09 October 2008

how many sleeps?

At some point during CD's trips, usually past the half way point, we start a little countdown on the chalkboard wall in Oliver's room. Every morning we change the number on "X sleeps until Daddy comes home." As a strategy for dealing with a parent's absence, I recommend it. Oliver is so excited to change the number every morning. He can process that tomorrow we will write "1" and then the morning after that Daddy will, in fact, come home. I think we started this time around day five, when he was really starting to ask for CD in earnest.

I worry a little about chalking up too many of the behavior challenges I see to him just missing Daddy, but we are all a bit stressed. Oliver had a meltdown as we were leaving his school today. He was lollygagging his way through the hall and I committed the sin of going on the stairs before him. It was all downhill from there. He wanted me to have done the opposite of whatever I had just done. I wasn't going to mollify him so I tried to just stick to our exit routine as much as possible, and not let him hit me using whatever means I had. As we passed the playground, with Oliver screaming and hitting, his teacher looked horrified. This is a special side of Oliver that he saves for me, not behavior he displays at school. He got over it before we left and was asking for hugs. At home, he was much better. There were a couple of brief outbursts, emphasis on "brief."

A teacher at Oliver's school this morning asked me if Eleanor could walk. I realized I always carry her or she is in the Ergo on my back during drop-off and pick-up. That's mostly because of her refusal to hold my hand. No more. I put her down, took her hand, and she charged ahead confidently, laughing and giggling all the while. I repeated this when we got to her school and she was ecstatic. I hope I haven't created a monster but she is still insisting I pick her up eleventy thousand times a day so we're probably safe, at least for a little while longer.

Eleanor's teacher conference was today and I learned a lot. The most interesting bit is the large number of ways she is like Oliver, far more than those areas she is different. They are not really the polar opposites I sometimes envision. The best part was hearing which children and teachers she was bonding with, and the activities she likes best, especially books. She has transitioned very well to the group setting and is developing the relationships I hoped she would.

No comments: