We've taken three giant steps back on the preschool front. Things had been getting better, Mia was calmer about it, less stressed, less crying. And then we found out last week that, while she has stopped crying at home, she has not stopped crying at school. And rather than varying between slightly willing to go to school and nearly enthusiastic about it, she has returned to saying she doesn't want to go and breaking down in tears when I drop her off. And I watch all this and think to myself, oh my god, I'm ruining her life!
But then she comes home and spends the rest of the week playing "preschool" with her Little People and stuffed animals. And it isn't a preschool where all the children sit around and cry. They read books and play on the playground and have snack and play games and miss their mommies a little bit but still manage to have fun. So then I think that preschool really is a positive experience after all. Or she spends half an hour in the car ignoring her screaming brother to tell us jokes of her own creation ("Next time won't you eat a house! Next time won't you eat a piece of mulch!") and cracks herself up so hard that half the time she can't even get the words out. So I think hey, this kid is totally ok. She's happy, she's fine, and preschool is good for her.
But I just don't know. I think that preschool is good for her, I think it will ultimately be a really positive experience, I think that we chose the right place to help her through this in a loving and caring way, I think that pulling her out would just reinforce her fears of the world beyond Mommy and I think continuing to tough it out is the way to go. But I'm just guessing here, and I've really got very little to go on and maybe instead of helping her overcome her insecurities I really am ruining her life?
Meanwhile, Owen, oh sweet, happy, charming Owen, has turned into a beast. He has all these teeth that just won't give him a break (canines appear to be on the horizon) and he's in the throes of separation anxiety so severe that he requires constant, full-body Mommy contact else he screams and sobs. And he's so close to crawling, but can't quite do it yet and it pisses him off royally. And I keep refusing to give him pizza. So he cries all day, mostly, breaking only to bite me often and hard or to take an occasional 30 minute nap, but never when his sister is sleeping.
So I spend most of my days bouncing between two sobbing, howling children and trying to help them both and doing right by neither. When I finally get them (usually temporarily) to sleep at night, there's the dishwasher to unload and the laundry to sort and fold and the toys to corral so you can walk through my house without tripping on a glass slipper and falling to your death. It feels, often, like bailing a sinking ship with a sieve.
I've developed a mantra, of sorts. May these be the biggest problems my children ever have. May this be the hardest part of my life. It doesn't help, really, but it is humbling enough to occasionally gain some perspective.