Confronting my own hypocrisy? What am I on now– three? I did find a quote that lets me skirt around them quite nicely and I do love a well-worded quote.
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity”— Andre Gide
Cool, I’m not a true hypocrite then, because I perceive them, analyze them, laugh at them, and then announce them on the internet. Besides, what is the lesson of parenting, if not learning to allow yourself the flexibility required in order to accommodate the personalities of your own resident Small Person? Ahem.
I might have casually mentioned that we (I) enrolled Zach in preschool recently. Not just a preschool, but–hold your gasps–a church preschool, despite my continued insistence that it would be homeschool or secular preschool only. The education quotient of preschool is variable- and really I can (and already had) teach coloring, writing, numbers and play doh at home. I debunked all of the “but he needs socialization” rebuttals by simply pointing to the boy in any public setting. Socialization is definitely not his issue.
Anyway. I had told him–repeatedly–that he would start school at 6 and until then I’d teach him at home.
Yeah, /scratches head/ here’s the thing about that. My attention and motivation was a struggle pre-kids. Post-kids, I too often do the slow pirouette in a room trying to remember what brought me there. I don’t know if it’s a byproduct of past pregnancy hormones or the the constant (mostly self-inflicted) sleep deprivation. Most likely it’s the result of me trying to keep two other people alive thing.
Now I could spend a lot of time beating myself up for my now-regular appearance on the Flaky Person Parade, but I’m just not gonna–not about this. When my college friends were living it up in warm places on Spring or Summer Break, I was carrying a full load of classes while working full-time managing a department in a grocery store. After graduation, when they were chilling in their 9-5 jobs and meeting each other for happy hour, I was working 60+ hours, staring blankly at a computer screen at 3am while cussing a jerry-rigged PDF program that refused to put thousands of three-letter tables in the correct sequential order. My point being that I’m just now doing my own flaky-college-thing. Plus, much like my long-lost ability to be obnoxiously punctual, I find the flake-factor falls under the “when in Rome” category.
———–>Well, hell. I got distracted, though I think that illustrates my point about linear thought and me.
Anyway, I had numerous ideas (clippings, websites, books) of all the cool projects that Zach, Elliot and I would do together. What a crock. While I know people that have a true talent for teaching their own children, that person is not me. Largely because most of my patience fits into a thimble. A very small thimble.
Since I’m not one to stay the wrong course, I started researching preschools after I noticed that I was getting mad at him for being, you know, FOUR. Remember the flexibility thing from before? As I would come to find out, secular preschools are neither plentiful, nor cheap. There is one that is decently priced, but you have to apply to it like it’s a college, drop off a kidney, promise stem cells, and then hope for the best in the admissions lottery. Which left me with church schools. I was having a hard time walking into a church, handing them a check and saying, “by the way, we don’t subscribe to the majority of what you happen to define as really important. But thanks for watching my kid for 3 hours.”
As the Year of Four started in earnest and he started asking “when do I get to go to preschool” at least 76,398 times a day, chorused by the 2 year old brother whining, “time with Mommy?” 153498 times a day, walking into a church and telling them the truth about our family’s beliefs seemed less daunting. Really, it was a matter of weeks before I had already reneged–in my mind– on yet another of my SAHM campaign promises. I began the here-are-more-liberal-church-preschool sales pitch with JB. My general hypothesis being that perhaps some of his own childhood experiences were coloring his objectivity about steeple-school. I don’t have any of that baggage, and I like my live-and-let-live attitude about the average person of faith. Enter Stage Left, Zach’s current preschool. A lovely place with several classmates of differing faiths, races, and nationalities, combined with very little churchy stuff. More importantly–they are both as happy as a 4 and 2 year old can possibly manage. And I can sort of breathe again.
Besides, I feel like we really nailed the spirituality thing. While fulfilling my volunteer requirements for his class, Zach was given the privilege of choosing the pre-snack blessing*. His request? A Jimi Hendrix, rock-n-roll blessing, please. There you have it– my son, influencing the musical tastes of the next generation by providing musical alternatives that do not involve anyone named Beiber. See, I’m thinking…Jimi did sing The Wind Cries Mary. I could probably, with minor tweaks, make that work. Hmmm…
*When Z “got his hands ready” (i.e., prayerfully clasped) at dinner one evening, I casually asked if they prayed before snack, to which he immediately replied “no”. Honestly, I thought he was lying to me because he was worried that I hadn’t noticed his school was in a church. Realistically his minimal exposure to the prayer/blessing thing means he probably doesn’t realize they are the same thing. Yup, that’s my kid, says the woman who often misses religious reference jokes in shows like Family Guy and Southpark, and has to wait for JB to stop and explain the significance. I mean, I know the big stuff…but the minor stories? Eh- I used that brain-space for minesweeper rules.