NOTE: I actually wrrote this post about a week ago, but couldn't get it posted before now because...uh...I was being lazy? Is that sufficient explanation? Because honestly, due to said laziness, I can't be bothered to come up with anything better right now.
This morning, I went in to wake up Eamon. He had probably been awake for awhile but had diligently been trying to go back to sleep like a Good Boy, and was lying with his pillow atop his head. When he heard me enter, he popped up, the pillow flying across the bed, and immediately said, "Good morning!"
After some discussion regarding which dinosaurs he could bring downstairs (not the 12 inch T-Rex that sleeps at the foot of his bed to scared away any rogue, hungry alligators), we ventured down while he told me, "Eamon sleep good. Big boy."
It was true. He had soothed himself back to sleep all night, which is a welcome relief after the past couple of weeks.
Then, at the bottom of the stairs, he suddenly got an impish smile.
"Echo!" he shouted into the stairwell, which yeah, echoed slightly.
I looked at him. "Did you just say 'echo?'" I asked.
"Echo!" he shouted again, grinning.
I didn't know he knew that.
But I wasn't amazed or surprised. This is happening a lot lately. He has full conversations (usually about dinosaurs), engages in imaginary play constantly (usually with dinosaurs), and is retaining information like the dickens (about...well, you get the point). He is helping more around the house, and attempting to do things for himself like take off socks or put on shoes. He helps set the table and clear it off at dinner. He attempts to sing songs and loves to play hide and seek.
He knows all his letters and most of the sounds.
He can recognize all his numbers 1-10 (and a few in the 11-20 range).
In short, he is growing up.
And we have finally come to the conclusion: it's time. Time for more stimulation than can be provided at home. It's time for preschool.
The decision which preschool wasn't difficult. I have long been a Montessori fan since learning about their math program years ago. The problem was that the Montessori school down the street from us only took toilet-trained kids.
And despite wanting to be a Big Boy, Eamon has ZERO interest in potty-training, thank you very much. I figured that he would probably toilet-train faster in a more social environment where other kids might be training, too, but what was I supposed to do? Put him in a daycare long enough to get toilet-trained and then yank him out for Montessori? That seemed ridiculous and cruel.
But then that same Montessori school decided to offer a toddler program starting in August. It's 5 days a week from 8:30-11:45. And their main focus is making the child independent: including toilet-training. Huzzah all around.
BUT (you had to know there was a "but"): they are only admitting 12 kids into this new toddler program.
I hurriedly emailed the head of the school explaining that we were wonderful, safe, sane people who would adore to have our fabulous, funny, sweet young gentleman of a son attend their new program. (Well, I hope that was all implied, anyway.)
She emailed back saying that we could attend the Information Session the next week. A friend whose daughter goes there told us about the school's Spring Fair that was open to public that Saturday, so we went to that as well. We introduced Eamon, who had no clue what was going on but nonetheless very obligingly frolicked around chasing bubbles looking cute as could be, charming everyone.
And get this: the head of the school knew how to pronounce "Eamon" without us telling her. Because the head of the school, who has the most influence on deciding who attends the preschool, is Irish. Like, from-Ireland-Irish. Like, she-and-Aaron-had-a-10-minute-discussion-on-the-history-of-Eamon-de-Valera-Irish.
There are more hoops, of course. We, the parents, still have to observe a class at the school, then they will decide whether they want to officially "interview" Eamon. (Who knows? Maybe they'll ask him to identify his dinosaurs or something, and we will be golden, baby).
And you might think we're crazy, but we love the Montessori curriculum. And the tuition is pretty comparable to any other daycare. The school itself is an "international school" and has students of many different cultures who attend, so Eamon would be exposed to new and different things. The hours are perfect--my parents can still spend half the day with Eamon but will get a break in the mornings. As soon as Eamon is ready, they will move him from the toddler program (I'm guessing as soon as he is toilet-trained) to the 3-6 year old program.
But only 12 kids.