I’m a new woman. With you joining your sister two days a week at school, I find myself with hours that are all mine. IT’S INCREDIBLE! I went in to the grocery store to attempt full-on grocery shopping and it marks the first time in years that I got to do this tedious task without either you or Olivia in tow. It felt and looked like a completely different grocery store. Usually when I’m in a grocery store or any other store for that matter, I’m a cyclone of terror as I try to obtain every item on my list before you devour your snack. Once the snack is gone, I then have to play the tricky and strategic game of finding the remaining items on my list and keep you from dropping a glass bottle/running off in the store/removing an orange from the bottom of the pile. Not to mention, doing all of these things while you’re exercising your right to be defiant. Suddenly I’m alone and I have time to peruse. PERUSE! There are so many wonderful things at my grocery store that I didn’t even know were there. Did you know I can squeeze my own orange juice?! I also discovered these little tiny baguettes back by the hot soup! Incredible. And let me mention the awesome music selection they play because I was skit skat skoodling all thoughout that store. Everyone was delightful and I even found myself laughing and cracking a few jokes with the gentleman outside that asks for donations. Grocery shopping has never been so delightful in all my life.
Make no mistake, I love my newfound freedom and I soak it in as much as possible while you’re both in school but I was a hot mess on your first day. You’re my baby and we’ve been through so much together these past few years. I’m incredibly protective over you given your speech delay and I was terrified that you would have a difficult time adjusting to a new setting. You were very excited to be starting school. You awoke well before your normal wake up time and asked immediately if you could wear your backpack. Cue Momma tears #1.
I prepared your little lunch and set aside a whole slew of extra clothes for school because if your potty routine at school is anything like the routine at home, there will be accidents. I dressed you as nicely as you would let me–you weren’t having anything to do with the bow tie I wanted you to wear so I settled for hair gel. As I was in the bathroom finishing up getting ready, you walked in and very matter-of-factly said, “Momma, I’m gonna miss you.” Cue Momma tears #2.
I gather our things and my camera and as I’m walking down the hall towards the front door, I hear you talking to Roar and the rest of your stuffed animal gang. You lined them up on the couch and proceeded to give each one a hug while telling each of them how much you were going to miss them. Cue Momma tears #3.
After I forced you to do a complete photo shoot in the front of the house, we made our way towards school. Occasionally I would glance back at you to find you sitting very contently with your hands folded in your lap as you stared out the window. After you endured another photo shoot at school, you confidently led the way to your classroom and walked right in. It’s as if you had been there before because as the teacher welcomed you and showed you your cubby, you immediately put away your lunch, hung up your jacket and ran off and started playing. I’m prepared for tears and warm felt hugs but instead I get, “Yea, Mom–see you later.” Cue Momma tears #4.
This has been the standard drop-off since you started a few weeks ago with the exception of one day that you absolutely didn’t want me to leave. I tried consoling you but you just weren’t in the mood for school. After the teachers whisked you away, I made my departure but not before seeing your sad little face squished up against the window. As I’m driving away, I can faintly hear you asking for one more hug and kiss as a little tear was trickling down your cheek. That right there broke my heart and I continued to see that sad image in my head for the duration of the morning. At pickup, I was prepared to find you catatonic in the corner but instead I found you running around the classroom giggling with your classmates. Turns out, not even five minutes after I left you, you ran in to the sandbox and immediately started playing diggers with the boys. Good grief, you only have five minutes worth of tears for me?!
According to your teachers whom already adore you, you’re very social and began playing with your classmates immediately. In fact, they asked if you had played with any of them before because you all treated each other like you had known one another for years. You’re very charismatic and they enjoy hearing what songs you will serenade them with each day. Currently their favorite is your version of, “I Like to Move It.” The teachers are very impressed with your vocabulary and your overall demeanor. I had inquired if you had any of your signature tantrums and they were quite shocked at the thought of you losing your shit. Apparently, you save that just for me you conniving little thing, you.
In addition to having these two glorious mornings with just myself, I also have the joy of spending a couple quality mornings with either just you or Olivia. Since we don’t spend every morning together now, I feel like we can enjoy quality time now as opposed to you just being my errand sidekick. This holds true for Olivia too. It’s been wonderful just sitting back and letting you decide how we’ll spend our time together. Ultimately, I hope this helps our relationship and even creates wonderful memories that will contribute to a somewhat healthy and happy childhood.
