Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodbye August

Well, August is nearly over. These last four weeks have felt like a year. One month ago we were sitting in the stinky apartment on Grattan Street. We had no furniture. We had no daycare. The cat wouldn't come out of her litter box. Every day was foggy and fraught with angst.

Now the days are sunny and unseasonably warm (77 degrees!). Our new apartment is filled with books, furniture and a new twin bed for Benny. I also bought a dinette set two weeks ago for our teeny dining room. Ron and I still sleep on an air mattress and Benny's old crib mattress is serving as our couch, but we've made great progress.

Despite these triumphs, I'm glad to see this month in the rearview mirror. Nearly everything is set up, except for our California driver's licenses and long distance on our landline. Benny's first week at the Dinosaur School has been difficult. On Monday, Benny got upset every time I tried to leave. He wouldn't let go of my hand unless I was holding him. After a half-hour of this, I told Benny I would be in the school's little kitchen. I spent the next half-hour hanging out there, sneaking crackers and reassuring Benny whenever he popped up to check on me. Finally I told him I would stay until lunchtime and he was OK with that.

Tuesday was more difficult; I needed to get to work, but Benny kept crying whenever I tried to leave. I finally had to leave him crying, which was very difficult. San Francisco has a nice light rail system, and ordinarily I'd enjoy taking the train to the financial district. But this time was no fun. I was glum all day.

Wednesday was better. Benny played with his trains and ignored me when I said "Goodbye." That's my boy! I was much more chipper at work that day. Ron brought him to school on Thursday and Benny was fine with the departure. But then one of his teachers called. (She'd been calling my cell phone every afternoon., telling me some heart-rending story about how Benny missed us. Thanks, lady.) He'd been crying on and off all day.

And this morning was no better. Ron took him in again and called me two hours later at 10:15, very upset. "I'm just leaving the school," he said. "This has been a sucky morning." Benny had cried and cried until Ron simply couldn't stay any longer.

I'm due to pick Benny up in an hour, but that should be no problem. No matter what had occurred during the day, Benny is always calm and cheerful at pickup time.

I guess this school has been one transition too many for Ben. He's handled Ron's absence, the move to San Francisco, two apartments and a new daycare with aplomb. But this second daycare is obviously too much for the little guy. I'm so glad this is a holiday weekend so we get three days at home together.

I'd planned to stay home the next week, working on a freelance project. But one of the editors at the Business Times is eight months pregnant, and her doctor just put her on bed rest for two weeks. So I'll be going into the office full-time for the next two weeks. The managing editor knows about Benny's woes (he had helped console me on that awful Tuesday), so he'll understand if I come in late some mornings.

The school's teacher just called. Apparently Benny was great all day -- quit crying as soon as Ron left. I'll have to call Ron and put him out of his misery.

So hopefully next week will be better. In fact, I have high hopes for the month of September. We know where we're living, what we're doing and how to make a left turn on Geary. Our wireless Internet is working again now that I've quit putting our laundry basket in front of the modem. Look out, San Francisco!

No comments: