Tuesday, December 1, 2009

End Of An Era

Perhaps I’m being a little too over-dramatic. After all, this "end" I am referring to and will touch on soon won’t happen until the late spring/early summer, but I feel compelled to write about it nevertheless.

I mentioned recently that I want Kennedy to go to school, that I want her to start kindergarten and will be happy when she does so.

While that part is true and has not changed, it doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily anxious and hoping it happens tomorrow. It’s been a bit of a different dynamic here at the LB house for the last two years or so, an ever-changing one. In 2007 and most of 2008, it was LB and the Girls, daily. It was a fun time as the girls were quite young and learning about the world, learning to really communicate (at least Yvie was) and wanting to go and explore different things. We got into Disneyland hard core in 2008 but we also did some other things, such as our weekly Wednesday trip to the local library for storytime.

We had so much fun making our weekly trip to the library. I would send Mrs. LB score updates from the library every week, usually it was about 15-1 in favor of the moms (I was usually the only dad there, although sometimes we’d rack up a few more points and the score would be like 17-2 or something). We’d plan our entire Wednesday morning around it, and often times it looked like this: 8 a.m. gym (kids club for the girls, treadmill for dad); shower, get girls and make it to library by 10 a.m.; storytime from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., head home for lunch and naps.

That was an awesome routine, and it came to a sudden and crashing halt when Yvie started kindergarten. Once Kennedy started preschool, that routine was impossible to replicate due to Kennedy’s preschool (Tuesday through Thursday).

It was a bit of a tough evolution during Yvie’s year of kindergarten. I was playing taxi most days. Leave the house at 7:30 a.m., drop Yvie off, get back home a few minutes before 8; leave house at 8:40 a.m., drop Kennedy off at 9. That would leave me about two hours to do something, and when you factor in driving times, it wasn’t much. Usually a trip to the gym and grocery store would eat up that time. Then, it was: leave house at 11:15, get Yvie at 11:25, drive to preschool; pick Kennedy up at noon, arrive house at around 12:30-40. I did that three days a week from October ’08 through May ’09, and around February it got old. Ugh.

Now that Yvie’s in first grade, it’s a bit different. I actually have time during the day as Yvie gets out at around 2:30. And Kennedy’s preschool is now only Tuesday and Thursday. But I also more work responsibilities and need to be online and available for stuff. So it’s been the LB and Kennedy duet since Yvie started school.

And I’m enjoying it. Kennedy is in many ways under Yvie’s shadow. We have tried not to give Yvie more attention than Kennedy but with Yvie in school and requiring more attention because of it, that’s virtually impossible. So Kennedy competes for attention. And when she’s with Yvie, they seem to get into disagreements rather easily.

But when Kennedy is alone, she is a different child. She can entertain herself easily when Yvie is not around. Lately, she likes to stack some blocks and take little figures of Dora and Boots and has them doing many adventures. And she can do that for quite a long time.

Now, it hasn’t quite worked out where we’ve gotten a routine or anything. The Wednesday library changed their hours (11 a.m. storytime) and it’s just not the same. It’s almost depressing to go there because it’s just different. That was part of a previous era, and to be honest Kennedy’s not that much into going there – perhaps for the same reasons. There’s another library near my house that offers storytime on Mondays, and that one is good but we haven’t been able to go a lot. I pictured being a fixture at that one, but it just hasn’t worked out that way.

So mostly it’s been Kennedy and LB at home or running errands. Fridays Kennedy has been spending at my mom’s house while I go volunteer at Yvie’s class (see what I mean about attention?).

However, I still have Kennedy around for a lot of the time. If I want to go to the library, we can go to the library. If I want to take her outside and play, we can do that. If we want to fix up a quick batch of cookies, we can do that. If we want to go to the grocery store (she loves going to a local store that has free samples), we can do that. If we want to go to the gym, we can do that.

Kennedy is fairly securely attached to me because of this. She seems to take my absences harder than Yvie, and prefers me to do certain things like tuck her into bed at night or read books together. And Kennedy still asks to be held. A lot. She plays up the “I’m tired Daddy” line to its fullest, and super-soft Dad listens.

That too is something I don’t really mind doing. In one year from now, I won’t be able to hold her anymore. So I don’t really mind holding her (don’t tell Kennedy that!) because the days of me being able to hold her and her wanting me to hold her are numbered (I’d say around 213, give or take).

Watching the girls grow up is exciting. Seeing Yvie read books in both English and Spanish and watching her write full sentences in both languages is amazing, just amazing. Kennedy’s maturing as well, and the things she says sometimes floor me (she recently told me “I like it when Yvie reads me books because I can’t read them”). And looking at pictures of both of them from just a year or two ago makes me do double-takes sometimes, and I wonder if the girls have really grown that much. And they have.

I have no doubt I will enjoy the 2010-2011 school year. I am excited just thinking about the prospect of volunteering in Kennedy’s class. I am excited that Kennedy will have her own little circle of friends (you know, that tight, long-lasting group of friends you make in kindergarten…). I am excited that Kennedy will finally have something of her own, something that is on par with Yvie, something that will help her develop in ways that I can’t even imagine right now.

But that doesn’t mean I want it all to start now.

All in due time. And I shall enjoy my time with Kennedy now to the fullest.


5thsister said...

You are the best daddy! I loved this post!

Jephy's Mom said...

I can totally relate to the feelings expressed in this post. When my youngest was born, my oldest was already 13 years old. Because of the difference in their ages and because I knew he was my last baby, I was keenly aware of how quickly time would pass and how even though there are good things to enjoy at every stage, you still long for the moments gone by. When my youngest was two days old, I missed that he would never be one day old again, then one week, and one month ect. I'm dealing with it better as he grows older.

The look on Kennedy's face in the second picture reveals a lot about her feelings for Dad.

Kerrie T. said...

What a sweet post. You are an awesome dad, and Kennedy is such a cutie!

Lissaloo said...

What an awesome post, it's bittersweet to watch them grow :)

Raoulysgirl said...

What a sweet post! It made me cry, but it was sweet!!!

I am NOT looking forward to the day when Isi starts school. She still has a few years, so I'm only starting to hyperventilate a little at the mention. As the time nears, I may need a little parental support. I'm happy to know that you will be an old pro by then!!! Take notes for me!!!! LOL!

Lisa said...

Kennedy will remember being with you and not necessarily what you did. Enjoy your time with her. While it's so much easier when all the kids are in school, you'll never get this time back. My babies are in the 4th and 8th grades... time goes by much too quickly. Great post, your girls have a great daddy!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Oh, it's hard when your baby grows up! You are so fortunate to be able to spend so much time with them, they will be better women for it.

Zoë said...

Aw! What a lovely post about you and your daughter. Very sweet. :)

Willoughby said...

Great post!

I know how you feel trying to give both of your kids equal attention. Mine are spaced farther apart in age, but it can be a challenge to help my daughter with her homework and still make it to my son's football games (or track meets, etc.). Being a parent is a pretty tough gig sometimes! You're doing a great job!