While yesterday was Zoey’s birthday (eep!), it was also the first day of preschool for both Zoey and Eleanor. Zoey is still attending a developmental preschool at a local public school, via the special education department due to her sensory processing disorder. Her IEP mainly focuses on social goals, since that’s what qualified her SpEd, and she has come a LONG way from when she started. The developmental preschools here also offer spots for “peer models”: typically developing kids, usually siblings of enrolled students, who can be an example of the goals the other kids are working toward and also help the other students to feel they are in a more “normal” preschool environment. If you have a class filled with solely with children with speech delays, autism, etc it doesn’t prepare them very well for transitioning later into a class with their typically developing peers. Anyway, Eleanor gets to be one of those peer models this year. Yay! Free preschool!
We chose to put Eleanor in the morning class because she still naps in the afternoon and, more importantly, because we knew if she was in Zoey’s afternoon class then she and Zoey would stick together all the time and Zoey wouldn’t be working on expanding her social skills as much as we’d like her to.
Here’s the thing: morning preschool starts at 8:25 AM. (That “thud” you just heard was my head hitting the desk). I have been blessed with children who just spent the entire summer just waking up at 8:30 AM. Having to BE AT some place by that time in the morning, with two preschoolers and a baby in tow, means waking up at….oh god…no…too early. TOO EARLY.
Briefly, I hoped that they might have a bus take Eleanor to and from school the way they do with Zoey. That would mean only really needing to have one child fully ready to go by 8AM (and I could totally just be in yoga pants for buckling her on the bus). Sadly, no IEP = no bus. So we ALL have to be ready and piled in the car by shortly after 8AM to drive over to the school (thank god they are doing a curbside dropoff, so I at least don’t have to unbuckle all three kids and go traipsing through the school, looking like a parade of zombies).
So we drop Eleanor off, drive home and quickly get Alden down for a nap since by that time he is loosing his mind because NAP! Now! Tired, mama! So tired!!!!! and I’m all “Me too, buddy. Me too.” He then promptly sleeps for a whopping thirty minutes max, I spend another half hour trying to get him back to sleep, and before I know it, it has been two hours and I’m now waking him up (parents everywhere, you feel me on this one. NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY!) to go back to the school and pick Eleanor up (again, SO THANKFUL for the curbside pickup).
Once we load Ellie in the van, it’s time to rush home, make lunch, coax the girls to actually eat said lunch, get my slower-than-molasses “I feel tiiiiiirrrred, mooooooommmmm” five year old to go potty and grab her back pack and be ready for the bus that comes to pick Zoey up for school. (All that in the space of exactly one hour, by the way). Once the bus (which is always late, but I’m always there on time waiting for it, because I know the one day I let the kids lollygag and don’t have us ready on time the bus will be on time) leaves, it’s time to shuffle Eleanor off for a nap and then nurse Alden and put him down for a nap as well.
Then I breathe.
And try to make the most of the time I have before Alden and/or Eleanor wakes up (usually about forty-five minutes). Mostly that means making lunch for myself and eating it while I play Candy Crush uninterrupted before getting up to wash the breakfast and lunch dishes and maybe put away some laundry.
Clearly, we haven’t really found our groove yet, but I feel that we will. On the bright side, the girls are so exhausted by the end of the day that they pass right out at 7 PM without any of the bedtime shenanigans they’d been pulling for the past couple weeks. Eventually Alden will learn to nap better (probably about the time Ellie gives up napping altogether. Because why not?) and I might end up with enough time to throw in a little yoga even.
Hey, a mom can dream, right?