Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And Then There Was One

BFFs hanging at the park while the big kids are at school.
Now that Bethany, Connor, and Lucy are in school all day, I've been having so much fun just hanging out with Mathilda. I know technically Lucy started going to all-day kindergarten sometime after last Christmas, but somehow the rest of that school year is kind of a blur to me. Hmm. I should maybe go back and read my blog so I can trigger my memory.

But anyway, having Mathilda home with me kind of softens the blow of the rest of my crew being back in school. She does go to preschool two days a week for two hours and fifteen minutes, but other than that, she's all mine! While she's at preschool, I use that little bit of time to go to the gym and/or get errands done. I love having two definite gym days a week, it's positively decadent. My good friend belongs to the same gym, and sometimes we can even work it out to both be there at the same time. Nothing makes a workout go by faster than chatting nonstop with a girlfriend!

So far, I've worked in Mathilda's classroom two times, but from here on out it should be down to about once a month. She goes to a cooperative preschool, which I love. Maybe I'll dedicate a blog post to cooperative preschools sometime, but in a nut shell it means that the parents run the preschool and are required to be pretty involved. Every school day one parent works in the classroom, along side the two teachers. There are only nine kids in her class, so that is a pretty awesome ratio*. So obviously, on the days I'm working I get nothing done, but I love being the working mom at school. It's really so fun, and a special day for the kids. We bring the snack, Mattie gets to bring show and tell, all the kids say "Good morning Mrs. George" at circle time, and I get to see all the fun stuff they're doing first hand. Since this is the first preschool year ever that I don't have a baby at home, I got to add my name to the Emergency Mom List. So if anyone gets sick at the last minute or something, they can call me to cover for them. Sounds exciting, right? But seriously, if I get to work an extra day or two once in awhile, I'll be thrilled.

These preschool years fly by, and I don't get to do it again! Sometimes I look at a baby or see a pregnant lady, and I kind of can't believe that I'm never doing that again. Sometimes I have a pang and my heart hurts a little, because I know I would love to have another baby. I'm truly fine that we're done procreating, and it's exciting to think of what's ahead. My kids are growing up, and each stage is a wonder to behold. Corny, but so true. Remember the horrors of middle school drama? Well it gives me a whole new perspective to see it through my daughter's eyes. She's way more confident, self-assured, and independent than I was at her age, but nonetheless it is fun and interesting to see things differently. Even though I'm completely enjoying the lack of, say for example, all night nursing marathons, I can't help but every once in awhile pine for what will never be again; being pregnant, holding my baby on my belly while marveling that this being just came out of me, starting the parenting journey over from infancy, watching my baby learn to crawl and walk and talk, and even those all night nursing marathons.

I feel so blessed that I'm able to spend tons of one-on-one time with my youngest. The kids all had little periods of one-on-time; for example: Bethany had me to herself before Connor was born, Connor had me to himself while Bethany was in preschool, and Lucy had me to herself while Connor was in preschool and for almost a whole year while both Connor and Bethany were both in school full time (Mathilda was born in May of that school year). But being the youngest, Mathilda will have the most. There's no use in feeling guilty about it; it's just the way the cookie crumbled. Although of course my mommy guilt irrationally fights to be heard, in this and most other instances.

I've been taking Mattie to story time at the library, shopping, to lunch, and on play dates. We cuddle and read and giggle a lot. I fetch her a million snacks a day (she's not much for meals, but she's all about the snacks) and she always gets to pick the shows from Netflix. When we're out and about, people ask me if she's my only one, and act shocked when I tell them she's the youngest of four (I got high fived by an old Greek guy this afternoon for sharing this tidbit). She almost always behaves like a little angel when it's just the two of us. This is definitely not always the case, but the number of her screaming fits is greatly diminished when her siblings are not around. I'm loving this time and I'll be sad when it ends. I was always sad when the other kids graduated from preschool, but I had the comfort of  knowing I had another one to go through the ranks. This time I won't have that net of emotional protection to fall back on. It will truly be the end of an era. Nowadays, I overhear parents discussing pregnancies, babyhood, and toddler antics, and I realize, with a bit of nostalgia, that I'm no longer a member of that club. It's okay though. I'm now a member of the club for experienced moms who no longer have to change diapers, spoon feed, or burp anyone. And that's good too.

* With higher enrollment (I'm guessing 11-12 kids or more, with a maximum of 14) there would be two parents working every day.


Colleen @ MommieDaze said...

I'm home with my three year old while my second grader is in school, and I love the alone time too. I had my oldest to myself until his brother was born, but of course the youngest didn't get a lot of that one-on-one time with me. So it's nice to get a couple years in now.

Colleen @ MommieDaze said...

And I forgot to say hello from West Michigan. Nice to "meet" another Michigander!

alyaia75 said...

Thanks for stopping by, Colleen! It is fun being home with the little people, isn't it?