So, I drop my son off every morning at my mother-in-laws. Getting goodbye hugs has been a regular thing lately. Getting an “I love you, daddy” isn’t always the easiest.
This morning, as I was getting him out of the car seat to go in the house, I said, “Love you, buddy.”
“Love you, too, daddy,” I said, trying to encourage a response (I couldn’t help it).
What I got was unexpected — and funny.
“Love you one, daddy.”
I’ll take it.
What else? I got nothin’.
Loyal readers, if you think I’m funny (ok, even if it’s just a bit) and you like some of what you find here, check out this new blog started by my friend, Anna.
She’s a mom with two cute kids. And, if you like reading about kids and (funny) parenting stuff, then you’ll like what you find here.
Give her a read. And, tell her Mike sent you.
What else? I got nothin’.
So Day Two of Daddy Duty meant preschool.My son goes twice a week for two hours a day. There are six kids in the class, two boys and four girls. There are two phenomenal teachers who are very welcoming to parents who want to visit for a while.I had visited one other time for a bit, but it had been a while, so I thought it would be fun to spend some more time in the classroom. My plan was to drop him off at the start and then return with about 40 minutes left.
I get a kick out of seeing him in an area I rarely see him in. It’s fun just to watch and follow him as he leads me through his routine. We walked in and then he put his backpack in his own cubby, and then he took his jacket off and hung that up, too. I was ready to go in to the room, but he told me we couldn’t because a teacher wasn’t inside yet. Oh.
The teacher came, he went in, and I was then virtually non-existent. That alone is a huge change. He’s a very private kid. Has mostly kept to himself. But, the good news, is that the teachers have said (and we see it, too) that he is really coming out of his shell.
So I then left for a bit and came back at 10:30.
It was too cold outside, so they were playing in a large social room at the school. My son, on his own, was playing with some construction trucks. We quickly got into that together, and after a few minutes, it was time to go back in the classroom.
Here was one of the impressive parts. Getting him (or any 2.5 year old) to wash hands is not always easy. But, the teacher says, “ok, boys and girls, time to wash hands” and they all walk right to the bathroom and line up against the wall. One teacher squirts soap in their hands and they begin scrubbing.
Then, the other teacher stands at the sink, calls them over one at a time and they rinse and dry off. It was incredibly cute to watch.
Back in the room, it was time for a project focused on identifying shapes. They had a piece of paper with a number of shapes on it. The kids had to name the shape and then glue a piece of paper in that shape and affix it to the paper.
I had never seen my son use a glue stick. Didn’t even know he could. Well, he could. When he finished, he just got up, didn’t say a word and took the paper out to the hall.
Nobody said a word — not even one of the teachers. But, I’m there thinking, Ok, where’s he going? More importantly, why aren’t one of his teachers following him?
Well, 20 seconds later, when he was back in the room — but without his paper, I got the answer.
“Where did you go, bud? And where’s your paper?”
“Put it right in cubby to go home, Daddy.”
I caught the teacher’s eye at that point and she just smiled and nodded. I mean, this wasn’t the most important thing in the world, but, again, it’s just nice to see him come out of his shadow and know what he can and can’t do at school.
So toward the end of the class, I went outside the classroom. That’s where all the parents wait to pick up their kids.
A few minutes later, he came right out with his coat on, a smile on his face and his attention turned toward his cubby, where he retrieved not only his backpack, but the project he worked on earlier.
He brought it right up close to show me — even though I had already seen it when he was working on it.
That’s OK, though. I’m not going to complain at all with a kid, that at his age, is excited to show off the work he did at school. Even if I did help him put it together just a few minutes earlier.
That’s not the point. the point is, my son loves school — at least for now!
What else? I got nothin’.
My wife and I are quite fortunate to have her mom watching our son every day while we’re working. It just makes it very easy all around. Can’t beat family. It’s that simple.
But, hey, everyone needs a break. So, for the last week, my mother-in-law has been in Florida, which means we had to juggle care of our son between ourselves and a friend who has watched him before.
So, for me, that means Daddy Duty. The way everything played out, I was to have him twice, essentially for a day and a half. But, within that day and half were two significant events — story time at the library the first day and preschool the second day.
I figure, hey, you like everything I read — or at least I hope you do. That being the case, you might get a kick out of my experiences during this time I was ‘on duty.’
In this post, we’ll tackle story time. Preschool will be its own post.
