Monday, February 24, 2014
Public School Momma
I am a homeschool momma, usually. I'm not only a homeschool momma. I'm what you call a second generation homeschool-er. This last 6 months has been all new territory for me. When we received the placement of a 7yr old and his 2yr old sister I thought, "Maybe having to have a little more structure in our morning routine wouldn't be a bad thing. And besides, he'll be in school most of the time, so it won't change our lives all that much." ;-) Let me stop here and remind you, I'm a homschool momma and even these "rationalizations" are new to me. ·Public School is not free. This may not be news to you, but I was under the impression that our taxes paid for it. If you want your child to be involved in Art, Tech, Drama, Music, you have to pay extra per semester! ·School clothes are expensive! Again, your thinking, "Duhhh!" But i thought we'd have clothes that would work for this "little guy". He and Benji are exactly the same size! How was i supposed to know that jeans with pockets on the side of the leg aren't popular, or that a 7yr old would care about what's popular?!? Our new guy had to have "skinny jeans". (Which amounted to Wrangler slims.) Then there's shoes, he wanted skateboard shoes, but he needed gym appropriate shoes, and snow boots! Thankfully his grandma provided another pair of each. Being new to this arena, i got up early, made him breakfast, set out his clothes, went to wake him up, and we walked to the bus stop together. After a few mornings of this, his teacher called me, "Did you know that we offer hot breakfast here at the school?" I did know, but I felt like a hot breakfast was the least i could do... Then she surprised me. "We were wondering if it would be ok, if he ate here, it would help break up his morning." So, now I get up, lay out his clothes and fuss over whether or not i wore the same leggings/sweater combo yesterday or not. Then there's the backpack spelunking. I literally hold my breath and reach into the bowels of his bag, praying that there are no sharp objects or food that is going green. Why do i brave this treacherous terrain? Because when you ask the child what they learned that day you are met with silence and evasion. (This kid should be in counter-intelligence!) Can we talk about the "School Breaks"? Number one, why are there so many??? Number two, what am i supposed to do with a child that is used to having a minute by minute schedule? So, now you see how the naivete has been peeled away, piece by piece. What we are left with is a morning like this one. 6:50 My phone starts to chirp, I tell it to try again in 5 minutes, because somehow I'll be more awake by then. 6:55 It's chirping again and I restrain myself from throwing it across the room. Instead I get up, head downstairs, wake up the child, follow him back upstairs to get dressed near the fireplace. 7:00 pack the child a small snack, because it's the least i can do. Child informs me, he has three of those in his bag from last week because he "hates them and their nasty". 7:01. For the second time this morning i show restraint, this time i pair it, empathy. (my mom would've made sure i had a snack i enjoyed, he deserves no less, despite his reaction.) 7:03 Inform child that I'm going to go start the car, and will be waiting for him. 7:10 Return to the house seeking "lost" child. Find him rummaging through the toy box for his football that is diddeeply and without warning the ONLY possession he can't leave home without. 7:15 drag the child from the house, he is passively resisting, none too quietly. 7:18 drive the bus route hoping to catch it before it just makes sense to drive the rest of the way to school. 7:20 find the bus, wish the child a good day, met with silence, encourage him to hurry and be sweet to his bus driver. I watch him walk to the bus he doesn't look back until in exhaustion i close my eyes and thank God i found the bus and don't have to go all the way to school. 7:21 I look up, he is standing in the of the bus waving to me and it dawns on me, Public School moms only have this morning routine with their kids. This is the only chance i will have to get his day started right. When he gets to school it will be all about the teachers, the clothes, the activities and the other counter-intelligence operatives. This public school mom thing has taught me a lot! But i hope that at least this lesson sticks with me, it's only 30 min in the morning, but it needs to count!