Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bored Four Year Old Blues, And Other "Mom Issues"

The rest of you can refer to this as the first day of school. I prefer to call it "the first day home alone with my four year old." Yes, Meara is here too - technically - but in some ways that only complicates the issue. Since she has very poor fighting moves, no skill with numchucks, swords, or any other weapons, is not named Liam (frankly, even Niall would do at this point), and has the audacity to be a girl and play with dolls, Conan has absolutely no use for her. I dropped the boys off 55 minutes ago, and I'm already going crazy.

"There's nothing to doooo," "who can I plaaayyy with?" "Are we going somewhere? Whyyyy not?" "When does preschool start?" "[various crying, whining noises, while throwing himself around on the floor]". This is so not-peaceful. Preschool doesn't start for over a week. Insanity is definitely a possibility if things don't improve.

Hopefully, Conan will eventually relent and forgive Meara for being a girl. Meanwhile, I just want everyone out there who's even considering having only one child to rethink the issue. TWO IS SOO MUCH EASIER THAN ONE!! Once they're old enough to play together that is. And thankfully, now that Meara's two that does happen more frequently, so there is hope. And to any of my girlfriends out there who have four year old boys and are reading this - by Friday I WILL NEED A PLAYDATE!

On another note entirely, I have to say just one little thing about dropping the boys off at school this morning. Despite the fact that I am a hardened mother of a fourth grader and a second grader, well versed in "first days", I felt a little teary this morning.

I really didn't see this coming at all, and walked my children into their little three-room school feeling completely unemotional. Niall headed into his class, while I went in to have a word with Liam's teacher. On the way out, I decided to peek in at Niall and say goodbye.

I don't really know what got me - whether it was his anxious little face as he carefully unloaded his school supplies into his very first "desk", how big he looked now that he's out of the K-1st classroom, or how little he looked to be in with the 2nd-3rd graders. Who knows, but whatever it was, I suddenly felt very sad. Maybe it isn't so bad that Conan is a lonely, whining, four year old. Maybe I'll just spend some time cuddling with him - preparing against the day when he too, is a big 2nd grader with a real desk, and school supplies he doesn't share. It seems so far away, but experience tells me it will happen all too quickly.

Isn't that the way motherhood goes? You can't wait for the next thing, so anxious for them to move on (and stop being four), but when they do, you just want them to go back and be little. Yesterday when Liam and I were shopping, my sweet nine year old wanted to hold my hand. I couldn't help feeling scared that it would be for the last time, and I was sad. But really, I guess that's what it's all about. Loving them, teaching them, enjoying them, and sometimes not-enjoying them, until you've given them the tools to move on - whether that means second grade or out of the house. It is sad, but it's so incredibly worth it! Children are the greatest thing the Lord could give us, and I'm so grateful for mine. Love your kids today, everybody - they won't be little forever!


Natalie said...

Awww- that's so sweet. I can so relate. I was feeling a little teary (and/or sick to my stomach)myself watching all my kids go off into the world this morning. It happens too fast! I also laughed thinking about little Conan being left behind, since just this morning I remembered Russell being upset about his big brothers going off to school without him (back in the day when he wasn't a SECOND GRADER! Yikes!) When we lived in Aberdeen we walked the boys to school. So, Russell would kick and scream sitting in the double stroller all the way back home. Then, ask me every twenty minutes all day when it was time to walk back and get them. He eventually got desperate enough & played with Brooke, so hopefully soon Conan will start enjoying Meara's company more.

Jen said...

He's already caved - in between his bouts of being completely impossible. He's out pushing her around the yard in her car right now. Yea!

And Natalie, Chelsea and I are very sad we won't be seeing you at our drop-offs and pick-ups this year :(

Kelly said...

I am so glad Brody starts school next year and not this year! As I have said before...I am not ready. I know that, I admit that, I don't ever catch myself saying I hope they grow out of "this" stage because I have friends with older kids and I know how fast it goes. (Thanks for letting me observe your boys these past 9 years!)

I am getting ready to try for baby #3 and it will be my last baby. That part of my life is about over before it pretty much began. It is sad and I cherish these moments. Although, it is already happening. Yesterday I tried to reach out and hold Brody's hand while crossing the street at the grocery store, he pulled back and said, "Mom, I am almost 5 years old! Come on (spoken exasperatingly)." Okay, give me a second to moment to quell the anxiety of having an almost 5 year old who won't even hold my hand anymore---SOB!!!

Kimberly said...

I send my oldest to kindergarten next year and I have no idea how I'm going to take it. Bit hard to wrap my head around, actually. I won't be surprised if I surprise myself though.

Kristin said...

ok hello...2 four-yr-old boys at your beck and call, just call. They actually mentioned Conan today at the beach, so they will be thrilled. Also to note - library story time, this Friday at 1130, be there...

Laura said...

Ok, so I'm feeling guilty that I was cheering as I sent my 4th Kindergartener on the bus for the first time. He was so excited, it was hard not to be excited for him. Besides we waited 20 minutes for the dang bus while I tried to make small-talk with the neighbors who called CPS on me for having a curious 5 year old a few years ago.

I do have a twinge of "they're growing up so fast", and I'm trying to enjoy it all. But I'm still cheering to only have Lincoln for half a day.