April 14, 2012

Dear Luke: Preschool Edition

Dear Luke,

This past week you started preschool. A kid moved away a few weeks ago and a spot opened up in the 2 year old classroom in the preschool at our church. So now, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, you grab your shoes and your lunchbox (which you are in love with) and walk out the door with Dad. He'll strap you into the car, and off you go to work. Since the preschool is located in the church, Dad drops you off and then walks down the hall to his office. I'm left at home with your little brother from 9 AM til 12:45, when we leave to come pick you up.

It's a big step for you, this transition to school. It's one I wish we could have taken last fall, but you had to be potty trained before you could enroll. So, once we passed that milestone this winter, I was really looking forward to you getting to go next fall. When this spot opened up unexpectedly this spring, I rejoiced!
Now, your Dad admits that on the first day, he teared up a little on the drive in. However, while I feel like I should be whispering this confession-style, I'll admit that I didn't even think about shedding a tear. I know I should have been all choked up, thinking about you growing up and missing your presence throughout the morning. I mean, that's what "good Moms" do, right? I should have been clutching your baby blankets and sobbing in the corner, right? 

Well, instead of sobbing, I was praying. All morning. For your teachers. Watching my phone to see if I'd get a call, for when they called to let me know they were going to expel you from preschool for hitting, or throwing things at people's heads, or jumping off the top of the playground equipment, or for having the mother of all temper tantrums.

As we round the bases halfway to your third birthday, my dear firstborn, you are just TOO much. Too much energy, too much will power, too much aggression. Don't get me wrong, you are still adorable, have the best belly laugh of any kid I've ever met, and have finally learned how to give a proper snuggle. But you are a lot to handle, my son. A LOT.

We have moved into this new phase of parenting where we are now having in-depth discussions and brainstorming sessions about how to handle you. We are pretty laid back parents and haven't, up to this point, particularly subscribed to any specific parenting method. We've kind of let you lead the way and learned to set boundaries as you discovered how to cross them. But lately, we've been at a loss as to how to handle you. We've both had days where we just look at one another and say, "I'm done." 

You don't seem to mind any of the punishments we've tried. You are hitting constantly these days and we can't figure out how to make you stop. You laugh while you try to beat up the dog, or your little brother, or us. Even as I am typing this, you are randomly trying to kick me as I sit on the floor next to your brother. You seem to take delight in misbehaving and almost nothing seems to deter you from it. Your boundless energy just exhausts me and I'm constantly trying to find new ways to wear you out.

This past week has brought a lot of changes to our schedule, most of which I think are going to be beneficial to you. You have started speech therapy once a week and already I'm already hearing new words in among the jabbering. Mostly, you just love having someone who comes to the house to just see you, instead of your brother. We also went back to swim lessons, where you laughed almost the entire 30 minutes, even while you were under water. As with the Little Gym, I love an activity that makes you work hard physically and helps in my never ending quest to wear you out. So, your little world has gone from having very little structure, to having activities 5 days a week. While it's making my life a little bit more crazy, I think the more structure we give you, the better you will thrive.

So far, when I've gone to pick you up in the afternoons, your preschool is still standing and your teacher has been able to smile at me (...maybe because she knows it means she gets to hand you off for the day). She hasn't been phased by you yet, which makes me think you aren't so bad after all. Maybe all two year olds act like they are possessed. You are my only one, so you are all that I know.

Recently, someone felt compelled to tell me that they thought 4 year olds were worse than the "Terrible Twos. "After thinking about it for a second, I realized that when you are 4, Samuel will be 2.

I may need to taking up drinking that year.

I love you, sweet boy. (Even when you hit me.)



  1. 4 year olds are a joy...seriously. It's the three year olds you have to worry about! Can't wait until L turns 4 in just over a month! Then again, all I know is girls so it may be completely different with boys. Either way, good luck...and for the record, you ARE one of the 'good moms.'

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog! Thank you for being so honest about being a mama/parent...it is SO hard somedays! It's refreshing to read the truth!! :)

  3. So incredibly sweet and heart warming. He's such a 'big' little boy and you guys are wonderful parents. -- Jan Morrow