Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The sum of the days

I am not sure what it was about the past few days, but doing much of nothing but thinking about all that I should and will be doing has been wearing me down. In just over a week, Elliott will begin attending Raintree Montessori School which will flip the daily life we know on its head. And since I have not heard about a job, I will continue doing the stay at home thing with Oliver. How we will juggle the new demands, I am not sure. Somewhere in there Oliver will learn to be a great car traveler, Elliott will become an all day student (Oh the mama dread!), and I will tackle more potty-learning, tantrum-throwing, busy-as-a-bee, hands-on, “I do it” little boy days (a boy with a whole different personality and energy level). And if a job magically appears in the next few weeks, we will all roll with those transitions too. What I dread most of all is starting Elliott full day and later having to adjust our schedule to half day (due to cost, scheduling, etc) because it means a classroom change for Elliott. Just the other day he saw a little girl shopping with her dad in the grocery and asked, “When will I have friends?” I feel awful to promise friendship at school and then face the situation of making him start again in a new classroom with a new teacher. (It had been my hope to secure full day in case I was working and found all day care for Oliver)

Equally exhausting has been the storm of ideas coming from Elliott. When we made gingerbread boys, Elliott was full of how-to’s for cutting and icing, despite times it would not work as well as he imagined. When I made Oliver’s birthday cupcakes (working with stored-bought mix, icing, the works, fondly remembering my self-designed childhood tiered cake) I offered Elliott the choice of colors and decorating. From there, he had to dictate more color choices than I planned, including, most importantly, HIS cupcake color and how to decorate each one. When we had free time during Oliver’s nap, he wanted to read, sew a mini blanket for his doll, sew a stuffed animal for himself, and play a game. We isolated one activity to do – a new game – but after one time playing through, he was begging to begin the sewing. Thankfully, Oliver woke up to end that discussion. Today when I asked his choice of one of three hats I designed for him to pick from, I mistakenly offered that he could change the design if he wanted. What ensued was over an hour of me sketching, coloring and planning a hat to fit the bill, only to realize he was wishy-washy about what he liked and I was not happy with the designing when I took a second look.

What starts off as a simple bonding or fun activity is quickly taken beyond the limits I can handle because he simply cannot rein in his enthusiasm for the task at hand and for all that comes next. Which is a wonderful trait, but utterly exhausting for the adult who is needed to help. I am now realizing this is why I feel like I do not get much done, but a lot is happening at the same time, especially these past few days. For this reason I am excited for Elliott to start to work at school, working on what he can, at his pace and skill level or with other children, working together for a common goal with all their energy bundled together to overcome problems.

Here are a few shots from the past few days. I had entirely different post ideas in mind, until the sum of the days led to the realization that the days had not unfolded the way I had imagined. The days of parenting – so little and so much happens everyday.

Tasty, huh??? Yeah, not so much.

Oliver loves the birthday song.

Big brother helping as needed on the birthday present.

Hat sketches and yarn, ready for a choice to be made.

The designing and counting, all shoved in the book for another day.

Helping measure his head... did not notice that little finger until upload time.


  1. "The days of parenting – so little and so much happens everyday."

    I think that's an excellent summary of it.... Sounds like you are handling it all so well. I bet Elliott will do great at school and have friends in no time. And Happy happy birthday to Oliver!!

  2. Yes! Balance is hard to achieve. Our projects see a lot of "feature creep" beyond limits of time and talent, as well. It can sometimes be hard to even want to open that can of worms!