Onward and Upward

Yesterday, Juliette and I took a tour of the two-year-old class with the director of Jason's day care facility. His current teachers in the toddler room have been telling me for weeks now that he's ready for the two's room, that he's getting bored and that he'll do well with the more structured curriculum in the two's class. We got to see the schedule and talk a bit with his new teacher, learning about the big milestones and watching her interact with the kids.

It was midmorning when we came in, and there were already four kids in there, all of whom we recognized from when they were in the toddler class with Jason. Transitioning to a new class was a little difficult when Jason went from the infant room to the toddler room, so it's nice to know that he'll be among familiar faces.

The crazy thing to me was how much those kids have changed since they left the toddler room. It's been several months since I last saw them, and most of them are now potty-trained (or nearly there) and talking up a storm. They even know how to wash their own hands; it blew my mind to think that Jason will be able to do that soon.

They're still kids in there, of course. At one point one of the little boys went off to the bathroom and came back with his pants around his ankles. "Did you forget how to pull up your underwear since yesterday?" the teacher asked him. He responded with a nod, yanking up futilely at the underpants that were caught on his knees.

It's hard to believe that we're already moving to another classroom. It feels like he's only just come to the toddler room, even though cerebrally I know that he's been there longer than he was in the infant room. Juliette and I were both feeling bittersweet after the meeting, happy for him to be growing up but sad that he's going to be leaving behind the teachers that he's grown to love.

And, of course, we'll be leaving them as well and having to adjust to new people, which adds another layer to it since I feel like I'm finally getting to the point where I really know the toddler teachers and can have conversations with them beyond just how Jason's day went. When I was a kid I moved from teacher to teacher--like we all did--and at times it was hard for me, but I never considered the fact that my parents were going through the same changes.

At every turn, this parenting thing has managed to surprise me. There is always some unexpected behavior or event, or some mental angle that never occurred to me. Over the weekend I was completely caught off guard by how happy it made me to get the Father's Day card Jason made me at school. Sometimes I wonder when I'm finally going to get used to it all, but I think the answer is never.