Much has been written about how unsustainable the new status quo is for working parents, even those who like us are fortunate enough to have jobs that can be performed remotely, for the time being. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to provide quality childcare while maintaining pre-pandemic levels of office productivity. Somewhere along the way corners wind up getting cut, especially since the policies of reopening seem to emphasize economic activity over children’s education and development.
Posts tagged ‘pre-schooler’
Junebug hasn’t had any manner of luck as far as birthdays go. We were on the road for her first birthday following our departure from Rwanda, and were fortunate that our friends in Utah helped us mark the occasion with a small party. Her second birthday fell a few weeks after S had taken the kids to Manila, with D remaining in the States. With our belongings already packed out for the move from DC, we threw together a makeshift early birthday party for her in the park that was partially rained out. Munchkin was fortunate to mark his sixth birthday this year with a party with his classmates just before the pandemic hit, but Junebug’s birthday next month is likely to be a solitary affair.
For a few months after we had been reunited in Manila, S accused D of playing favorites. Our three-months separation and move halfway around the world had been hard on both kids, but they reacted to the stress in starkly different ways. Sweet-natured and cuddly Junebug grew ever more attached, spending hours on end snuggling with us and telling us how much she missed and loved us. Munchkin, on the other hand, grew aloof and began to act out his frustrations in increasingly problematic ways. We didn’t love him any less, but it was challenging to shower him with attention when he was so bristly and difficult.
The last couple of months, Junebug has hit the sweet spot of toddler babble, thanks in no small part to her weekly speech therapy lessons. After being almost completely non-verbal at age two, Junebug has become a regular chatterbox just six months later. Although we understand her quite well, her speech remains muddled, as she mixes up letters, speaks in incomplete sentences, and trips over herself in her exuberance to articulate her thoughts. The result is an immensely adorable toddler diction that makes us want to record every one of her monologues for posterity.
The end of one year and the beginning of another tends to invite reflection. As Munchkin nears his sixth birthday and Junebug begins her second semester of preschool, we can’t help but marvel at how different our two kids are. Even as Junebug endeavors to follow in Munchkin’s every step, she has developed a personality so distinctly her own that oftentimes it feels that our kids are mirror twins, their characters polar opposites of each other.
Next week marks six months since S arrived in Manila with the kids. Junebug, whose second birthday we celebrated a couple of weeks early during our last weekend together in DC, is quickly approaching the midway point of her third year. Now that she is speaking up a storm, her personality has truly blossomed. It is a curious age, as she seems caught between holding onto her baby tendencies and striving to catch up to her older brother.
Several weeks after returning from Japan, we are still sorting through our photos and mentally processing the trip. Culturally, Japan is unlike any other country where we have traveled. The half dozen posts we have already devoted to our ten-day visit barely scratch the surface of what we want to share, both in terms of our observations and our favorite images of the striking places we visited. To avoid Japan overkill, however, we’d like to break up our overseas travel tales with a post about our adventures closer to home.
We are not yet at the point of measuring our own elderliness by our kids’ ages, but those days are not far off. Junebug reset the clock for us, so we can still think of ourselves as “young parents” for a few more years by virtue of having young children. Meanwhile Munchkin turned five last month – an age that straddles the little between early childhood and the self-sufficient realm of school-age big kids.
Despite moving to DC in July, we’ve written very little about our time thus far in the nation’s capital. It’s not for lack of things to write about either. On the contrary, we’ve been so busy that sometimes sitting down with a book in the evening feels like a guilty pleasure because of how much there is to research and take care of. From purchasing a car to arranging childcare, finding new doctors, and adjusting our finances, it’s taken a lot of adulting to get us settled in our new home.
The mileposts keep flashing by. Thursday was Munchkin’s last day of school in Rwanda, and yesterday the school held a graduation ceremony, which featured a hilarious, if somewhat bizarre, theatrical production in which the kids wore “bedazzled” underwear and pretended to be aliens.