Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Serious applicants only please...

When we lived in New York City,  I had the privilege of teaching at the Little Red School House. I taught yoga, tumbling and creative moment to little ones, and I was a head teacher for 5 year olds in their renowned summer program. One Friday afternoon, after a particularly adventurous field trip with the kiddos to Central Park, one of the kids' moms pulled me aside.

Mom: I think you're ready

Me: For what?

Mom: To be a mom. You managed this classroom of 15 kids with all their lunch boxes and snacks. You got them through the Central Park Zoo, a carousel ride and a picnic. Then you sat with my car sick child who threw up on you on the bus and STILL managed to finish up the day with a smile on your face. If you can do that for other peoples' kids, you're going to be a great mom.

I beamed. And accepted the compliments and puffed myself up with confidence. Yep. I'm going to be a GREAT mom.

It's funny how time and circumstances can transform a memory. Before these last two weeks I still accepted those compliments, and thought about them in brief moments of mommy doubt. Yes, I took those kids to Central Park (and to Queens, and the Bronx...and all over Manhattan on Friday field trips). Yes. I took 15 kids down the block and across the street in downtown Manhattan to the playground and never lost one. Yes. I got thrown up on and managed to keep Little Robbie gluten free all summer long.

But now I see it a little differently. Yes, I took 15 kids to Central Park with 3 assistant teachers and people on the ground with walkie talkies making sure we didn't get lost or encounter sketchy people.

Yes. I took the kids down the block and across the street to the playground with the help of one assistant who blocked traffic while the other one stood in front of a bench blocking the passed out homeless man from view.

Yes. I got thrown up on, but while I was cleaning up puke and snuggling the sick kiddo, my assistants were passing out snacks and singing songs.

Yes. I kept Little Robbie gluten free...but how many times did I send my assistant running to his arts and crafts class with his lunch box or gluten free pretzels because he left without remembering his food while I managed the rest of the class.

Sure. I was a pretty good teacher. But I had great assistants and excellent support.

I also got to be enthusiastic, and love those kids with endless amounts of patience because at the end of the day they went HOME! And I went home, and read a book, or went out to dinner, or had an adult conversation, or took a yoga class, or just walked around NYC.

I've been beating myself up about being such a confident teacher, able to manage large groups of children, keep them entertained, and emerge excited about the next adventure....but somehow not being able to do the same with my two.  I want to be enthusiastic, and fun, and have an endless reserve of patience. But it's just not happening in my world of round the clock parenting.

I'm realizing I need an assistant.  I need someone to keep up the singing while I clean up the puke. I need someone to pick up all the tupperware lids that Wynray has emptied from the drawer for the 87th time while I dance with Kysa who NEEDS me to dance to the Lonely Goatherd song. I NEED to have fun with my kids and not just survive them. They are such incredible spirits, they deserve fun too.

So who wants to help?

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