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Monday, September 28, 2009

Preschool Accomplishments/Firsts - Mama Braggin' Monday

I am a funny sort when it comes to kids.

I like kids in general. I have consistently worked in children’s ministry at church in some capacity my entire adult life. But I have not always liked every developmental stage. Even in my own kids.

Or maybe I should say, especially in my own kids.

During most of my adult years, I have worked with teens and pre-teens. I have taught them in children's choir. I have taught 6th grade Sunday School. I have been a sponsor for pre-teen camp numerous times. But in recent years, I have backed off of the teen and pre-teen ministry in favor of working with my own kids ages.

I did not become a baby person until I was done having them. I didn’t “get” them before I had kids and couldn’t enjoy them very much until I knew I wasn’t having any more.

Toddlers really aren’t my thing either. They are so incredibly high maintenance and a lot of work. Again, I think they are cute now, but in the midst of parenting one, it was hard for me to appreciate them.

The preschool stage is different, though. I’ve pretty much always been able to work with preschoolers and enjoy them. And with both my kids, it has been my favorite stage. 3 years old until about 5 years old.

I love this stage with my own kids partly because all the hard work of those early years begins to pay off. After what seems like two solid years of saying, “NO!” and not being able to take my eyes off of them for a single second, I begin to feel like I can breathe a little bit. There are no diapers to change. We can even eat chicken nuggets in the car if we must. That’s when I feel like I have “arrived.”

Another thing that I love is some of the accomplishments and developmental firsts that you see during this stage. Maybe it’s because they are tangible, I’m not sure. But regardless, seeing these things makes me smile.

Needless to say, at 4 years of age, my son is right in the midst of this stage. And he has begun to do some of those things that I just find so completely precious.

His first self portrait:

He drew this within the first week of school in Pre-K this year. I love the all head/no body/super long legs people drawings. I mentioned it to his teacher at parent night and she said that it was completely un-prompted by her, but that he and some of the boys at his table just spontaneously drew the pictures and cut them out. I immediately took it out of his folder, dated it, and pinned it up on the bulletin board.

Writing his name:

I noticed this two Sundays ago during worship service. It was the Sunday that Mike was out of town. During the sermon, I noticed that he had written it on the back of a picture that he had drawn in his Sunday School class. And then I looked down and it appeared that he had actually written his name on his paper during class as it was down in the bottom corner. I immediately took a picture of it and also showed it to Mike via Skype one night while he was gone.

My boy is growing up and I love it.

I plan to share more of his art work soon.

Because it always makes me smile.