My little boy is ... still a little boy. Of course he's growing up every day, and when I think back to when Weeble was born and Squeakles was only two years and four months old, well the difference is really striking. For one thing, at the time, he'd just started climbing on the furniture and just would not stop, certainly not just because I told him to from across the room where I was trying to nurse a newborn. Now I just have to ask him to stop, and generally he will stop. Though of course, being three, he has to ask why. And then why to my explanation. And then why again.
The Monday after his birthday, he started preschool (after two and a half years on a waiting list). Our preschool is pretty much the greatest place on earth. The facilities are amazing, the staff is simply great, and Squeakles absolutely loves it. When I brought him home the first day, he cried when we reached our apartment door saying that he didn't want to go in. Actually, he hadn't napped at school, but had run around all day, so he was overtired and overstimulated, so it turned into a 20 minute fit like I've never seen him throw before. But the fact that he just didn't want the day to end was, in my mind, a very good indication that he loves the school. The same thing happened the next time he went, with a slight reduction in the length of his fit upon coming home. And then the next time he only complained about going in the apartment, but was generally ok about it.
The biggest adjustments for Squeakles at school are sleeping without a "fier" (pacifier) in a roomful of other kids, having to do a lot of things for himself that previously we were doing for him, and learning to interact with other kids.
The last one - learning to interact with other kids - isn't particularly traumatic at the moment, but the teachers observe what we've always noticed on the playground which is that he tends to play by himself. Of course, up until about 2 1/2 years old, kids are often doing parallel play anyway, but I think Squeakles is particularly tentative - letting other kids take things out of his hands and hanging back and just watching other kids play together. But at school, the other kids come up to him and say things to him and expect him to react, so I think that soon enough he will be feeling more comfortable and will start playing with them.
Sleeping without a fier is also not a really big deal. He managed to do it when he was there on Monday. But at home, we've continued to let him sleep with a fier because he's been sick and we really just want him to get his sleep. Also, to be completely honest, we want to be able to sleep too and we're a little wary of how the night will go without a fier. But we are thinking that it's worth trying soon. It's entirely possible that it will not be a big deal at all, especially if he's been doing it at school.
The biggest adjustment is learning to do a lot of things on his own. This has also been an eye opener for us. I don't think I noticed that he was growing up, especially because we don't usually have other kids around, so I didn't realize all the things that three year olds do independently. Like pull their own pants down to go to the bathroom and pull them back up and wipe their own nose. When Squeakles has a runny nose, he yells "snotty nose" and only recently has learned to actually blow when someone holds a tissue up to his face. But guess what - at school he learned where the tissue box is and will go over and blow his own nose. Sometimes they help him if he's just smearing it all over his face, but they are really working with him to learn to help himself so they are standing back as much as possible.
On top of starting school, Squeakles has been sick on and off for the past couple of weeks, so I think he hasn't really been feeling up to the challenge of doing things for himself. Sometimes he does want to do them, but other times he really just wants me to take care of him. And I get that. But for the most part, we're following the school's model and encouraging him to do these things on his own.
Weeble also goes to the school, but of course she's in an infant room. In contrast to Squeakles who has always been more focused on things than people and never showed any reluctance to be held or played with by a stranger, Weeble is much more concerned about where we are. She cried a lot the first day - actually, she cried a lot the first week. Worse, she got sick right away, so she just wasn't happy at all. I kept her home the morning she woke up with a fever of 103 and after a dose of baby Tylenol and a nap, she woke up much recovered and clearly very happy to have me around. I'm hoping that she has a better day at the school today, but we did hear her crying as we left. (Though for all we know, maybe she was just suffering the pain and injustice of having her nose wiped.)
J and I have also been sick. For J, this is an almost yearly occurrence - he gets sick and then has a lingering cough for a couple of months. But getting sick is an anomaly for me, so I was quite annoyed when it hung around for over a week. I've been recovered for almost two weeks now, but then last night my stomach decided it was not at all happy with what was in it, so today I'm feeling a little drained. (That might also have something to do with the fact that I only got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep.)
But it's Spring Break, so my office is very quiet and I have no meetings or seminars to go to. I'm enjoying working on a talk for an upcoming conference. or well, I will be, when I get back to work.
But first, I'm going to post this, as well as a second post of some of the things Squeakles has said recently that I find either cute or interesting from a language development standpoint.