Posted by: allisonbarton | June 16, 2014

All Done

Thursday morning I had the pleasure of sleeping in a full two hours later than usual.

It was Alex’s Kindergarten Graduation.

The ceremony was adorable, of course, with each of the three kindergarten classes performing various songs and every child having the opportunity to walk across the stage to collect their diploma.

And of course I was sitting there the whole time thinking, “really? My kid is done with his first year of real school? How can this be?”

It feels like just yesterday we were dealing with a really rough start to the beginning of Kindergarten, full of fear and tears and sadness.

First Day of Kindergarten

Fortunately, things didn’t stay quite so awful as the days progressed. Things got better, though he never reached the point I had really hoped he would: loving it.

Learning is hard when you’re a perfectionist. Practicing new tasks is particularly challenging when the thought of getting it wrong causes extreme anxiety. Throughout this year we really struggled with homework, not because it was hard, per se, but because there was a chance he could do it wrong. There was a chance that the picture he drew wouldn’t look exactly like what it was supposed to. There was a chance that his writing wouldn’t be legible, and a chance that he would sound out a word wrong. We had many nights that included many tears. And many more nights that simply included excessive whining, groaning, frustrated-sighing.

First Day of Kindergarten

But the year went on, and he learned so much despite his insistence that he wasn’t learning anything at all, all day was nothing new, Mom, I don’t want to talk about it.

And then, before I even knew what was happening, it was graduation time. Alex is officially done with Kindergarten, done with his first year of school.

He was, by far, the best dressed at the event.

Kindergarten Graduation

And he was, by far, the best Kindergartener he could be and I cannot wait to see what next year brings.

Kindergarten Graduation

My little first grader.

Posted by: allisonbarton | June 5, 2014

Two Pairs Are Better Than One

May Playin'

Posted by: allisonbarton | April 29, 2014

This Kid, Man

Easter 2014

Too cool for school.

Posted by: allisonbarton | April 24, 2014

Mommy Vacation Guilt

Zach and I recently took an absolutely amazing trip to Turks and Caicos. Every day we were there was a total dream. Perfect, quiet, (nearly) stress free.

To get that stress free environment, we went without Alex. So, we had an entire week away from our little dude. No one to wake us up at ungodly o’clock. No one to ask us for more food because he’s still hungry at every hour of the day. No one to whine about some random fact of life.

It was wonderful.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my kid. Love love love my kid. He is truly the most amazing person in my life. But sometimes? Sometimes a break is nice. Sometimes a break is needed.

I missed my little guy by the end of the week. While we were away, Zach’s parents had him for the weekend and my mother took care of him at our house during the week. We hoped this would give him some semblance of normalcy: sleeping in his bed, eating his normal breakfast, driving the same short distance to school.

The week didn’t end up quite so normal, though. Overnight Tuesday, Alex came down with a stomach bug. Barfing barfing everywhere.

MOMMY GUILT, ACTIVATE.

I wished I could be with him. He was sick, and here I was drinking rum punch, reading books on the beach, and doing whatever I wanted. Alex ended up staying home for the rest of the week, never quite recovering until Friday.

My poor mother.

But. She made it through. Alex made it through. We all made it through.

More Bubbles

On our second night back, I was enjoying being home, back in our bed, when in the wee hours of the morning I heard Alex. I heard him in his room, getting out of bed. Then I heard the door creak open. Then I heard our door creak open.

He was crying, and running towards our bed. “I had a bad dream. It was a nightmare.”

We snuggled and hugged and his breathing slowed down. I asked him what his dream was about and he told me he didn’t want to talk about it. I asked if it was a scary dream, and he told me, “yeah, it was scary, but not, like, monster scary.”

It took the rest of the day, asking him a few additional times, to get him to tell me what his bad dream was about. “I dreamed that you and Daddy were leaving and you were never coming back to me.”

MOMMY GUILT, ACTIVATE.

