Ryan and I started a new chapter in our parent/child relationship today: the separating ECFE class. We’ve been going to ECFE all fall, with some pseudo-separating going on, where the parents sit on one side of the room and the toddlers play on the other side with the teachers, allowing for toddlers to check-in/bother their parents as they’re trying to have adult conversations. Now that winter quarter has begun, we’re at a new ECFE location, with all new kids and parents, and a full hour or Ryan/mommy separation time! Apparently, the first few times of ECFE separating are kind of a BIG DEAL, and they get the parents all ramped up and prepared for it. Say goodbye but don’t dawdle. If they cry it’s fine, just say you’ll be back soon and walk out. Blah blah. The parents are just down the hall from the kiddies, so if someone does have a meltdown, the teacher just makes a call to the parent room and the responsible parent comes zipping back to comfort their kid.
So us, today. We played in the new ECFE environment; met the new kids/parents; Ryan flitted to and fro exploring all the new toys. We sang some songs. They busted out a snack, Ryan sat down, I said “bye bye” and left. Spent the next hour sipping tea and enjoying adult conversation. Nary a ring on that phone, nary a tear in his eye, nary a missing of his mama did occur. And I was so proud!!! I wasn’t really expecting him to have any problems because when he’s in a group of other kids with new toys to explore, he’s golden. At the end of the parent-chatting hour, we all returned to the kid room, and I walk in to see my big, grown up boy lugging a gigantic, green, fish-shaped pillow that’s three times his size around the room to the tune of the clean-up song. I wish I had had a video camera. It was priceless. I will admit I actually teared up for a moment there.
Of course most of the other mothers were greeted by their toddlers with a giant hug and an exclamation of MAMA!!, while Ryan practically gives me the hairy eyeball and continues lugging his oversized trout around. Report from the teacher was that Ryan did “just great!”
SO NOW ANSWER ME THIS: He could give a rip when I leave him alone in a strange place with strange kids and strange toys and strange teachers, but when I walk out of the same room he’s in in our very own house he throws a kinniption fit of unfathomable proportions?? Something’s wrong here.
Anyway…. a year ago today, this was him.
Today…. this was him. He wasn’t exactly lovin’ the holiday get-up.
We’ve had a new linguistic development over the past week, too. This one is very exciting! Ryan has started to talk about himself in the 3rd person. The only problem is he thinks his name is Ry Guy. I didn’t realize how much we used that nickname for him when we talk to him! Obviously he’s picked up on it, and now spends all day discussing what Ry Guy (or rather, Wy Guy, as he pronounces it) wants. If I am holding a bottle of water, he points and says “Wy Guy!” If I hide under a blanket and say peek-a-boo, he grabs for the blanket and says “Wy Guy!” Meaning, of course, Wy Guy wants that, Wy Guy wants to try that, Wy Guy wants to do that. It is, if I do say so myself, exceptionally cute. I am worried he’ll forever think his name is Ry Guy, so I’ve been very conscious of trying to use his real name when we interact. What’s funny though is if I ask him to “say RYAN”, he’ll respond with “Wy Guy.” Aaaaaaaaaw.