Friday, August 20, 2010

School Daze

This photo is from the first day of Preschool. Aren't they adorable?!!!

August has been the month of starting back to school for our family.

My two little girls, Monkey5, who is 3yo, and Monkey6, who will be 2yo in a few days, started preschool for the first time.

It was an emotional thing. I would normally have waited a year to start Monkey6 - she's really young. But I'm trying to find some way to generate SOME sort of income to get us out of this hell hole we live in.

So, both little girls are going to preschool at a local Church. They go four days a week for 5 hours. My parents are being extremely kind to help me pay for it, otherwise it wouldn't even be possible.

The first week was awful.

The 3yo, who had been BEGGING to go to school since last year - since the first day her siblings all disappeared on that big yellow school bus - decided that she wanted to go to school, but she wanted me to stay there with her. Forever. It took about a week to get her comfortable enough to stay. Now, 3 weeks later, she LOVES it - she's doing beautifully. And it has been really good for her - it is really helping her with her shyness.

I expected my 3yo to have a bit of trouble at first - she has a very intense demeanor inherently and she has had severe [and I mean SEVERE] separation and abandonment issues since her father left. Over all, she had done amazingly well and it is a wonderful experience for her.

The "Baby" - the almost 2yo - is another story altogether. I did not expect her to have trouble - she's my "brave" kid - one of those fearless types who you worry will kill themselves by accident just because they have NO FEAR at all. I expected her to run right in to preschool and never look back, like my older 4 all did [no tears with those kids about going to preschool AT ALL!].

However, I underestimated the impact a parent abandoning a kid has.

My fearless Baby turned into a screaming, crying, sniveling snotball of sadness and desperation when she realized I would be leaving her at preschool.

It did not go well. For the first week I went with her and we stayed for a while and then left together. The second week I tried leaving her and then me leaving but coming back a little later to help her realize that I WAS, in fact, coming back for her. Nothing helped.

She screamed, cried, and freaked the moment we got to the door. Finally the second week the teacher suggested I leave her and just let her cry so she could get used to it.

Now, those of you who know me know I have NEVER "just let her cry" - or any of my children for that matter. I have always used "Attachment Parenting" with my children and this goes against everything I believe in as a parent.

But I had a very hard choice. I am trying to make a career out of writing, so that I can work from home and be here to take care of my children. It is "all me" - I have to find some job that I can do where I can be 100% parent and also make enough money to hopefully get us above poverty level at some point.

If I withdrew her from school and brought her home, I put off the possibility of earning any income for another year. I can't write to any real extent while I care for my child. I also can't go get a job waiting tables, which is what I plan to do if things get too desperate.

I felt like I had to weigh HER wellbeing in this aspect of clearly not being ready for preschool against the wellbeing of the entire family [herself included] - it isn't good for any of us to live the way we live right now.

So, I tried it the teacher's way. The Baby cried for 25 minutes while I sat just outside the door crying myself. Her teacher held her and she wailed. Then she stopped. I peeked in and she was interested in the book the teacher was reading. I left, hoping that we had finally conquered this mountain.

Not so much. She cried the next day too - but only for 5 minutes while her teacher held her. The next day she only cried for 2 minutes. The day after that only for 1 minute.

This past week was the third full week. Two days this week she ran to her teacher happily and did not cry. Two days this week she still cried for a minute or so. [I always wait around the corner till she stops].

I don't know if I have done the right thing. It makes me so angry that I am in this position - I would have kept her home for one more year under different circumstances.

But I will say that in the last 2 weeks I have been amazingly productive with writing. I am very close to *finishing* the first draft of the juvenile fiction book I've been writing for the last 8 months. I got more done in these last 2 weeks than I got done in 7 months prior working every spare moment.

I don't know if I'll be able to sell this book or not. But the next book I'm planning is a book on childbirth - and I do believe I'll be able to sell that one. And the parenting book I plan to write after that.

So, I have hope that I may be able to make a successful career out of writing - it is going very well.

I hope that this trade off with putting The Baby in preschool a year early when she's not really ready will be worth it - to all of us - in the end. I hope it is going to lead to a career that can support our family while allowing me to also care for the children by myself.

In other news - My older 4 children started back to public school two weeks ago. It is going AMAZINGLY well for them.

Monkey1, who will soon be 12 [which I am still stunned to realize!], started Middle School this year. I was worried for her [I remember starting Middle School as being pretty much a nightmare myself], but it has gone SO incredibly well! She's adjusted like a dream. All of her academic classes are Gifted Classes, which is good for her. They also put her in an "advanced" PE class for athletes and she's doing well in that as well. I really couldn't be happier about how she is doing.

Monkey2, 9yo, Monkey3, 7yo, and Monkey4, 5yo, all went back to the same elementary school where they went last year. They are all doing very well too - great academically and socially. All 3 are bringing home excellent grades already and are doing great.

So, all in all, 5 out of 6 children are doing well in school. Miss Baby is adjusting - every morning she says she wants to go to school, she just cries when I leave. I think she has fun there - she seems to. She just doesn't want to be away from her mom, which I can understand. I hope it will get better for her soon.

And now, I just have some random funny pictures to share, totally unrelated. LOL!

Here is The Baby wearing some of those freaky fake teeth that the kids got for Halloween last year. She found them in the toy box and inserted them herself. Ain't she purty? ;)

Here's my son in the same teeth. Doesn't he look like he's at the top of his class to you? LOL!

And remember those tiny little Christmas Puppies? Well, check them out now:

Pigtail cuteness is rampant around here:

Monkey4 LOVES to dance:

She also did Cheer Camp this summer:

Monkey1 and her Side Kick:

Here is my sweaty little Monkey5 trying to sleep in the heat [our AC died in June and we live in Georgia... it has been HOT!!!!]

1 comment:

  1. very sweet! thanks for sharing.
    I hope your writing continues to go well. You certainly have a clear very engaging style.

    God bless