Sunday, April 06, 2008

4 weeks of school/work

To date it's been 4 weeks of school for Astrid and 4 weeks at my new job.

Morning Routine
We've become a well oiled machine in the mornings. We have a small window of time to get everything done (bath, breakfast, change of clothes, lunch packed, hair, and then mommy gets ready), and for the most part Astrid is great when we stick to our routine.

Astrid has what I call her "rain man" tendencies when it comes to wanting to do things in a certain order and sticking to the routine. Probably normal for most kids. For example, she has to have her hair done while she is watching a cartoon (it turns into a major catastrophe if I try to do her hair in the bathroom or with the TV off), and she will not brush her teeth until right before we leave. Silly stuff like that.

But on the flip side, she also knows what to expect and what comes next. So after our bath she knows we're going downstairs to have breakfast. And she knows that after she gets dressed we do her hair, etc. And when we leave the house she'll ask to make sure we have her lunch and her clean bedding (on Mondays). She knows what's expected of her and she understands when we're on time or late.

It's a big help that she's so cooperative. For example, I ask her to put on her shoes (which she does by herself now) and this gives me a couple minutes to shut off the heater, gather up our belongings, put on my shoes, etc., and since she's putting on her shoes next to the front door, we're ready to leave the house.

Food
I try to switch it up and give Astrid an assortment of things to eat for lunch, so she doesn't get bored, and I'm starting to see preferences. She will tell me in the morning what NOT to put in her lunch. For example, she'll say "Mommy no yogurt today". So I'll ask her if she wants a cheese instead for her morning snack at school. A week later she might ask me if I can put a yogurt in her lunch.

I recently found out that she does not like lunch meat. I tried turkey and then chicken, and always it comes back uneaten in her lunch bag. (Which is probably a good thing with their high sodium content.) Prior to school she never ate lunch meat because she had hot lunches with mommy everyday. So with trial and error I'm finding out her likes and dislikes for a sack lunch.

At dinner, we're still trying to have a sit down dinner with all 3 of us when it's possible (Mama, Papa, Astrid - as Astrid is fond of saying.) But some nights when Astrid is fussy, I question whether it's worth it. U. and I don't have an enjoyable meal and it seems more stressful than anything. But last night we had a very nice dinner together. So that's still a work in progress.

Friends
Astrid has a lot of friends at school. When I drop her off at preschool in the mornings I've seen kids shout her name, "Astrid!" and get all excited and wave hi to her. One little boy, Mio even ran up to her saying her name, and then stood next to her like he was her boyfriend. And then there are the older kids that Astrid likes to play with. One day one of the girls, Olivia (who was a life saver in the beginning - who would take Astrid by hand and show her around and introduce her to the other kids) was downtrodden and was looking down at the floor - Astrid saw her and said, "Mommy what's wrong with Olivia. Why she so sad?"

School has definitely been a positive in Astrid's social development. After giving me a hug and a kiss goodbye she will run over to her friends and play, without needing any encouragement.

I also hear about her day on the drive home. About one girl crying, or another being a bad girl, or a couple boys who she plays with at recess, and all the kids in her class. I can't wait to get the school photo with names under each kid's pic so I can identify each child.

Challenges
It's still a challenge with U. and I both working. We've agreed that I get 1 designated evening a week to myself for social and networking events, or to stay late at work. On the home front it seems we're always doing laundry. You never imagine how much laundry piles up when you're working. We may need to get her housekeeper to come every week (rather than once every 2 weeks).

Today we both went to the grocery store separately (neither of us knew the other one was going) so now we have 5 half gallons of milk. Oh well it'll get used somehow.

3 comments:

Jeannie said...

Goodness Rose...life is busy, busy, busy for you. I'm glad Astrid is adjusting to school and loving it. How about you? Do you like the new job? Hope all goes well for you and your precious family.

Jeannie

Rose said...

Hi Jeannie,

I'm doing well. The new job and the transition to working mom again is keeping me on my toes. I landed a great job without even looking - as a friend and former coworker recommended me for this position.

I've always loved working, but there are moments when I would rather be watching Astrid in gymnastics class or out and about with her, teaching her new things. I miss that.

But on the flip side, I've never been more ambitious and strategic about my career. I feel like the world is my oyster. It feels good to feed that part of my soul too.

Jeannie said...

You go Rose!