6 years ago
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We're doing it. We're pulling out Max out of preschool, not because I suddenly have some newfound maternal desire to spend long days with a three-year-old, but due to an unfortunate and seemingly unresolvable situation at the school.

He will still attend two days per week, but considering he started at four days/week and is now attending five days/week, I think the shift will be hard on him, since he likes all his new friends and the Importance of Going to School.

And me. Did I mention I'm working full time these days? Did I mention my sitter is in Mexico this week? Did I mention that our backup college-student sitter only has about 10 hours available to babysit all week? Hell of a week to pull my kid outta school, no?

Max has been craving Mommy-time lately, very much so. "But I just want to be with you, Mama!" he will sob when I remind him that our sitter will be picking him up from preschool (he really likes her, by the way, and she always plans really cool activities with him and Ben, somehow doing more with them in a week than I manage to do in a month). "I don't want her to pick me up! I just want to be with YOU!"

This is not easy for us, this parting of ways.

So now we're about to be faced with a whole lot of Mommy-time.

Of course, during all my sometimes-guilt-smeared working hours, I've thought of what we're missing out on: hikes, nature adventures at the Audobon center, painting and music classes, swimming lessons, gymnastics, playdates, baking, cuddling on the sofa reading know, all those wonderful fantasies one has about time spent with one's children.

The reality is always, of course, pocked with 40-minute arguments about putting his shoes on, or prying him away from a toy car to go outside, or having him refuse to walk in the woods at all or change his mind about our activity and insist on a playdate with an unavailable friend...

And the chores. "Mommy can't do the puzzle with you right now; I need to start dinner." "Let's get some laundry folded before we play tic-tac-toe." "Yes, I will build the train track with you--just let me load the dishwasher first!"

Our sitter is so much more giving to him of her time. Me, I'm always putting him off.

I hate it. I try not to do it so much. But when it's 5 p.m. and there is nothing to eat and both kids are hungry, I can only throw so many graham crackers at them before they need some actual protein and a vegetable.

I wonder if anyone makes salmon-and-broccoli-infused graham crackers.

I have no idea how the hell I am going to get my work done this week. It's also, of course, the time that we've lost our extra day at Ben's daycare. Tra-la! Tra-li! Hello, I'm Mommy!

Can I sit both kids with juice boxes at Starbucks while I review a few files?

Like they wouldn't invent some new game that involves jumping off the chairs.

I suspect that, despite my earnest circling at dinner tonight of upcoming preschooler activities in recent brochures from the Audobon center and the Museum of Science, our upcoming time together won't always be spent in enrichment activities and mutual declarations of adoration. There will probably be a lot of Superman-ing from the coffee table to the sofa by both boys. There'll be a thunk and a wail and a protest about one's favorite toy motorcycle. There'll be some outings, some frustration, some joy, and some rash attempts on my part to work while hoping Max entertains himself.

I'll probably have to get up at 3 a.m. in order to get my work done. I'll probably have some crankly times, some late nights, a lot of stress, and who knows what else.

I'll also have some extra time with my sweet boys who are too-fast becoming big boys.

Will it be worth it, this pulling my child from school with no other options in sight right now?

Hell, yes.


Julia Magnusson


Twitter: @notlikeacat

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