Friday, January 28, 2011

A Fleming Six-Month Catchup Part III

Accept our fondest Happy New Year! and delete, or pull up a cup of Joe and read on . . . in three parts

Part III Autumn

Although I could have tried one challenge at a time, it appears I attempted both single- and working- motherhood all at once.

For future reference, I'll have just the working motherhood, please.

Kit and Gab went into before and after care at the y, a huge success. They loved it and I won't fear it in the future. Jack began school with me at Apple Montessori, though not in my classroom of course, which is a great thing since the tantrums he'd been throwing at home were the same as the ones he threw at school in between telling people, "My dad's in Iraq. Sometimes they call it Baghdad," and thus began the fallout of John leaving. Forget Jack's tantrums; I began a curious habit of growing real horns and claws and scales around 8:30 every night. I was a walking cortisol pump.

By November, exhaustion turned into illness. I missed four days, then the kids got sick, then we all got strep. So I fired myself--told my boss she needed an employee she could rely on. Now I go into work, same as always, for those first few intense Montessori hours to fulfill my internship, with all of the same expectations and responsibilities, only now I don't get paid and I have to get the kids after school (no more aftercare ), etc. Sounds crazy, but knowing that I can prioritize the kids without leaving my boss shorthanded took some stress away. Not the exhaustion, mind you, just the stress. My honor and respect for single mothers now has no bounds. I know next year this will be doable with live-in backup (aka John). I have hope and an end in sight. Unlike many who do this every day, I am truly blessed.

Speaking of blessed, did I mention Gabby's teacher this year? I called for angels, even had one in my pocket with Gabby's fabulous aide returning, but . . . Christopher Higgins. Say it with a prayer on your breath. I think the guy must lay awake at nights thinking, "How can I best include Gabby in my lesson plans tomorrow? " His enthusiasm and creativity seem endless. I am truly in awe, and Gabby is thriving. I called to see if I needed to be available to run the Wyngate fun run with Gabby. No. Not only did he run with her, he wrote me and told me in detail what a blast he had. After a presentation she gave, he wrote me, "I am so proud of her!" I am so proud of him.

Mr. Higgins, and Gabby and Ava in the Halloween Parade

Kit just continues to build character, or to show me how it is done. She started soccer this year and is very excited about it. Unfortunately, i didn't see it coming, signed up too late, and she couldn't play with her school team. She was bummed, but determined to play the sport. After the first few practices she said, in complete innocence and joy,"You know what's really cool? I can make friends anywhere." Yes, Honey, you can. In the spring she has first choice of any team she wants. She could choose Wyngate and her best friend's team, but she chose to return to the team she started with. Games resume in March.

Jack is three. Ok, he'll be four in February, but I'll believe it when I see it. Never before have I met a man so articulate and so emotionally chaotic at the same time. In that he can't stop talking and in that he has a gift of colorful and varied vocabulary, I come to understand and witness first hand the inner working of child development. He can scream volumes about the unspreadability of blueberry preserves, the unwillingess of shampoo to rinse from hair . . . really, anything. It almost makes me look forward to age 12 when he will be reduced to grunting responses. His cuteness continues to save his life on a daily basis.

Sometime when it gets rough, I just have to kick the rest of the world out, and make sure we are all in, a quarantine of sorts. I love nothing more than just the three kids at home together, playing dress up, making up dances (Jack has a routine to Michael Bublé's "I've got the World on a String" that rivals old Hollywood numbers), building forts, and reading, reading, reading . . . the three of them are addicted to it.

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