He Thinks He’s Superman

My day started out sad today.  No, I take that back, it started out with Hannah running into my room with a very serious look on her face, climbing onto my bed and saying, “Mommy.  I have a cough.  I think I must have bronchitis.”  My five year old is a hypochondriac.  But AFTER the sickness shenanigans, it was sad.  While Luke and Hannah sat in the family room watching their normal morning shows, I packed Luke’s lunchbox for the first time.  He has a Cars lunchbox.  I packed his lunchbox full of things he normally eats happily at home but I had no idea if he’d eat them at school.  Sitting at a little table with other not quite two year old kids, in a chair.  I couldn’t picture him removing the turkey slices from the container himself.  I tried to picture him eating his yogurt with a spoon without someone there to guide it to his mouth.  I heard him laughing in the family room at Wow Wow Wubbzy and I just hoped and hoped that his laugh would remain.

School.  It was Luke’s first half day at school.  I walked in and greeted the same teachers that Hannah had at that age, and  I watched Luke roam around, pulling things off of shelves, looking in all of the bins, checking out his classmates, but always looking back at me to make sure I was still there.  Where he expected me to be.  His teacher said, “So, tell me, what’s he like?”  I hesitated for a minute and then I said, “He thinks he’s Super Man.  Watch out.”  The teacher started laughing and asked what I meant and at that moment we turned to look at him.  He was standing on the center of the lunch table, both arms in the air, and saying, “Ta Da!”.

“There you go.” I said shaking my head. “He’s a climber, a jumper, a runner.  Really, just give him a cape and some tights and he’ll think he’s off  to save the world.”

We went through the motions to get him to understand what was ok in the classroom and what was not (climbing up the slide and RUNNING down it, for instance).  I smiled watching him becoming a little comfortable with the space.  And saddened as he ran to the door, wanting to leave.  It was time.  I had to let go… let him go.  The teacher took out an enormous jar of bubbles that took Luke’s breath away and I decided that was my chance.  He loves bubbles, hopefully more than me at that moment.  I went over to him, put my arms around him and said, “Bye Bye Lukey.  Have so much fun.”

The smile that covered his face seconds before, quickly fell away.  He started to cry.  Big elephant size tears began streaming down his face.  He reached for me as one of the teachers scooped him up into her arms.  I walked out and stood outside the door looking in as he continued wailing and I could read his little mouth crying, “Ma Ma”.  Ouch.  I inhaled a huge breath and tried not to cry.  And I didn’t.  I talked to myself the whole drive home, convincing myself that I’m doing this For Him.  He needs this.  He needs to make some little friends.  School will encourage his speech development.  School will help him understand some boundaries that I haven’t had luck setting.  He needs this.  I wouldn’t even let myself go to, “I need this.”

I wanted to call the school and see if he was still crying.  I decided against it.  I wasn’t going to go and rescue him if he was.  I needed him to come to grips with this new part of his life.  On his own.

But I felt mean. And I felt a little bit like a failure.  Most moms, I thought to myself, don’t send their kids to school this young unless they are working and have no choice.  I have a choice.  I could have him home with me and hope that his speech improves on its own, and I can continue reprimanding him for his risky behavior myself and hope he calms down or learns before he hurts himself terribly.  I could enroll him in more Mommy and Me classes (that I think we both hate) so he can meet other kids his age and I could help him learn social skills myself.  Or I could send him to school.  And have some help teaching him these parts of life that I didn’t seem to be doing a very good job with.  And let him explore new, exciting things and make some of his own friends.  And so I chose school.  I chose to send my not even two year old son, who has never spent a day away from family into a new, confusing, unfamiliar place.  And so yes, I felt mean.

I got home after dropping him off and tweeted that I was so sad.  And arms reached out from my iPhone and hugged me, told me I’m not alone and that we’d be ok.  Which I knew, but I needed to hear.  And I walked into my quiet kitchen and saw his Cars sippy cup… and I started to cry.  I missed my Super Man.  It was so CALM in my kitchen.  There were still pieces of waffle and splatters of milk scattered around on my floor.  Lines of crayon were still drawn on the highchair and kitchen table.  But the noise, was silent.

How many times have I begged for silence?  For quiet, calm, peace?  A moment to breathe?  And here it was, and I was crying.  How ironic is that?

