportunity to be at the tiller and practice raising the mainsail and all the other boat tasks, including parking at the transient dock (a bit complicated, even with no wind and glassy water...).

This evening we went out and had a rollicking good time. Capt. Obvious cracked Capt. Adorable up by making a funny sound and repeating it over and over. Capt. Adorable was laughing so hard he almost fell down! In fact, he laughed so hard a tear came out of one eye! I was laughing myself silly too. Such Fun.

While we were on the boat we were informed that when Capt. Adorable grows up he is going to get "a cargo ship, only a cargo ship." Tonight Capt. Obvious looked it up and apparently you can buy a reasonable one for like 8 million. Much cheaper than one might have thought! (Ha!)

More PreSchool Angst

Captain Adorable has been giving conflicting comments about preschool since the last time he went (Thursday). I know he had a good time; they played outside, they dressed up (he said he wore a red dress and glitter shoes--he's very into glitter lately), they played with marbles and a marble run, they read books (I think), they played with the kitchen, they had a snack (watermelon).

But he has said everything from, "I'm too sick to go to school," (he has a cold) to "Yes, it will be fun," to "I want you to go to preschool with me, mama." This morning he delayed and delayed till we actually did not have time to eat breakfast before going (this, the same child who wakes up jumping every morning). Yet, he packed his backpack full of stuff to take along. When I protested that I did not want him to take library books he informed  me that the other kids brought books and that's what you were supposed to do. So I let him take them.

We had discussed that I would give him a hug and a kiss and then leave but when confronted with this actually happening he did not want to let go of me. There was crying and clinging to the gate. The teacher gently reproached me for not handing him to her, which I had not done because I wanted to convince him to walk down (to the playground in the back yard) on his own.

Even if I didn't send him to preschool, what would we do? All the kids his age go to preschool, so they've disappeared anyhow. Plus, this is only 2 days a week. We still have plenty of time together. Time to talk, read, play games, do art and other projects and explore the world together.

Oh my darling sweet boy. I know you enjoy it and I know it is a safe place for you. I hope for both our sakes that leaving me in the morning will become easier and easier. I love you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Whole Story

So, here's the long version of Captain Adorable's first day of pre-school and the after math.

We arrived a little late (my navigator (GPS) did not know where it was), so when we got there it was a little hectic and Capt. Adorable did not really settle in. Also, there had been a couple of chances to meet other kids in his class but the first one was on the same day as my most recent CT scan and Capt. Adorable was sick for the second one, so we had to cancel. Therefore he was in a room of strangers. The teacher did give us a long chance to get acclimated before she took the kids downstairs and out to the enclosed back yard to play. Most parents left at that point ("a natural time to leave," as the teacher said). A few accompanied their darlings to the playground, as I did. Captain Adorable was clinging to me and the only way I knew to get him to feel confident was to promise him I would not leave. That way he would leave me and play and hopefully get more comfortable.

Well, that's exactly what he did. He played and explored and played and ran and climbed and et cetera. All the other mommies and daddies were gone. I was sitting by myself on a little bench, wishing I had a book since I was a little bored and wondered why I was required to be there if I was being completely ignored. I thought about sneaking out but I don't break the promises I make to my child, so rejected that idea immediately. (Plus I thought the repercussion of that might be to encourage further clinging in the future.) At one point I asked him if it was ok to leave, he said yes, we kissed and hugged, and I almost made it to the door when he called me back. Again I promised not to leave till they went back upstairs (the teacher had indicated this was "another natural time to leave"). After this the teacher asked him if he was a good helper ("Yes, I am a good helper!") and if he would help her with the snack when they went inside. He agreed.

A little girl came up to me and asked, "What are you waiting for?" I thought she was cute and wished Capt. Adorable (on the other side of the playground, totally out of my sight) could have heard her as well. A few minutes later a different girl (Capt. Adorable is one of 7 children with 2 adults and the only boy) told him she wanted to go inside (she was cold). He came to tell me this and I prompted him to tell the teacher; he did so. The teacher told him that he could choose when we went in. She knew full well that I would leave upon our return upstairs. She asked him if he wanted to go in after a long time or after a little bit of time. He replied, "I want to go in right now."

