Okay, the first part of this post goes like this: what in the world do I do with my kid while his sister naps for FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS?
In the olden days I would have been dancing a jig because dude! Four hours! Jesus loves me! I have been blessed with excellent nappers, folks. But Child Number One no longer takes a nap. Well, sometimes he does, if preschool was especially strenuous, and he almost always naps at Grandma's house since she wears him out way better than I do in the mornings. But usually he is up. Usually he plays his computer for a good long while. Then he goes into his room to "take a little rest". He used to fall asleep, but no more. Now he shouts, "I done with my rest!" and I have to figure out what to do next. About half the time he plays quietly in his room and leaves me alone. The other half he makes us both miserable until Molly finally wakes up and we have someone else to occupy our attention.
Today was one of the miserable ones. Obvs.
I really want to establish Quiet Time - play in your room, read your books, drive your cars, do your puzzles, all that stuff. But none of those toys are new to him and he's done it all with Molly and shoot - I'M bored too! We're BOTH sitting around waiting for Molly to wake up so we can DO something. So when I get all short tempered and snippy because he won't stay in his room or he keeps asking me for stuff, I feel like that's my fault. If Molly's going to sleep for four hours, if we can't go anywhere, if we're stuck inside with only each other to look at, I better find something for him to do!
I talked to my mom about it and she suggested a Quiet Time box or cupboard full of fun things he 1) only gets to do during Quiet Time and 2) Molly doesn't touch. So I'm printing out some stuff from a homeschooling site and I ordered a few things off his preschool book order and I think a trip to the dollar store may be in order. I also bought him a little folding table and chair for his room, just for quiet time. But I'm really wondering how you guys handle this. What do your older kids do while the younger ones nap? I mean, at this point I feel BAD for Jack because seriously, it is SO BORING in our house right now! And poor kid, his mother is stomping around feeling bad for herself that she can't ENJOY a four hour nap! Anyway. Ideas welcome!
The second part of this post is about Curriculum Night at preschool. Ahem.
I asked my sister to babysit so that Phillip could come with me and help me not be scared of the other preschool moms. Which was nice. And you guys, I love our little preschool even more. The teachers are just so nice and the room looked so fantastic - artwork EVERYWHERE, snapshots EVERYWHERE - and all the veteran parents were saying wonderful things about the preschool and I was super self congratulatory. I'm all, "Dude, self, you picked an AWESOME SCHOOL. You did SOMETHING right in this parenting gig! Go YOU!"
But there was something about it that left me a little insecure, and after thinking about it for a while I think it's about the other kids. I mean, it's about comparing Jack to the other kids, except I haven't really met the other kids, so I'm comparing him to what the other parents SAY about their kids. WHICH IS STUPID I KNOW. Like, HEIGHT OF STUPID.
Like you can stay up to an hour after preschool - eat lunch and play outside. We haven't tried this, though I've kept it in mind. Tonight I learned that the other kids do this ALL THE TIME. And two of the kids in particular wanted to stay after school for lunch so bad that the teachers talked to the parents about it! And now they stay at least once a week! And it's so nice! And you know how many times my kid has mentioned wanting to stay for lunch? NEVER.
And then the mom talking about how her daughter wants to go to preschool every morning, how the mom had to lie about where she was going tonight so the daughter wouldn't get upset about not being able to come with. And me thinking about how when I told Jack he had to stay home sick he didn't seem to care.
And how social some of the other kids are and things the teacher would say, about how they have no problem going potty in a new place or things they talk about all the time or how one kid is so chatty.
And I know I KNOW this is ridiculous. That these aren't even REAL THINGS. I mean, why in the world do I care about whether or not Jack wants to stay for lunch?! But there's still this way that I left feeling sort of... I don't know. Like my kid isn't doing what all the other kids are doing. How COME he doesn't want to stay for lunch? Is he getting LEFT OUT with this lunch stuff? Are the other kids just more ADVANCED somehow? Are they all BESTIES? Does Jack not LIKE preschool? Is he counting the minutes till I come pick him up? HOW COME HE DOESN'T WANT TO STAY FOR LUNCH?!
When what I should really be thinking is: I am specTACularly skillful at turning anything into a full fledged blog-worthy problem. Someone needs to write me a prescription.
That said, I introduced myself to the mom of the kid that Jack talks about the most, and it turns out she is all about The Playdate and while I'm not particularly a FAN of the playdate I am a fan of making friends and she was nice and her kid's little story about himself on the wall next to a super cute snapshot was pretty funny and hey, why not, right?
And I really like this preschool. I like it so much that I told Phillip we'll just have to stay renting in this neighborhood until we can find a house to buy in this neighborhood. So, uh, maybe when Jack is thirty-seven? We'll see.
Anyway. I trust that you all will have fantastic ideas for quiet time AND you'll say a few prayers for poor Jack's future dealing with his neurotic crazylady mother. Thanks.