“Mama, can we paint?”
The correct answer to this question is no. I said yes.
About an hour later, I was recovering. Diego was conducting my children’s daily Spanish lessons. And then, from the very depths of my maternal soul, came a thought so true and so obvious that I spoke it into an empty room.
“This is why I send my children to preschool.”
Yes, I am a bad mother. I am also a good one. And I am better with preschool at my side.
And so, with all respect for the homeschooling parents (and hoping that the feeling is mutual), I present a short list of reasons why I am grateful to drop my children off at a small brick building for a few hours each day. Only one is specific to our very own preschool, and so I will get it out of the way first.
1. Mr. Rogers once worked with children there, and his child development mentor was the original director. Really. Mr. Fred Rogers. He is my hero.
2. The teachers are more well-rested than myself and my husband. This makes them much nicer to our children.
3. Educational toys galore that I don’t have to buy. Or store. Or trip over and threaten to hide in a bin for a month if they don’t Put Them Away Right Now.
4. Other parents in the same young child boat to commiserate with. Groaning about the effects of daylight savings time (non-sleepy kids at night who can’t get up in the morning) or a pink-eye epidemic or kindergarten lotteries with people who understand them for the tragedies that they are.
5. A flat area for tricycles, bookshelves full of colorful and appropriate books,and potties that are just their size. It’s like someone designed the room just for, well, preschoolers.
6. Relationships with child development professionals who know my particular kids, and who don’t mind lots of questions.
7. Supervised small group interactions that I don’t have to supervise. Good for them, good for me.
8. Driving away in the car without first strapping someone into the car seat. Going to the bathroom by my stinkin self. Drinking the entire cup of coffee without having to heat it again in the microwave. Freedom!
9. Paint, glue and even GLITTER that I don’t have to find, get out, become stressed out by, or clean up.
10. Two lovely little girls who run down the sidewalk towards preschool and then greet their teachers with hugs. Most days. And even when I deliver them kicking and screaming, the teachers don’t seem to mind.