School for the Escape Artists

The first social media outlet to go was Twitter. I never even tried Pinterest. Now, Facebook‘s days may be coming to an end.

It’s not them; it’s me, really. I still have my Twitter account, and I think I even have a Pinterest account (though, I’ve never logged on), but I can’t allow myself to use them. I know myself, and I know I’ll start the comparison game. I’ll find all the reasons I’m not doing life right or depriving my children of the perfect childhood, so I’ve decided to spare myself the torture.

I had never thought I’d treat Facebook the same way, but last night I started to reconsider my previous position. Post after post after post were from moms commenting on their children’s first day of school, and the moms were all crying. Those moms whose children won’t start until next week were squeezing their babies tighter, not wanting that dreadful day to come.

My first thought was, What the heck is wrong with them?! However, after reading how many moms were crying, I then thought, What the heck is wrong with me?!

My son starts first grade tomorrow, and the only emotion I feel is excitement. Yesterday, we visited his classroom, cute little desks filled with brand new workbooks and the hermit crab class pet to complete the perfection, and I wanted to start school with him. My daughter starts kindergarten in a week, and the very mention of school brings a smile to her face. When I visualize her wearing her plaid uniform and hair bow, I smile with her.

I know I’m not a bad mom for looking at school as an exciting time, but I can’t help wondering why I’m not more sentimental….

Last night, I lay in bed for a good while before I fell asleep. My mind was full of random thoughts, ranging from the sermon I heard two weeks ago to the bedtime routine of my kiddos when they were three. My mind stayed on the latter.

None of my children transitioned to the toddler bed well, and nap times were extremely difficult. At one point, we resorted to turning the doorknobs around so that we could lock the door from the outside and trap our kids on the inside in hopes of forcing them to sleep.

Caleb was the first child to defy nap time. I remember feeling like the victor after changing the knobs, knowing that I would finally have the ‘mommy time’ to clean or pay bills or just sit for a minute while he rested quietly in his room. That is until I saw him make his way down the stairs. How in the world did he get out? I wondered. After putting Caleb back in his room, re-locking his door, and finding this little boy down the stairs again, I repeated the routine but stayed camped out in front of his room. I would crack the code.

As I sat, I watched the lock magically turn to the horizontal position, and there stood my three-year-old, having pushed open his door with his Lightning McQueen suitcase in hand. I was baffled–until I saw that he was holding the zipper. Yes, my little boy learned how to pick a lock with the zipper on a suitcase.

I promptly removed the suitcase and locked his door again, but Caleb knew that his jeans also had zippers. I couldn’t even lock my son in his room.

I knew Caleb was clever, but I was hoping for different results with his sister. Hannah Grace, however, proved that she, too, had the criminal gene and picked her lock with the prongs of her nightlight. Chloe’s room had a dutch door so that we could see in her room while she was locked out. She didn’t mess with picking locks. Instead, she dumped out the baskets that held her shoes and simply stood on them, reached over, and unlocked her door. Pillows, dolls, and laundry baskets could also give her the extra height if she needed it. When all such items were removed, Chloe flung her body, catching her forearms on the top of her door. She would use every bit of her strength to wiggle up and over the top.

I was no match for them.

locked in

I’m not sure what started the train of thought that led me to thinking about those dreadful days. However, I did figure out why I wasn’t crying about school starting–I was all cried out.

What emotions did you experience when your children started school? Were any of you out there a successful escape artist as a child, or do you have an escape artist of your own?

*photo courtesty of Trevin Shirey via Flickr ‘Creative Commons.’

7 thoughts on “School for the Escape Artists”

  1. I am ridiculously excited for September 17th! I can’t wait to have two days a week, plus one day of daycare WITHOUT that child. And by that child, I mean my beautiful, smart, wonderful first born son who annoys the crap out of me every single day! School is awesome for stay at home moms because we just have too much togetherness with our children. I am a bit sad about how fast he’s growing, but my excitement outweighs the sad.

    Your children are amazing in their nap avoidance capabilities. RJ doesn’t have a door. On desperate days I’ve laid down beside him and held him in bed until he fell asleep. I still do that sometimes 🙂

  2. I'm impressed with your kids' criminal skills. I never got the hang of picking locks with bobby pins. I never once thought to use a zipper.

    I have learned when it comes to life and social media you cannot compare your life to others. As long as you feel that you are being a good parent, you have every right to express different emotion. As long as you are keeping those little ones happy and are keeping yourself happy, it doesn't matter what the general FB population seems to be feeling in regard to their children's first day of school. Live life according to what makes you and those around you happy. Live life with love in your heart. Because if you live life according to what others do on social media, you'll end up driving yourself crazy!

    1. I never would've thought about a zipper, either. I hope they use their genius for good! ;)You are right; I learned this lesson earlier (which is why I rarely read Tweets, anymore, or many other blogs, for that matter), but I sometimes fall back in the trap. I just don't want to be the mother with a heart as cold as ice. 🙂

  3. I am a glutton for punishment, as you may know. I homeschool mine so there is no "sending" them to school. I both cry for joy that school is starting because it gives me routine and cry for sadness because they are growing up. But there is no escape for me. They.never.leave.the.house….

    1. I give you and all homeschooling moms much credit. I've always said that if I felt that God called me to homeschool our kids or if it were clearly the right thing for them, then I would homeschool. However, I'm not going to volunteer for the fun of it! I love the kids' school, and I know they love learning, too–I'm a happy mama. Gaby, you definitely need to have a mommy's night out every week. Go get some coffee and read a book!

  4. I love how honest and refreshing your posts are! I can't stand it when people try to act like everything is peachy keen all the time- knowing it's not. Your kids skills are mad!! I would've never thought of a zipper!! You have a genius there!! 🙂 We have done the locking in the room too- actually still do- for my oldest (almost 4)… LOL! I put a doorknob cover on the inside and once he figured out how to get it off, I used duct tape to keep it on. I haven't had to broach the subject with little one yet (2 yrs.), he's still in a crib! I think I may keep him there until he's 10! LOL!

  5. I'm with you, kid. I was THRILLED for my kids to go to school – at each and every stage. I loved school, I still do. And my kids did, too. I must have missed the cry-on-the-1st-day-of-school gene somehow, because the only emotion I felt was excitement. I remember being puzzled by that behavior when I saw it. I will admit to having twinges of it with our last grandbaby, whom we have cared for 2 days a week since she was 4 months old so her mom could see her family practice a few days each week. Next Wednesday will be our last time to do that as she starts pre-school! For the first time, I have a whiff of that in me – but to be honest, I think that's mostly because I know that it's not too likely that we will live to see this one grown and married (if she marries). She's just under 3 – my husband is 70 and I'm 67. We're both in good health, but let's be real…another 20-25 years is not too likely. I figure I'm entitle to a few mixed emotions over this one. :>)

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