Friday, August 26, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Ben

I've been warned by friends with older kids that the "terrible twos" are really nothing compared to three year olds. And only one week away from Ben's third birthday we are experiencing that reality for ourselves. Heath described it rather succinctly: When they're two they do bad things, but they don't realize those things are bad. But when they're three they do bad things they know are bad. So it's all about the intent.

The most frustrating thing is that sometimes Ben's his old, sweet self. He'll cooperate, he'll do what I ask, he won't stall for insane amounts of time. Then all of a sudden a switch goes off in his head and he's whining and stomping around and willfully disobeying me. And this happens every day. Our day isn't complete until he's thrown himself on the ground in anguish over something. Or made me drag him along the sidewalk because he won't stand up. Or run away while I'm yelling at him to STOP.

Is this like mini-boot camp for the teenage years? I suppose I should be grateful that at least right now I can physically overpower him. That advantage is going to go away all too soon. He'll probably be taller than I am by the time he's 10. But this SUCKS. I know it's not just me, but it's making me feel like a terrible parent because I pretty much want to strangle him on a daily basis. And I don't want to be screaming at him in Target or at restaurants.

I guess he started preschool just in time. We both need our space.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The first day

Leaving on the first day

As I expected, Ben had a great first day of preschool. No tears, he had a lot of fun. According to him he played with trains, they read a story about two boys laughing and they heard music. Oh and they went to the playground. I also know he played with sand, because he had some in his hair.

The weird thing about all of this is that now Ben has a life beyond me. And I suppose that's some (or all) of what the tears were about. It's the first big step we've taken to him having his own life. I feel like now he's on this conveyor belt that will eventually take him away from me. Which is how it should ultimately be, it's just hard to swallow when he's not even quite three.

I admit, though, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow while he's at school and it's going to be so nice to go and not have to deal with him. I think yesterday is the only day there will be tears. At least until kindergarten.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Preschool Blues

Today is Ben's first day of preschool. As I type this my cheeks are still stained with tears from leaving him. Don't worry, I managed to get out of the classroom before I started crying. Ben was none the wiser (until he's 12, finds this blog and dies from embarrassment).

He's been excited about school for months, but as the actual day approached I could tell he was somewhat apprehensive. He stopped talking about it this week and he's been having bathroom accidents. Then last night he came into our room at 3:15am and asked to sleep in our bed. He's never asked that before. I took him back to his own room, but I did lie with him until he fell asleep.

This morning went like clockwork. He woke up just before 7:00am, had breakfast, brushed his teeth, got dressed and then we played until it was time to leave. He didn't seem nervous, though his excitement was tempered. Heath decided he wanted to video tape Ben's entire walk into school, so I'll post a link to a video that's mostly Ben's and my butts walking down the sidewalk.

We dropped him off in his classroom, gave quick hugs and then his teacher whisked him off to wash his hands. I've been crying ever since.

I can't wait to hear about his first day of school. I hope he loved it. As for me, I know I'll come to love this time off, but it's 9:07am right now, I have over two hours before I need to pick him up and I have no idea what to do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Adventures

Swimming with Mommy and his aunts

 Navigating the Lake of the Ozarks with Daddy
(I love that they both have the same look on their faces)

 Fourth of July carnival

 Even Picasso had to start somewhere, right?

 He's ready for winter

 Swimming with Avery


 Rubbing elbows with the famous
(He sings songs on PBS Kids)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm going to have two sons. Two sons. That just sounds bizarre.

My pregnancy is progressing normally and overall I'm feeling okay. Sometimes. I'm right on the verge of my third trimester, so it's all downhill from here, until the horrible, horrible pain of labor and delivery will actually become preferable to my daily aches, pains and exhaustion. It seems hard to believe, but every pregnant woman I've talked to has reached that point.

My mental state regarding this second child thing is a little more precarious. I'm starting to freak out about having two children. I keep coming back to this thought of, "What have I done?" We're at a point where things with Ben are manageable and routine and we don't need to cart around a bunch of shit to take him places and he can talk well and tell us what he wants... And now we're just going to add in another crying, pooping blob who can't communicate and won't sleep. It's like, hey, we're getting pretty good at juggling these watermelons. Why don't we add in a chainsaw? Who's dumb idea was that?

And the idea of being able to love another child as much as I love Ben... especially another boy... seems unfathomable. I know this baby is a part of our family, because when I look into my future I see more than one child sitting around the dining room table. I want Ben to have a brother. But standing on the precipice of a four-person family and this time KNOWING how much work a newborn is going to be is terrifying.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He so is

Tuesday, since it wasn't 1,000 degrees outside, we had playgroup in someone's backyard and the kids played in the pool. There were various pool toys around, including three watering cans. Ben had one and Alyssa had two and they were both dumping water into the pool and into the grass. After a while Ben looked at Alyssa, pointed to her watering cans and said, "Those are mine." He didn't try to take them, he just stated that they were his. Well, being three years old, this PISSED ALYSSA OFF. You would've thought Ben insulted Dora the Explorer. So she started whining and yelled, "No, they're mine!" Apparently Ben enjoyed that reaction because he said it again, "Those are mine." Then he started giggling, because Alyssa exploded again. This went on several more times, Alyssa getting mad and Ben giggling at her reaction.

Upon hearing this story Heath said, "Ben, you are so my son."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I have no idea where he learned that phrase

Saturday night we had our friends Sharon and David over for dinner and planned to play a board game after Ben went to bed. Well, lately Ben's bedtime routine has included three to five incidents of getting out of bed claiming he has to go to the bathroom, or he needs his covers or his Elmo slippers. But Saturday night he was in rare form. I think he was mad we were downstairs playing with friends and he wasn't included. He got out of bed at least seven times, for every imaginable reason. Heath put him to bed around 8pm, but he didn't go to sleep until almost 10. The highlight of the evening, though, was when he came out of his room and yelled down the stairs, "I'M TRYING TO SLEEP! KEEP IT DOWN!"