Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On preschool: duty parent edition

There are some positive things about being a duty parent at my daughter's preschool. Well, maybe just one. I do enjoy watching Will interact with the other kids in a group setting. Especially before she decides to treat me like her mother and just goes about playtime in her own way. She asks another child to play. She waits for a turn at the paint easel. Apparently yesterday she and two other kids pretended that all the animals on the farm were pooping, but I didn't get to witness that one.

Most of the time, though? Duty days suck.

1) The cleaning. Dear lord. I seem to always be the "drink parent" and am therefore responsible for the bathrooms (in addition to actually bringing the drink for snack time). I clean the bathrooms first thing in the morning. I supervise the bathroom break and handwashing. I clean the bathrooms again during circle time. (Remember that my child's preschool runs for exactly 2 and a half hours. That's a lot of cleaning.)

2) The boredom. I supervise kids playing outside. I supervise kids playing in the playroom. Today I supervised kids playing in the gym. YAWN.

3) The opening activity. If I have to hear the days of the week song again my head may explode. Or maybe it will happen when I hear, "What is the weather, the weather, the weather? What is the weather, the weather today?"

4) The moment when my daughter realizes that her mother is actually there, and tries to use this to her advantage. Today Will seemed to get bent out of shape when I was playing catch with a couple of other kids in the gym. Her shoulders slumped over and she went to sit against the wall. When she finally decided to join us, the teacher announced that it was time to clean up. On the way to put away her ball - and already in a fragile emotional state - she dropped it and another kid helpfully picked it up and put it in the bin. Will burst into tears and wouldn't leave my side for the remaining five (phew!) minutes of the day.

5) The teacher. But that's another post entirely.

Actually, the opportunity to watch this teacher in action is maybe the most important part of being a duty parent. I mean, she's fine. Not what I was hoping for, but fine. Still, it's good to be able to observe her and make assessments on a regular basis, otherwise I would be very uncomfortable with the situation.

What on earth will I do when Will starts Junior Kindergarten?

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