Tuesday, September 01, 2009

9/1/09 New Tuesdays

Today was my first Tuesday as a full-time Mom again!

I can't believe my ambivalence. Part of me feels like I'm leaving the Real World behind; another part feels like I'm re-joining it. I'm just not sure which world is the Real one yet.

Once again, I tested the boys going to their classrooms on their own. I think this will work in the future, but without Gabriel going to Julian's class. Julian is actually more conscientious than Gabriel is about minding the warning bell, and it dawned on me today that perhaps the "Kindergarten Playground" isn't supposed to have 2nd graders overrunning the 5-year-olds.

Or a bossy 2-year-old ordering kindergartners off the slide.

The part of me that looked forward to kindergarten drop-off and perhaps cornering a business-suit mom or two was sorely disappointed. Most of the dropoff-ers were Dads, to my surprise, and most were speaking other languages to their kids. It's not even clear to me that they can communicate with each other. I felt like a foreigner.

After dropoff, I took Katrina to the Y to get in a workout, then took her to what I hoped would be a well-attended playgroup. And it was, I had a nice time chatting with other Las Madres moms I know, all of whom have 2006-born babies but also have 2004 "babies" who just started kindergarten. One mom explained that she did "Mom's club" today, which means a group of moms from her neighborhood walk their kindergarteners to their neighborhood school, and when they're all accustomed to it, the moms will take turns walking groups of kids to school.

That school in particular, she said, has a much better balance of backgrounds (meaning, not all Indian, and this from an Indian mom). And so many moms want to volunteer in the kindergarten class that they actually have way too many. The discussion had me ready to sell our house and move. This other school is in the same district, but it might as well be in another world.

I couldn't take any chances with Katrina not taking a nap today. In fact, at lunch she started to get picky, and I felt annoyed. She doesn't give this duff to her preschool teachers, and she eats what she gets in her lunchbag! So after she deliberately dropped a piece of banana on the floor, I scooted her upstairs for her nap. But not before taping double pieces of black felt over her windows, to ward off every scrap of light that could go in her room.

Once again, more backtalk about wanting pajamas for nap (her favorite procrastinating move), and I thought, "too bad, positive parenters, this time, this toddler doesn't get what she wants." I don't know if it was my preschool-teacher attitude or the black felt on her windows, but she didn't tear apart her room, change her clothes, come out of her room with one excuse after another, or run laps around her room. She actually took a nap. Oh joy!

Tomorrow, back to work. It's going to take some adjustment to be a working-mom one day, then a full-time mom the next. Two such drastically different existences. It's like having each foot on either end of a seesaw, and lurching sickenly from one side to another, with a hard bang at each end. Somehow, I need to pull my feet closer to the fulcrum, and find my balance in the middle.



Louise said...

In almost all the 2-working parent families I know, the dads drop the kids off at school in the morning and the moms pick them up. Two moms that I have discussed this with said that they needed that time "off" in the morning to make it through the rest of their day. They still felt like they were working two shifts, but had more interest and energy for the stuff they needed to do in the evening like homework and housework.

One of the moms had to actually go on strike to accomplish this. The dad wasn't helping at all and refused to take on the school drop off thang. So, she quit. No dinner, no laundry, no homework help, no making lunches, nothing. It lasted about 3 days before the boys started doing some chores and dad arranged his mornings to do school drop off.

Considering that they adopted the 2 sons of HIS crackhead sister, I thought she had shown quite a bit of patience up to this point...

mommieN. said...

In our case, Dave does morning dropoffs on the days I go to work, which means I get to start my mind-numbing, boring, freezing, uninspiring work that much earlier. Whoopee. No additional interest or energy here!

I think the rock pounding my head with "HEL-LO? TIME TO LOOK FOR A DIFFERENT JOB?" engraved in it is finally starting to make a crack!

Meantime, Dave does a lot with specific tasks, and I've accepted that like most guys, he's task-oriented ("I loaded the dishwasher") rather than goal-oriented ("I made sure the kitchen is clean"). So I haven't needed to go on strike yet, but it's definitely worth consideration!

I want to know: when does getting kids to help actually *help*? The few things my entitled, spoiled, pampered children actually do around the house consume far more of my energy than simply doing those things myself.

Louise said...

Beats me when their help "helps." I'm still struggling with whether Sean does certain things badly on purpose so I'll never ask him to do that again, or if he isn't really that devious.

Obviously, they need to learn the habit and expectations of "helping" (kids, not husbands, I think.)

BTW, I think today's post on using a real dictionary was spot-on. It's like using a calculator: if you don't understand the underlying math, it is a tool that can lead to some really wrong answers.