Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When the Winds of Change Come Early

The Sunday circulars yelled in loud block letters of glue being given away at 10 cents a bottle, crayons fifty cents a box.   Even for the would-be-ostriches among us, it's hard to ignore such obvious signs of school starting in just a few short weeks.

Yet, change knows no calendar, is no respecter of the time things are supposed to begin anew.

When the winds of change blow through the house, it's time to open an umbrella and take to the skies like Mary Poppins.  With children already soaring above her head, there is no choice but to push off and fly with them.
Our house is abuzz with sounds of kindergarten coming.  Three months shy of their fourth birthday, the twins are even excited for their brother, not realizing that they, too, are so near the edge, a few steps away from death and rebirth into a world where they are no longer the "little" brother and sister but rather kings of the mountain, makers of their own destinies while older brother is away at school.

There will be no more big brother to lead them on morning romps through the Hundred Acre Woods, to commandeer expeditions for collecting locust shells, to dress up as knights and dragons for fighting imaginary coyotes with imaginary hunters.

Even though these changes aren't something the twins can even understand at this moment, they do know something big is coming.  

As if right on cue, they have developed a sudden interest in learning to do what Wyatt does.

And so two weeks ago, I began carefully writing out all the ABC's each day and giving them markers to trace them.  By last week's end, though, they were flying through this activity.  It wasn't enough for my soaring birds.
On Monday, I told them we were going to start writing our uppercase letters "for real," just like Wyatt.

This change was good.  It was fun....until a few letters into the project when reality set in that there are rules to follow for how to create letters, that you can't draw a clockwise circle for your letter O because then you draw the letters C and G backwards, too, that if you draw it incorrectly, you need to erase it and try again.

Change is not easy.  

My daughter was the first one to balk.  Her typical go-to complaint of "I'm tired" was followed by loud sighs, the pooched-out bottom lip that quivered, then blubbering tears, and finally downright defiance.

I not-so-calmly explained that she could fuss all she wanted but she and I weren't getting up until she had written all twenty-six letters.  Armed with a big eraser, Amelia wrote and I erased, she fussed and I instructed, she tried and I encouraged.

Fifteen minutes and a bunch of fussing later, she succeeded as I knew she would.  Now free, her tears were miraculously gone and she was back assembling a Mr. Potato Head mermaid on the living room rug.

During the whole ordeal, Emerson kept passing back and forth by the kitchen, getting the lay of the land.  By the time it was his turn, he had heard enough to know the drill.  Still, he, too, huffed and puffed when I erased the letter K several times until he got it right.  But like his sister, he, too, succeeded.  
Today was day two of writing their letters.  I was prepared for another round in the boxing ring, but unlike yesterday, there was no fussing. No tears. No huffing. No pooched-out lip.

In one day, change swept through our house.

I awoke with toddlers but lay to rest two preschoolers tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, your persistence in mothering is encouraging. You always seem to push through in spite of tired body and nerves, in spite of going against the flow. I learn much from you, my sister!