Friday, May 9, 2014

It’s that time again

The time has come for Aiden to move up to the next class at school. He’s a rompin’, stompin’ terrible-two-year-old who’s ready to start playing with the bigger kids. He’s about the same size as them anyway, so why not? This week marked his last week in the “Toddler” class at school, and he’s been visiting his new classroom each afternoon to get acclimated to it. His new teacher has known Alli since she was in the infant classroom, and even though she technically never had Alli in her class, she knows all about these two troublemakers.

This move means a couple interesting changes for everyone. First, it means that instead of dropping Aiden off in the “younger kid’s” room then taking Alli down to the “bigger kid’s” room in the mornings, now I’ll be taking them both down to the same room. Since I drop them off so early, they usually gather all the kids into a couple rooms before splitting off into their individual classrooms. Since his new teacher is the one who watches that room in the mornings, she told us yesterday to just bring him down there from now on. I said, “Okay… you asked for it.” So last night we kept telling Alli how her bro was going to come with her to her room in the mornings now, and she was so excited. We have a little ritual of getting a package of crackers when we walk in the door and she’ll sit down at the table in her room and eat them before she starts playing. I told her that now she’ll get to sit with Aiden and both of them will have crackers each morning. She couldn’t wait to get to school the next day, it was so adorable. With this new class also begins the always adventurous potty training endeavor. He seems to be grasping the concept of the potty (after watching big sister so much) and tells us he’s gone after the fact, but we’re working on it.

This morning came and went exactly the way I thought it would. We got to school and instead of taking Aiden to the right, then Alli back to the left – we all turned left, grabbed a package of crackers and headed toward the “big kid room”. We made a pit stop in Alli’s classroom so she could drop off a present for her teacher (since it’s Teacher Appreciation Week) and use the potty.

We then went back to what will be Aiden’s classroom for the next year or so. Alli went flying in as usual because she knows that room well and many of her friends were already there waiting for her. Aiden was a little hesitant when we hit the doorway, so I scooped him up and gave him a big hug. Alli was already saddling up to the table getting ready to devour her crackers, and she had a seat saved for her little brother right next to her. Aiden was a little clingy at first, but once I showed him that he has his very own package of crackers and asked him if he wanted to sit next to Alli, he couldn’t get down fast enough. I opened both packages for them and naturally they both dug right in. I knelt down in between them and gave them both big kisses and hugs. I looked at Aiden and told him to have fun (and to behave) hangin’ with his big sister. I then turned to Alli and said, “Listen Al, you take care of your little bro, okay?” She looked up at me and with a mouth full of saltines replied, “Okay, Daddy.”

I got up and walked out feeling so proud of those little buggers. They haven’t exactly been a picnic lately, as Alli has been picking up a little attitude (we call it being a “Threenager”) and Aiden has been mimicking her every move in addition to becoming more independent himself. She runs around, he runs around. She whines and cries, he follows suit. I know this is completely typical (and normal) at this age, but it still tests your patience. I’ve said it a hundred times – now I know what it feels like to live with someone who’s bipolar. You say one thing wrong and it’s a total meltdown. You try to speak softly and calm them down, and it just makes things worse. Two minutes later they’re happy and laughing again. The phrase “emotional rollercoaster” has never been more appropriate in our house at the moment. So, witnessing this moment this morning was quite a lovely change of pace.

I wish I could have taken a picture of them sitting at the table together to mark the occasion, but a mental picture will have to suffice for now. Maybe I’ll get one on Monday, if I remember. The real reason I wanted to capture this moment is because I know that in a few years, it won’t be cool to hang out with your sibling. Especially your “little bro”, in Alli’s case. They looked so happy to be together even though they play together at home all the time. I’m really hoping they continue to build that strong bond that only siblings can know and feel. As for me, I have to deal with the fact that we don’t have any “babies” anymore… and I’m not liking it as much as I thought I would. Sort of.

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