So. It’s good to be home, and that dream, thank goodness, was a one time dream.

Easter 2014

(But I’m still counting down to the next vacation.)

Posted by: allisonbarton | March 24, 2014

A Style All His Own

Frisbee

Frisbee

Posted by: allisonbarton | March 12, 2014

Chatty Alex

Guess who is a very talkative person?

No one who knows me or has met Alex will be surprised to hear that the answer is Alex. Very, very, talkative, six (and a half!) year old Alex.

You don’t even need to have a kid to understand the phenomenon of incessant chatter that comes with many of them. There are times when, other than the occasional “mm hmm” or “yeah?”, I don’t say a single word for 10, 15, 20, minutes and he’s still talking.

Now, I love that he talks. I love that he has so much to say to me, to Zach, his grandparents, his friends, just about anyone who will listen. I especially love that he’s been complimented on the fact that his conversations are interesting. We have conversations about big words, Doctor Who, how things are made, imagining what the future will be like, Lego Marvel, and sometimes just very detailed descriptions of something that happened recently.

The problem with having a loquacious kid? School.

Kindergarten doesn’t like it when kids are loquacious.

Like many kids, Alex has a really hard time not shouting out answers. He knows the answer, he heard a kid get it wrong, so he must say the answer now. He has a really hard time not sharing the amazing thoughts that are forming in his head. He just wants everyone to know.

And I love that he is so excited about answering questions, and sharing his opinion, and letting everyone know about his experience with what they are learning about that day. I love that he isn’t just sitting there, mind wandering off, just making it through the day. He’s engaged! And that’s great!

But.

He keeps getting in trouble for not waiting his turn to speak. For talking out of turn and disrupting the class. Now, I’m talking about being dropped down one on the color scale of behavior for the day: from green to orange. He’s never dropped again to yellow. He’s never come even close to being red. And this has only happened maybe a dozen times all year. Basically, this is a good kid who talks too much. (Hello, little version of childhood Mommy!)

But! It’s an issue because, well, it’s an issue. He’s one of many children in a small room and interrupting is certainly a problem.

So, we have talked about this. Lots of times. Again and again. And this week has been good so far!

The real issue here is that we don’t want to quell his enthusiasm. And I really hope his teacher understands that.

March 1, 2014

Posted by: allisonbarton | December 29, 2013

Worn Out

Christmas was amazing. It didn’t go exactly as planned, with me diagnosed with strep throat two days prior, and Alex’s grandmother heading to the emergency room on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve celebrations. Then Christmas day, all day, celebrations. Then Christmas part two on Friday. All with strep. All with a sniffly kid (no strep, just a cold). And a sniffly Daddy. And a Super Unhappy Sick Virus Infested Nana.

Still. It was amazing.

But by the end of Christmas Part II, even Alex was ready for a return to normal life:

Christmas Part II (Dec 27th)

I’m sad it’s over, but can’t say that The Kid is wrong. It will be nice to return to our slightly slower paced life.

Posted by: allisonbarton | December 13, 2013

Christmas is Coming

Tree Shopping

The Little Guy couldn’t be more excited. Twelve more sleeps.

Posted by: allisonbarton | December 5, 2013

Six, Man

Six, man.

Six is crazy fun.

Farm Time

Alex has adjusted amazingly well to Kindergarten after a pretty rough start, full of tears (his and mine), requests to stay home, and general discontent. He is now full of energy at the end of the day, making amazing progress both academically and socially, and genuinely enjoying his time away from home every day.

His kindergarten picture is a perfect example of this:

Kindergarten School Picture.

And a perfect example of his continued style. Unique, at times dramatic, can only begin to touch the surface of Alex. And six so far has been mostly a pleasure.

Mostly being a key word. Because: SIX, man. He’s full of attitude, learning how to deliberately manipulate, bargaining at every given chance. He fights with us about his clothes on a daily basis. In case you are wondering, none of his pants are okay. In fact, “all of my pants are terrible! And I hate them!

