Sunday, August 30, 2015

Letter to My Son

Dear Son,

Last week was your first week of Preschool.  Some of the other mommies that I keep in touch with on-line were surprised with you going to preschool.  It's a big step, but after you did so well with summer camp, I knew you could do this and it would be good for you.

You have a "safe" sentence when dropping you off to school.  "I have to go to work."  You know this means the person is leaving, but will be coming back.  (Versus "Goodbye" - this word still upsets you and will make you cry.)  So, Oma and Opa (or Opapa/Papa as you say) will tell you that that are "going to work" when they drop you off.  You haven't cried when arriving at school and you are having a lot of fun.

However... There was one day when you hit a child.  The teacher said it was unprovoked, but didn't say much more, other than the rest of the day was a good one for you.  I have only seen you hit when you are frustrated, someone takes something from you or you are overly tired.  So, this confuses me and I wish I could see you in the setting and what happened.  You might have felt the need to protect a toy or might have reacted to a look.  You went through a temper tantrum phase before you could talk (based primarily on being unable to communicate), but now that you are talking those tantrums are rare....  It will bother me if more of this behavior happens.  We work with you on the concept of "sharing" and you will share, sometimes you will laugh and say "no."

After you hit, the teacher put you in time out for one minute.  School policy is "one minute of time out per age."  Those minutes can seem long for a child.

But to back to the positive!  On your first day, you did handprints - I absolutely LOVE this!  You showed me the paper and said, "Pat, pat, pat" -- you patted the paint on the paper.

This week for school, you are being taught the color, "Red."  You already know most of your colors, red, blue, purple, brown, white, black, pink.  You know yellow, but you have a hard time saying the word - sounds more like "low."  And for some reason you shy away from saying "green."  I think it's great that the school is going over colors - this week is Red.  Next is Blue, then Yellow, Purple and Brown.  It's good confirmation of what we teach at home, over a duration of time in a different setting.  Your class will also focus on Circles and Apple in September.

I asked what you made; you said, "I make APPLE!"
Perfect project - circle plate, red color and apple! 

When Daddy brought you school, he found out that, yet again, "it's a small world."  The school setting was what Daddy expected with it being "pandemonium, kids and parents, lots of noise."  The school is very strict about the time that the children are dropped off and they expect the parents to drop off the child to the classroom and school bag to the hanger as quickly as possible.  But after Daddy did this, he recognized one of the teachers in a different room, Mrs. Carrie Molliere.  She used to work with Greg as an administrative assistant at Cuco's Restaurant many years ago.  Mrs. Molliere told Daddy, "Gregory is in excellent hands."  It's so nice that Daddy knows someone there, even though we already know and appreciate the church community and have heard many great things about the school, it's always reassuring to know someone there too.

Last week was such lovely weather!  For months it has been too hot and humid to go outside for our walks or time at the park, so once the cooler temperatures of 89 arrived - to the park we went - every day last week!  When you were first learning how to walk, you braved the slides.  Then you learned fear and didn't want to go down the slides no matter how we tried.  But now?  At first, you would go down the slide sitting on our laps (improvement) and then... you went by yourself and now... you WALK UP the slide and go immediately back down and immediately walk back up the slide again - repeat.  You love that you can walk up the slide.  Mommy was worried; Daddy was proud!  One thing is for sure... the walk up eventually wears you out.

Park at Mike Miley

You enjoy going up the rock wall, but still not sure about where your feet go.

You are determined to try new things

On the slide with Daddy

You always love the swing

On the slide with Mommy

We went for a walk/run when we got back home.

Daddy wanted donuts.

You wanted the toy machine.. but Mommy said.. ummm. it might be broken.

All four "guys" in the below picture - You, Daddy, Dewy, Tigger
Getting ready to go to Lafreniere Park!

The next pictures are a tunnel that curves and goes up, you enjoy climbing through it.
You used to go slow - but now you move really quickly.


Next picture - you are climbing back up - this is when you started going up the slides.

Before going to the park, you had fun with the sand at Opa and Oma's house.

You liked it when Oma covered your hand in sand.

And there goes the sand!

Mommy and Oma said to "close your eyes" while she covered your hand in sand.  When you are told to close your eyes, you squint your eyes closed hard!

We went to the bark park at Lafreniere, but you are too young to go in, even for the little dogs.

In the next picture - you are right about to cry.  You did well for a while, but you didn't like that Daddy and Dewy were inside the gated area and you couldn't be go in.  You kept trying to pull the bars on the gate apart - my super boy.

This next set of pictures - taken on Friday - ready for school and weekend football :)

Another day at Lafreniere Park - eager to climb back up the slide!

There is a bridge that shakes; you always wanted someone to hold your hand.  This time you held on to the rail and went by yourself!