Of course we revert back to our old bickering ways when both you and Olivia are home so I still do my best to get you two outside before you start wrestling or body slamming each other. On one particular outing to the park, Olivia decided she was going to hang back and walk with me and Fritz while you rode your scooter. You’re on a big surfing kick lately and pretend your scooter is a surfboard. On one stretch of our walk, there is a bit of a decline and you took off and started to swerve your scooter to mimic the movement of a surfboard. At this point, you’re probably about fifty yards ahead of me and I notice the scooter starting to swerve a little bit more until finally you lose control of the scooter and you try to catch your fall on the sidewalk with your face. I can determine the magnitude of the injury based on the pitch and tone of the scream that ensues. I knew immediately that this was one of those ‘oh crap’ moments. I ran to you while Olivia is yelling, “OH MY GOD” and I’m dragging Fritz with me who is in no mood to run. You stand up and there is a blood every where. You’re bleeding from both nostrils and your mouth and you begin rubbing your face so now half your face is bloody and oh great, now it’s really pouring out and now it’s running down your shirt. Olivia is terrified at the scene unfolding and I ask her to hold it together for your sake while I’m calmly searching my pockets for tissue only to find Fabrizio’s plastic poop bags. In an attempt to somewhat stop the bleeding, I pull out a poop bag and begin to hold it to your face to see if it does anything to help. Unfortunately, to make the whole experience that much more enjoyable, I brought the scented poop bags. As expected, the bags are doing nothing but smearing the blood everywhere and giving you the appearance that you just bit the head off a bird. I suggest we just return home where I can clean you up. Through the tears you are already crying, you begin to cry harder because you want to go to the park.
So we continue our walk to the park while you look like a mini serial killer and Olivia is picking up the rear with your scooter slung over her shoulder. We arrive at the park just in time for what appears to be a small dog convention and we all know how much Fritz loves dogs. I find the water fountain that has had its water pressure turned down to a clumpy sand spurt and I remove one of your shirts to use as a towel. You then begin crying hysterically that your favorite Bartolo Colon shirt is dirty. As I’m trying to clean you up, I’m holding on to Fabrizio as tight as possible as he is determined to take out a Chihuahua that is mere steps away. Olivia, realizing this scene isn’t for her, throws down the scooter and declares that she is outta here. I wish I could join her. The owner of the Chihuahua walks up and asks if she can hold Fritz while I tend to you but little does she know that my dog will freak out and eat her dog if she gets any closer. I have you somewhat clean but your upper lip is quickly tripling in size. After you’re cleaned up, we stay at the park for another half hour before you finally give up and we head home. It was a doozy of an incident and I have learned to always have a few tissues in my pocket for what ever may come up. Little fact, a week later, I walked past the scene of the incident and found your blood on the sidewalk. You’re such a badass and yes, I took a picture.
This month has been a big deal for you and for all of us. You completed your speech therapy which has made such a profound impact on your speech. After your final evaluation, it was determined that you now have the equivalent vocabulary of a four year old. I know it wasn’t always an easy process with you but I give a huge amount of credit to your speech therapist who really worked hard at keeping you engaged and excited to come week after week. You’re a little social butterfly at school and already have majority of the class in love with you. It’s adorable to hear your classmates get excited upon your arrival–all of them screaming out, “Miles monkey is here!” The monkey is your symbol at school so now your nickname is Miles monkey. It’s fitting–you’re loud and destructive like a monkey and I’m sure if it were acceptable, you would be flinging your own poop as well. I thoroughly enjoy hearing you talk and give us highlights about your day while we’re sitting at the table. You’ve matured so much these last few weeks and you’re actually turning in to a pretty hysterical little dude. It’s funny how quickly we forget how bad it once was. During one of my lovely outings in Target while I was soaking up my newfound freedom, a child in the distance began throwing a Miles-esque tantrum and instead of feeling empathy for the mother, I actually became very annoyed at the audible disturbance and even became a little angry–won’t this kid shut-up–I’m trying to enjoy my Target time here! Oh, how things have changed.
You, according to my phone: