I should start by saying that I was never asked to baby sit anyone, not even one of my 5 godchildren, until I had my daughter. It's not that my friends didn't trust me, it's that they could see that I wasn't that into kids. To be honest, I don't even think I liked children's games even as a child myself. I played a lot of pretend (pretend singer, pretend housewife, pretend reporter, pretend teacher, pretend bank teller). I was never really into a game of tag or hide-n-seek.
My own father was shocked when I told him I was pregnant. When my daughter was about 6 months old, he was driving me somewhere and we went by the hospital where I gave birth.
"Pa, that 's where I had Amelia," I said
"I know." he replied.
"Can you believe I have a baby?" I asked.
"No, we didn't think you had it in you, that maternal instinct, but you've turned out to be a great mom," he answered. Our family doesn't hold back.
I admit that even after having and adoring my own child, I can't handle too many kids at the same time. So imagine how nervous I was about visiting my daughter's pre k classroom for an hour, last Tuesday. The thought of being with 20 pre schoolers was scary. What would they expect from me? But I knew it would mean a lot to Amelia to see me hang out with her teachers and friends, so off I went on an unplanned, drop-in visit. (My daughter goes to a school where these visits are encouraged.)
I am happy to report that I spent one of the best hours of my life. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I just followed the teachers instructions, but hose kids were hilarious, fun and inquisitive. My daughter was proud to show me everything she does with her friends on a daily basis. Her teachers were extremely welcoming and explained everything that was going on. For me, it was a great learning experience, since I could see how these incredible educators were teaching my child and how she responded to them. I took some pointers to apply at home.
I'm not rushing to go back, to tell you the truth, I have no idea how pre k teachers spend hours with 20 kids and can remain fairly calm and loving, but I do want to visit more often. The first hand experience helped me understand how my daughter's education process a lot better than an email from a teacher or a blog entry on the school's website. Plus, I think it showed Amelia that her parents and her teachers are all in this together and that we all have her best interest as a priority. Believe it or not, I am actually thinking about inviting some of her friends over for a play date and maybe join in the fun. Am I going to fast? Ay Mama!