I do consider myself very active with my son, and I love every minute we have together. However, I will admit to feeling my stress level go up (just a bit!) when I’m, well, the ‘man in charge’ for a set period.
So story time at the library was our first activity. We were a bit early and my son led me right into the room where things happen. I saw other kids and moms when we first walked in, but, hey, my son’s 2.5, he knows where to go. He does this every week. Not me.
I did what anyone would do — I followed the person who’s done it before! But, after he took his place on the mat and I was trying to figure out where I should sit, nobody else was coming in the room. Finally, the ‘teacher’ comes in and told me that the kids normally gather on the other side until they are all there before coming in.
I plead ignorance and told her I was simply following instructions — for a near three-year old. She smiled.
Then the moms come in. So it’s me and five moms. I’m normally ok with that, but I do admit to feeling a little self-conscious, perhaps even out of my element. I shouldn’t have thought that. But I did.
I was sitting in a chair in the back of the room, giving my son his independence for this program. But, with that, all the moms come in and sit around the mat or against the wall near the mat. Well, I can’t just sit back there, right? I get off the chair and sit on the floor — just like the moms. Ok, I thought, I’m good with this.
What amazed me at that point was not how much the moms did — but rather, what they didn’t do. The ‘teacher’ was reading books about airplanes. Well, a couple of the kids stood up, walked to her and pointed to different things in the book while she was trying to read to the group. She was clearly annoyed and, I think, was waiting for the moms to do something.
Only they didn’t. At least not at first.
Finally, after about the fourth time with a couple of the kids, two of the moms actually made an effort to follow the teacher’s instructions and not have the kids just getting up and going to point at the book.
And, I’ll admit, I was nervous thinking about what would happen if my son got up and did something. Would I react the ‘right’ way? Wait a minute. I shouldn’t worry about this. He is just 2.5 afterall. And, whose to judge if my reaction would have been right?
But, you know what? I didn’t have to worry at all. He followed directions well and simply sat and enjoyed the stories.
I did, too. And, yes, I can’t help it. I was proud. Oh so proud.
Not just of my son though. But also of me.
Afterall, I made it through story time.
What else? I got nothin’.
Faithful readers, I have returned.No excuses for my disappearance, if you will, just a lot going on. I’m sure you understand. And, well, if you don’t, there’s nothing I can do to change your mind. Or is there?
So, to get us back in the swing of things, how about a few random items for you to consider?
It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Makes me think of the Ireland trip we took in 1998. Lot’s of great memories. Can’t wait to go back — some day. Been listening to a lot of Irish music lately, too. Have you discovered the Boston Irish rockers Dropkick Murphys? If you haven’t, download Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced. You won’t be disappointed.
The annual corned beef dinner will be tomorrow. Perhaps with a Shamrock Shake. What’s a Shamrock Shake, you ask? Only the best thing McDonald’s has ever created. It’s a mint-flavored shaked that is, you guessed it, green. I’ve thought about an entire post about my affection for the Shamrock Shake, but I’m worried you’d think less of me after that. So while it pains me, I’m limiting my Shamrock Shake posting to just this paragraph.
So the NCAA tournament is happening. I didn’t fill out a bracket this year. Can’t even remember the last time I didn’t do one. Perhaps I’m suffering from March Madness. Heck, can’t even tell you the four number one seeds.
Opening Day is only two weeks away though. That I’m excited for — partially because it starts the Fantasy Baseball season, too.
Admit it, you’ve missed me.
I’ll admit this, I’m jazzed up for the start of the new Dancing with the Stars season. Cheryl, the pro dancer who has won the last two seasons with Drew Lachey and Emmit Smith, has been paired with Ian Zeiring. Let’s see how good she really is. If she can get Steve Sanders to win this thing, then she is, well, amazing. The only way to reward her? Her own sandwich at the Peach Pit.
Speaking of TV…I was ready to give up on LOST. But, the last few episodes have been pretty good. So, Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid and others, I’m still with you.
Are you still with me? Good.
I think that’s all for now.
What else? I got nothin.
So, a short one, but this was classic, so I wanted to share it.
We eventually will have a pool in our backyard. So, sitting around the table this weekend, I said to my son, who turns 3 in May:
“What do you think about us having a pool one day?”
“Don’t need a pool, daddy,” he said. “Have bathtub upstairs.”
Can’t argue with his logic, that’s for sure!
What else? I got nothin’.