Today, I spent the morning making pancakes with my son’s preschool class. I’ve been so excited about it all week, because it’s one of those “real mom” moments. You know, one of those moments where you feel like you’re really doing it instead of just pretending? My friend Lisa just wrote a post about this very idea on her blog the other day. The idea that the moments you think will be watershed moments, often don’t end up that way. For instance, I didn’t feel particularly married on my wedding day, but I sure did the first time I got asked out after I was married (I’ve still got it!).
I didn’t automatically feel like a mother when my son was born. I felt like a mother two weeks later when I had to bundle him up and take him to his first well-baby check-up. I was in charge of keeping the baby’s appointments and driving the baby, and being the expert on the baby! I suddenly felt like a mom. It comes and goes though. There are lots of moments when I think “this is strange, look at me giving a time-out!” and I feel like laughing; it all seems so improbable. Most of the time, I just can’t believe I’m in charge. Certain things really make me feel totally motherish though: advocating for the kids, filling out any kid-related paperwork, travelling with the kids and often a new experience.
Volunteering this morning was one of those times. I was the Mom. Volunteering. In the Classroom! Just like a real grown-up. Like real Moms do! I talked about it all last week, to everyone–how it was going to be such a trip to be the classroom helper. Me, the class Mom! Not just the jackass winging her way through the days, no no, someone responsible enough to be the classroom helper. Someone mature enough to have children that she remembered to enrol in preschool.
I loved seeing Little R so excited to have me there and seeing him feel proud of me. I loved seeing what he was like at school and what he could accomplish when it was the teacher asking and not me (he’s busted, by the way. He can totally cut his own food and do his own shoes, sneaky bugger. He can even wash his own dishes–things are going to change around here!) I loved seeing him interact with his little friends and getting to meet all the kids that he talks about.
I think though, that my favourite part of the morning was watching that poor teacher during circle time. She would say “What day of the week is it?” and a few kids would answer “Thursday!” and then someone would shout out “I’m three!” with four fingers held up. This would lead to a chorus of “I’m four! I’m five! I have a Diego Rescue Train!”. And then she would have to try to recapture their attention and then it would start all over with the next question. It was like watching someone trying to herd cats.
Cheers to the preschool teachers and T.A.’s–you’ve got some mad skills with the patience and persistence.
Also, are there any Moms out there who feel like it’s not their first day of parenting, every day? I rarely feel like I know what I’m doing. That’s normal, right?
P.S. If you actually do feel like you know what you’re doing, don’t answer this question. I don’t want to feel bad about myself….