Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Got Schooled

   Excuse me! Excuse me, People! I have an announcement to make! ....tap, tap, tap, ahem. I (dramatic pause) am no longer a full-time stay-at-home-mom. (This is where you cheer and applaud, but mix in a few disappointed "ohhs" for effect). That's right, I'm working, but only part-time, three days a week. And what, pray tell, is worth leaving my kids for? Drumroll........watching other people's kids!!! (The noisemakers lose their fizzle and the balloons shoot across the air as if the excitement has left the room. Because it has.) 
    Well, this job sort of landed in my lap. I'm assistant teaching at a Mother's Day Out program in the two-yr-old class on Tues, Wed, and Thurs. Not bad, eh? Mia comes with me and I pick Jace up around the corner and he hangs out in what he calls his "second school" for a couple of hours. And I get to make a few bucks just in time for Christmas.
    So far, I don't hate it. If anything, I think it's teaching me a new lesson in parenting.  When you're around other people's kids you have to use very diplomatic, non-confrontational, positive language. Basically if you'd say it to your own kids, don't say it to them. When I see a kid bash another over the head, instead of saying, "DON'T you DARE do that again, how'd you like it if I bashed you over the head? What were you THINKING??" I have to say, in a very sing-songy, honeysuckle voice, "Noh, noh, _______, we use soft touches. Now go play, pleeease. Thank-you!" smile, smile, smile..annnd roll my eyes and wonder internally if his parents have ever thought of spanking. Just saying. 
    Patience is key, which I seriously lack. Something about the classroom setting, though, gives the kids a little more wiggle room to be unsure and not know how to do everything instantly.
    At home, with Jace, I get frustrated easily when he doesn't understand something right away or when he does something that I know he knows he's not supposed to do. But after the three days I've worked there, I noticed I'm coming home still in teaching mode. Tonight when I was helping Jace with a puzzle, after seeing him trying to jam an edge piece together with a non-edge piece, I saw it as a teaching opportunity. I talked to him as if he weren't my kid. I used my sing-songy teachery voice.  And it worked! Imagine that!
     I know, I know, you're probably thinking, well, duh, you moron, that's how you're SUPPOSED to teach your kids. Well, let's just say, lesson learned. Jace is a smart kid, really smart, in fact, and sometimes I forget it's not his job to listen to my barking and jump when I say jump. Sometimes he needs a diplomat to talk nice to him. Lord knows there are enough people out there that will be mean to him someday. He certainly doesn't need harsh words from me.
     So I may come home with crayon and diaper remnants on my shirt and get paid squat for it, but if it makes me a better parent, then I guess I don't mind getting schooled. Nyow, it's off to beddy-bye, okay? Okayeee. Good nighty night! Buh-bye nyow!

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