Settling into the School Groove

It's been a busy few months for us, so I've been remiss about posting. Today though, I find myself with some time on my hands and more than a few thoughts in my head.

The past two days have been a bit overwhelming, mostly because I now have two kids in preschool. J's in Nursery and Little C, who we now fondly call KK, is in the Pre-Nursery level. While that doesn't seem very complicated in itself, I, the queen of crazy, have chosen to do it sans yaya.

Apparently, that's not the sane choice, at least according to my mommy friends. One of them, upon seeing me on the first day of school trying to pick up KK (who was refusing to be picked up), said in a very concerned voice, "D, magdala ka na kaya ng yaya." ("D, maybe you should bring a yaya.")

Sometimes I feel like I make things difficult for myself, but the decision to not bring a yaya to school with me was not made lightly. First of all, because we live quite far from the school, I wait for the boys to finish instead of going home. If a yaya came with me, it would mean at least 2 hours everyday where the yaya will sit idly, doing nothing but texting or chitchatting with the other yayas. Since I am not a fan of wasting time, seeing her sitting around doing nothing for most of the day is guaranteed to annoy me. Every day. Leaving the yaya at home would mean 4 hours to finish all the chores that need to be done by the time the boys and I get home, which, for me, is a better way to spend the time.

But even more than that, my choice to go yaya-less in school also comes from my desire to foster more independence in the boys, and ultimately, our family's independence from household helpers. With J, it has worked wonders. In the past year, he has gotten used to having just me take him to school, and I've noticed that he's a lot more behaved when there are no helpers around. I think it's because he senses that he shouldn't act up because Mommy will have a hard time. In this sense, it's made my son more considerate of me. As for KK, it will require him to step up and learn to behave. At the same time, it forces me to pay attention to my son, to really spend time with him, and to enforce some discipline.

The past two days have given me even more respect for the moms who do it all for their kids. It's only been two days, and it's been two difficult days. But I know that it's early days yet, and the boys and I need to adjust. We still have to work out all the kinks in our routine, and believe me, there are a lot. But like I said, early days, and we have a lot of time to get it right.

J has been a tremendous help. Seeing how I have my hands full with our wriggly not-so-little KK, big brother J no longer argues with me about playing in the playground and goes straight to the car after his class ends. He straps himself into his car seat, so that I don't have to do it for him, which allows me to focus on getting KK in the car properly.

On the other hand, KK sill needs a bit more time. It's his first time in this school, and while summer classes have helped prepare him for the school part of it, he and I need to work on his behavior while waiting for J's class dismissal. Because J gets out a full hour after KK does, I have my hands full keeping KK occupied. Being the naturally curious and active kid that he is, he loves to run around everywhere, which means Mommy has to run after him. The playground in the school helps. The hot, humid weather? Not so much when you have a sticky, wiggly, sweaty, HEAVY little boy in your arms. (KK is a bit of a bruiser, so it takes all my concentration to keep him in line.) I can't even use a sling or a carrier because it's so freaking hot.

Side note though. Today, I was carrying KK in my arms while waiting for J to be dismissed. He was all sticky and sweaty, and thanks to the horrible Manila heat, so was I. We were literally a mess all around and my sticky, sweaty, heavy, wiggly boy just kept smooshing himself on me and burying his face in my neck. It was both the grossest and the nicest feeling at the same time. 

You see, by 11 am, I feel like the most disgusting person on the planet. My hair's a frizzy mess from the humidity, and I'm so sweaty it doesn't even bear thinking about. Let me tell you, it's not the dewy, glowy kind of sweat. We're taking industrial-strength, I-think-people-can-smell-me-from-a-mile-away grossness. But it was nice, because KK didn't really care and was just happy to snuggle.
Yes, ganyan na ganyan ang feeling. Hahaha!
So my takeaway from all this?? Hats off to all the moms all over the world who do it by themselves. I don't know how you do it. Many of you have more kids than I do, and when you get home, you still have a ton of stuff to do. I'm lucky because when I get home, I get to hand off my kids to their yayas for their lunch and nap and do the things that I need or want to do (like take a nap). But you inspire me. If you can do it, so can I!