Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things No One Tells You About Parenting

Today I dropped Grace off at preschool for day camp. It's the longest we've been apart without someone I know personally watching her. I've been gone overnight before, with her staying home with daddy, but this is different. This is one of those things nobody warns you about parenting.
No matter how rough, tough, or bad ass you think you are, there's going to be tears when you drop your kid off at school for the first time and drive away. You say "Pshaw. Not me." Yeah, I did to. Heck, I'm the mom who danced around with glee the first time I left Grace in nursury at church, and told them not to bring her to me unless she was bleeding or poopy. But you know what? That first day of school...YOU'RE GONNA CRY! Trust me on this one.
The way her preschool does things is both a blessing and a curse. You pull up to the door, and the teacher RIPS your kid out of their carseat, throws them into the school, and ushers you away. Okay, maybe I'm being overdramatic, but the point is-- I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO KISS GRACE GOODBYE!
I am sure I will adjust, and be thankful that I don't have to get out of my car in the winter, but it was still emotional.
It's been 3 hours, and the school still hasn't called, so at least I know Grace hasn't burned the facility down yet. I also drilled her for a few minutes about who we tell if we need to potty. Praying for no accidents, no running around naked cuz she can't get her pants up (even though I told the teacher at the door that Grace needs a little help).
And just to show you what an overthinker I am: I spent the weekend freaking out over her lunch. Started looking at bento boxes. Afraid she'd get teased no matter what I packed her. Then I realized I only had to worry about her taking lunch to camp today & Thursday, cuz she'll be home for lunch during the year. Still afraid she'll get teased for not having gogurt, bread, cookies... you get the idea, right? All the standard sugary garbage fare many parents send with their kid to school.
Now you're probably wondering "Well, what did you send?"
Bologna, cheese, carrots, juice box, and some raisins.
"I thought you said you didn't send sugary garbage--"
Shut up! I was panicking, OKAY?

So I ABANDON my kid at school with not entirely strangers (we go every Wednesday for reading time), and drive away, sniffling and wiping away the tears I thought I was too tough for, like a total loser. Guess what. I went to the gym for the first time, probably since Memorial Day week. It felt a little lonely not to have Grace's soft little hand in mine as I walked in, but I started relaxing quickly as I realized there was no pausing to take her potty, check her in at the day care there, and worry about her, or how much time I was spending. After the gym, I got some groceries at Target, and got even more relaxed. I realize more & more this really is the day of freedom I've been wistfully daydreaming about since the first week of Grace's life. I got to look at the mommy toys (kitchen gadgets) without Grace whining about going to the toy section. I just walked around aimlessly without being kicked by swinging little feet, or constantly being asked "Mommy, what's your name? Name Trish? TRIIIISH!"
Came home, had lunch, logged my exercise, watered the plants, and now counting the minutes until I pick up my worn out little monkey who will be going straight down for a nap since it's past her nap time. That's right, sucka. Another hour & a half to myself!
Maybe this preschool thing isn't such a bad thing afterall.
One of the many things nobody tells you about parenting ;)


Lucy Ravitch said...

Funny post. Yes, those kids are lovable, but it is nice to have alone time too : ) I hope you and Andy are doing well!