As I mentioned in a previous post, once upon a time I believed that a) I would never have kids and b) that if I did, my experience managing teams and departments at work would at least sort of prepare me for the experience. Well, guess what – it didn’t. There are things that preschoolers, and their caretakers, do that are just completely and totally beyond my comprehension and ability to handle. Keep in mind, I write this after my first day of volunteering in the co-op, so maybe it will get easier, but I have my doubts.
1) At work, they don’t tell you they don’t want you there to your face.
I am fully aware that when I was a manager there were people who didn’t like me. How did I know? Snitches, of course, because grown up haters are usually courteous enough to do the socially expected thing and talk about me BEHIND MY BACK. Not so at preschool. “I don’t want you in my class, Mommy.” Why not, Grace? “I just don’t. Daniel Tiger’s Mommy drops him off at school. That’s what Mommies do, not go in class.” Well, Daniel Tiger’s mommy is a made up animal. I’m your Mommy who has rearranged my LIFE to do crap like this with you. So I’m going. (Or something like that). Anyway, insubordination this blatant only comes from people who used to live in your body.
2) Being forced to be ‘present’ during the boring moments
Maybe it’s just me, but not every moment of co-op preschool is filled with joy and fun and learning moments. There is also ‘free play’ where pretty much you stand there and watch a bunch of kids play. Cute yes, but boring. And it’s discouraged to look at your phone even though, like Vegas, there are no clocks. Co-op preschool is where time goes to die. I’m sure it’s a good social activity but come one, they’re 3. Isn’t every waking moment of their lives ‘free play’? At work this is called ‘downtime’ or ‘meetings’ and EVERYONE plays with their phone then.
I can tell I’m not going to like this whole glue thing. We have glue at home, because we do crafts sometimes, but 5 kids at a time gluing stuff is a lot of glue. And some of these kids are not that coordinated. And some are just malicious (Oh I know, they are probably just curious, or high-spirited but I’m keeping my eyes on them). You don’t have to worry about glue at work.
Overall, I am very grateful to be there, even if G would prefer I not be. I’m glad to get to know other mommies, even though they’re half my age, and one asked if I was my kid’s GRANDMA (and yes, I explained that this is not an appropriate question to ask anyone anytime EVER right after I challenged her to an arm wrestle) and maybe I’ll get accustomed to ‘free play’. But this whole preschool thing is no walk in the park, I can tell you that! Well, it kind of is, but a loud, messy one. With Glue.