I thought I would try this again

Abigail started preschool this year. All children’s milestones are so obviously learning experiences for the adults in their lives, too, that it’s the height of hubris to assume otherwise. Things that preschool has taught us thus far:

1) Our kid is not a morning person. She’s many things, but she damn near hisses in anger at the mere hint of sunlight. Considering that she’s been the solidest of sleepers for years now, this should not have come as a surprise, but her petulant (read: normal toddler) whining knocked us for a loop. What do you MEAN you don’t want to go to school? What do you MEAN “None! None! Nothing! No!” Who ARE you?

The way AG yells ”None! None!” et. al., by the way, sounds somewhat German to me, but that may be my own internalization of some unfair cultural stereotypes combined with how she accentuates her letters right now.

2) We are not as effortlessly aligned on How To Handle Things as we thought. Drop off was a nightmare the first couple of weeks. You’d have thought we were dumping her on a street corner with a bindle and a quarter the screaming was so intense. And knowing that her reaction is normal and divorcing it from how you’re feeling as it’s happening is a feat for Buddhists. We didn’t so much react as we did come unprepared for her to meltdown. Again, see hubris.

On the apex of the meltdowns, we ended up being the parents who were still coaxing our kid into the sing-a-long portion of the morning, some 30 minutes into the start of the school day. This was all because Scott and I disagreed on how to handle the meltdowns. Once we agreed how to handle things, the drop offs were not necessarily made less gut-cringing, but they also weren’t peppered with the subsequent Drive of Silence downtown.

3) We are adults. Nothings expedites the aging process faster than waking up and realizing your car is outfitted with a school magnet on its hind quarters. You’d have thought having a baby and a mortgage would have accomplished this nicely, but no. Perhaps it’s because there is a certain routine and order that comes into your life once school is introduced into it. The lunches, the projects that are due, the added phone call you make when your kid is sick…that magnet says to the world that your life, too, is beholden to the educational system in a whole new manner than what you once were familiar.

4)  We are doing OK. I literally have no idea where my kid falls on the spectrum of things. The nice thing about living on the south side of Chicago is that the Keeping Up With the Jonses thing is practically non-existent. I know she’s articulate, and that she curious, and developmentally speaking, she’s where she needs to be. But we’re delightfully unaware of how she measures up against other three-year-olds, which is how we like it. Still, there are moments where I catch myself wondering whether we should be doing certain things with her, or if we’re not paying close enough attention (I swear, it took us three weeks to wrap up the sundry items she still needed for school, things her teachers kept reminding us we needed to get for her). But then we sit down and have dinner together and she starts to recite the prayer-before-meals she learned at school, and how thankful she is for our family, and I remember that if our ultimate quest is to Not Raise An Asshole, AG showing gratitude as we break bread is a good indicator that we’re off to a good start.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Abigail

Oh, Abigail Grace, you are THREE. I say that not only in sheer wonder in where the time has gone but also because it is the most oft-uttered statement in this house. “Abigail is awfully three today.” “SOMEONE is three. Jesus. THREE.” Here’s the truth of being three: it sucks. I don’t remember it, of…

2013 In Review

Last year, I coped out a bit on doing this, but I’m not going to this year. This was an awful year. I say that, and then immediately my sensors start sparking because I am Irish-Catholic and Midwestern and if an hour goes by without feeling guilty about something, my kind is convinced we’re not…

NaNoWriMo: Of tattoos and other things

Abigail has no true interest in potty training. I mean, she has two potties, and will talk about going, but putting it all together is a hill we’ve yet to climb. This, however, doesn’t stop her from asking to join me every time I go. The worst part – and it is, I’m sorry -…

NaNoWriMo: More Randoms

*The whole “I’ll-Give-You-A-Number” and you share things no one knows about you meme that’s going around on Facebook is decidedly difficult when you’re a person who has few secrets. I mean, I have them, but the sort of secrets that most people share are ones I’ve already revealed. I found myself digging deep about mustard-and-sugar…

NaNoWriMo: Random Things

*It’s Dinovember, people. Abigail is not into Barbies or princesses or dolls. There was a short spell where she loved her Bitty Baby doll, named by our original nanny, “LaLa,” but affection for whom wavered immediately after my parents bought LaLa a doll stroller and a crib. Because of course. Anyway, like a lot of…

NaNoWriMo: Small Truths #3,765

When Abigail is sick, she is kind of a jerk. I mean, all toddlers are, and I understand that, but at some point this week, when it was another middle-of-the-night, can’t-sleep, feeling-awful tromp in the dark, and Abigail insisted on sitting in my lap so she could scream at full-tilt inches away from my face,…

NaNoWriMo: Race Time

This has been The Year of Running. Though I’ve spent a goodly portion of my life running, 2013 has included two half marathons, a Ragnar and countless 5Ks, not to mention a dedication to getting up and getting out there, regardless if I had something to train for or not. (Admittedly competing in two half-marathons…

NaNoWriMo: Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mother’s 65th birthday. In years past, I’ve written extensively about my mother. We had a complicated relationship, even by regular mother/pre-teen daughter standards. She was a deeply flawed person, in the way that we all are, but likely due to a rocky upbringing and no real parental compass, those flaws…

NaNoWriMo: Wow! What a Difference!

(AG is fighting something awful and I’m operating on three hours of sleep. Hence, I’m copping out on my post today since I don’t want to miss two days already.) I’ve been working since I was 14. I obtained a special work permit and held a part-time job when most of my friends were still…

NaNoWriMo: A Meditation on Sadness

So I started meditating this year. This summer, in fact. I’m admittedly the sort of person who is drawn to hippie things like a moth to a flame. I attribute much of this to the fact that what feels like my true calling in life – service, personal growth, health – is not anything I’m…

NaNoWriMo: This Kind Of Kid

She is the sort of kid who will say, “Mama, don’t worry. You’re a great friend.” …and the sort of kid who will demand to join me in the bathroom, sit on my lap and bark, “YOU HAVE TO GO POOP!” She is the sort of kid who, when you offer her more of something,…

NaNoWriMo: An Ode to Online

I probably should stay off of Facebook, but I can’t. After 20 years, it’s just no use. I should back up. Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’ve spent the good portion of my life behind a keyboard, specifically one attached to a computer. My parents were (for my taste),…