Monday, February 11, 2013

In Which I Consider Sending Emma To Preschool…

Last week I was sooo ready to send this kid to preschool. 

I was frustrated, pushed to the limit, and wondering how on earth I was going to teach the older children anything while running Emma interference.

048

Yep, she really did draw a mustache on herself today.  Right after I told her not to draw on herself.

You should see the 2-inch solid black band (with red accent) she drew around her wrist.

Now frankly, I don’t really care whether or not she draws on herself, but she is just as likely to draw on someone else, on her clothes, on the walls, or even on the furniture.

060This is the wall after scrubbing it with a magic eraser.

Keeping up with Emma is a full-time job. 

033It’s an easy day when her hi-jinx involve only drawing on herself (or something else).

And not letting the hamster of of his cage.

Or dumping all the spices.

Or flushing an entire roll of toilet paper.

Or scaling the hall tree and doing chin-ups on the coat hooks.

Or stuffing yarn into the DVD player.

Or destroying another kid’s math assignment.

Or jumping down half a flight of stairs.

And that can all happen in one day.

 

These are facts, folks.  The child can destroy a room in minutes. 

I don’t mean make a mess.  I mean destroy, as in cut up the mini-blinds, draw on the walls and break every toy in the box.  There have been times that I’ve been in tears because she has literally demolished something.  In fact, I had this conversation with my husband a week ago, “How can we get her to stop destroying things.”  Because let’s be real…opening the release valves on the radiators and sending hot water all over the floor is not cool.

036Right now you are shaking your head.  Maybe you think that I don’t love my daughter enough, because I’m talking about all the bad things she does.

Or that I value things more than I value her…

The truth is I love her to pieces! 

I love her little expressive, elastic face.

She’s a sharp, funny, amazing girl that I wouldn’t miss parenting for the world.

Her manual dexterity is unparalleled.

I’m hoping she’s going to live long enough to be the brilliant, sparkling adult she’s meant to grow into.

That spirit is going to take her places.  But can we channel some of it constructively?

 

031

The truth, the real truth, is that her incredibleness brings a lot of frustration with.  It just ain’t all rainbows and roses. 

Rainbows need rain to reflect their brilliance.

Roses tend to have thorns to protect their tender petals.

Last week I had a daydream.  I dreamt that Emma was off somewhere terrorizing a preschool classroom.

009And I was sitting quietly at home, sipping tea, and reading the read aloud without having to pause every 5 minutes to scrape her off the window she’d tried to scale Spiderman-style, or to remake the peanut butter sandwich that hadn’t been made exactly to her specifications (and thus led to a full nuclear meltdown), or to take away the marker she used to draw a mustache on herself…

…but it was just a dream. 

And not a very realistic one.  I’ve never had a quiet read aloud time, even before Emma.

Our family just isn’t built that way.

Some families are, I guess.  At least, that’s what all the nice little pictures and articles on the internet would have me believe.

Maybe we would get more done.  In less time.  Possibly?

Or maybe not.  Probably not.  Because the things we think we want are often not all that.  If you know what I mean.

003Last night she crawled into my lap, curled into a ball…

and demanded to be “zipped up” into the sweatshirt jacket I was wearing while I was still wearing it.

And she fell asleep, with her little ankles crossed under her little bum.

My 40lb almost 4-year-old was back in the womb.

If I could safely keep her there, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Ok, a little too hard on the back, I agree.

But my “Let’s send her to preschool” craziness has passed.  I prefer my Emma craziness.

Got any thorns in your life at the moment?

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12 comments:

  1. Hey, I know lots of good, solid homeschooling mamas who send their preschoolers to school a few mornings a week. There is nothing wrong with that. In many cases it is the answer to prayers. The little one gets a program just for them and mom gets a few hours to get the other kids caught up on lessons.

    You can bet Malcolm will be in school when he's three. He's just that kid. Margaret would have hated it. It would have been awful for her. Malcolm will LOVE it! And I will love that he loves it.

    I think Emma would enjoy having something that is just for her. No shame in spoiling your babies!

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  2. Maybe...a friend of mine wanted to do a preschooler swap in our local group(where we would take turns taking on the preschoolers one morning each week), but the timing wasn't right at the time. Maybe in the fall. I don't think I can honestly afford to send her to preschool, but we'll see.

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  3. I can relate to the drawing on anything that stands still. Mine is 5 and she still does it, although she's getting better and sticking to paper. She just takes the paper and tapes it to the walls, chairs, etc. But she's also a budding artist. ;-)

    It's amazing how they can push us to our limits, then cuddle up in our lap and fall asleep....

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  4. Ha!! I have that very same little girl at my house! I was nearly rolling on the floor reading your post! (My daughter is 10, by the way, so don't expect your little Emma to grow out of it! Sorry.) She has done so many crazy and rather destructive things that I can't even remember them all. She is very creative and energetic and smart--a very dangerous combination. But, as you mentioned, she's also a wonderful, sweet, fun little girl. I think I'll keep her. ;)

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  5. Oh, but Alicia, drawing on paper just doesn't have the same sensory input as drawing on skin! This kid is a sensory seeker, she will still put some things into her mouth (fortunately nothing dangerous, just things like toys). Jumping off of furniture is a huge thrill. I can see all kinds of crazy things in her future.

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  6. Yes, Wendy, I'll definitely keep her. Life was so much simpler when she was around---maybe I just didn't know what I was missing. ;)

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  7. Susan,
    On the way to class today, I was talking with your husband about how Philip (born November 2008) makes me absolutely crazy for the same reasons that you describe, and then also because he likes to rough house with his 11-month-old brother. Then last night he told me I was his best friend even though I get angry with him. How am I supposed to respond to such cuteness?
    I read your blog and I am so glad I am not alone.
    Maybe if we lock Philip and Emma in a room together they will wear each other out? Whatever ideas you have for wearing down a four-year old, I am all ears.
    Christine Blackshaw Naberhaus

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  8. Ha! Christine, I think I'm lucky! Since Em is the youngest, there's little danger that she will seriously hurt one of her siblings by rough-housing with them. Because she DOES rough house. It's funny, because she can be the epitome of a girly-girl and a complete tomboy at the same time. ;)

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  9. This will be Cyrene in a few years! Eeeek!! LOL
    They bring so much excitement with them into this life, hey?

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  10. Susan- I love your transparency! I don't think you're a bad mom at all. Nope, not one bit. I have an Emma too, but her name is Shaylie and she's lived to be 8 years old now. I think each day is getting a little easier.

    Thanks so much for linking up to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop at Upside Down Homeschooling. This post will be featured at UDH on Thursday!

    Blessings!

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  11. Thank you for your encouragement, Heather, it's much appreciated. ;0)

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