On Wednesday, Frankie said goodbye to Kami (above), who has taken care of him and been his constant companion since he was 3 months old, and started school. It's been a pretty emotional couple of days, Frankie has cried every morning when he's dropped off, Mommy (and Kami, and Daddy) have cried too. But according to the teachers at his school - Frankie brightens up after a couple of minutes and is a happy, well-adjusted kid. As hard as it is to take him out of a wonderful situation where he's been coddled and treated to his every whim, it was time that he learned to play with other kids and realize that there are rules that most civilized people follow in their day to day interactions. I didn't want him to be that annoying 5 year old who doesn't listen when his name is called and expects everyone cater to him.
He's certainly showing signs of adjusting to these new rules. Yesterday - I picked him up at 3:00 and we went to the park. We were having a ball swinging on the swings, playing in the sandbox and sliding down the slide. Then he wanted to climb on the big kids ladder up to a treehouse. After I dragged him away a couple of times, he broke free and scampered up the ladder. The ladder that leads to the platform that's taller than me. When I reach up to get him down I can barely grab his ankles. So what does he do? He jumps. Yep, he jumps off of the platform that's taller than mommy. Because of my excpetional hand eye co-ordination (years of being a lacrosse golie) I catch him. The lady standing next to me gives me a look that's part amazment that he had no fear and just jumped, and part "what an awful mom - who must be somehow responsible for this fearless child". Needless to say - I figured it was time to leave the park. Frankie had some creative differences. He wanted to stay and climb the ladder again. After much screaming and throwing of the body, I strap him into the stroller and we start off for home.
You would think this was the end of the "testing" that Frankie has in store for me. You would be wrong. Our trip home was halted several times to put his shoes back on, pick up grover from the gutter where Frankie had thrown him, and to lecture him on why his feet (now sans shoes) were going to continue to hurt if he keeps on shoving them into the front wheels of the stroller.
It continued like this for hours once we were home. At one point I had a two minute conversation with my mom while Frankie sat on the couch next to me, kicking me in the stomach the whole time. It's not like he's never acted like this before - but just not for such an extended period of time. Of course, by the time Daddy came home - Frankie was back to being the little angel he usually is.
I can't help but think that he's rebelling against mean old mommy, who must be responsible for school, right? I completely understand the need to re-establish who's in charge after being exposed to a new environment where he's supposed to do what the teachers tell him and what the other kids are doing - but it doesn't make it any less trying. It's hard to be the toughy - especially since Daddy would give him cookies for breakfast if he asked for them. I hope this phase passes soon and my special little guy comes back soon.