The daily battles regarding clothes are an interesting counter to the fact that he loves blazers and ties.

And I’d love to say his style is just that: style. But ask him on any given day about what he is wearing, and he always has an answer:

“I”m a spy!”
“I’m The Doctor!”
“I’m [insert name of some character from whatever TV show he is currently obsessed with]!”

In other words, he finds a way to wear a costume multiple times a week without actually having to put on a costume, which we would veto.

Bubbles

Six, man. They are tricky little buggers.

He’s lucky he’s so cute and surrounded by so many people who are so full of love.

Boston 2013

Posted by: allisonbarton | September 7, 2013

Kindergarten

Alex has officially started kindergarten. Thursday was his first day, after two full days at his extended day program.

The morning started off relatively normal, with the exception being that I was there to help him get ready. I had requested to come in late for work that day in order to take him to school with Zach. Breakfast, lunch packing, getting dressed…it was pretty typical.

We discussed (again!) how that day would be a new kind of a day. The New Normal. Mommy and Daddy would take him to kindergarten, walk him in, and then he would have a few hours with new friends and his teacher before taking a bus to his afternoon extended day program. He would get to play outside, probably do some crafts, read some books, and have an easy day! It would be quick! And before he knew it I would be picking him up in the afternoon.

None of this was okay.

“I don’t want to go to kindergarten. I don’t want to make new friends. I liked my old friends and my old school. I don’t want to go.” He told us again and again that it wasn’t going to be okay.

Before we left for the school, I wanted to take a few pictures. At the end of the year, and the beginning of next year (FIRST GRADE OMG), I’d like to look back and be able to compare. I’d like him to be able to see how much he’s grown, and what a change he has gone through in one short year.

The pictures weren’t easy. He cried. He whined. He reiterated that he hates pictures and he doesn’t want to go to school and he most certainly is not going to smile. Or stay still. Or be a reasonable human being.

First Day of Kindergarten

With some distraction, mostly by Zach because I was getting frustrated in addition to feeling horribly emotional about the whole thing, I managed to capture a few cute moments; a small number of the pictures turned out okay and will, in addition to the not-so-great ones, be treasured.

First Day of Kindergarten

When we got to his new school, we parked, took a short walk to the elementary school entrance, and stood around with what felt like a million other people. Every kid. Plus every parent. Plus a second parent for most kids. Plus grandparents for some kids. The playground was overrun with every small person in the place, and when it was time to line up behind the kindergarten teacher Alex melted down.

He told me he was scared. He asked me to hold him. To pick him up. To cuddle with him. To please pick him up or at least hold his hand.

We walked in together. Hand-in-hand, the last kid in line behind his teacher, tears streaming down his face.

I held it together until we were in the room, Alex in his assigned seat, crying and begging us not to go. Telling us he was scared. Telling us he was sad. Asking when I would pick him up and how long it would be and how long is that and would I please come get him before lunch right when kindergarten was over. I couldn’t hold back the tears. He was so sad and so scared and I just wanted to pick him up and walk him right out of there.

But of course, I didn’t. Zach and I hugged him, told him we loved him, and left. I did my best not to keep crying, but on and off throughout the day as I thought about those minutes before I walked away from my crying kid, tears would fill my eyes and I’d have to text Zach and say, “He’s okay, right?” (He’s okay.)

He was okay. When I picked him up that afternoon, he didn’t exactly have anything positive to say about the whole experience, but he wasn’t crying. He came home, ate dinner, and was generally his normal self.

As I looked at his kindergarten folder after I put him to bed that night, I pulled out the typical first-day-of-kindergarten poem/craft:

Kindergarten Poem

Three days later and I still can’t read it without crying. That third paragraph gets me every time.

Alex, you were brave, buddy, and you did get by.

First Day of Kindergarten

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 831 other followers

%d bloggers like this: