One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

School Absence

Yes. School started this week. I know this because I watched out my window as the neighbors took first-day-of-school pictures of their two happy kids who were sporting new backpacks. I know because the school next door has the sounds of children shrieking on the playground again. I know school started because it's almost September and I can smell the freshly sharpened pencil aroma in the air.

Yes school started but for the first year since, heck, birth–my dad was a teacher and I spent a lot of time at his school, then I became a student, then I became a teacher–I'm not there.

Will I miss the bells telling kids when to be inside, when to go to lunch, when to play? No. Will I miss the rows of desks, the raise-your-hand to speak, the discipline slips, the rules against tag, the rigid reading program, the pages of data entry, the cranky copy machines, the fluorescent lights, lack of windows, heating issues? No.

I will miss the laughter of teachers and students, the curiosity of 5 and 6 year olds, the moment the lightbulb goes on for a child, the corny jokes only first graders can tell, the friendly sock monkey, lunchtime with friends, drawings from little girls, listening to children teach and help each other.

I will miss the quiet classrooms and the noisy ones. I will miss the stubborn whiny kids and the eager smiling ones. I will miss the polite kids from kindergarten to sixth grade who ALWAYS hold the door for someone and ALWAYS say You're welcome, and, I swear, ALWAYS mean it. I will miss the 2nd-now-3rd grade boy who told me I was looking pretty one day. I still will miss the 4th-now-6th grade boy (he moved away last year) who told me I had "bed head." I will miss my "little teachers"–those 1st and 2nd graders who taught me so much more than I ever dreamed of teaching them. I will miss my desk mates and our cramped portable (but not the lack of a restroom).

I will miss the OFFICE SUPPLIES. Oh I get giddy just thinking about them! I may have to go to Staples later. Post its and paper clips and pencils–oh my!

Sigh. Still, no matter all that I will miss I do not regret my decision to stay home with my little boy. I don't want to miss his moments because I am with someone else's kids. It's sad enough that my husband misses so much time with our son. Maybe one of these years we will trade and I will go back to working away from home.

But for now I may sneak over to school sometimes. OK, sneaking is not a good idea. I promise I will sign in and get my visitor sticker. I may go back when I can to listen to a student read or help a teacher friend with classroom work (please don't send me to the copier for two hours).

Maybe I can go back just enough so I won't be considered truant!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Dark and Poopy Night: 10 Lessons from the Wee One in the Wee Hours

Mothers-to-be, take notes :)

1. You will sleep through thunderstorms that shake the house, light up the bedroom, and even disturb the slumbers of your hibernating husband; but if the baby hiccoughs you will jerk awake, leap from your bed, and rush to his side to make sure he is OK. (True story. Monday night).

2. If you change a poopy diaper and discover that the baby has not wet it, you will learn to duck and cover. It only takes a couple of "warm showers" while wearing your clothes that you will see the importance of this lesson. (Of course this is more difficult at night unless you want to put your hand in the diaper to feel for wetness. Last night, well, at least I wasn't wearing much clothing.)

3. You will think you have learned the difference between the sounds of passing gas and the sounds of gushy depositing. Then you will find out that, nope, you were wrong. So if the diaper is empty, don't change it quite yet even if it is wet. Somethin's a comin'.

4. You will take the baby's temperature multiple times because you thought the thermometer would light up in the dark and show you the reading but no it doesn't so you will turn the overhead light on and then take the temperature again and yes you had a clean diaper laid out but somehow you won't get it all the way under the bum and the changing pad you usually have on the floor will be in the wash and finally you will affirm that the baby doesn't have a temperature but the baby will have no trouble releasing the poo because you stuck him so many times and then it will be all over the carpet, his clothes, and, well, SOME will make it on the diaper and you will have to grab multiple cloth diapers to wipe everything up and the baby will be laughing and laughing because what better revenge is there for having a stick poked up your bum?

5. If you venture into the territory of issue number 4, no matter how loudly you call for your husband to come help, he will not hear you and he will not wake up. You need to be loud like thunder. (hmm, could he be faking?)

6. You will put the baby to bed in his onesie because he was already falling asleep and you didn't want to wake him up to change his clothes and you will wrap him up well and believe that he will be warm enough. Then he will wake up only an hour later with both arms sticking up over his head and they will be like ice cubes and then you will go and put on his long-sleeved jammies (yes, Daddy might help with this if he isn't snoring already) so he can have his arms above his head and maybe they will then just feel like melted ice cubes and you will get him all tucked back in and then you will hear rumblings in his diaper and you will think of number 3 on this list. Then you will have to ask yourself, poop or noise? If you go with noise and go back to bed and it was really poop, he will probably wake up in another hour because he really doesn't like the feeling of yuck up his back. If you go with poop, then you have to unwrap him, undo his jammies, and check the diaper. This will cause him to believe that he is hungry even though he ate not long before. Then you will sigh, pick him up, and feed him.

7. For some reason, no matter how many times you have started nursing the baby and then realized that you didn't have a burp cloth handy and then, naturally, the baby spit everything down your shirt you will do this again and again. Then, at night, you will change the baby across the hall from your bedroom so you can keep it quiet for your husband to sleep–this is why you change the baby on the carpet sometimes– (and why you think you need to be quiet is impossible to figure out) and then, while carrying the baby back to your room he will spit up all over and a glob of it will land on the tile floor. Then you will go put him down, clean him off, and wipe the floor, but when you walk back across the floor with the baby you will slip and almost fall because apparently breast milk wiped off of tile makes for a very slick surface. You will put baby to bed and go back with a wet rag this time and scrub and scrub, but you will only make it worse. You will go to bed. Then you will stay awake for a while reminding yourself to tell your husband about the slick spot before he walks on it. You will forget. Morning will come. Thankfully, he won't fall down the stairs.

8. You will think that after a long night where the baby is awake a lot and crying that he will sleep really well and long during his morning nap. Nope.

9. Sometimes, one of the baby's prolonged cries will wake your husband and he will offer to take the baby downstairs and stay with him so you can sleep. This is all very sweet and helpful and a great idea, but you will stay awake convinced that the baby needs his mommy even though he isn't hungry and you trust your husband completely and he is very good at soothing and quieting the baby. You will worry if you hear the baby keep crying AND if the baby is suddenly quiet because of course you will think your husband has fallen asleep and the baby has stopped breathing.

10. In the morning you will be bleary-eyed, stink of milk and spit and pee and poop, seriously contemplate becoming a coffee drinker even though you can't stand the flavor, and want to cry because you didn't do the dishes the night before and the kitchen is a mess and also it smells like potato peelings. Then you will look into your baby's eyes and he will laugh and laugh and smile and the rough night will be forgotten. (Unless of course you document it all in a blog post.)

Moms, what's your best baby night story?