I don't know what to do. But then I do. And then I don't.
Junior’s been going to pre-preschool for two days a week for about a month now. Even though the staff were a bit zombie-ish it seemed ideal. The school is next to my office. I can check on Junior whenever I want, also known as Operation 007 Daycare. Junior makes friends. Chuck gets time to look for a job. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Except for me. I’m a wreck. My log of my stealth missions reads like this:
February 24, 11:34 a.m.: Escaped work and crawled through parking lot. Thinking of taking up smoking so I have better cover for break-outs. Crept to side of building. Stood under window. Overheard teacher shout, “PARK IT! NOW!” to children. Where is Junior???
March 3, 2:12 p.m.: Escaped work and slid across parking lot. Hid behind bush. Overheard teacher yell, “They’re like VULTURES! They’re ANIMALS!” Snack time? Are they eating remains of zombie grandma? What the hell is going on?
Every day it’s something. One day I found Junior crawling on a floor that was caked with mud. Another I arrived as Junior was getting yelled at for spitting. Should he have been spitting? No. Should the teacher have been shouting at him like he was a cretin undeserving of life? Hell no. He’s a child.
Even worse, there’s little educational interaction. The only singing I hear is when I arrive, squeeze Junior and hum “Let’s get out of here, let’s get out of here, I’m picking you up, taking you home, let’s get out of here right now...” (Sung to the tune of “99 bottles of beer on the wall.”)
Obviously, I’ve been thinking about taking Junior out of there. But he likes it. I'd even say he loves it. I keep waiting for an indication that he doesn’t want to go back so I can yank him but so far, nothing. And trust me, Chuck and I accost him with questions.
You know, just a few...
"Are you happy there? Did you have a fun day? Do you like your teachers? Did you sing/dance/walk/talk/eat/sleep? Did you laugh/cry? Do you want to keep going there? Do you like school? Did you make friends? Do you like your friends? How’s the air quality? Do the teachers seem happy? Do they seem engaged? How can you say you like it? Dammit, Junior, how?"
Then today, I got an email from a co-worker:
Just wanted you to know that yesterday as I was leaving work, the kids were outside at a picnic table. I heard a teacher yell, WE’RE ALL DONE. She slammed her hand on the table, shouted I SAID WE’RE DONE, and threw something over the fence. Not sure if your kid was there or not????
Well, let’s see, was Junior there? Let’s refer to yesterday's super happy write-up from the teacher which reads "Junior loved digging outside":
Yep, looks like Junior was happily digging and avoiding flying objects. What a multi-faceted approach to education! Motor skills practice and tactical maneuvers all at once! It’s perfect—
So there. I have my answer: We need to pull him. I shouldn't be worrying about him picking up bad habits from adults. And they couldn't even recruit a decent grandmother. What kind of place botches a free granny?
Right? He's outta there? Agh. I suck at this.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.