Patience is a Virtue

Last night, I had back to school night at my daughter’s preschool/son’s enrichment school.  My daughter’s teacher was so wonderful, that I left feeling not only admiration for her, but inadequate about myself.  My son’s teacher, well, I might have been looking into a mirror.

Since both back to school times were at the same time, I went to Little Lady’s room first, figuring it was more important to see what she was doing, since she can’t really convey what she does at school, whereas, Second Son, if he chose to, and he usually does not, could give me a blow by blow account of his day.

Little Lady’s teacher, in her low key manner, walked us through a typical day, her excitement shining through as she told us about the singing, playing, and learning that goes on in the classroom.  She even came close to tears, when at the end, she said, “Thank you for entrusting your children to me.”

I love her.

While I sat there listening, I was inspired, but I also started wondering why I didn’t do more at home?  Where were my centers inspired learning/play stations?  How come I didn’t talk about the texture of pumpkins or what was inside of them?  I was sure I could be doing better, not only in the learning department, but in the mom department, too.

I came home a better person, patiently put little lady to bed with a story and kisses, and helped first son with his homework, remaining calm even when he snapped that I didn’t know what I was doing.  I drifted off to sleep, happy with my decision to enroll little lady in nursery school, and inspired to start fresh with my two younger ones the next day.

It’s hard to believe that was less than twenty four hours ago.

The morning started off well enough (though a little early), but began its slow spiral downward when, within five minutes of my arrival downstairs, first son blew a whistle, which in turn, woke little lady up, who definitely need another hour of sleep, since she’s been blowing off her nap lately.  Cranky little lady=Bad Morning.

Things only went downhill from there.

Second Son had it out for little lady this morning, and she’s not one to back down.They fought over everything from her teddy bear to the Wii controller, while First Son happily ignored them, talking incessantly, peppering me with questions like, what are we doing for his birthday, which is next month, to wanting to explain his dream, in vivid detail, to me.  Sometimes, while he’s enthusiastically chattering on, deaf to everything around him, I look at him and wonder how he expects me to listen when his siblings are trying to kill each other in the background.  Then, I remember he’s seven.

By nine o’clock, my nerves were shot and I desperately needed Yoga…or a Valium.  As it turns out, all that deep breathing is useless when two children are rolling around on the floor fighting over a blanket, right on the spot where I’m attempting to perform downward facing dog.

Now, had I really learned anything from the previous night, I would have stopped what I was doing and broke out the paints, or the play dough, or something, but I didn’t.  I was impatient and annoyed, which brings me to my meeting with Second Son’s enrichment teacher.  I like her, too, but perhaps, she’s a little too much like Second Son’s mother, which he gets enough of, and not enough like Little Lady’s teacher, which he really needs.

While I was visiting with her, she happened to mention Second Son’s obsession with the classroom guinea pig.  I think she was feeling guilty, because she went on to tell me how Second Son really wanted to hold the guinea pig, and I’m guessing, kept asking her, because she told me she finally said to him, “Second Son, we only have three minutes left. You can’t hold the guinea pig.”  I suspect, from the tone she used to re-tell the story, that she had lost patience with him, which was confirmed when she said, “You know.  I was driving home later and I thought, why didn’t I just let him hold the guinea pig?  What would have been the big deal?  It would have made him happy and the guinea pig could use more handling.”

She wanted to know if I knew what she meant.  I told her I understood, perfectly, and I did.  Hindsight and Second Son seem to go hand in hand. Sometimes, he’s so persistent, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and so, you dig your heels in, in order to win the battle, when there was never really a battle at all,  just a boy, with a lot of enthusiasm and an insane amount of determination.Maybe I should find out if they have any room for a five year old in Little Lady’s class.




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