Six weeks ago a momentous occasion occurred in my household. Behold: my oldest went off to preschool!! Never mind that he had previously been enrolled in daycare/preschool until this past June and this school is only three half-days a week
The reason to celebrate is simple. He has been home full-time for the last three months and while I have loved (depending on the day) having him home all the time so that we can gallivant around town however we please, I also came to an important realization this summer. This is a kid who needs both structure and routine but more importantly, an outlet for his immense energy and enthusiasm.
Being home full-time, it seems, has created multiple behavioral issues with him. Brother has been picking fights with and being generally unkind to his younger, 19 month old, sister. He has been refusing naps on the regular. He has been resisting falling asleep for a good 90 minutes after we put him to bed at night and still waking at 5:30 am and then acting like an exhausted kid all day but still refusing sleep.
Turns out, I believe all the idle, unstructured time at home has just not worked quite well for him. And, ironically (or maybe not), every single one of the above issues we have experienced over the past few months has magically gone away over the past six weeks. It's really been amazing. We are cured!!
The moral of the story though is that this little break, because it is little at just two and a half hours three days a week, is a good opportunity for all of us to do something fun without a mommy, sister or brother up in our business and to make new friends and learn new things. The positive effects of preschool have clearly been far-reaching in this house! Everyone, and especially these little ones, need to feel a little independence as they mature and prepare to head out into the world. And what a wonderful thing that is for all of us.
We still have two years until Brother starts kindergarten. (Because of his birth date, he will not start school until he is nearly 6!) And while there are some days that I wish for time to pass more quickly so that I can have a little more independence, there are more days where I relish in the fact that right now I get to be the primary caretaker for my kids. It's a pretty special thing really and since I don't know how long it will last, I try so hard to never lose sight of this opportunity I have been afforded.
Two years from now, or twenty years from now, I want to have zero regrets for how I spent this time. So, while I happily drop off my special little guy at school three days a week, I also know it will only be just over two hours until I see him again.