Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crying in EC 1

Over the weekend, we had a family party to celebrate Audrey's 2nd birthday (which is in two days). Both sides of the family attended in our house. It was crowded, so some people spilled outside, many of the kids went downstairs into the cool basement to watch Hanna Montana, and others like me stayed in the kitchen, which was the warmest and most humid room in the house. It was not by choice, but because I had to help feed my kids, wash their hands, poke my head outside to make sure no one ran down the driveway, replenish food, and try to have a bite to eat. Nikko was in a fair mood and found most of his joy playing near the garage in the Little Tykes car, putting leaves into the driver's seat. When Nikko was inside the house, however, he was at my heels whining about one thing or another. He might have been too warm, he probably wanted to go back outside, and when it was cake time he was at my elbow making sure he got a piece that had plenty of icing. Thankfully I waited until the next day to open Audrey's birthday presents. Ronin was anxiously trying to rip the paper off the gifts while I tried to maintain order. Every time a gift was opened, the three kids converged on it until someone started pulling it away from the other. And so when we opened the Little Mommy set which included a doll, high chair, stroller and bed (all to assemble by myself), Nikko's eyes were big and fixated on the stroller. It was actually the younger two that kept meddling with the parts and pieces, to which I kept growling at them to back off. When the product was finished I warned the young 'uns that Nikko would probably play with it first and they would have to wait or take turns. Nikko obsessed over the baby in the stroller for a while, but he also was content to hang onto a Tinkerbell doll that had light-action wings and sound.

Today we had a great opportunity. I received a flyer last week regarding a Parent Meeting where we could meet other parents. And babysitting would be provided. How could I pass that up? It was for today, Monday, October 25th from 1-2pm. I replied that we would be in attendance. I wondered how the kids would handle being dropped off with other kids and teachers while I went to another room. I remembered how the kids had to go with the flow during the MGB Services retreat, going with other people to play games or do crafts and activities in a completely alien environment. At least Ronin and Nikko would be in familiar surroundings since it was at Westbrook School. So when we got to school, I walked the kids into the Early Childhood 1 Room, which was Nikko's classroom. He stepped in excitedly but when he turned back to see me wave good bye and back out the door, he suddenly pivoted and tried to bolt toward me. Mrs. Penner was in his way, then Mrs. Napoleon came over and Nikko was crying in protest. I quickly walked down to EC 2, which was Ronin's classroom, and got to sit right next to Mrs. Russell in a circle of parents, Mrs. McCarthy opposite me. I could hear Nikko's cries and wails through the walls and announced to the parents that that was MY kid, no need to be alarmed. LOL. The crying did subside within a few minutes while we had a roundtable discussion (with no table) regarding topics that we'd visit throughout the year. I interjected when I could, and found it supporting to hear that other parents went through the same woes. When the hour was up, we walked back to EC 1 and saw that all the kids were in a mad scramble to put all the toys back on the shelves. I saw Audrey hanging out next to a table of toys, and Ronin and Nikko were in the sea of kids running in circles to grab any toys off the floor. Then they spotted me and swarmed on me instantly. Nikko was smiling and laughing. I knelt down to his level to give him hugs and he took a few seconds to pause and really look me in the eye. He leaned in for a kiss, too. We are supposed to have these meetings 4-5 times over the year (they did it two years ago but stopped, and wanted to jumpstart it again). I think it's a great idea for parent support as well as the opportunity for my kids to see other kids on a day they don't normally go to school, and especially for Audrey who doesn't get to hang out with other kids unless it involves Ronin or her cousins. We came home in the afternoon and I tried to put Audrey down for the nap that she missed but she clearly didn't want to take a nap. I'm sure that will be fodder for the next parent meeting.

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