The first week of the new normal is almost over and while there is still anxiety over the hows and whys of routines, we are working them through.
Husband is looking spiffy with his new teeth and some new clothes. He is still getting used to riding the "T" (the subway for those not from the Boston area). And since he is trying to impress, he is the first one to arrive and the last one to leave...which means that I am pretty much Single Parent most evenings. He is still healing on the teeth part, so soft foods are pretty much the order of the day. He likes his new job so far.
Willow is having some transitional issues before and after Preschool. She often tries to rationalize to us that she is actually "not a big girl" but a little girl (meaning that she is not ready to grow up and go to Preschool). She misses her daycare provider deeply, and trying to comfort her in a way that is positive is often a challenge.
There were many reasons we needed her to move on to Preschool, the least of which is that it is time for her to learn and grow. But there is another part that is purely the working parent logistics part. Where the daycare provider's schedule and vacation times were becoming harder for us to deal with. Being at a daycare center, an individual teacher's schedule does not effect our schedules as much. We cannot explain that (nor would I want to) to Willow. All she knows is that she misses her care taker. This is the hard part, because we know that bond was special and we hated to break it. But on the other hand, we did need to change the situation to suit our needs. So, the promise of visiting the daycare provider and keeping her in our lives seems to be helpful to us all, although it is a very strange limbo to be in.
Once she is at Preschool she is totally fine and has already placed her first Preschool art on our refrigerator (its a Bee).
The reports coming from the teachers at the Preschool are encouraging and she does seem to be enjoying the classroom environment. Today she brought home an animal mask that she made (they were to pick out a favorite animal and make a mask--we only knew by the fact she told us that it was a lion). She also had a worm made of cherrios. There are little things that she has done that have made me feel a little better about the decision. She has sang to me a song about worms going into the dirt. She has explained to me how to brush teeth in a way that I know I have not taught her. So, I hope that her transitioning continues in this positive manner.
The most interesting part of this week has been to see how these changes have affected Michael. I got a report from school on Monday that he was having a more anxiety filled day, with some OCD behaviors and issues. It had not hit me until then that, yes, for him, these changes, even though they do not affect him personally, do affect him. The school counselor said that when she discussed things with him, he expressed his anxiety over how his dad's and sister's day was going. By Tuesday, he was much better, especially after he realized that everyone was doing well in their new positions.
It is really fun to watch Michael come with me to pick up Willow. Some people remember him there, as this is the same daycare center that he eventually went to. Each day, his excitement to remember those days is amazing. The past two days, he has made sure to come up behind Willow and surprise her (of course she does the thing of immediately looking around for ME). Michael has evaluated what things have changed at the center, he has reminisced about his time there. Tonight, he told Willow that this was the most fun place in the world, and told her all sorts of stories about the place. (He is also going through another phase of "oh man, I am not a kid anymore, I am not an adult, what the heck am I").
So, we come to me. The changes for me has been more responsibilities (for a while Husband wants me to pick out his wardrobe the night before--so that means I am trying to pick out my clothes, Willow's clothes and HIS clothes before going to bed) and I have lingering anxieties as certain things have not settled in yet (like, um, a paycheck, health care, etc.). Being single parent means the dinner is not always the best--last night, husband texted me at 5 p.m. that he was going to an impromptu dinner with co-workers and guests of the company...which meant that since I had just gotten the kids, and Willow had pitifully talked yet again about missing her daycare provider and then in the same breath mentioned having McDon.al.ds...we went there. (To the one with a play place no less!)
Changes, transitions and anxieties. Still working on it.
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