Relax. You Probably Did Something Right Today.

by doodaddy on September 18, 2008

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A million times, I tell ya.

Remember how comfortable Working Mom were with the decision to skip preschool for Boo this year? We’re at that tricky 2-and-a-half, which just seemed a little too young, and besides, since I’m fantastically lucky and get to stay home every day, I can do a lot of preschooling myself, right?

Well, today we were walking around in Noe Valley (man, that neighborhood is comfortable — I don’t care if I am the only dad at the playground) when we saw a gaggle of toddlers being led by a behandled rope. Boo watched them for a minute and then announced,

“I want to go to preschool.”

Oh, hell. How did she even know that’s what we were watching? We’ve never really talked about school. She sees most of her friends going and puts one and one-and-a-half together, it would appear.

So, I do my job: I probe. “Would you want to go to preschool when Blueberry is born? Would you miss going to the playground with me?”

“I want to go to preschool and you go to the playground with Blueberry.”

Crap crap crap crap crap. I thought we’d already figured this out! Apparently I should have checked with Boo before deciding her scholarly future.

So now I’ll be investigating preschools for a while and we’ll just see if Boo’s interest holds. Nothing major — something more like “super day-care” than the university-style preschools I’ve heard about. But still, a 180-degree about-face from even just last week.

What is it about being a parent? More than any other job, the pendulum between “I know what I’m doing” and “Man, I really screwed that up” swings as fast as a toddler’s attitude toward olives.

When Boo went down for her nap, I made myself a note and folded it up in my wallet:

Relax. You Probably Did Something Right Today.

Since paying minute attention to one’s own performance as a parent is the best way to screw it up, it’s remarkably reassuring, at the end of the day, to remember that.

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tagged as in failure,faux pas,school ·

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

orlund September 18, 2008 at 8:42 pm

I’m sure if she was in pre-school she would have been think “I wish I was with daddy”. Either way I am sure she still had fun.

Reply

doodaddy September 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm

@orlund Yeah, I’m not so sure. Maybe. She’s really into other kids right now, and some days if they playground is empty I feel like I’ve failed her… or, God forbid, if we go off for a hike just the two of us!

People in the Sun September 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm

You did something right. I’m really uncomfortable being the dad in the playground. Maybe later. So by my standards you’re doing really good.

Reply

doodaddy September 18, 2008 at 10:26 pm

@People in the Sun – Yeah, I think you just have to decide not to be uncomfortable about it… it doesn’t happen automatically. At least, it didn’t for me…

Lynnie September 19, 2008 at 4:14 am

The one thing about not going to preschool where we live is that EVERYONE else does, so suddenly there’s not 3 and 4 year olds at the playground during the day anymore! We had to be very strategic about finding playmates during the day. I felt kind of bad about that at first, but we had SO MUCH FUN, both girls and I at home. This year my oldest is in preschool, just 3 mornings, and she loves it. Now she wants to go 5 mornings! We’ll see. It’s rather expensive while I’m not working.

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Kyddryn September 19, 2008 at 11:03 am

That sentiment should be printed on cards and handed out to parents on a regular basis!

The Evil Genius hasn’t mentioned school, but he is aware that we home-school – and he hasn’t cottoned on to the fact that he has a choice in the matter. I’m hoping he won’t figure that out until he’s, oh, eighteen of so.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

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Aimee Greeblemonkey September 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I love that quote.

And probably tomorrow she will NOT want to go, LOL So, check them out and all, but decide what’s best for the WHOLE family, and it will all work out in time.

Reply

doodaddy September 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm

@Lynnie – Yes, I’m thinking almost along the same lines… it’s really tricky to decide what’s right socially, financially, and parenthoodally.

(OK, I made that last one up…)

Reply

People in the Sun November 1, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I did eventually go. Surprised myself. And even if I have my issues, it’s never about me. Thanks.

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