13 Feb 2012

The (not-so-awful) Play Date Situation

10 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler, Uncategorized

Something unexpected has come with having a son in preschool. No, not the germs. The moms.

I remember, vividly remember, saying I would NOT let my son’s friends dictate who my friends were. I remember dreading play dates the same way I dreaded nuclear war when I was nine. The thought of them kept me up crying until I fell asleep, a snotty, red-eyed mess. “Dear God, please don’t make me have to go to other people’s houses and make up some bullshit small talk while my son “parallel plays” with their kid. Please God, don’t force me to have strangers over, eating my food while their kids pull out all of Garrett’s toys and put them directly into their mouths.”

Play dates were a thing I had only read about online or heard horror stories about through friends of friends. I wanted nothing to do with them, or anything that came along with them.

But guess what happened? Guess!! Play dates happened. And they are glorious.

First of all, they take up at least two hours of what would otherwise be time that I would have to fill with crafts or art, or arts and crafts, or pulling out my hair trying to think of something to do besides arts and crafts. Not that I don’t adore, relish, and thank the lord for the time I have alone with G-Man. I do love this time. But there are days that are easier for both of us because of play dates. I have an only child. And he sometimes needs a playmate under 40 to hang out with after school.

Second of all, I have met some pretty freaking unbelievable women (and some awesome men) because of these dates of play. These are women I never would have known if it wasn’t for G. These are women from all walks of life, in varied careers, with fascinating stories. These are women who love their kids as hard as I love mine, who take great care in caring for their families, who miss the hell out of staying up until 2:00AM, taking weekend naps and working out five days a week, but wouldn’t trade the life they’re living now if you paid them.

They’re funny and smart and lovely. They are women I have things in common with. I don’t feel pressure to be anything other than myself around them, and I don’t feel pressured to be a better friend than I can be. Some of these women may only be in my life for a little while, but some might be around for the long haul. The great thing is, none of that really matters now because we’re mostly doing the play-date thing for our kids, so that they can be social and learn how to have their own friends.

I just never knew that my kid’s play dates would turn into dates that I looked so forward to. And, having lost friends from my past who no longer fit into my evolving life, nor I into theirs… I feel very lucky to be meeting new people who seem to be the exact people I need at this moment, (and hopefully some for years to come). I hope I offer as much to them as they do to me. It’s true what they say about one door closing and another one opening. I just had no idea it would be the door to my kid’s preschool classroom.

13 Oct 2010

Quick Preschool Update

No Comments Toddler

I went to pick Garrett up today and the teacher stopped me:

She told me Garrett had been crying a little in the morning and saying he missed his mommy. She realized that, it being free-play-time, he didn’t really have anything to do. No purpose.

“Garrett, maybe we should give you something to do”, she said.
“To make me happy?”
“Yes, to make you happy.”
Then he said, “Why don’t I draw a picture for mommy. That would make me happy.” And he did. And he was happy. And when I got there to get him, I was certainly happy to get my picture.

Isn’t it cool that a teacher, a preschool teacher, a teacher who spends her day with three-year-olds, cares enough to talk to them like people? She didn’t pander to him or only say, “Don’t cry”. She gave him something to do with his feelings. She gave him a purpose. I think that’s pretty gosh-darn fantastic. Here’s to all the teachers, from preschool to high school, who care enough to teach kids individually and to pay attention to who they’re teaching.

11 Oct 2010

Preschool

5 Comments Toddler

Garrett started preschool about a month ago at a very lovely, well-respected school. His first day there, he happily waved goodbye to me as he played with some plastic dinosaurs on the floor.  It was a little too easy of a transition; a little too good to be true.

Russ and I went to pick him up that day at 2:45, and he sobbed uncontrollably when he saw us.  His red, puffy eyes were an indication that he had been crying for some time.  “He was fine all morning”, said the teacher who had just handed him a graham cracker, “Then at lunch he just broke down”.  We chalked it up to separation anxiety and took him again the next day. This time he was slightly more hesitant and cried a little when I left, but the crying was even worse when I picked him up.

Come to find out, he was only one of two kids from his class who stayed through lunch and nap.  He had watched all the other kids get picked up by their mommies and daddies and clearly thought that we had forgotten him. Oof. The rest of that week, I stayed with him from nine to noon then took him home to nap.  The following Monday I kept him home, then started the process again.   If I even left to go to the bathroom, Garrett wept until I returned.  If I left him there for an hour, he’d slowly recover, but he was never truly happy. This was not my kid. Read more

01 Oct 2010

School Lunches!

4 Comments Nutrition, Toddler

Now that Garrett is in preschool, I have to make his lunch every day.  Let me rephrase that.  I ENJOY making his lunch every day!  Sometimes dinner is dictated by what I want G to have in his lunch box the next day, sometimes his lunch is dictated by the previous night’s dinner, and SOMETIMES I forget to make his lunch until we’re just about to leave for school.  These are the days when he better be happy with a turkey sandwich, whatever fruit and veggies are available, and some mini rice cakes.  I highly recommend Quaker Oats True Delights. G calls them his special treats.

If you are a mom that is just about to start the lunch-making process, or you’re just in need of some fresh ideas, please do yourself a favor and check out these two sites:
Weelicious.com is chock full of kid-friendly, earth-friendly, and mostly figure-friendly recipes.  This site will simultaneously make you love your kitchen and hate yourself.  Why will you hate yourself?  Because the site is run by Catherine McCord, a model-turned-chef who just seems to do everything right when it comes to feeding her kids.  She even gets them to Read more
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