Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New stuff to worry about

When William was a baby, there were so many times that I wished that he would just get older already--because, I imagined, surely things would get easier as he got older.

Well. William did get older. Some things did get easier, too. Now that he's five years old, I pretty much only have to do his laundry and cook his dinner and remind him to please grab his backpack/lunchbox/hat/jacket. He dresses himself, feeds himself, makes his own bed, goes to the bathroom himself, gets himself in and out of the car and booster seat, brushes his own teeth, and puts his own dishes in the dishwasher. Not all at the same time, of course.

However, I now face a whole new set of challenges as his parent. Now I am responsible for helping him learn how to read. I may not have to wipe his bottom, but I do have to make him sit down with a book and help him sound out words, and holy geez, let me tell you exactly which one is exponentially harder and takes longer.

To complicate that situation, William actually can read a fair number of words. But he insists that he caaaaaaan't, and then he flops around in a histrionic fashion and bemoans how he caaaaaan't, he caaaaaan't, he caaaaaan't. And then I have to sit on top of him, and, OH THE DRAMA. It does not seem to do much good to remind him that 1) the Great Pyramids weren't built in a day (he's currently fascinated by ancient Egypt, so we're going with that reference here instead of Rome), and 2) he had to learn to ride a tricycle before he could ride a bike. He seems to think that if he can't read, say, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he's not really reading.

Plus, the surrounding issues are more complicated now. Everything involving his education is now much more complex. Once upon a time, I just dropped him off at preschool with a lunchbox and a nap mat, and that was that. Now, I have worry about whether his teacher got the note about him taking the school bus home from school. And then I have to worry about what happens if I accidentally miss the bus and no one is there to meet him at the bus stop. I find myself worrying about the fact that no one's around to intervene at lunchtime or recess if someone starts to get him all riled up and agitated. I fret about whether he's going to get enough individual attention to encourage him to, yes, work harder at reading. I fret that he adores math but what if his teacher doesn't have enough time to work with him and nurture that affinity? I fret that he's the only Encore kid in his class, and what if the other kids make fun of him for being the smart kid? (Because let's face it, the smart kid always gets picked on at some point for being smart, not that I have any residual leftover post-traumatic stress syndrome about that. Nope, not me.) Argh.

It almost makes raising Andrew seem easy. Almost. Andrew has a mind of his own, too, and he has very definite Opinions now. But luckily, most of that seems pretty straightforward in comparison. Andrew's a little daredevil, it's true, but he can mostly be contained with doorknob safety handles, car seat straps, safety gates, and keeping a sharp eye on him at all times when he's not inside. Mostly contained.

Do not tell me that it continues to get harder, please. I'm going to stick my head in the sand for awhile and pretend that this is as hard as it ever gets. Please leave me to my delusions. Thanks.


Aub said...

This doesn't help much but... William is a super cool kid with incredible ideas. I dare say he will hold his own in most every situation! And the smart kid thing... I am pretty sure he will figure out some way to make smar the COOL way to be :) He's a total leader, cool, fun, AND smart... you have a pretty well rounded kid :) try to relax. And eventually hire a tutor to fight the homework battle. It was the best choice my mom made for me :)

Jennifer Larson said...

Aww, thank you, Aubrey. I will try to take some deep breaths and try not to worry as much. Can't make any promises, of course. But I appreciate the kind words!