Hamlet and Daycare
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. ~ Edgar W. HoweDropped the monkeys off at daycare this morning... I get a kick out of their tiny classmates. We're always greeted at the door by Miss Kim and the same handful of smiley curious little things, clinging to her like remoras who attach themselves to their favorite shark. (Though, if someone were to require I liken Miss Kim to a sea creature, a shark would be the furthest from the truth... She'd be a dolphin - ultra-smart, sweet, pretty, always smiling. Lucky monkeys.)
It was a tough decision to send them to daycare: Can we afford it? (Tough, but we're dealing.) Will I miss them too much? (Tough, but I'm dealing.) Won't they miss us too much? (Ummm, no.) I researched about ten or so places - disheartened with each new interview and visit. I was looking for the right "vibe" (along with, of course, security, cleanliness, teacher certification, etc., etc.), which I entirely realize can feel different for every parent and child. Aside from the very first school that was perfection but had a tremendously long wait list, for me, the rest just didn't have the vibe I was looking for. Three+ months later; entering into the realm of considering no daycare as the answer; Lila and AJ bracing for months of weekdays stretched out ahead of them with only their frazzled mom for, at times, extremely lame entertainment... we got the call that two spots opened. Good stuff.
These little guys enjoy school. Understatement. They love it and they thrive there. They hold it in just as high regard as Disney World and Elmo and Santa. Combined. It's the biggest blessing. Believe me, if they were stuck with me every single day - with my "I don't know the words to this song but I'm going to use these words instead" ditties whilst prancing around in my rather unsightly pj's and serving up some fine cuisine of pigs in a blanket and Veggie Booty - it would get old for them. Fast. Tuesdays, Thursdays, nights and weekends they can deal with me and my antics. MWF I'm happy to hand them off to some women who really know how to entertain.
I've gone the playdate route. Believe me, I've tried my darndest. We've cleaned ourselves up nicely and arrived to Playdate House #47 on time, smiling along with the rest of the mommy-n-me clan. But I honestly don't think I'm cut out for playdates. Perhaps in the future, I'll feel more comfortable... Maybe in smaller groups with women and kids I know a bit better... But I'll tell ya, the competition out there is somethin' fierce and I'm quite simply not strong enough to take it.
Witness Playdate Conversation - Example A:
Don't get me wrong. I totally dig that there are so many amazing moms out there who will do anything and everything to help their kids learn some pretty cool things at a really young age. In fact, my jealousy of their stamina and verve is at times quite palpable. I'll admit it. (And My Little Gym classes and story time at the library have our names written all over it.) What matters at the end of the day, I think, is the quality time spent with little ones, be it listening to "Hamlet" or dancing in your pj's. 7 days a week. 1, 2, 4 days a week. Just mornings, just weekends, whatever. Every family's different combo and vibe is cool because it fits them, it works for them... (And I don't think singing "Dora Dora Dora the explorer, she's a super cool holy roller" will have any long-term effects on my children... Right?... Oh, man...)Mommy #1: We're on our way from Advanced Linguistics and headed to Gardening for Beginners at the Botanical Gardens, after which Susie and I are going to have to race across town if we want to take in that reading of "Hamlet".
Mommy #2: Did "Hamlet" last week. It was divine, though Bryce definitely prefers "Macbeth".
[Susie and Bryce are one.]
Mommy #3: Jen, what's on your agenda with the tots?
Me: Well, we've got this... fun. Right now. And then I was thinking we'd go baaaack and... maybe continue our game of Mr. Toilet Paper Roll Eats Goldfish, followed up by, oh I don't know... a nap? [Pan over to Lila conversing with Dora and a Transformer; AJ sitting backwards on a bike.]