It's back to school time for so many of my friends children. I am learning that back to school brings a variety of emotions for parents. The emotions fall somewhere on the spectrum between elation that their kids will be out of the house for 8 hours a day, to sadness that their kids are getting older so fast. I've heard complaints about the costs of clothing and the amount of school supplies that must be purchased. I've listened to out and out whining about how early these kids go to school. Also, I have seen tears on the faces of moms who have either just; sent their baby to kindergarten or realized that this is the start of their senior year in high school. Never the less, and without fail, the school year begins. As I discuss school day activities with friends, I realize that I am already in the warm up phase for the school years.
You see, Jackson attends many toddler "classes" during the week. Since Jackson does not go to daycare these classes serve as a social experience for him, he's clearly making life long friends. And it gets him out of the house to burn off some energy, knocking holes in walls other than ours for an hour or so a day. Where are such activities and who are the masochists who teach these classes? Both fine questions that prior to two years ago I would have had no answer. But after having Jackson, I found in chapter 11 of the "Mommy Manual" an entire list of places and activities for our kids. You see there is an entire subculture of activities for children that go on in your community that you know nothing of, until you have one of these little monsters.
So Jackson goes to the library for story time, and to the community art center for "young explorers", and to the School House Museum for a whole host of fun activities, and then there is the Little Gym, and Kindermusik...I think that covers most of the very important places he goes.
Now here is where you really need to pay attention because I am going to teach you the Top 5 Things I have learned by attending these classes with him...that's right I have learned perhaps more than he has...
1. There are parents who are WAY more into this than you are. These are the parents that take video of their 2 year old eating handfuls of play doh. They are the ones who are certain their children are geniuses...and in the mean time their kid is licking the bottom of his shoe while the teacher is giving the instructions for the day's project...YES, I do think he will be the next Steve Jobs. But you cannot at anytime make jokes about the activities or the children because these parents will find this offensive...live and learn. These are not classes or activities to joke about, we are apparently building a foundation for their Ivy League college entrance exam.
|Some activity that will help with calculus|
3. Most of these classes involve some art project or science experiment. And in the end the teachers will want you to take this crap home with you. It's as if you live in a 15,000 square foot house with unlimited wall space for all these Picasso pieces your 2 year old is churning out. And do I really want to take home the coffee grinds/plaster of Paris "Dinosaur Egg"?...It looks like dinosaur poop. I'm sure this makes me a bad mother because I don't want all the flammable tissue paper that we decoupage to cardboard and then splatter with rainbow paint art that Jackson crafts. And no doubt the parents from lesson #1 keep every single scrap of this junk...I just can't do it. I generally say I'm gonna take it home proudly and then chuck it in the trash in the parking lot. I mean, let's face it, I don't need a layer of glitter over the layer of crushed gold fish in my car.
|Here's some of Jackson's Louvre quality work|
I've started just photographing it all and then I don't have so much guilt
4. If you even think about running errands after one of these classes you will find your child covered in paint, glitter and other art supplies that are unidentifiable. They will have glued one eye closed, shoved a bead up their nose and painted their arms, shirt, shorts with each color provided. Oh, and you will obviously only have enough wipes to get off the paint...you will have forgotten to refill your wipes. And without a doubt there will be a blow out diaper just to add to the debacle. You will have to make the decision to unglue the eye with the wipe and use his shorts to wipe his poop and then throw all of it out with his art work.
|Here's a day that I ran short on wipes...he rode home like this!|
5. They do NOT serve alcohol at these events! Apparently EVER...that's a Big one...
I hope these lessons help you out, I wish someone would have forewarned me...I may have to move!
Peak - Blake is 4 months old and eating cereal
Have a wonderful week...Sharron