Monday, March 03, 2008


This is my first year, in eleven years of homeschooling, that I haven't had a toddler in the house. I thought it would be easy-peasy with 1 in high school, 3 fairly independent home students, and a 5 year old. A sweet, loving - yet somewhat temperamental - 5 year old. A lad who is used to having his every need catered to by one of the many bigger people in the house and knows how to use his voice if it's not. Ahhhh...

I found some old pictures that I didn't even realize I had on this computer today and the timing was perfect because I was just thinking about these days this morning as I walked JoJo down the street for his first day of preschool. Oh yeah... you heard me.

Now this is not the most pleasant (or glamorous) way to carry a child... but at least they can't run away from you. Unfortunately, when you are 8 months pregnant in August, camping in a barren dirt lot leaves a bit to be desired. Actually, I'm not sure there is really any appropriate time for this, but we eventually learned to seek out grassy locations.

Here's our first (and last) post-baby camping trip. JoJo hated the swing. Who hates the swing? Ugh! I managed to capture one of the 45 seconds he wasn't screaming on this trip.

Cheerios and a high chair were a sure thing for a while.

Who needs water to have fun in a baby pool? Nah... all you need is someone to retrieve your toys after you toss them out one by one.

The boat was fun for a while.

Then he got really into football cards.

The stroller... why can't they ride in a stroller until they're 10?

But today, it was a scooter. (Of course since there wasn't going to be yarn, I forgot my camera and had to settle for the fuzzy cell phone pic instead. Maybe we'll pretend Wednesday is his first day and try for a real picture.)

Yes, it's the middle of the school year and he's really been doing Kindergarten work at home, but I wanted him to be able to have some fun with kids his age... and give us some more quiet time to get schoolwork done at home. (A gal does have limits you know.)

There was one opening at the church down the street where my oldest had gone some 11 years ago. I remember when it was time for him to go to pre-school. I did tons of research and toured my top 6 picks asking all the right questions. I worried so that he was going to be exposed to naughty boys, bad words, and awful things like Power Rangers.

It wasn't quite the same with #5. I called the pre-school down the street and asked if they had room. "For the summer or fall?" the girl asked.

Me: "Uh... now?"

Well, yes they had room... would I like a tour and/or a chance to meat the teacher?

Me: "No. How much is it? When do you need the money? And can he start Monday?"

So this morning, big brother Daniel and I walked him to school. He was beaming, while I was worrying about what he might say (especially since he has an older brother who thinks everything is "gay" - ugh!), hoping he wouldn't pull any Power Ranger moves on his new playmates, and contemplating how humiliating it would be to have a child kicked out of pre-school.

But all went well. They made green eggs and had a blast! He was so happy and polite when I picked him up. As we held hands across the parking lot, he looked up at me with his cutest smile and said, "Can I play X-Box when I get home?" I replied, "No Honey, not today. We're going to go home and have lunch." Then he kicked me.

I wonder if they have military pre-school.


knitknerd said...

How sweet - nothing says I love you mom like a swift kick in the shins!
We've started kids in preschool mid - year a couple of times. Sometimes all it takes is taking 1 out of the mix to have a little less insanity.

Laura said...

I love it - the learning curve after child number one really doesn't take much time, does it?

Angelika said...

Hey, we do have a pre school here on post too, but I don't think they are as strikt as you would want them to be. They call them "military BRATS" for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I loved the little photo montage of him growing up over the last five years, but the best was the last paragraph. You always make me smile and giggle a bit. I'm not giggling *at* you, but *with* you.

km said...

I keep thinking of sending 2 next year...she'll be 3 1/2 at the start of school. And I'll have a Kindergartener and a 1st grader. Some days the only thing that keeps her home is that fact that she's the one running a fever...and then I'd be paying for nothing. I'm sure JoJo is having a blast. Now, if only you passed a Starbucks on the walk to drop him off.

Julie said...

Now that's a good idea, military preschool. Yeah. Can they do that for 2nd graders too?

I loved the photos of the last few years. He sure is a cutie.

Michelle said...

Wow, I'm impressed by JoJo's first day! My youngest would be plastered around my ankles in fear!

Donna Boucher said...

This is my favorite blog post I have read in some time!!!

You are so funny and real.

And I love the answers that you gave the preschool.

Oh. How I can relate to the change in my behavior between child #1 and child #4.

Stefaneener said...

Oh, man. If I could find a program for my littlest two, maybe I wouldn't right this minute be sitting here crying while they clean up the horrifying mess they made downstairs -- a mess that was so totally off limits that it wasn't just mess, it was horrifying rule-breaking too -- and I wouldn't be considering boarding school rather than homeschooling.

Where do you live? Can I come over and get a dose of santy? I don't know if I can doooooo this any more.

Tammy said...

Oh Stef - I'm so sorry. I certainly feel your pain (and frustration). You're welcome here, but don't count on sanity as it's in rather short supply. ;)

5elementknitr said...

At least he's kicking you and not his teacher, which is what my cherub did last week at pre-school!

Olga said...

Great post! Man, by the time #4 came in my family I'd have let Charlie manson babysit! Your standards do get more reasonable as more kids pop up.

Yarnhog said...

Oh, congratulations! When I registered my youngest for kindergarten (and I was the FIRST person to register for the year), the school secretary asked me sympathetically if I was okay with sending my "baby" off to school. I started to giggle hysterically and replied something along the lines of, "Are you kidding?! Someone else has to deal with him all day and I don't even have to pay for it? Are you *&^$-ing kidding me?" The principal's office door was open and he started belly laughing so hard I thought we were going to have to call an ambulance. Funny, I didn't get the Mom of the Year Award that year either...

Sarah said...

WHat a cutie! If I homeschooled we'd all be a wreck.