I started moving towards the sound of Wow's deliberate foot falls on the narrow upstairs steps, but could not reach the landing before two dense thuds filled the space between us. The thuds were followed by a brief but gaping silence into which flooded every fear I'd had ever had about raising my toddler in a house with two sets of unforgiving stairs. And then he started screaming.
We've been in this house for eight months and so it's a bit of a wonder that this fall was the first of its kind - for any of us. And it could have been a lot worse. When I got to the top of the stairs I saw that he'd tripped over a long foam pool noodle he'd been pulling up behind him. Judging from the position of the noodle and the fact I'd heard only two thuds, I think he was three quarters of the way up and had fallen only three of four steps back. He held his hand over his eye, which was already turning pink. In the next hour the orbit would be raised and purple.
It was the beginning of what would be a difficult week for little Wow. He started a new school last Monday. We changed schools for a few different reasons, the foremost of which was geography. When we moved here in December we'd enrolled Munch and Wow in a school closer to my parents, but a bit of a commute for us - and in the opposite direction from my work. When we pulled Munch out for summer school it became too lengthy of a drop off process for LD. BIL (LD's brother and in need of a new blog name) recommended Factor V's school, which was closer to our home, advertising an open spot in the toddler room, and, as a huge bonus, Wow's attendance there would allow the cousins (only a month apart in age) to spend their days together.
Although we've gone through a number of preschool transitions, this one was by far the most involved, if not downright annoying, in its specificity.
Wow would attend the new school for only 15 min on Monday, two hours on Tuesday, half days Wednesday and Thursday, and to be picked up immediately post nap on Friday. I can't imagine many families - for whom the need for full day daycare necessitates enrollment in said school - wouldn't find this period a transition a huge, if not insurmountable, obstacle. MIL, here for the summer to help LD set up his office, spent a good portion of the mid day shuttling children between school and my mom's house. Wow seemed more clingy at home.
But I liked the few teachers I met on the one occasion I did picks ups, and the shorter commute made the mornings less hectic. In this house less chaos translates into more naked time and so Wow was without a stitch of clothing when I left in the morning and again when I returned in the evening. I'm not sure if being naked makes Wow happy as much as it makes him look happy.
As part our bedtime routine I ask Wow to tell what what the best part of his day was, and every night he gives the same answer - teacher-Ashley-part-of the-day (coincidentally the name of both his primary caretaker in Davis and of his teacher in the school we just left)On Thursday I asked again. He seemed to take a moment or two to think it over, but never offered up a new answer. I laid my head down next to him and, with our faces nose-to-nose, observed that at least the black eye had healed.