Growing Pains

I think it is fair to say that not many of us particularly like change… and that certainly stands true for young children. Big changes are on the horizon for my first-born son, and to say that both Connor and I are a bit preoccupied by that fact, would be an understatement.

The time has come to select a Kindergarten for Connor, who will be going to school full-time, beginning in the fall. I am not ready for my baby boy to be gone all day, I am having a hard time mentally adjusting to this. Yes, having him in preschool three days a week has helped, but at only a few hours a day, it barely feels like a fair comparison. And I think Connor senses the impending change too. His way of dealing with it has been to revert to behaviors similar to his brothers. He stopped wanting to dress himself, stopped wanting to feed himself, didn’t even want to go to the bathroom by himself. Meanwhile, in my mind I feel that the more independent I can help my boy to be, the easier the adjustment will be when it comes time to leave Mommy for the day.

So I have been working feverishly to correct this behavior, in the most positive and fun ways I can come up with. For example, Connor and I now run a race every morning: can he get himself dressed completely before I get his brothers dressed? It has worked well, he is now undressing and dressing himself without any help other than me picking out his clothes for him. Progress!! I have learned that the best way to help him right now is to make “growing up” fun, even if us “grown ups” know all too well that it isn’t always fun and games…

Then there is the really big dilemma, where to send Connor to school??? We live in an underperforming school district, with the option to place our children in a slightly-better performing school district nearby. We also have the option to select any school in either of the districts, provided space is available and we can transport to and from school ourselves. Decisions, decisions, where to even start????

I have scoured standardized test results, I have talked to other parents, I have looked at attendance and other available statistics, and I’m still not 100-percent certain of what the right decision is. I will be applying to a couple of charter schools this week, but should they fall through, I don’t know what our next plan should be. Do we stay in the district that we vote for and pay taxes for, even though the schools are all really struggling? Or do we move to the other district, where the schools are just slightly better?

I’m leaning towards moving to the other district. Which means whatever we do, I will be driving Connor to school next year. And of course, the prospect of taking my children to school for the next 12 years or so, brings with it additional challenges. And this is why I will continue working harder than ever to grow my little spare-time business into a full-time career. So that I can have the flexibility to get my kids to the best schools possible. Because whatever we choose, it all comes down to them and doing what’s best for them. Always.

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