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A mothering journey with my two beautiful girls
I went to school to pick Maddy up this afternoon, and the first thing Ms M reported back to me:
Ms M:Â Maddy told me today that she doesn’t like this school any more, and she’s going to the new school.
I wasn’t quite sure how to answer her, and I am not quite sure if I need to talk to Maddy about her brutal honesty.Â I mumbled something about how big the new facility to Ms M is and that’s probably why Maddy likes it better.Â Being an adult, it is just not right to tell them in the face that I too, can’t wait for Maddy to go to the new school.
Once in a while Maddy came home with a funny daily report from school:
“Maddy was full of hugs and kisses today!Â She told us that she was sleepy before lunch because Olivia keeps her awake at night!”
It’s not quite true because mommy got up before Olivia gave her loud cries.Â The only one to blame is Maddy girl herself because she got up half hour early this morning and refused to go back to bed.Â
Ms Curtis said to me after three days being the new teacher in Maddy’s class:
“Wouldn’t it be something if Abraham and Maddy actually get together later on in life?”
We smiled at each other.Â Both of us know too well that it will be an unlikely event, but we can’t help realizing that they two teach us in many levels what a ‘loving couple’ should be like:
Maddy went potty.Â By the time she came out, Ab already turned on the water “Here you go, Maddy” and then proceeded to hand her the hand soap.
When they jumped together and Ab bumped Maddy’s head, she stopped in pain.Â If it was anyone else, the girl would have whined and complained and ‘put up a show’.Â But she didn’t.Â I watched her closely because it look like it actually hurt a lot.Â She just rubbed her forehead, rested a bit, and then went back to talk to Ab.Â
Simple gesture of servanthood and forgiveness:Â How can it be so easy for these two year olds and so hard for us grown-ups?
Despite of hearing and reading about how we should taylor to our children’s learning styles, I always believed otherwise. Perhaps it is due to my deep belief in “Survival of the fittest”, I much prefer Maddy being exposed to as many different styles of learning as possible. Kids are amazingly moldable, and it’s best for them to adapt to whatever teaching styles comes their ways.
Still, I’m a bit nervous whenever Maddy changes teachers. As much as she is flexible, I wonder how she does with different teachers. There are teachers she naturally clicks with and becomes the teacher’s pet on the first day they met, and there are teachers she only ‘tolerates’.
It tickles my heart to see Maddy imitates her teachers. Every time she gets moved, we see dramatic differences in her within a week or two. Her main EPSII teacher used to teach elementary school, and she runs the class like one. At first I wasn’t too sure about how Maddy would react to her, from the huggy huggy, let’s run around and sing loudly teachers to this much more quieter, strutural class. She is doing well though. Since the beginning of this week, Joe and I have to sit ‘nicely’ (line up perfectly against the wall) and be quiet when she ‘reads’ story books to us. She turns the book around and talks with a serious voice “Here. Do you see?”.
But the most fasinating thing for me is listening to each teacher telling me about what they think of Maddy. How she is different in some ways and the same in others in each teacher’s eyes. She’s the quietest kid in the toddler class at church, but the chatiest in her old ESPI class.
Somethings are consistent though: She is very independent, and she’s a ‘clean freak’ (of course, they never used that term). In her toddlerI class when she was barely 12-months, she picked up the peas one by one and ate cleanly while most other kids smashed their food all over their faces and table. In her toddlerII class when she was 1 1/2 years old, she teachers and the directors in school got a big kick when she refused to do body painting and only agreed to touch the paint with one finger after much encourgement. In her ESPI class, her teachers often talked about how she was very upset when her shirt got a little bit wet after washing hands.
And now in her ESPII class, the teachers say they’re ‘impressed’: the way she keeps her eating table clean (wipes off the table right away when any food got out of the plate), and how she requested to be changed after a little bit of dirt got on her pants when they played outside.
I suppose I just assumed that most kids are like that and her anal retentive character has made my life much easier. Come to think of it, I think Joe’s table is usually a lot more messier than Maddy’s (for some unknown reasons, the dripping of sauses across table or rice pallets outside of his plate never seemed to bother him as much as it disgusses both Maddy and me). Maddy is like a kitty cat, who for the most part has kept herself nice and clean.
