Ok. First, there was the whining. Mine.
The preschool open house was at 5:00 p.m.
The school doesn't even close until 6:00 p.m. And it's kind of a daycare slash preschool. So I was surprised. After all, they rely, at least a little bit, on us paying for full time care to keep the place open and running. And 5:00 p.m., really?
So I had to leave work at 4:00 p.m., to make sure I'd get out of the office by 4:15. And I did.
I raced to Casey's school to pick him up. We flew over to the preschool, where we met Marcie, playing on the playground with all the other bazillions of kids whose parents also don't show up before 5:00 p.m. She was happy to see us. We cut on lines, played with a puzzle, did a lace-up activity, and then the class danced. Well, most of the class. Not Marcie. Because she's not into actually participating in group activities when "outside" adults (including me) are watching. So I watched the other kids dance, while Marcie stood in her spot in the circle. It's not a big deal. I mean, the important thing is that she does what she's supposed to do during the school day. But still. It's irritating. Or maybe it's a little endearing. Honestly, I'm tired and I can't decide.
Then, in a moment of horrible parenting, I took the kids to (gasp!) McDonald's. It's a pretty rare occurrence. I think I might be able to actually name all the times I've ever taken the kids there. Even just for ice cream. But we were in a hurry. So to McDonald's we went.
Where Casey whined because he wanted two cookies for dessert. Puh-lease. Isn't McDonalds kind of like having greasy dessert for dinner, anyway?
At Casey's school, Marcie announced she had to use the bathroom. Which was, of course, locked. Fortunately, Casey could show us where the kindergarten bathroom was, in one of the other teacher's rooms. It smelled of urine. Probably all over the floor. I guess that's not a huge surprise since it's a kindergarten bathroom. But it was still gross.
Casey was thrilled to show off all his school work-- and with good reason. The thing about kindergarten is that the kids can't help but improve over the course of the year. Sure, Casey isn't the most advanced kid in his class. But that doesn't matter. He's learning. And he likes school. And that's what matters.
That's one of the strange things about open houses-- you can see what everyone else's kid is doing to. So it's hard not to compare-- or at least to wonder-- how your kid stacks up. I'm actually pretty good about not doing that. Like I said, my primary concern is Casey.
But then a mom mentioned that she'd like to have Casey over for a play date one of these Saturdays, now that t-ball is over. Casey didn't play t-ball. Partly because somehow we weren't even aware sign-ups were going on. But more honestly because we couldn't figure out how we'd get him to practice during the weeks. And this is our problem now, too, with soccer. How does he play community soccer if we can't get him to practices? How do we get to practices when we both work at least 30 minutes from home (did I mention Jason started a fabulous new job this week, the only down side being the commute?)?
I seriously don't think a month goes by that I don't sigh and think to myself that I wished one of us could be home to take care of these things. And picking up. And taking out the trash. And doing dishes and folding laundry. And mowing the lawn. And weeding. Seriously, how do people do it all? I can hardly find time to do any of it. It's a miracle I have clean underwear every week. (It's all about prioritizing, I suppose.)
And so now I've turned my kids' open houses, celebrations of their academic and social accomplishments, into a pity party- a guilt festival. That's so sad. Parenting at its best (and by best I mean worst). Some day. Some day we will get it all worked out. Some day one of us will be home after school. We will be poor. But our kids will have enriching, meaningful relationships with us because of it. And that's worth more than money can buy.