Feb 2, 2015
Last week was quite the parental eye-opener kind of week for me. Ace had a field trip to the natural history museum that I had signed him up for, without reading the fine print on the information sheet. See most of the time for his preschool field trips, all parents are invited, and siblings are usually welcome to join for an additional fee. Seeing as how I come as a packaged deal with my three, this has never been an issue. I usually just tag along and Pierce and Avalon and myself do our own thing while Ace gives his best effort in class participation. The week before this field trip there was a note on the board saying the "drop off time was 9:55" I thought drop off time? I asked Ace's teacher if parents weren't coming along, she assured me that there were a few parents that had signed up to be there, but siblings weren't included since the museum is so small. We have been to this place three or four times and it is quite tiny, like two rooms kind of itty bitty. I really didn't think much of it, but talked to Chris about how this would be the first time I have ever dropped Ace off anywhere. Yes, I take him to preschool, but the security protocols in place are quite comforting. The days leading up to the field trip I was having mild panic attacks, I couldn't possibly just drop him off. I mean, he is so little surely he would be looking for me. I thought, maybe I will just sit in the parking lot and wait for him. Is that too stalkerish? But I have a hard time letting go, as in a death grip on my children. They have never been left with anyone other than my mom. Yes, I am that parent...I am a paranoid freak when it comes to them.
So the night before the field trip Ace asked me "is the dinosaur museum in the morning?" I said "yes! are you so excited?". He said "yep are you and Piercey going to be there too?" I replied "no, but your teacher and other mommy's will be there". Ace looked terrified, he said "you're going to leave me there? but I don't want to go without you, I don't like strange people". I mean how could I not agree with that? I told him to sleep on it and we will see how he feels in the morning. I didn't sleep at all that night (I know...all over a field trip). I just kept thinking, what if Ace is really scared? In the morning we talked about it again, and Ace was pretty set on not wanting to go if I couldn't be there. I felt kind of bad. Was there something more I should have done? Is he missing out because I have always been too paranoid to loosen the reins? I text Chris about it and he said he would make sure to take just Ace back to the museum on the weekend so he doesn't feel left out. Ace loved the idea and ended up playing hooky at home and watched movies and played all day. He didn't bring up the museum at all, which was a relief since the thought of it all gave me heart palpitations. I called his teacher, and she just laughed, she said that sounded just like Ace.
So from overprotected parent, to nervous Nancy. On Thursday of last week we had our parent teacher conference. This is also the day you find out just how you are doing as a parent. Last year I was nervous as well seeing as it was my first meeting of this kind. But all went well. Ace has really opened up at school this year, and the turtle has poked his head out of his shell a little more. He acts the complete opposite at school than at home, which I guess is considered good, at least for his teachers sake. When I went in his teacher showed me all the progress he has made with his name, and numbers, and letters. I was impressed. She gave me some of the projects they have worked on, and a schedule of the things they had planned for the next few months. Then it was time for the social evaluation. It seems as though Ace plays well with other children as long as they are males. He prefers not to be around the girls in his class at all, saying "can't this be an all boys school?". He also has a very hard time asking for help. He will wait until his teacher asks if he needs something, instead of just asking himself. Not such a bad thing, but something I could have expected seeing as how I do everything for the child. As much independence as I think I give him, clearly he can handle more. Even little things like opening his own juice box, or picking up his own mail at the end of the day. All in all he got the green light for kindergarten next year, and then my heart fell into my butt!
This parenting thing....you just never know how you will react to things until you are put in the situation. You may have always thought you would be a certain type of parent, but when it comes down to it you act like a different person. I would consider myself incredibly independent, and somewhat fearless to a certain extent. But with my kids, just about everything makes me anxious. After last week I had to think that I only gained a sense of independence from the way my parents parented me. My mom was always adamant about not doing things for us that we could do for ourselves. It gave me a lot of food for thought....