I wonder what Livy is going to be like. It would really serve justice if she doesn’t sleep well, doesn’t eat well, doesn’t deal with changes well, as messy as she can be, and whining and clinging. I suppose I would still love her the same (although with thin patience for sure). But secretly, I know that the reason I wanted another girl is really because I want another Maddy.
I dropped Maddy at school this morning and had a chance to chit chat with the teachers for a while. According to them, Abraham’s parents and I are the ones having a much harder time ‘transitioning’ than our kids. The two are doing fine, they assured me.
I think they are right. Maddy was different when I picked her up yesterday. Instead of just doing parallel play she was engaged in a puppet show with two other kids. She didn’t want to leave when I told her it was time to go. She told me on the way home about the whole puppet playing thing. How K and her ‘thought’ it was too crowded when H came to join them; how which kid got what puppets to precision (since I also saw which kid got what pupppets when I got there); how many ducky babies and how many ducky mommies and how H wouldn’t let her have the ducky mommy. She went on and on…
She was different this morning too. Instead of just sitting down on one seat and doing her puzzles by herself, she walked around station by station. Cole came over “Hi, Maddy” and gave her a big hug. She finally decided to join the girls in the reading station. Each of them had a book and they laid on the little couches… resembled us grownups sipping coffee and reading newspaper in a cafe.
The teachers asked me and we joked about Maddy’s infamous stares when she tries to ignore people… The “No-I-did-not-hear-you” and “whatever” and “get-over-it” stares. It looks like my little girl with an attitude has made her way back. Good for her!
The first thing Ms Larson and Ms Rogers told us when we went to pick up Maddy from school was that she’s been dry all day long.
She pee-peed every time they asked and had kept her diaper dry even through her nap. And that they’re pretty sure Maddy is ready for big girl underwears now.
How they manage to get her to go on commands I have no idea, but I’m glad someone is doing a better job training Maddy than me.
She did go pee-pee tonight at her one and only potty time at home all by herself, while I was laying in bed defeated by the fever and daddy was checking her bathwater. I heard her pee, then heard her giggled, then heard her running out mumbling “I did it”.
That’s my big girl!
Report from Ms Larson:
“Maddy sat on the potty today. She look, look, and look, and one drop came out”
One drop is better than nothing… nothing has yet to come out when she’s at home.
One of the things I appreciate Maddy’s teachers is that they really encourage kids to try out the next developmental behaviors/expectations. In many ways, they teach me as the first time mom to know when/how to sense Maddy’s ready-ness in her growing-up process.
Maddy’s daily report since last week has “sat on potty” here and there. The teachers ask kids if they would like to try on the potty during each diaper change time and the ones wish so go through the whole going-to-potty process, although just about 100% the results was simply “sat on potty”.
C’s mom, A’s mom, and I had conversations about this potty training during Maddy’s birthday party. All three of us are first time moms and all three of us are so not ready to start the potty training thing. We’re very happy changing their diapers for now. We heard that the last wave of kids who moved up to Early Preschool I got potty trained in two months.. ALL of them, and we joke that with mommies like us, it will surely take them more than two months.
But so many times I was wrong:
1) I didn’t think there was a point for Maddy to do art when she was only four months, but different teachers/people had commented on how great Maddy’s fine motor skills are in early days
2) I didn’t think it had a point to give Maddy utencils when she can barely sat up herself, but she totally self-fed before she turned one
3) I didn’t think it was needed to have a rule that no paci in young toddler II class, but she was able to ‘quit’ her addiction in 45 mins… much to my surprise, I think I was not ready to have her leave paci as it symbolized her being a baby.
4) I didn’t think she was ready to be neat and clean at the table, but was amazed by all the 18 months olds eating without bibs and drinking with open cups with very minimal mess in her classroom.
Maybe, just maybe once again, I’m the one not ready for her to be potty trained because I want to keep her as my ‘baby girl’.
There are tons of kids and parents waiting at the corner of our street for school bus each morning now a days…. I see Abby, our 5-year-old neighbor, carries her own backpack with her dad by her side… I see an Asian boy, who is at least 8 or 9, with his mom still carries his backpack.
