Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer School! Yay!

Crabtot's new summer school program began this week, and after several months of unremitting SAHMery it's a joy to be a half-day mom once again. A joy to both of us. "Finally!" Crabtot said when I dropped her off Monday. Ditto, my poppet!

And I know I'm supposed to write this line about how I got tears in my eyes as I watched her walk away with her backpack and all, but for heaven's sake, I pick her up at 12:30.

Naturally she's had her moments of uncharacteristic shyness and reluctance in amongst her predominant excitement, but I am doing this new "buck up" style of parenting that doesn't overly dignify slight discomfort. Yes, yes we've had all sorts of special hugs and chats about new friends and new places and fortuitously are even reading a book about a kid who makes a doll out of an apple so she doesn't feel lonely in her first days of school. But Crabtot also quite enjoys the drama of feigning reluctance to go especially since she knows that this will throw me a curveball because I need mornings off to work and I WANT mornings to myself.
"I hardly get to see you now," she said in a sort of faux wheedling-whine this morning en route.
I responded with great sensitivity: "Don't be silly! Some kids have mommies who work all day! Now off you go and enjoy yourself!"

I'm sure some of you think I'm tough. I'm sure some of you think I should validate her feelings of insecurity and all but I say pish posh poppycock to that. Crabtot gets so much validation she's practically drowning in it; just because I don't write about it doesn't mean we don't flood her with the knowledge that we are her devoted acolytes. HOWEVER. There comes a time when you just have to get on with it. And I find it can be far better to make a molehill out of what is being cast as a mountain. It's part of my new creed to be the sort of parent who does not through high-maintenance parenting raise a high-maintenance child to be a high-maintenance adult. And, people, that means squashing bouts of preciousness or contrived sentiment the minute they come out of one's tot's mouth.

All of which comes back to the point that after an exploratory argument put forward by Crabtot about how, if she wished, she could stay home from school, I decided to disburse her of that notion and I think I am right to do it. "No, you can't," I told her cheerfully. "I need my time and you need yours and goodness, I'm going to be late, darling! Have a lovely morning!"

New posts this week over at the bloglet:
I have one to make you chuckle re. an unbelievably asinine parenting invention: the Portable Parenting Package. This is for real, kids. Honestly, what kind of society are we living in where people will buy this crapola?
Also, a meditation on maternal instinct and how I thought mine would be so strong and right-on but I couldn't even pick out my own baby in the nursery, much less identify her cry among the din. So much for the natural mommy!

10 comments:

Adam said...

I like it. Too many people forget that love does not always mean hugs and kisses.

Adam

http://adam-finch.eachday.com

Lina said...

I agree 100%. When I returned FT back to work at about 5 months, the ONLY thing I ever felt guilty about was not feeling guilty, and even that was a barely there emotion.

Gwen said...

Thanks for a good laugh at motherhood this morning. I love the site - it's true, just because you complain about your day or wanting a part of your own life for yourself doesn't mean you don't love your child to pieces. If anything, humor is always the best way to get through anything!

Daisy said...

I still feel this way when I drop off Amigo at camp. I'm so happy to have time for me! And he's not a tot - he's a teen!

Asianmommy said...

I happily drop the kids off at summer camp, and they have a great time without me. You're right. We all need this!

Moogie said...

It's good to have some "me" time on both sides. Kids need to be able to be out and about, to learn independence, etc... I'm with you on this one.

Two Mittens said...

hhmmmm...as for the PPP...when someone invents a soundproof booth with wheels where my 3 year old twin boys can have a hissy fit or fight over a piece of string while I continue on shopping, CALL ME!!

DoulaMomma said...

Love your blog & have linked to it on mine. If you would like to check it out:
http://doulamomma.blogspot.com/

best,
Kim

mommyjenny said...

Shame on Adam who has NO idea what love is.Love is absolutely hugs and kisses.It is spending time together and missing eachother,not being excited about dropping them off to camp and letting other people bring them up. Why bother having children?

crabmommy said...

Mommyjenny,
I disagree with you completely. I think having children is love and kisses SOMETIMES and also, other times, JUST AS IMPORTANT, it is letting go. There was recently a piece in the LA Times (or SF Chronicle, maybe), about how parents these days are having such a hard time letting their kids go to summer camp that camps have to prep the PARENTS for the separation. Ad I think that's ABSURDLY pathetic. Why bother having children, you ask? I could ask the same of those people and of you who see camp and the like as wrong. When you have children your primary goal, in the end, is to let them go out into the world excited and ready to take it on. How can you foster independence when you yourself are clingy? I think parents who spend too much time attached to their children are selfish. And for the record, the summer "camp" my kid is attending is 4 hrs a day. but you can be sure when she is old enough I will encourage sleep-away camp and exult in my 2 weeks or whatever of childlessness. Make your child the clingy center of your universe all through her childhood and you are sure to raise a high-maintenance pain in the ass human being. Encourage them to do things on their own once in a while while Mom GETS A LIFE too, and they'll grow up to be adventuresome and engaged in the world beyond Mom and Dad. To summarize: sometimes love is hugs and kisses and sometimes love is saying "goodbye, sweetheart. have a great time." then instead of gnashing your teeth and weeping like a toss, you walk away quickly and then you go and do great childless things for yourself too...like light a cigarette in your car or whatever version of freedom you long for. If you don't long for some childless activities then I think you have a problem.