I passed the next couple of  (what seemed like endless) hours visiting Hannah’s future Kindergarten.  I only heard a portion of what was discussed as my mind kept drifting to Luke.  Wondering if he was sad still or involved in the fun.  Wondering how long he cried.  Wondering if his little mind was thinking of me.  Wondering if he was trying to say something that the teachers couldn’t understand.

11:30.  Finally.  I raced to the school and peaked into the window to get a glance of what was going on before entering.  And I saw him.  Sitting at the lunch table.  Focused on bringing the spoon of yogurt to his mouth while most of the yogurt spilled from the spoon to his lap.  Taking another scoop and having the same thing happen.  But he wasn’t crying.  No, and he may have even been smiling. I walked in and approached his side and he looked up at me, raised his spoon above his head and said, “Ba BA!”  I had no idea what the hell he was trying to say at that moment and I didn’t care because he was smiling.  No tears. No red eyes.  Just a smile.  And I was relieved.

The teacher told me he was sad about as much as he was happy throughout the morning but was a “trooper”.  She said he would sit by the door with his blankie and look out the window waiting for me.  But he kept coming back to the group as if he wanted to pull himself together and join the fun.  She told me he was outgoing, friendly and interested.  He loved playing with the trucks and the sand table.  He danced during circle time. And not even once, did he try to climb on the tables after I left.

I guess I’ll save buying him a cape for another day.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “He Thinks He’s Superman

  1. I keep saying that I’ll be so excited in the fall when my two youngest will both be in preschool and my oldest in kindergarten. But, I imagine I’ll be a little sad about it, too.

    Superman, I love it. Imagine three little boys who all think they can fly and you have my house.

    Take some time to be a little sad about your little guy growing up, but I bet you’ll end up enjoying your quiet, eventually.

    • crnnoel

      Oh honey!! I’m crying for you right now. And for me, because I know the day will come for Fynn, and I dread it as much as I’m excited for it.

      And on that day…. you’ll be the first one I call for support 🙂 I’m sorry I missed your tweet this morning!

  2. Wow. My heart is breaking for you.

    Watching your little babies grow up is painful and exciting. You don’t want them to grow up, but you enjoy watching them learn.

    Hon, don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing the right thing. Trust your mother instinct. There is a reason you have it!

    I am sorry that I don’t have twitter. Perhaps I need to create an account?

  3. It’s a great thing you did, Becca. I feel like in some ways the nursery school teachers helped me to become a better mom. They were always so amazing and patient and they knew so well how to put limits on behavior. And my daughter’s best friends are ones she’s “known” since the baby room, since I worked full time back then.

  4. Maybe not superman, maybe just a wrestler on your hands.
    Hi, -Happy STIS Saturday Sharefest-

  5. My eldest chica thought she was Superman, too. I remember the day she flung herself off the platform on the playground equipment. She was 3, I think. Thank goodness she landed on woodchips! SITS sent me by, and I’m glad they did…

    The Saturday Sphinx

  6. Oh sweet Momma. This is how we all feel, even if we do work and HAVE to take our kids. Then we sit at work and beat ourselves up for not being able to stay at home with our kids. Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll do great. Mine has been going since he was three months old and he is almost two and still cries some mornings, but I know he is OK during the day.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest.

  7. I cried bitterly when Miss D. went off to preschool. She never looked back, never cried, but I sure did. All day long. (((hugs)))

  8. Sending you hugs and hoping that Luke’s mornings at school will be great for you both – time for each of you to discover and explore some of the things that make you happy.

  9. Liz

    Oh, where were you (and this post) when Ben started school? It was EXACTLY the way I felt…I worried about him not being able to feed himself. I worried I was mean. Although he was just turned 3, I felt he could’ve stayed home with me. I was on maternity with Aidan. I felt so guilty for sending him. But I knew he needed it. For very different reasons than Aidan will need it this coming year. Ben was passive and verbal and a little sponge. He would benefit so much from school. But it was horrible…leaving him there. And I too, was shocked by this stillness I so desperately wanted made me so sad and unnerved. Aidan is starting next year…”my baby.” My Superman. My climber, runner, jumper, crazy boy. And he will be starting over a year sooner than Ben did, and I will desperately need your support when it happens!

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