Last week I was the parent helper at preschool. This job is one part heaven and one part sheer hell. It's heaven, because I get to get a peek at what Addie is learning and spy on her playing with others. She doesn't pay me a ton of extra attention while I am there and I feel like I get to be a fly on the wall watching her play, learn, problem solve and just be herself.
It's a little bit of hell because a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds know the routine better than I do. There also is inevtiably a child with mucus or tears or both cascading down their face, and that child always wants to hold my hand. Everything in a preschool, including the toilets, are very low to the ground - which, come on, is pure hell on any seven month pregnant lady. Not to mention I sometimes struggling playing pretend with my own kid, let alone eleven other kids (who may or may not be covered in mucus).
However, being helper also lets me be a bit more thankful for my sweet daughter. It's no secret that sometimes she pushes my buttons or that she knows exactly where to stand to be on my last nerve. Sometimes I am convinced that she suffers from a hearing loss that blocks out the very sound of voice. But being at school lets me see that my parenting is paying off - she shares, she takes turns, she asks good question and she listens, very well, to her teacher. Being helper also let me see some other kids in action - which always makes me thankful for the kid I have.
On Addie's first day of school I asked her to learn the name of one new kid in her class (only two of her friends from last year are in this year's class). When I picked her up from school she told me her new friend was __________ and that he was a boy. I discovered last week that she may not have learned ________'s name by befriending him. She may have simply learned it from hearing his name said over and over and over again. Turns out __________ does not have listening ears.
Today I am not helper. I am not even the driver. Today I have a little over three hours all to myself. I plan on doing exciting things like vacuuming and laundry. I may run to Home Depot to buy paint for the littlest lady's room and get a mini blind cut to size. I know - it's exciting stuff. But at least I can do all these mundane errands and chores knowing that Miss Addie will be learning and engaging and listening - and, hopefully, not being that kid. With any luck, she'll leave that up to __________.