The other day I dropped off my four-year old at school. As soon as I unclipped her car seat, she trotted into the school, on the heels of her friend. Once inside she chatted up her friend, waited for the lights to come on in the classroom, ran to the door, and was swallowed up by the awesomeness of her preschool experience. I followed her, hung up her backpack, and waited at the door for a goodbye hug or a kiss…which never came! I did get a head nod, and a “what are you still doing here look?” Ok, sweetie…LOVE YOU TOO!
On my way out, it hit me, my daughter likes her teacher better than me! Duh? Why am I just realizing this? Of course she does! And here is why:
(1) My crafts don’t compare. No matter how many shopping trips I take to Michael’s, or cool craft projects I research on the Internet, I will never posses the crafty ability of an early childhood or elementary school teacher. I have seen egg cartons transformed into complex and sophisticated dioramas of nursery rhyme scenes, painted flowers, layered over beautifully decorated paper, painted with the precious toes and fingers of my baby girl, and turned into a magnet for my fridge. This shit is serious! It blows away my water-color paintings.
(2) They don’t deal with your kids when they’re sick. Think about it. Whenever you child gets sick at school, the teacher comforts them, snuggles them, and watches over them until you arrive. It’s your job to bring them to the doctor, hold them down while their throat is being examined with a tongue depressor, and give them the awful tasting medicine when they are finally calming down at home. On the days they are home and miserably sick, they are home with you. You equal sickness, teachers equal happy and healthy times. This, my working mom friends, is a total set-up!
(3) They are younger. My daughters are drawn to younger women. Put them in a social setting with 100 people, and they will find, isolate, and attach themselves to the twenty somethings in the room who don’t have children. My daughter’s teachers are on the younger side, and my kids think this is cool. Mom, old…teachers, young. I lose!
(4) My kids act better in social situations. Our blogger Sarah wrote a blog topic on this, and she is correct, my children act better for other adults and when they are in social situations. At home, my daughters bicker, fight, jump on the couch, and have the ability to tune me out. When I inquire about my four-year old’s listening abilities, her teachers ensures me that she is a “fabulous listener” who rarely needs reminders! I’m sorry, are we talking about the same little girl? Because my daughters listen better when they are at school, their teachers do not have to nag them nearly as often as I do. Hence, good cop, bad cop, and mommy ends up being the bad cop!
(5) My repertoire of songs is limited. My girls love to sing. However, there are only so many verses of Old MacDonald they can tolerate. Unfortunately, I don’t know nearly as many songs as my daughters’ teachers do and for this, my daughters are resentful.
(6) They get paid to take care of my children. At the end of the day, teachers have a different relationship with their students than parents do with their children. My children are tiny little customers who are essentially purchasing a commodity (child care.) It is the essential function of a teacher to serve their customers, clients, students, and call it what you will, the exchange between them is driven by financial interactions of goods and services. While I love my daughters’ teachers and I know that they love and care for my children, I understand that they wouldn’t be doing it for free. At the end of the week, after dealing with tantrums, helping with discipline, educating, and nurturing my children, teachers get paid for their hard work and dedication. After my exhausting (and wonderfully rewarding) week of parenting, I get to look forward to my four-year old sitting in the back of the car, demanding orange juice from Dunkin Donuts (after she spilled her own orange juice at home) and reminding me…”So what if you think you look pretty today, you are the meanest Mom I’ve ever met in my whole life!” Really?! Well, at least I should be impressed with her use of comparative statements of displeasure!