Wake-up time is arguable. Jonathon was crying a good part of the night and he joined me at some point so I was up and down, awake, asleep, repeat.
So, shall we say 6 a.m. when I actually got out of bed? OK, fair enough.
6-7 a.m. Get all the kids ready for their various schools. That's right, the boys started in AmeriKids this Monday and are having a great time. The first day they hugged me and said goodbye. By Thursday they were waving from across the room. I was devastated. You know, it honestly made me wonder why I was a stay-at-home mom. Having the last baby leave the house has left me with a gaping hole. It's not bad enough knowing I'll never have another infant, right? My boys have to go and grow up. Someone might be wondering why I put both of them in instead of just Nicholas.
AmeriKids is a one room school with kids aged 2-5 on the Seafront Compound, adjacent to the CLO (they have a door between them) and next to the clinic. There's a maximum of 15 kids for the room and currently there are 10 children enrolled, with 1 teacher and 2 aides. The room is covered floor to ceiling with successes of past projects. There is a playground on the compound, as well as open fields, swimming pool and all the other rec center fun. Kids are always rotating through, in the past 3 weeks my boys and 3 other children are new arrivals. That's one reason why I wanted to start them now rather than at the beginning of the new school year. They will know the adults, room and procedures when the year starts with a group of new kids.
Jonathon loves this room as much as Nicholas. It's a playland and I just couldn't imagine dropping Nicholas off each day with new toys and friends, and dragging Jonathon away to the less fun place known as home with boring old mom. For everyone's sanity (and a support for Nicholas who is much more reserved than Jonathon), they are going together.
Plenty of people have said now's a great time to get a hobby, or jump into something I've always wanted to do, and I have. Scrapbooking. And why? I love photos. I love photos of my kids. I love looking at the photos of my kids and watching them grow over and over again. I enjoy organizing things and seeing my accomplishments. Photography and all it entails covers every aspect of what I love. If I can't have my kids home all the time and I can't bring home new additions, then this will have to fill the void.
I know what you're saying. Woman, get a therapist. You're too wrapped up in this and you need to find yourself and expand a bit. This isn't a bad thing, this is something you obviously desperately need. Get a job, volunteer, be involved, learn something new. We have a cello and my parents sent an instruction book. I have a long way to go with learning the piano. I have stacks of books to read.
I promise I will. It's been a week with the boys in preschool, four hours each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's not forever and it's only been a week. I've been a full-time at-home mom for 8 years. Give me a little time to adjust.
The boys' adjustment? Last night Nicholas woke to go potty and broke into the ABC song while half-asleep. Jonathon is singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. And I can already tell that my walls will never be the same as they insist I hang up the projects they come home with every day.
Thank goodness next week is spring break!
7-7:30 a.m. Drive the girls to school. It was Sports Day today so all morning the Elementary School kids were rotating around stations of physical activities. We stayed with the ECLC kids until it was time to take the boys to preschool. First stop was the Middle School gym for the kick-off. Let me say how impressed I was with the number of parents there and not just moms, there were plenty of dads. Parents were openly invited and encouraged to volunteer to help with games, be scorekeepers and participate fully. The Cintrons and Allegras were there. One parent for each boy, of course! It was great. Since there was only one of me and the boys were going to school I ended up missing quite a bit.
7:30-8:30 a.m. Philippine National Anthem, a raised hand with a promise to place nice, make friends and have fun, and the kids were off. The ECLC went to the Elementary School gym for relay races. Not just for the kids, oh no. Parents were jumping through hoola hoops, pushing kids on roller boards, passing pillows and being even funnier than the kids. If you've seen a room of 5 and 6 year olds you know how funny they are. Throw a few dozen parents into the mix who all have that killer competitive instinct (oh, you THINK you're going to collect dirty laundry faster than me, huh?) and it was pandemonium to make your sides split. Even this mom played some. I passed on the hoola hoop jumprope as I figured that would be too much for my shoulder, but I can pass a pillow with the best of them. The boys sat on the sidelines and watched, though I know they would have loved to ride around on the tricycles outfitted as ponies.
There is one thing ISM does not lack and that is supplies and equipment. If you enroll in the school, you'll soon see.
My plan was to drive the boys to preschool then return to ISM.
8:30-9 a.m. Drive the boys to Seafront in yucky traffic. Remember I said Jonathon was crying most of the night? He made up for it by falling asleep in the car. Dropped Nicholas off, had no time to get my bandages changed so decided to do it when I picked him up.
9-9:15 a.m. Drive Jonathon home to sleep since he's sick anyway. Preschool wouldn't have been good. The housekeeper is there so I can go back to ISM. I realized I had no film for the 38mm camera and I wanted to take photos of the field part of Sports Day since all the video tapes are filled so I can't use the videocamera, and Ian took the digital camera with him to Bohol.
The ABS light comes on in the car.
