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.

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11 Responses to “Freeeeeeeeeee*”

  1. Krista says:

    Good for you! She will do great! Ps. I love your posts that make me feel like your chatting with me over a cup of coffee. Love them enough to comment from my phone. That’s big, my friend.

  2. Audrey says:

    lol! You’ll both do fine. I’m kind of jealous. I had thought we’d be able to get Del into the Preschool program Ev is in, only as a mentor, next winter but they’ve changed their entry age so we have to wait until she’s almost 4 now. Which works out to 2 years in preschool anyway because she can’t start Kindergarten until she’s almost 6 due to when her birthday falls. I thought I was going to get to have some one-on-one with this baby while both Ev and Del were in school! Alas. :D

  3. Tottums says:

    Good for you, mama. Enjoy your time to yourself just like the kiddos will enjoy time with their friends :)

  4. Well if you want to feel better about yourself, I sent David to 8/hour week “school” at 14 months. He now goes 10 hours a week right along with Libbie. And not because he especially needs it (although I don’t think the socialization can hurt). BUT MOMMY NEEDS IT. OH SO BAD.

  5. Amanda says:

    Don’t freak out if she doesn’t love it quite as quickly as you expect. My daughter (born Dec. 6, 2010) started Montessori school 2.5 hours a day in January. She’s insanely independent and curious, and I was pretty sure she wouldn’t even notice that I wasn’t there, but it was a bit of a mess for a while there. I expected her to thrive and totally love it, and she does NOW, but it took a few weeks to get there.

  6. molly says:

    Good for you, mama. You deserve a couple hours on your own! Caroline will do great :)

  7. Sarah says:

    I am totally jealous of your kid free time – it’s going to be a while before Lulu goes to school…

  8. Brigid Keely says:

    I’m really REALLY hoping that our neighborhood school has openings for 4YO preK this coming fall. I have no idea what I’ll do if they don’t. We absolutely can’t afford private school or daycare, and I really want to get Niko occupied during the day. Wish us luck!

    I am a very pro-school/daycare person and if it had been possible for us to enroll Niko in a 2YO program we would have. I think it’s very important for kids to interact with other kids and with other adults and school/daycare is a great source for that.

  9. Kristi says:

    Don’t feel bad about this just enjoy it! I am off in the summers for 8 weeks and I have already decided I am taking a day for myself with no kids and two other days they will be in a morning camp for 2.5 hours. As I tell my friends, I am a better mama when I am with them when I have some alone time! Enjoy it, do something for yourself, and don’t think twice!

  10. Joanna says:

    It’s a good thing that you’re finally gonna get some “you time”…but I totally get the guilt associated with it. Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves, though?! I think it’s built into our mommy nature or something. Just remember, you deserve it! And I’m sure that first time you’re strolling through Tarjay sans kids, you’ll realize you made the right decision. ;)

  11. Fionnuala says:

    SO LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST! I just shared it with my sister (mom to four yr old boy) and we both just died laughing. We too are big jerks and hypocrites. Keep up the realism.

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