I think my brain is deteorating. This is mostly why I haven't been posting... sometimes interesting issues come up, but then I can't think through them or something. This is what too many diapers will do to a person. Or maybe it's the volume of the screaming; maybe it's not just my eardrums it's damaged, but my actual brain cells too. I'll buy that.
Recently I made a new friend, a childless friend who is a PhD and new faculty here. She uses her brain on a regular basis for more than estimating the fullness of a diaper or how many snacks are necessary for a given outing, and while talking with her I felt like I was sprinting to keep up. It was pitiful. I need to take a class or something.
We are in transition. (We are actually all in transition all the time, but some transitions move more earth than others...) For one thing, school just started for Frances. We visited for a bit on Wednesday and then she had regular school days Thursday and Friday, though Thursday afternoon I was rather shocked to realize she was going again the very next day. I felt like it should be once a week or something....
Wednesday morning was going along fine, everyone wearing their own clothes and generally behaving, then Frances started losing her shit. "Is she hungry?" I asked Mitch. She cried about the toy Clark was playing with. She cried because the 6 page paperback book she was reading 'pinched her finger'. "Did she not sleep?" I asked. "Is she nervous about school?" And she was. It took awhile for her to admit it, or discover it, or something. She appears to be blessed with my complete inability to know what it is I'm feeling while I'm feeling it. I'm trying to help her with this, which is hard since I don't know how to do it in the first place.
So I told her about my scary first day of school, embellishing with all kinds of real and possibly real details. I reminded her I was going to be with her at the school--this was just a visit, not the actual first day--and then I realized she might not remember being there before, so told her what the school looked like, about the play kitchen and the dress up clothes and the baskets of rocks and wood and the chickens in the back. She calmed down, and when we were there she had a lovely time.
Thursday morning at the beginning of school they had a ceremony with this rainbow bridge, where the children, holding flowers, stood on one side of the bridge with their parents and the teacher stood on the other. One by one the children kissed their parents and crossed over the bridge where they gave the flower to the teacher who collected them into a bouquet. It symbolized their spirits going from their parents to the care of the teacher while in school, and at the end of the year ceremony they will walk over the bridge in the opposite direction. It was very very sweet. Frances had no issue at all with it and marched right across the bridge. Later in an email, the teacher said Frances had a really good day and was so confident. How funny to me that she is. The school is a Waldorf Kindergarten which is mixed ages, 4-6, and she's the youngest there. I worried a little that this would show and she would feel out of her element somehow, but I guess not. She's already attached to one other girl whose name is Francesca, interestingly.
So there's that. We've been getting along so well the past few days and Mitch suggested it's because she has school, something of her own away from me, something to make her feel independent. Or maybe we're just in the next (and much improved) stage.
But Clark! The stage we're in now is not so fabulous. I know I've said it before but since I think it every third minute of the day, it can bear repeating here: I cannot WAIT until no one in this house is two. Just the noise level alone is enough to put a person over the edge. I've taken to putting tissue in my ears first thing in the morning. (earplugs seem to be a bit too effective.) It does help with my patience.
There's the sitting in his room until he falls asleep thing; I worried we were creating a monster and indeed here it is. Now he's waking up in the night and wanting us to sit with him until he falls back asleep. Actually, that's after all the arguing; last night he was up from 4-5:30, wanting to go downstairs, wanting snacks, wanting different pajamas. Every time I told him no, explained it was the middle of the night, he screamed. A being attacked 5 alarm kind of scream. I think we're going to have to pick a night, a couple of nights, and just let him scream. It's going to suck. But he's old enough now to understand it, old enough that it will probably only take one night of that kind of hell for him to realize what it means.
Oh when there are no more two-year-olds. But he's so charming and sweet when he's not screaming. When he's not out of sorts he is lovely to be around. I remembered this last week when Frances was in school and I had him all to myself. When they're together they kind of rile each other up, but alone with me he was only joy. Except when he was screaming, as I've said before. I swear I think he's louder than most children.
Yet! Tomorrow! Tomorrow is the first day with both of them in school. I drop Frances off at 8:45, then Clark at 9. What will I do with myself? And then! It will happen again on Thursday! Oh blessed day.