It’s quite a funny picture, and I suspect she uses that ‘Attachment Parenting’ thing to raise her son(most traditional Asians I know still do)… she is probably horrified that the other parents are not ‘helping’ their young kids with their heavy backpacks. I watch them and all the sudden the picture became so clear to me.
I am convicted with an answer… I will join Maddy’s teachers in preparing her for potty training from today.
One of the funnist things of living in Cary is watching everything being built from gound zero including subdivisions, highways, grocery stores, public schools and preschools.
And I’ve been eyeing two preschools for specific reasons:
1) Carolina Kid Academy, Carpenter Village subdivision’s own daycare. How cool is that! She can walk to her preschool from home, since it’s situated next to the pool. They can probably have ‘field trips’ to the pool, I imagine.
2) KidsRKids, Morrisville. Another five star preschool, located less than 0.5 mile from Maddy’s Primrose. They have Webcams, which Primrose doesn’t.
I scoped out both schools, checked their websites… both will be ready by end of this year or beginning of next year. I would probably check them out once they officially open, but I doubt I would move Maddy at all.
God has provided us with everything that fit for our family when we moved here (the house, work, & Maddy’s school). Primrose in tradition has a long waiting period, but someone dropped out a week before we moved here so Maddy got a spot.
She has really flourished there. I love the balanced learning environment… how they learn from the silliest activities, how they have Spanish, computers, Gardening, Fancy Feet dancing, MusicKare, Tumblebus, to the occasional pony rides and bounce houses. I love the teachers, who are young yet all of them are like supernannies. I witnessed the kids not following the instructions, and the teachers started to count to three. No reaction with count 1, but they run back to where they’re supposed to be when ‘2′ is counted. I thought it’s the funniest thing how the kids test their limits (some wait until 2 and half before they ‘run for their life’) but abide to rules at the end, thanks to the consistency of the teachers. I love the kids in Maddy’s classroom… how they run to Maddy and give her hugs in the mornings and how they call me “Maddy mommy” and wait for me to kiss them. A mother always knows when her child enjoys something, and I say Maddy is having the time of her life there!
We got a notice today that she will be promoted to the next class (The Early Preschool I) right before she turns two. We’re so excited for her, that she will no longer be in the “toddler’s room”, but will be in the preschool room with POTTIES in the classroom. Her room will be ready when she’s ready to be trained And her tuition, will drop a whole $200 for being a big girl!
Summer camp started June 1st at Primrose. They had pony rides the other day, but Maddy was too scared to ride them and only watched from the sideline.
However, she had a fantastic day today during waterplay and bounce house jumping time.
Since the four older kids moved to the next room and the four old friends moved from Y1 to Y2, baby girl enjoys being the only girl in class once again.
On the improvement with color recognition, baby girl definitely gets her blue, yellow, red and green right (90% of the time) now. Thank you Primrose teachers! We learned from Primrose monthly newsletter that NC Division of Child Care had asked our particular Primrose School to represent the Five Star System in the state and invited delegates from Germany to tour our school. We’re very happy to be part of the best preschool in the state!
A couple of new things are happening:
1) Jacob, Matthew, and Krishna are officially moving from Y1 to Y2 by end of next week. Maddy will be pleasantly surprised. Jacob and Matthew still scream “Maddy, Maddy” whenever we pass by the Y1 class, and Maddy will be happy to have some old friends joining her in her big toddler class. We will have to give K. a little more time to adjust though.
2) Summer camp starts in June. It’s the best I’ve seen so far. Partly because Maddy is now in Y2 class and old enough to participate in many of the activities. Pony rides will be greeting them on the first day of summer camp (Maddy’s been asking about ponies and the choo-choo train ever since the Spring Fling Festival). There will be Musicare; Fire truck visit; water play; discover the magic; special craft time (not her everyday craft stuff); and Tumblebus. We are most excited about the Tumblebus. It’s a mobile gymnastic class, which they converted a real school bus to gymnastic stations so kids can learn gymnastics at the parking lot of their preschool!
So much fun in the summer!