I've been sitting here filling out paperwork. Not just paperwork, mind you, but the sort of forms actual parents get to fill out when their child starts something like school. In this case it's my child and he's starting preschool tomorrow. Today was a big 'milestone' day for me as parent, not to mention my children.
There's the whole preschool thing. We spent today eating meals picked out/prepared by Logan (grilled cheese for dinner for example). We took a trip over the bridge to the boardwalk as a mini-last day of summer celebration. We read through the names of the kids in his class on his request - three times. Three times of me reading each first name and him repeating it. He seems to understand memorization techniques suddenly as he worked hard to store away these names for his later use.
He's nervous, but he won't say it. Or at least he does not recognize it. He's giddy and he's been having a few more episodes of acting out. It got easier to deal with the attitude when I could understand where it came from. He'll do fine in school. He'll enjoy it. We've talked about all the great things they're going to do in class. Painting, reading, playing, singing, cutting, glueing - all things he adores doing. He's excited enough to tell people that he's excited about going without prompting. He volunteers the information every time we pass the building.
I just stare at this little boy that has replaced my little toddler and find myself in awe. This person that he's growing into is an amazing, kind, loving little soul with a zest for life. I caught myself remembering today; I was thinking back to when he was just a helpless infant that couldn't quite keep his head up. We walked by the brochures for the preschool and I was commenting on how far away three years seemed then. But it wasn't. Those three years have come fast and now with a 2nd kid around to demand attention it moves faster.
Speaking of the other kid. Today was Megan's birthday. I referred to Megan, out of habit perhaps, as "baby girl" this morning. Logan stopped me and reprimanded me, telling me she wasn't a baby any more she was a toddler.
And he's right. She is clearly very much into toddlerhood. She's abandoned the hestitate steps of the early walker for the confidence of a runner. She's starting to work on her climing.
She's got a clear aptitude for mischief. Her latest great joy is shoving things in unsuspecting toilets. We try to keep bathroom doors closed but the child has a sixth sense. No matter where she is in the house, she knows when the door has been opened and she can appear in the bathroom before you can shut her out of it. Today she attmpted to toss Logan's sneaker in the toilet...while he was peeing.
She also has a great sense of when someone needs a pick me up. Somehow she knows when a well placed cuddle or big sloppy wet kiss is most needed. If it's her brother needing to feel the love, she'll throw herself on him as she attempts to yell "tackle!" only it never quite sounds like that. "Ta-ul!" is more like it. Then she raises her head and moves herself so that they are practically nose to nose before she busts out into giggles and pets his head. It brings a smile to his lips every time. She clearly knows this.
The active, always on the go child, has developed a real joy for reading. She pads over to her bookshelf and pulls out whatever strikes her fancy. She'll often plop down with her find and flip through pages herself. When she's through admiring the pictures she'll come over to the nearest adult, hand them the chosen story and then lift up her arms in a gesture that says "pick me up now!" She snuggles into the crook of your arm and mummur 'book' until you begin to read. Some of her books now have names - namely the ones of her favorite characters. There is the "Elmah book" (a book on the letter B featuring Sesame Street characters including Elmo.) And of course the now very clearly enunciated "Dora Book." (She actually over enunciates it - Door-rah).
She loves to be silly and to tease. She tries hard to wink on her own for some reason which always results in two eyes scrunched up really tight. She adores her new toddler swing. She loves her dolls - she drops them in the new toy stroller and takes them for walks. She cuddles them and loves them. She drags them around by their arm or hair.
She's typically moving and/or talking. She's got a fairly large vocabulary for someone just very newly 12 months old. But not knowing a word never stops her for 'talking.' She babbles incessantly. She yells and points. She shrieks. She makes a load of sounds.
And then, when she's mad she really lets loose. She'll yell. She'll scream. She'll get red in the face and scrunch up her fist. She turns on the tears. If she's overtired and just beside herself, she'll throw her body around too. Try holding an overtired tantruming toddler! Today as we rushed off the boardwalk she was crying as loud as she could with her head buried in my shoulder. She suddenly threw herself backwards, flinging her arms out wide as I supported her head in my hand. The melodrama has already set in.
She is a girlie girl. She loves her feather boa. She loves dressing up - give her access to hats, sunglasses and/or animal ears on a headband and she's all over it. She puts them herself. Sometimes she gets them on right. Sometimes she does not. She loves having her hair brushed and her feet rubbed. She loves to dance. She loves to feed the dog her lunch.
Megan is a little girl who strongly exhibits a very clear passion at a very young age. She loves life it seems. She's generally a happy child that loves to make others happy too.
I held her as she drifted off to sleep this afternoon - freshly off her mid-day meltdown. Kids tend to look so angelic when they sleep. She's no different. She smiles when she sleeps. A faint grin never leaving her face. It traced it with my finger and I thought of how it wasn't that long ago that I sat in a hospital bed holding a 7 pound baby doing the very same thing.
It goes by so fast. Savor it, I told myself. Savor.