Of all the wonderful words of wisdom you well-meaning moms of two imparted on me before I had Drew, no one (no, not one of you!) told me what to expect when I sent my oldest off to school.
Okay, so that's not the only thing. But with a smarty pants four-year-old who watches tampon commercials with the same intensity as Word Girl and Super Why and stands staring at you with those big brown eyes as you try to get five solid minutes of work in, the three straight hours alone with a 20-month-old is like being released from prison.
Well, the prison that is pretend babysitter and princess dress-up and "what is water made out of, mommy," and "I was just washing Dora's hair that's how the 4 gallons of water got on the bathroom floor," and the sassy never stopping mouth.
You know, that prison.
Don't get me wrong. We're catching up on all that four-year-old goodness every afternoon when she comes home. But for those three sweet hours in the morning when it's just me, Drew, and the remote, I can't say I miss those metal bars.
Considering my son finds the trucks racing on the road behind us more entertaining than anything on television (even Sesame Street -- oh the horror!), I've caught up on my fair share of depressing morning news, Project Runway reruns, and hell, even Jerry Springer "My Husband is Sleeping With Your Husband So I Got a Sex Change."
(Okay, so maybe not the last part but the point is if I wanted to I could, damnit!).
And while I'm not sitting at my computer the entire time she's gone, my son doesn't send mommy guilt "signals" every ten minutes if I happen to get caught up in an extra compelling series of emails about bibs and baby onesies.
However, the real discovery since the start of my daughter's school career has been my son's brilliance, which apparently was being suppressed by the presence of his sister. Since she began school last week, he's started building huge block towers and connecting legos, and he's even tried to do a puzzle (A PUZZLE!) -- pretty amazing for a kid who just two weeks ago was throwing any and all of those things at my head.
I shouldn't be that surprised at his developments in the physical and verbal skill areas since individual attention tends to help those things along. And I admit that when I'm not ingesting large amounts of bad televison and non-guilt computer time, we've spent our mornings playing alone together, which is something my 2nd child and I have never really ever had a chance to do. I've even registered us for music classes so I can at least tell him I did one activity with just him -- well, at least for the next 5 weeks until the new baby arrives.
Sorry son. I tried.
My only problem is that based on the time I have to pick up his sister from school every day, he'll be taking his nice, long, over-the-lunch-hour nap during the not long enough car ride.
And while I love me some crappy television and time alone with my precious son, I really really really love that nap.