AJ, my babycakes, my little buddy, the best kiddo in the world, he's growing up. It makes me sad. I already miss the little baby and the cute toddler. The preschooler snuck up on me and that is passing just as quickly. Then something happened today that will help this time stick in my head a little bit more.
AJ started school today.
I went a couple weeks ago to get him enrolled for VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) next school year. A friend's mom (Jenn is my friend and Sue is her mom) runs a VPK program, so we started talking about getting AJ into her program next year. When I met with her to hand in the VPK papers I asked if she had any spots available now for AJ to get in and as luck would have it one spot had just opened up. I guess it was meant to happen. So I went to the school a few days later and met with Sue to fill out more papers and get AJ all signed up. I took him in for about an hour last Friday so that he could see the room and meet some of the teachers and kids. He had a good time and didn't want to leave but I promised him we would come back.
AJ has asked for a long time when he could go to school and always wanted to go to school with Daddy on Saturdays. He would be very upset when we told him that he wasn't able to go with Daddy, it was always very sad. I know some of it was just that he missed Jasey and wanted to spend time with him, we all do. So we talked about AJ going to school all weekend and told him he had to eat a good dinner and breakfast and get lots of sleep so that he would be nice and strong for school with his girls and boys.
I think it's so cute that he refers to them as his girls and boys. Something he started a while ago, all by himself.
This morning we woke up, ate a yummy breakfast, got dressed and headed out for school. We talked about listening to the teachers and being nice to his boys and girls. AJ asked me to pick him up and he gave me a big boy hug and a kiss, then barely looked back as he walked through the classroom door.
I know it'll be good for him...and me...and Ryan, too. He needs time to learn things in a different environment then the one he has become so comfortable with. He needs to interact with kids his age. Ryan will now be able to play with something for longer then four seconds before AJ comes running up and says "No, baby" taking her toy away. She can babble to her hearts content without AJ interrupting or telling her to hush. She will get the freedom to be herself, the same freedom that AJ had at her age. I need the time to not constantly have to drag two fighting kids away from each other and I am grateful that I will be able to have one on one time with Ryan just like I did with AJ.
Honestly though, I felt a little lost as he walked away, this was the first time in almost 4 years that my babycakes wasn't going to be with me. I certainly wasn't expecting tears, from either one of us. I guess I just didn't realize how well of a balanced kid he was and even though he is a little boy he is certainly maturing faster then my mind is grasping. I guess I can take some of the credit for raising him that way but I know it's also just him growing up.
School ends at noon, it's only part time, which is all I wanted anyway. So, at 12:00 we went to pick him up. We peaked into the observation room for the last couple minutes of class and they were in circle time learning about birds and their calls. AJ was listening and sitting nicely, then he went into one of his drama modes and flopped down to the ground, his head on his arm, and stayed there for a minute. I giggled, but knew that he was tired, it had been a long day for him. When they were dismissed he came outside where Momah, Ryan and myself were waiting for him. He said he didn't want to leave and proceeded to pout for the next half hour. We coaxed a few words out of him but it wasn't until after we got home and put some food in him that he became happy AJ and could tell us a little about his day.
He told us that he met new friends, learned about birds (which, of course, we knew) and used scissors to make a paper lantern for their lantern contest. Sue had already told me about the lanterns. As part of learning about the Chinese New Year each kid is making a paper lantern and later in the week they are going to have a Lantern Parade. I love it and it's something that I couldn't have done with just him and Ryan, it wouldn't have been the same. I'm still not sure why he called it a contest though.
I thought for sure that he would zonk out and take a little nap but after some quiet time in bed he was running around and joining us outside to play and help in the yard. He ate a great dinner, played with Ryan, watched a couple of his favorite shows, took a bath and was off to bed without a fight. All in all, AJ's first day of school was a success.
We shall see how tomorrow goes.
- Today I am grateful for such easy going kids. They continue to make me happy and proud -