Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"I just so sad..."

"Just so you know, C has not had a very good morning.  Tried many distractions and keeps crying for mommy.  Think a nap is in order asap today!"

This was the text on my phone late this morning from C's daycare provider.  Immediately after reading it, I couldn't decide whether or not I felt worse for my little two year old (who missed me), or his caretaker (because I know how exasperating that lovable two year old can be).  In the end, I think my heart went out to both of them.

I was pretty surprised to get that text because C woke up in a wonderful mood.  (He tends to take after his mother in the waking up department-- and I should admit that it's not my favorite thing to do-- so his mood is kind of a crap-shoot in the morning) The drop off went fine, and nothing really struck me as "uh-oh" when I headed to work.

Apparently, the kids at daycare had been looking through books.  (They are all really into reading books right now-- I have a whole blog post forming in my head explaining my excitement about that!)  Anyway, C was looking through a Pooh book and noticed that Pooh looked sad.  (Remember? Feelings identification?  Damn, it's for sure going to haunt me.)  He told his daycare gal,

"Pooh Bear sad."

She said that yes, he did kind of look sad.

And C said, "He sad because he miss his mommy."

And she said that no, he didn't miss his mommy.  He was looking for his friends.  (If you've read Pooh Bear books you know how stupid that bear is and can never find his friends or honey or anything right in front of him.)

But C replied with, "No, he miss his mommy.  He so sad. And I sad.  I miss my mommy too.  I just so sad.  I'm sad."  and that was it.  From there, he worked himself up into a full fledged melt down, claiming that he was just so sad.

He has done this before with me-- he has missed Binga and has tried to start quivering his lip and can literally make himself cry.  In a way, it's kind of impressive.  (He's gonna be a good little Thespian!)  The problem, as with most 2 year old type problems, is that he has no "off" switch.  He can't just real it back in and be done pretending.  There is no difference in pretending to be sad and becoming sad.  Sad is sad is sad.

So I'm not sure where we go from here-- but I'm hoping it's not as sad.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

B-I-N-G-A (that's "Binga")

Last night, I heard C run from his bedroom to the living room saying,

"Binga!  Get in here! Time to help Daddy! Hurry! Hurry!".......(pause, eager running from the living room to the bedroom)......then, "Daddy! Binga here! Binga ready to help us!!"

So before you start imagining a neighborhood friend (with an unusual name) helping Charlie & his daddy take down his crib (yes, you read that right!!  Milestone #1million this summer.  More later.) I will fill you in on a little secret.  There is no visable friend.

That's correct.  Binga, it seems, is C's imaginary friend.

Now, I must admit that I've been slacking on the baby book a bit, so I can't pinpoint the exact date to when "Binga" officially arrived in Spahnville, but I know it was earlier this spring/summer.  C had been talking about Binga more frequently and finally it dawned on his brilliant mother to ask him to tell her more about Binga.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: Charlie, tell me about Binga.

C: He my friend.

Me:  Oh!  I didn't know you had a friend named Binga.

C:  He a nice friend.

Me: Hmmmmm.  What does Binga look like?

C: He look like mommy.  He my best friend.

(Aw, pause for dramatic effect of that super sweet statement!  I knew right away I liked this Binga character)

Me:  Oh, I bet you like Binga a lot!

C:  Uh-huh.  But sometime Binga naughty.

Me.  Oh.  (wth? His mommy is the best ever so I still can't understand why Binga would have any flaws)

And so we continued the summer with frequent Binga stories.  Usually they were just tidbits like:

"Binga hit me today.  He sit in time out."
"Binga my friend.  I ride his horses.  He live in a barn."
"Binga have orange hair.  He my brother."  (whaaaat????)

But lately, Binga has become more..... real?  Like, C can totally work himself up because we're not stopping at Binga's house on the way home from daycare.  The other day, he almost was in tears as the conversation went like this:

C: "Mommy, I sad.  I just so sad."  (Yes, he is a counselor's kid-- we've been working on feeling identification since he could talk.  Maybe this is going to come back to haunt me.)

Me: Why are you sad, honey?

C: I miss Binga.  I miss my friend.

Me:  Oh.  It is sad when we can't be with our friends.

C:  But I really sad.  (He pouts, and quivers his lower lip)

Me:  I can tell you're sad.  Maybe when we get home we can read some stories and tell Binga about them.

C: No, I not want to read stories. I want Binga!

Me: (Losing a bit of patience) Well, it's almost naptime and Binga's probably taking a nap.

C:  Binga not take naps. I want Binga!  (tears are now forming)

Me:  (really losing patience) Well honey, technically you could just conjure up Binga and have him instantly.


C:  Mommy, what conjure?  I not conjure.  I want Binga!

Oh my.  So, I guess now I just embrace the fact that my kid has an imagination, right?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Shoes, Do's, and Attitudes

Well friends, school has officially started in my world.   I feel like I should be saying, "I'm ready for it!"  "I'm sooooo excited!"  "Bring it ON!"  "2012-2013 is gonna be a GREAT year!"

