Archive for the 'toddler stuff' Category

The end of an era

Almost five years to the day later, Mollybear’s time at Woodland Montessori has come to a close. And, as I walked to the car after dropping her off for her last morning, the emotions that come with that hit me hard. I knew I’d feel sad thinking about the passage of time and lament losing the cocoon-feeling of Woodland, but I didn’t know that it would make me feel a little lonely.

I got in the car and watched the younger children play on the playground and I watched  teachers Molly had had in the past mill about, chatting with other parents who still had years left with the school to enjoy. And I thought about how my family is just a little blip in the fabric of the school, but how these five years have left a deep impression on the three of us that we will surely feel for a lifetime.

I thought back to the decision to choose Woodland all of those years ago, letting go of our other option, and jumping into this expensive, inconvenient, beautiful wonderland. I was nervous, but felt so much joy and gratitude that we were able to be a part of and participate in this thoughtful community. And while there have been bumps along the way (mostly because I don’t deal with any change well), the past five years have been more than we could have hoped for. We will miss you, Woodland. Thanks for everything.


Uh, oops! 

This morning I had a wee bit of a parenting fail. I went to bed last night with a head cold, sleeping with a big box of Kleenex and dirty tissues hidden under the covers so Phoebe wouldn’t eat them. At some point, I heard Molly yelling, and I stumbled out of bed. I grabbed my glasses, feeling as if I were coming out of a deep slumber. It was really dark out and I was pretty annoyed. Why, oh why, was she up so early?! I went into her bedroom and asked her what was wrong. She told me that her nightlight wasn’t on. True, but her closet light was on, as was an owl light that glows over her bed. Still, I flicked on the nightlight for her. I tried to tuck her back under the covers. She told me she was hungry. I said, “Molly, it’s the middle of the night. You can have breakfast in the morning.” She begged me, “But, Mommy, I’m really, really hungry!” “Molly, I understand,” I said, “but no, it’s really dark out. It’s nighttime; time for sleep.”

Let me pause here. Sometimes we cave at these moments, which don’t come often, and bring her a snack. Sometimes she eats it and sometimes she doesn’t. It’s so hard to know if she’s really hungry. If she is, I don’t want her starving. But as she gets older, I think she’s saying it more to see what she can get from us, stall on things like bedtime or just use it as something to say. And just yesterday I was reading yet another article about how age-appropriate it is for three-year-olds to push like this and how it’s parents’ responsibility to say no so that kids learn limits and boundaries and how to ask for things. And a couple of days before, she’d woken up too early and asked AO to bring her scissors and he complied. And then she asked for some other art supply later, and again he complied. So this, too, was on my mind. I was trying to set boundaries! Like Olivia with her brother, Ian, I was going to be firm.

Back to the scene.

This push-pull went on for a bit. Not too long because, as I said, I was determined to be firm! “Molly, it’s the middle of the night. It’s not ok to get up yet. If you go back to bed right now, we can stop at the cookie store tonight.” [The cookie store is the co-op where she likes to get these delicious vegan lemon blueberry cookies. And yes, T, though they’re vegan, they’re quite tasty.] I know, shameless bribe. But it was the middle of the night! “Otay!” she said, and snuggled in. I said, “Ok, thank you, sweetie. I love you. Now, no more yelling or screaming. Get some more sleep.” And then I left and closed the door. As soon as I did, I heard, “Mommy!!” Ugh! I. Had. Had. It. I opened the door and said, “No!!!” And then I walked back to our bedroom.

For the first time, I saw the clock. 6:56 a.m.



Molly and I went to Milwaukee for the third and part of the fourth of July. She had her first experience with sparklers and fireworks. She loved both.





Against my better judgment, and all odds, I let Mollybear stay up for the amazing fireworks on the Milwaukee lakefront on Friday. I actually can’t believe she made it up that late. A constellation of factors worked in her favor, namely a late afternoon nap. But Aaron and I certainly paid the price over the following days with a very cranky tot. Oh well. She loved the fireworks and, really, the whole day. As she said, “Best day ever!”


I’m not so good with change. Since about February, I’ve been wrestling with the knowledge that Bear will switch classrooms next week and I haven’t handled the news all that well. In September, when she started in her current classroom, she was supposed to stay there, with all of her pals, until the end of August. But they decided to change that because, they said, all of the kids were ready for preschool. Deep sigh. I was ok with that, I guess, but I wasn’t really ok with the idea that she is being split from her bestie and instead being placed in a classroom with her mortal enemy (too strong?). You see, in Montessori schools, or at least in ours, part of the emphasis in preschool and school-aged kids is on mixed-aged classrooms. The idea is that the little ones learn from the bigger kids and that all of us really learn best by teaching others, so the big ones learn from helping their littler friends. While I love this idea in theory, recently it’s hit me how scary this is for me. Bear will now be with kids ages three to six and she will be one of the youngest. And her best pal will be in the classroom next door. She happily announces to me, “I’m going to Classroom Two!” all the time, and I now know (or think I know) that she understands what this means because she has visited the new classroom several times. But I’m unsure that she understands at all how her day will be different. The summer will be, I suppose, a nice transition because the classrooms will be smaller and all of the kids will be in the outdoor space together. But still. It’s a big change. She loves her friend so much and in a way that I think is rather rare for three-year-olds. I don’t think they stifle each other, but instead encourage each other to try new things and grow. And really, they’re just so sweet together. I will miss seeing that. It’s been such a lovely part of my day. It’s something I didn’t really anticipate as part of parenthood: seeing your kid love another kid. It’s really neat.


So maybe I’m just being selfish, but I keep hoping that something will change. That someone will tell me that they’ve decided to keep the girls together afterall. I know I just need to pull myself together and recognize it’s going to be ok. That she’ll be ok. But still. Why can’t good things just stay exactly as they are? Why is the one constant change? It’s so annoying.

Two and eleven twelfths

So, I swear I’m going to get to my Tulum-a-palooza posts, but I can’t let this day go by without publicly noting that my baby girl is one month from being a three-year-old. What the what? It’s true. And it’s exciting.

As her vocabulary continues to explode, I notice more and more interesting associations that she makes. For example, when I told her that the van driver gave us a beer after we got off the plane in Mexico, she said, “Daddy has a beer.” It took me a moment, but I realized that she was hearing “beer” and “beard” as the same thing. And yesterday, when I asked her if she wanted to watch the Puppy Bowl, she pointed at her small bowl of raisins and said, “That’s a people bowl.” Also yesterday, I noticed that she must think that “Sorry, that’s ok” is a phrase. I assume it’s because nearly every time she says “sorry” for something or another, I say, “That’s ok.” Now, she runs it all together. This morning, we had this exchange:

Molly: I’m going to kick you.

Me: What? Why would you kick me?

[Molly takes a step towards me and gives me a light kick.]

Me: Ow!

Molly: Sorry. That’s ok!

June 2023

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