Friday, October 08, 2010

Still here

Whoa, what a week. Make that month. Things are happening so fast I don't feel like I have time to keep up, much less sift through and analyze enough to put any of it into meaningful text. But I also feel like I should make some attempt to bring everyone up to date with my life.

So, first: Wednesday I felt that something was just not quite right, so I went to the hospital. And as in my previous pregnancy, I was prescribed immediate bed rest. I'm concerned, but I'm not terrified because the last time around le Petit waited to arrive until nine minutes before his due date. I'm hoping the same will happen this time. La Petite is expected on the fourth of December. I'm talking to her about it, selling the advantages of being a Sagittarius and having a festive holiday-season birthday. Bed rest is more complicated with a three-year-old, alas. Once again I'm grateful for my mother-in-law, because without her help I don't know what I'd do.

Meanwhile, we're still struggling with preschool. The good news is that le Petit is making great potty progress. He's also gaining new language skills and forming more complex sentences. He's showing better self-control, and we're daring to take him out to restaurants and museums, relying on him to be a grand or "big kid."

Unfortunately, all that progress is coming with considerable transitional stress, both for le Petit and for us. The teacher, concerned by several incidents of running out of the classroom or writing on the walls and one spectacular tantrum in "time out," asked us to meet with her and the school director. Our first parent-teacher conference, at three-years-old! She was also concerned that he didn't maintain eye contact with her, and rarely explained himself clearly when she asked him what happened. My interpretation is that, although le Petit is far from shy, he's intimidated by new adults and new situations. School is huge, busy, full of new rules and new people, and his teacher could, in my opinion, be a bit more warm, reassuring and understanding. I made sure that the teacher knew that we wanted to work with her and reinforce her authority, but privately, I made the promise to myself keep monitoring the situation. For the moment, le Petit loves school and literally runs to the front door in the morning. I would hate for that to change.

Meanwhile, le Petit came home from school twice in two weeks with bite wounds. I know that little kids sometimes bite, of course, but seeing it happen to my little baby is terrible. Le Petit, for his part, is stoic. He didn't even complain or explain the incident to the teacher.

I'm doing my best to keep this all in perspective. My current perspective is from the couch, stretched out on my left side, observing the world as a mother who worries perhaps just a little too much.

11 comments:

Sylvie said...

Glad to hear that things, while stressful, are really going quite well. Hope La Petite exhibits some patience about joining us all and that you're getting to watch some great old movies or read some interesting books while you're couch bound.

Mom in France said...

Oh gosh. Amazing that you still have any perspective! I can imagine what you're going through is not easy with worrying about two ! (tell me about it). Le Petit does seem to be having trouble adjusting. I guess it's a lot on his plate - if I remember correctly, he'll be at the younger end of his class. It's a big transition and with La Petite on the way that might also have an impact. I hope you find a solution that works for all of you.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

@Sylvie - I wouldn't say "quite well," but I'd say things are going. :) At least by getting a bed rest order this week, I avoid the transit strikes next week.

@MIF -- he's actually in the middle of his class, age-wise. In my opinion, the biggest problem is with the teacher/student ratio at the school, which makes it difficult for them to appropriately handle children's transitional stress (and keep my little guy from getting hurt!). I was chagrinned to learn that a student/teacher ratio of 15-to-1 for this age group would be actually be illegal in some US states, which impose a maximum of 10-to-1. I hope when we move to a different suburb next year the ratio will be smaller, but if it isn't, I just might look into private schools.

paola said...

Sheeze, not an easy situation. I had to keep my feet up in the last trimester with no.2 and a 20 month old and that wasn't easy either. Zoe was threatening to come much too early and thanks to help from my MIL and a lot of luck, we actully made it to the due date. Hope it works out for you too.

And yeah, the first few weeks of nursery school are pretty tough. It doesn't help that everything starts at 2.5 to 3 does it. I mean the worse time possible. Fingers crossed that that works out too.

Jac said...

I think your instincts are right on this one. DS's preschool (which is going quite well after a few rough transitional weeks) has an 8:1 ratio. 15:1 seems very high to me. Happy to hear the potty training is going well. Bed rest sounds lovely (for about 5 minutes), but I hope La Petite hangs in there - they are so much easier to take care of on the inside than out!

Zenmoo said...

Really glad to hear everything is ok(-ish) with La Petite. Thank heavens for helpful MILs. Take care of yourself!

Oh and 1:15 seems really high for 3 year olds... I think the legal max in Australia for that age is much lower, more like 1:8...

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

@paola, @jac, @zenmoo, thank you all for your encouragement and support!

@paola, I think that having a 20-month-old and trying to be on bedrest would be considerably harder... at least le Petit sort of understands when I tell him I can't run after him, and he doesn't need me to pick him up or anything anymore. He does like to jump on the bed (and if I don't prevent him, climb on my stomach) and say "Wake up!" until I get up, or someone comes to distract him.

The other day he came and woke me up from a nap and looked at me quizzically. "You sleep a lot!" he told me. Yes. Yes I do. When I can, at least!

Let's hope la Petite is a better sleeper than her brother was as a newborn...

Cloud said...

I'm feeling rather grateful for my boring pregnancies! I hope the bedrest isn't too onerous.

Biting in three year olds? I think of that as something that they should be past by this time, but I suspect that is because we've been working it out for a few years in day care! Biting in my daughter's current classroom (for ~3.5 year olds) gets a threat of being kicked out of day care. In the earlier rooms, though, it was just something you had to work through- some kids bite, some hit, some push... etc, etc. I had a biter. As hard as it was to see bite marks on her, it felt even worse to get the reports of her biting someone else!

But yeah, the kids really don't seem that bothered by it.

And Petunia (my 1 year old) but Pumpkin (my 3.5 year old) last night. She's just teething, but she left a mark. Pumpkin was pretty much unfazed.

Our potty issues continue, but are getting slowly better. I've been feeling pretty bad about that, until I showed up at day care last Friday to see to little boys from the 4 year old room getting in trouble for peeing in the sand... Then I just felt grateful that Pumpkin is unlikely to do that!

Sylvie said...

Oops! Didn't mean to minimize your struggles, but I was relieved to hear that the key things seem to be on track -- Le Petit loves school and is doing well with potty issues and you're getting the rest you need. Plus you've got a supportive MIL. Bisous a tous!

hush said...

I admire your ability to keep things in perspective, and think the couch is the perfect place to do just that!

caramama said...

Good luck with bed rest and with convincing La Petite to wait for a holiday birthday!

Le Petit's transition does sound tough. I agree that it's likely the ratio, and as Paola says the age. I have to be honest here, one of the best things I did for my girl was switch her to another school over the summer--one with a much smaller class size. The first school at 3 teachers for 28 kids, and it was chaos. Over the summer, she was in a class of about 10-12 kids for 1-2 teachers (depending on the day). It was really a much better place for my girl. Now she is in a mixed-age class in a Montessori school with about 20 kids to two teachers, but ages 3-5. It's much better.

Good luck with his adjustment and the pregnancy!