Friday, April 23, 2010

School daze.

You know how most parents have no choice but to learn to appreciate the crack of dawn because their children wake up REALLY EARLY expecting to be fed or changed or nurtured or parented or something? I don't. At least, I didn't until just recently because, well, Liam just wasn't that kind of kid. He was the rare child who actually liked to sleep in. And on the days he stumbled out of bed on the early side, he liked to take his time waking up. While he was getting cozy on the couch with White Bi, I could have a nice cup of coffee or check my e-mail or gasp! take a shower. By the time he was ready to start the day, so was I. We made a good little team.

Unfortunately, it appears that ship has sailed.

Suddenly he's an early riser. Not like crack of dawn early (anything before 7:00 is still unacceptable in my book) but earlier than we're used to. On weekdays his wake-up trigger is Bill leaving for work. The synchronization is actually quite impressive. No matter how quiet Bill is getting himself out the door, Liam can sense when he's left the building. The second Bill steps a foot off our property, Liam shoots out of bed with a shrill and desperate, "Dada?!" He runs to his window to make sure Bill's car is still there (all the time screaming, "Dada?! Dada?!") and then runs into my room naked ("Mama?!" Mama?!) to get permission to go outside. I jump out of bed in a fit of confusion, throw on my robe, scoop up Liam and White Bi and waddle out the front door with my naked son dangling from my arms yelling, "Hug?! Kiss?! Goodbye, Dada! Goodbye!"

Yeah. We're those neighbors.

He even managed to wake up to say goodbye to Dada when Bill had to leave the house at 4:30 one morning to catch a flight. I'm telling you, this kid is IMPRESSIVE.

And unlike the old days, once he's awake now, he's awake. Like immediately. Boing! He doesn't even need a little chai to get going anymore. Yesterday he jumped into bed with me and started throwing 'bows (is that still street for "elbowing my relentlessly"?) saying, "Get up! It's time to play! Let's play school. Okay, student? Student!" until I gave in and got up to make coffee.

Yawn.

And it's not like he forgets that he wants to play while I shuffle around rubbing my eyes for a few minutes. The second I plop down with my cup of coffee he's like, "Good morning, student. I am your teacher..." and then he forces me to actually play school! It's like a bad flashback to high school when everyone was forced to start the day half asleep (did anyone learn anything in first period?).

But unlike high school, Liam school is pretty thrilling once it gets going. Today he started by saying, "Let me go talk to my friend Polar Bear really quick because she's been the teacher before and can help me remember how to do it." Then he ran off to his room for a few minutes, returning with an agenda that he listed for me and then drew on the white board so I wouldn't forget: 1. Painting (he drew a perfect set of water colors I should have taken a picture of), 2. Playing with markers, 3. A little rest (he drew a bed), 4. Snack time (he drew an apple), 5. Circle time, and 6. Playing with friends. Then he got out the painting supplies and away we went!

He's the goofy teacher all the kids love.

For as much as this new morning routine has thrown me for a loop, I actually think it's Liam's way of being helpful. For one, there are just 15 short weeks until new baby arrives and forces me to be awake and responsible at all sorts of unreasonable hours. The desperate screaming wake up call is probably good training for that.

In the meantime, Liam has me convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he is more than ready to start school. This is a very good thing indeed because come the first week of June he will be an official twice a week preschooler! And while this isn't the first time we've started down this road, I have to say it feels completely different. Because this time is the perfect time and it's going to be awesome.

1 comment:

Sara said...

I was thinking that mid-post Maggie - he is indeed ready for school. He's got the structure down and everything!