The teacher got them all lined up (Capt. Adorable was the caboose) and cracked to jokes about the wrong way and the right way to go up the stairs. Capt. Adorable guffawed happily. She sang a song and led them in touching various body parts (head, shoulders, etc) and Capt Adorable confidently joined in the activity. When we finally went upstairs Captain Adorable was no longer last in line, and was happily removing his new school shoes ("They're really fast") in putting them in the basket with the other kids when I moved towards the door.

I kissed and hugged him and then it began to be a little more intense on his part (he did not cry but his fair little face was red around the eyes) and I stepped outside, just so that the other kids would not be affected by this scene and began to close the door. The teacher saw this and stopped the door from closing (which was smart I think because if I had closed the door I am sure he would have wanted to go with me). We hugged and kissed and talked about how I would be back with a kids meal from Subway for lunch. I was holding him in my arms and handed him to the teacher. She encouraged him to blow me a kiss and I blew him one too. She said his kiss was not big enough and asked him to blow me another. We exchanged air kisses. I left.

I drove home, called my mommy and my husband (yes, in that order, but she is more likely to answer the phone), and wrote the post you may have already read.  I returned at the appropriate time and got a seat right in front of the door. Captain Adorable was not the first kid out, nor the second. I was kind of eager for him, but I think he was actually the last child out the door. He emerged with a confident smile and gave the teacher a big hug. He did not see me and went back in! I called him and he came back out. I got my hug. He was happy. We had our lunch with one other girl (the same one who wanted to go in) and her mom. They were going to a gymnastics class after lunch and invited us to tag along so we did. Once he had me in the car alone he said, "Mommy I wish you could come to pre-school with me."

The gym was really cool and Capt. Adorable got to have a free demo class with his buddy from pre-school. This time he ignored me so completely that I was able to go sit in the waiting area, totally outside of his vision, and chat with the other mom. I was astounded. In a good way. On the way home he collapsed into sleep and I knew he needed it so I let him nap. When Daddy came home they left to play soccer and didn't come back for so long that I actually got in the car to go look for them at the playground where they I knew they would go. I found them about halfway home, happily riding their bikes. It turns out another mom in the neighborhood has organized a kid's running group once a week on Thursday evening, so just as they were about to leave the other kids showed up and of course Capt. Adorable wanted to stay. We didn't have dinner till 7:30 at least!

That night (last night) he slept badly. Lately he has been sleeping in his own bed all night (from 8:30 or so till 7:00 or 7:30 or sometimes 8:00). By 12:30 last night I had already been up and at his side 3 times. At 1:30 he woke us all up and the whole family was uprooted as we figured out where to sleep (he kicks so much that we cannot all sleep in the same bed anymore, boohoo). Obviously he was deeply affected by yesterday's events. Today we talked about how he would go back to school on Tuesday. He was not interested!

This afternoon we went sailing. The weather was the gentle cool of early fall. The wind was good but not too much. The sunset was gorgeous. Capt. Obvious and I are trying to give me more experience captaining the boat, so I did a lot of driving. Capt. Adorable had a long nap. I hope he sleeps well tonight. I am tired.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Day

Today is Captain Adorable's first day of pre-school. Or nursery school, depending what country you live in. ;) He is enrolled in a program that is Reggio Emilia inspired and he attends two a week for 2 hours 45 minutes. I had to stay over an hour after we arrived this morning (I was ignored for most of that time because he was enjoying himself and playing with the other kids). I have to leave in a couple minutes to go pick him up because I promised a kid's meal from Subway for lunch (the school has a tradition of kids and parents all eating together after school). I can't wait to hear his stories about his morning!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday Parties and Sailing...

...that pretty much sums up what I've been doing lately. Since September began I've been doing my usual thang: hanging out with the good sweet boy who is my son and the sometimes-funny honey man who is my husband and seeing friends and doing all the things that need to be done to make our house and our family run smoothly.

Since Labor Day weekend (Labor Day was Sept 6), I've been to 2 birthday parties, given 1 birthday party, been sailing 3 times, gone to the mall 3 time (no, I can't believe it either), and been on 2 playdates.

Forgive me, if you can, for not updating my blog.