Daddy tried to teach you how to "roll down a hill" but you weren't too thrilled with the idea.  Then, Daddy tried to show by example.

If you aren't strangling me, you are trying to brush my hair.  You will say, "Mommy hair dry."  Or "Mommy hair wet."  Sometimes you will say my hair is brown.  The other day, you were brushing my hair.  I said, "Go brush Daddy's hair."  You went to Daddy, stopped the brush mid-way in the air and said, "uh uh."  Hehe...

This morning we went to church.  It has been a while since we went to church.  During your temper tantrum days, we decided to not attend service and spare the other partitioners your vocal abilities of glass-breaking pitch.  But with school, you have chapel time every day and I had a feeling you would feel better going to church.  

You were very active up and down the pew, but you didn't cry or scream.  We said "shhh" you need to be quiet and you were.  You took all of the hymn books and missals and stacked them high on the pew.  Quietly, but with determination, you counted the books - Seven high.  Then you got on the floor... laid down on the floor.  Daddy didn't like this and we picked you up a number of times.  You opened the hymn book and pointed to the words and babbled.  When we walked to the front of the church to receive communion, you tilted your head back and up and said, "God's House."  You saw Mommy and Daddy hold out our hands for the sacrament and you did the same.  Very sweet.  When we left the church, you gave Father AJ a high five.  

So many fellow partitioners were so kind, saying hello and glad to see us again and they were thrilled that you were attending school at St. Augustine's.   You stopped and wanted to go into the classroom, but we had to leave.

From church, we "made groceries" and you helped.  When you saw oranges, you grabbed one.  Daddy said, "Okay, you can have an orange.  Do you want just one orange or do you want more?"  You said, "No, TWO!"  And you went back to the stand and grabbed another orange.  The same thing happened with apples.  I love that you not only say your numbers but you have grasped the meaning of the numbers and not just counting.

You helped us unload the groceries - that bag of bread was mighty big for you, but you managed with a few grunts.  Later, you were in Daddy's office.  You walked backwards and knocked over the tall fan.  You didn't know it would fall off the base (it's not properly set on the base) and that it would make a loud crash and fall into the dog's bowl of water, which splashed over, causing Daddy to yell... Mommy came into the room when she heard the ruckus.. and saw you walking out quickly.  After helping Daddy clean up, I found you on the sofa.  You looked at me and immediately said, "Sorry, Mommy."  I hugged you and gave you a kiss, "It's okay, you didn't mean to knock over the fan."  Daddy came in a little while after and did the same.  You are very sensitive to emotions.  

One thing that you are doing right now that is disturbing.... you are licking!   YUCK!  Where in the world did you pick this up?  From the DOG?  EWW.  We tell you, "You are not a dog."  I even tell the dog, "no licking, no biting."  To reinforce that we don't want either of you doing those things.  You think our reaction is funny.  Oh my gosh, I hope you don't do this in school!

I don't know if it was from licking (germs), rolling down a hill in grass (pollen, etc) or going to school (other kids bring their own germs)... but you were sick on Saturday - running nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.  Mommy and Daddy kept you home and gave you medicine.  Thankfully, on Sunday you were much better.  Praying your immune system gets stronger each day.

Another thing you like to do is to peel fruit... but that doesn't mean you will eat the fruit.  You like bananas and will peel ALL of the bananas and leave them on the counter top.  Now you have learned to peel an orange.... but you aren't keen on the texture.

Potty training is still on-going.  I have read many articles about this.  Some parents get into such competition - my child potty trained in five days, my child potty trained in one day.  One article I read was great when it said, "Why is there such a rush and demand on the children?  Your child will NOT go to college in diapers unless there is a mental reason.  Your child will learn at his or her own pace."  After watching you learn how to talk on your own time, I have confidence that you will potty train as well, on your own time.  Sure, I would love to retire the diapers, but I don't want to make this a battle with you or make you feel that you aren't doing something right.  All articles say that the worst thing a parent can do is to stress over it, because the child feels that stress.

My cousin, Michelle, shared what she did with her children - save aside three days where you "DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE" - no diapers at all during those three days, because it will confuse the child.  If all the underwear gets soiled, then the child goes without anything.  As she said.. nothing feels worse than feeling pee go down your leg.  I'm thinking that Labor Day weekend will be three days no work and perfect timing to give this a try.  Michelle also mentioned that most boys potty train between 3-4 years old, which happens to be what most of the articles suggest as well.  No stress, this will be a test run to see how we (yes, "we" because it's a family event for potty training - all involved, community attempts) do that weekend... if it doesn't take, then we no biggie, we just wait and try again.

Always know how proud we are of you, so much to learn and adjust to.  You're doing a great job, sweet son!

Love Always,

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