9:15-9:30 a.m. Buy film. There's an outdoor kiosk that would be convenient but it's FILM and it's OUTDOORS and it's 94 degrees. You know how the boxes say keep in a cool, dark place? That is not it. So I went in to Rustans. No one at the counter. Someone finally shows and I must get a slip for what I want, pay at the chechout then provide the receipt to the original counter in order to actually get the film. *sigh*
9:30-9:45 a.m. Drive to ISM. There was an accident on McKinley yesterday. Not just any old accident but one where the car was on it's side, full up on the side of the road, smashed into the wall. It was awful. The scene was all cleared up but I do wonder about the driver. The road has loads of signs that say to slow down around dangerous curves. It seems that person wasn't as careful. That or he was swerving away from someone driving directly towards him in his own lane. It's quite common here. But for that sort of impact he was going pretty fast.
9:45-10:45 a.m. Arrive at school 15 minutes late and the ECLC kids have finished in the gym, had their snack and are in the yard playing parachute, tossing balls into baskets, riding scooters and trikes around a course, playing balloon and beachball volleyball. The volleyball was my favorite field game. The net was right on the ground and there must have been at least 50 beachballs and balloons. The goal was to have your side clear of inflatables which is of course impossible. Meanwhile I received a text from the housekeeper saying that Jonathon was awake and was crying that he wanted to go to school. I told her I'd be home at 10:45.
Two more activities. "Princes and Princesses". What a great twist on tag. One person from each class was the witch and wore a purple shirt. The witch ran around tagging all the members of the royal family. Tagging turned them into frogs. Little people hopping all over. But the other royals would go around kissing them and set them free from the spell. If you're like me, you just said "They do what?" OK, kissing in this means putting your fingers tips from one hand all together, touching your friend's head then popping open your hand and making a kissing sound. Really cute.
And finally, the hula hoop dancing game. I feared the worst as I cannot hula hoop. Instead, the hoops were on the ground, parents and kids were boogeying all over and when the music stopped, we hopped inside the hoops. As the song went on, hoops were removed and more people had to squeeze into fewer hoops. At one point, Carlos ran off with our hoop but we chased him down.
What specific factors did I like about the morning with ECLC? Not one activity was designed for a winner (or a loser). No one counted the number of people in the relays. We just went until everyone had a turn, kid and parent alike. Some parents ran twice to give the rest of the kids a chance. Everyone was cheered on. On the field, the goal was working together or seeing how well you could do personally. With the trike course, no one was racing against anyone else. With volleyball kids, balls and parents were everywhere. No one got hurt, no one cared about winning. It was just fun. The big omission for the day was I hadn't packed extra clothes for the stinky kids to change in to. At this point I wasn't going to go home and come back again, so the girls were stuck being smelly.
Katherine's class was coming out as Rebecca's was going in, so I stayed for a bit with her as well as she did the parachute and tossed rings around cones. She had a good time, but by now it was 10:45 when I said I'd be home, so I made it by 11 a.m. and was 15 minutes late. Jonathon had been crying consisitently since he woke up. It was time to take a break.
11-11:30 a.m. Break time at home while I assure Jonathon that we will go to school for lunchtime.
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Traffic was miserable but we headed to Seafront anyway. As Jonathon was getting buckled, my watery-eyed, runny-nosed boy says his ear hurts. I was planning on going to the clinic while he was having his lunch at AmeriKids. Looked like he would be going to the clinic too.
12-12:15 p.m. Drop Jonathon off to let him eat while it's quiet time. I went next door to have my bandages changed and I warn them that I'll be bringing Jonathon in. Nancy the nurse asks if I can do it after lunch break. *sigh* One of my excision sites still hasn't stopped bleeding. It's been 2 days and the silly thing won't quit. I have to wonder if I didn't overdo it earlier when playing with the kids.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Can't find my keys to put my stash of ointment and bandages in the car. Return to the clinic, no keys. Look in the car, no keys. Ah, I remember the trunk is unlocked and there is an extra key stashed. At least I'm not envisioning walking home any more. I called up Laura to see if we could hang out at her place for about half an hour until I can take Jonathon in to the clinic and she says fine. Even though she feels lousy, she's still welcoming. What a great person, I really appreciated it. I checked in on the boys, and find my keys on Jonathon's lunch box. See me physically exhale.
Jonathon was laying down and looked ready to fall asleep again. Nicholas could not stay down and was excited to show me his project and tell me about the water play they did earlier. That's why we pack extra clothes, for days like this.
We bummed at Laura's for a bit and ate her out of peanut M&Ms, when it was time to go back to the clinic. She was kind enough to keep Nicholas while we were gone. Jonathon is a perfect patient and you know he's sick when he doesn't even remember to ask for a lollipop at the end. And guess what, all that crying last night was for the double ear infection he has.
Hello amoxicillan and thank you preschool!
2-2:15 p.m. Drive home. The ABS light went off. My back itches. The girls got home at 3 and we're having a movie and cartoon rest of the day.
I don't even know what to have for dinner and now it's 5 p.m. I do know one thing though.
I refuse to do any more driving today.