Today I am dropping both of my children off and escaping. Hopefully the firefighters will find nice homes for them.
Caroline starts baby school today, 2.5 hours, 2 days a week, for a grand total of 5 whole hours. Putting them both in school now instead of at some mythical point a few years down the road feels like I’m cheating a little bit. I fully admit to being someone who has said things like “Ugh, stop calling daycare SCHOOL. It’s not the same” in the past, which makes me both a pretty big jerk and a hypocrite. (That’s pretty much all you need to know about becoming a parent – you will do tons of things that make you a pretty big jerk and a hypocrite. Also, at some point you will make up a song about poop.) But now that I am the one sending my barely-two-year-old to a “childcare center” a few hours a week I take it all back. I am sure Caroline will come home speaking three languages and reading full chapter books by the end of the month. Or more likely she’ll cry the first day, show off her coloring-on-the-carpet skills the second, and sing the song I wrote about poop to her teachers.
This was the plan all along. I signed Evan up for THIS school as opposed to the one within walking distance specifically because they offered Tuesday-Thursday classes and a 2 year old program. The class has a very small staff-to-child ratio where I’m sure her singing and drawing talents will be appreciated and fawned over. Two and a half hours is barely even enough time for her to notice I’m gone – I’m pretty sure I’ve taken showers almost that long while she played with empty diaper boxes in her room. She’s going to love school and I need to stop trying to convince myself that’s true because it IS true.
Not to mention I could really use regular, dependable, child-free hours for myself. I took both kids to run errands on Sunday and although they didn’t actually cause any physical damage it’s only a matter of time. We are a walking comedy act, seconds away from pulling the bottom can out of a can pyramid and having the whole thing crash down on top of us. I am doing everyone who works retail anywhere in South Eastern Connecticut a huge favor by putting Caroline in school. YOU’RE WELCOME, GUY WHO BUILDS CAN PYRAMIDS.
The very small voice that is stopping me from being totally sure says that Evan got 3 years home with me before I shipped him off to school. But he also only got 20 months as an only child while Caroline is well on her way to 3 full years as the baby.
In the end, I didn’t spend a ton of time making lists of pros and cons about this decision, which is probably why I’m spending so much time rationalizing it to myself now. It isn’t doing me any good, but it feels like a little hand-wringing is appropriate in this situation. My baby is going to school where she will learn to put her shoes on the right feet and drink from a real cup and boss everyone around. I mean boss MORE people around.
I’m pretty excited in a sweaty palms, clutching my phone in my hand all morning, three cups of coffee kind of way. I might have a bit of a breakdown, is what I’m saying. But at least I’ll be able to do it alone.
*Not actually free. But I’m sure I won’t miss that kidney I had to sell to pay tuition too much.