But if I'm being really honest here (which is pretty much my intent with this entire blog thing), I have just got to admit that my thoughts have been less of the former, and more along the lines of....  "School- Schmool" and "Who's idea was it to send us back to school in the middle of summer!?"

And on Wednesday, when I waltzed into the well manicured building with sparkling waxy floors and colorful welcome signs adorning every doorway and saw the shiny, happy faces of our 200+ cherubs, I found myself thinking "I wonder if the 'Honeymoon' could possibly last a whole month this year?"  Maybe I'm just a natural pessimist.  Or maybe after ten years as a school counselor, I have just learned that  this 1st day phenomenon (or really, first week phenomenon in some cases) will quickly pass.  

That morning, I watched the students eagerly congregate at their lockers-- all smiles as they reunited with peers they hadn't seen for weeks (or probably a few days in this small town).  I couldn't help but notice the adorable new haircuts and bright new shoes that crossed my path.  (I will say, the brighter the better seems to be the theme this year in the shoe department) Every shoe was shiny, clean, and incredibly bright. It was like the shoe put that bounce in kids' steps that day. I imagined conversations with parents about why this particular pair of shoes was the "must have" this year.  (I remembered shoe shopping with my own dad for that perfect pair of tennis shoes--Dad always was in charge of shoe shopping-- after all, he had once worked in the JC Penney shoe department!) What is it about new school shoes?  There is something about them that marks the beginning of a new school year like hearing "Auld Lang Syne" marks the beginning of a new calendar year.

Like most new beginnings, we're filled with hope and expectations and possibilities.  We try to believe this is going to be the best year yet.  But as time passes, and frustrations mount, and disappointments accumulate, it becomes difficult to maintain that positive energy and spirit.  And, funny enough, it's like those school shoes reflect these feelings.  It only takes a moment before they have lost their luster.  Their bright color begins to fade,  dust and dirt and grime collect in the grooves, and .....  as the year progresses, the shoes continue to deteriorate-- some even develop holes, tears, or mysterious unpleasant odors.  Toward the last day of school, it's clear that these shoes are on their way out-- as big toes poke through the front, and the rubber sole is comes lose from the bottom.  And sadly, I think a lot of our school kids mirror these shoes by the last day of school.  They look tired and worn out just like their shoes. (A lot smell kinda funny too but I think that's just part of growing up.)

I wish there was some way to harness the smiles, the energy, and the enthusiasm of the first week of school.  I wish there was some way for the shoes (and more importantly, the kids) to not wear out.  Unfortunately, I think public schools put a great deal of stress on kids-- kids who are already dealing with more home/ "real life" stress than previous generations ever have.  But fortunately, I'm in a position to maybe remind kids of that "new year" energy, the potential they have, and the accomplishments they undoubtedly will make.  It's so easy to lose sight of the "new shoe" hiding under that worn out piece of canvas/cotton/ mesh.  But this year, I want to strive to remember it throughout the year-- and perhaps make a difference.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Where have you been, young lady?

m.  i.  a.   

Well, I know that the five of you who read this blog may have been wondering what happened to my ever so timely blog entries, and because I want you to keep checking up on my posts, I thought I'd better post an explanation.

Basically, I gave myself a time out.  Yep.  This summer, after blogging about our little weekend trip to Iowa City, I decided that I have a TON of things I want to accomplish this summer, and crazy as it sounds, every time I sit down with my computer in front of me, I end up being less than productive.  In fact, it's weird.  It's like my computer has magical time-lapsing abilities.  I'll cozy up with my laptop, glance at the clock, note the time (1:15--naptime!), check out facebook, check some blogs, follow a few links, then remember the five things I meant to google that day, re-check facebook to see if anything has happened in the last 10 seconds of my life, do some garage-saling via Craig's List, surf around for some cheap flights to oh, Hawaii or California or maybe Rio-- you know, just to "see" what they run, check my home e-mail (maybe Shutterfly sent me a coupon! Then I'd have to go to the sfly site and check that out for awhile) and if I'm feeling really motivated I'll check my school e-mail too.  Then I glance at the clock and am just absolutely shocked that it's almost 4:00!  What the hell?  And you guys, I'm serious.  I have a learning problem that involves my inability to learn how to stay away from the computer.  Damn internet.

So..... kinda like my "31 Days Facebook Free" time, I decided to avoid my computer during the day, and kind of forced myself to do something "productive" during C's naptime.  Since I usually write blogs during his nap, this meant no blogging.  (Now, I would like to admit that the word "productive" is used very loosely here.  So in the future, if you read something about oh, taking naps, or catching up on scrapbooking, I feel that I can completely defend those things as being productive.)

It feels good to be writing again-- and I'll be sure to bore you to tears in the near future with updates of the Spahnville summer, our fall plans, and yes-- my total denial and mixed feelings about school starting again.  Welcome Back!