I’m giving myself about fifteen minutes to write this because I really, really want to get through this semester’s course material as quickly as possible, AND we have Shelton’s Car Trip Birthday Extravaganza coming up in just a couple of weeks.
Also, one garden box still needs planting.
Also, the laundry needs folding.
Also, I’m down to eating chocolate chips and dry Corn Pops and listening to classical music on NOSEBLEED to ensure that at least one small part of the reams of dry reading will actually adhere to my brain.
Anywhoo, I’m at a point in my brief childcare career where I need to make some decisions about where to go from here. Two of my extra kids and one of my own kids will be in school full days beginning in September. I’m still waiting on firm summer/fall plans from the remaining families, but it looks like I will have at least one spot available beginning in July, and possibly two. Common sense dictates I message the families on my waiting list, or post an ad, or Facebook my pending availability and get some butts in the seats while they’re still warm. Except that, I find myself once again mired in the reeking sludge of some conflicting parenting styles and some kids with epically challenging behaviour and some kids just growing and changing and not needing me quite as much, anymore. Because that’s what kids do, right?
Add that to the demands of graduate school, my desire to get it done as quickly as possible, and the odd eye-catching job posting in the public service, and I can’t help but to wonder if I’m growing and changing, too, you know? I wasn’t long into this business when I figured out that these kids have way more to teach me than I have to teach them. Maybe they’ve taught me how to grow, and maybe I’m now learning the weight of those transitions at drop-off time and pick-up time, when they really, really want to stay/go but also can’t bear that moment of change.
Sometimes the best decision is no decision at all. I hope that’s the case, this time. I think about sending my kids to daycare full-time, and I know I can’t do that. They exhaust me, and aggravate me, and teach me, and keep me lifted, and I can’t give up that part of our lives before I have no alternative. I think about bringing in another couple of toddlers and wonder if that’s exactly what we need. I think about spending the next ten years doing this, filling my life with sixty hour work weeks and changing diapers and cleaning potties and letting them go when it’s time. In response to questions about potty training, or sleep training, or self-feeding, or pre-reading, I’ve probably told dozens of parents, “You’ll know when she’s ready.”
Knowing, of course, that – at first, anyway – the parent almost never is.