Light Switch On, Light Switch Off

kidMost of the “other woman” stories I have relate to the oldest child, Carter.  As of yesterday, he officially passed the torch to his younger brother Henry.  Henry has started Preschool and is in a new place this year.  While it is fun and exciting, it can also be scary and overwhelming.  The transition was smooth right off the bat.  No issues, no temper tantrums, and he even began thanking God for his new school when praying at dinner….”Thank you God for this food.  Thank you for this day.  Thank you for my Preschool.  In name Amen Jesus!”  (Not the most poetic, but still pretty darn cute.)  This week was the turning point though. You know when you’re starting a diet and the initial pain of loosing your favorite items doesn’t set in until day three or four?  This is what happened with Henry and his new Preschool.  On Tuesday morning, he had a meltdown to end all meltdowns.  “I WANT MY CEREAL! I DON’T WANT MY CEREAL! I WANT MY BATMAN! I DON’T WANT MY BATMAN!”  Trevor was dropping him off so he was the one that got to experience the looks from the teachers.  All of the “Oh we love Henry!  He’s an angel!  So polite!” quickly turned into SHOCK and AWE as his meltdown progressed.  Trevor handed him over and proceeded to work.  Wednesday was easier, there were still tears, but the drop-off was easier.  Until it was 3:45pm and I was picking him up.  He ran up to me, jumped in my arms, and gave me the biggest hug.  We grabbed his items with a big smile on his face and then it faded.  All of the sudden, like a drop of a hat.  “Isha, where’s my book?” I reply “I don’t know buddy.  Let’s ask your teacher.”  I turn to catch the teacher before she walks outside, “Do you have the book Henry is talking about?”  She turns to Henry and says “Were keeping those here and you can get them in 10 days.”  I turn to Henry to say, “Sounds good, buddy.  You can show us in 10 days.”  He is clearly less than impressed with this answer.  I turn to grab his hand and the picture he colored that day to leave.  As I put him in his booster seat, I asked what the picture was.  He was very stern in his reply to let me know how displeased he was.  “I’m not telling you.”  When his older brother would do this to me when I first met the kids, I would reply kindly and cry to Trevor later.  But this, this is a different day and I learned a lot from the first kid.  I simply replied “Ok, buddy.  Well it looks nice” and shut his door.  I sat in the driver’s seat and began to take the kids home for the day.  From the back seat I hear “Isha, want me to tell you what my picture is?”  I begin to think, “Hallelujah, it’s working!”  I reply, “Sure, tell me!”  His little demon voice says “No, I’m not telling you anything.”  I am now elevated to about a six on the Richter scale.  “Ok Henry, you don’t have to” and I turn up the radio as his older brothers favorite song is playing.  He turns to look out the window, clearly disappointed that I am not playing his little game.  I feel I have won!  I didn’t get mad at his rude behavior and I get to listen to some good music.  Stepmother victory!!!  Then, his little voice says “Isha?” and reply “Yes, Henry?”  His eyes narrow and he stares at me as though he is shooting lasers.  “It says I only love my mom!!!”  His words cut just a little as I can tell what the little heathen is trying to do.  I am older though.  Wiser one might say.  I look back and with pure joy and elation and say “Oh my gosh buddy!  That is so awesome!  Can we save it for mommy so you can give it to her?  Maybe she can hang it in her office!”  (The “picture” is white and in purple letters it says RO.  RO is not his mom’s initials and not anyone in our family.)  With my response, Henry realizes his little game hasn’t worked and he moves on to talk about cookies.  Oh the mind of a four year old.  If I could move on from topics that quickly, life would be easy and fun.

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