Wednesday, September 16, 2009

School Days

Five days a week. That's how often my little girl is in school these days. She had her first day last week. We did the obligatory first-day snapshot and off she went. And there I was. Left with just one.

I've had two for almost two years now. It was hard to comprehend a world when my arms weren't jumping apart in two different directions, story time didn't turn into a wrestling match because one lap just simply was not going to cut it, and my ears weren't ringing from the sheer volume of two children talking, crying, yelling, whining, laughing.

But there I was. With one. I wasn't sure what to do with him because I was so used to the frantic pace of the two of them.

So we went for a walk. Small puddles lined the path that is a short-cut to one of our many neighborhood parks (we don't have jack-shit for a yard, but for a consolation prize, we got parks, parks, and more parks). J ran ahead of me and stomped his way through the first puddle, sending tiny flecks of water flying.

He squealed in delight and proceeded to keep stomping. I watched him for a moment and then, out of habit, turned to look for her. Wait. She's not here. It's just us. And in that moment, I missed my first baby.

I turned to look at J's smiling, gleeful face and then, also out of the habit of rushing around with two, went to move him along to our final destination. When you have more than one child, sometimes you feel like your job is to "herd" them, move them along to the park, grocery store, inside the house, into the car, to the pool, wherever. But, then something curious happened. I stopped. What was the rush? We had all morning. We didn't have anyone else's schedule, needs, wants, desires to attend to.

"Go ahead honey. Stomp, stomp, stomp!" I said as I started to move my legs up and down. J laughed and jumped vigorously into another puddle, dampening the bottoms of his jeans.

His needs so often come second not only because she's bigger and louder, but also because activities with preschoolers are just more interesting than stuff with toddlers and infants. When we go out, usually it's to places geared toward M's interests and J is just along for the ride.

Given the freedom, though, all this guy really wants to do is stomp his little heart out in some mutha' fuckin' puddles. So we did -- for a solid 20 minutes.

When he was done (and I waited until he was done), I gave him some Goldfish crackers to munch on, we held hands, and walked on.

Preschool rocks.

9 comments:

Liz said...

Thanks for showing me that there is light at the end of the tunnel - sometimes I feel so guilty that A. just gets dragged along, but J. is SO loud, and SO insistent, and SO clingy these days!

Capital Mom said...

It is a bit of a shock just having one, iisn't it. Not to be pulled in two directions all the time.

Rosana V. said...

@Liz yes...walk toward the light...
@capital mom i would never have guessed it, but yes, it was unnerving having just the one!

One Sided Momma said...

i can't wait to stomp in some mutha fuckin puddles with just one soon too. :) (not kindergarten, just pre-k but three hours w/one is still three hours w/one, right? thanks for the peek into my future, your post is making me look forward to it instead of dreading it.)

Denis said...

i remember when you went to school and i had to sit in our neighbor's house waiting for anyone to save me from the boredom of 8 hours with a 60+ year old woman. i wanted to jump in puddles too!

Rosana V. said...

@one-sided momma it is glorious. m is actually only i pre-k too -- her last year. next year is kindergarten. but, we went ahead and did the five days since she's been working up to it over the last couple of years. on top of lightening my load, she is enjoying spreading her wings too, which is so amazing to watch...
@denis mrs. gonzalez! the sweetest most boring babysitter ever! i think she was older than 60 too...i remember when i'd get home from school you'd be sitting there at the window just watching for me. you were such a cute, sweet little brother! what happened???

Loukia said...

Aw, great post... it's so bittersweet, isn't it, when they begin school? I have the worst mommy guilt ever - It is hard for to even go to the park with only one of them, as I feel like the other child is missing out on the fun... that's something I'm just going to have to get over, you know? At the same time, it is great to have this one-on-one time with the other child, right?

Rosana V. said...

@Loukia that one-on-one is so wonderful to have. my daughter had it for nearly three years before #2. #2 has never had much of it. so, i'm indulging him in every which way now that his sister is in school 9-1 every day. it's a beautiful thing!

Cristie Ritz King said...

Holy crap I just wrote about the exact same thing today. It is weird. I almost feel guilty that I'm not "doing" anything. It is beautiful too though. Enjoy the puddle jumping.
What do we do when their all in school? Talk about unsettling!!