Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby's Gone Preschool

Preschool in Los Angeles
Last week, I spent two days sitting outside of the Muffin Man's classroom while he "transitioned" into preschool.  If you're currently imagining me sitting on the floor in a long hallway while the muted sounds of children learning plays softly in the background, then you're either old; have watched too many eighties movies; or both.  No, my friends.  No sterile, linoleum-lined institutions of learning for my child.  I'm a dirty hippie, remember, which means that my child is learning through play, and engaging with his peers while dancing through fields of sunflowers.

It also means no air conditioning.

In case you have short term memory loss from smoking too much weed (ahem, me) and/or you live somewhere other than Los Angeles, let me remind you that the average temperature here last week was somewhere between 95 and "hotter than Hell".  Which would've been somewhat bearable had I not been forced to sit on a hard wooden bench outside of my son's classroom while he sang The Wheels on the Bus in air conditioned comfort.

I had every intention of using my time at preschool wisely.  I took my laptop with me, fully planning to take advantage of the school's free WiFi to catch up on work.  I brought snacks for myself, and a bottle of water, and a sunhat.  But all I did for a week straight was sit on that hard wooden bench, sweating profusely and wishing that I'd thought to bring one of those blow-up doughnut butt pillows. There were a couple of times when I either had to go into Noah's classroom or he came out to check on me, but for the most part I had uninterrupted time to myself.  Considering how much lip service I give to needing more "me time", you'd think I would've used it more wisely.  And yet, I accomplished nothing.  Not a thing.  No future blog posts, no scripts, not even one of those freelance assignments I seem to be perpetually rushing to finish before a deadline.

I'd like to tell you that the reason I didn't accomplish anything is because I was feeling too emotional about my baby boy starting school, but so far the only emotion I've experienced is relief that my kid finally has a school to attend.  I could blame my lack of productivity on the extreme outdoor temperature, but I used to live in an un-airconditioned apartment in Manhattan, and I managed to get work done even while sweating profusely.  I honestly think that I'm just completely paralyzed when presented with the luxury of time to myself.  For the last (almost) three years, I haven't even been able to go to the bathroom alone, let alone have hours of free time to spend doing anything.  I've been juggling taking care of one or two kids while simultaneously working as a writer.  The minute my kids fell asleep I would sprint to my computer and race against the nap time clock to finish whatever work needed to be completed.  My work time was fleeting and precious, and I was singularly focused on using every single second of it wisely.  

Perhaps this is the plight of every Mother, that we're so used to spending all of our time caring for others and doing only what's necessary, that we actually don't know what to do with ourselves when we no longer have to spend hours on end completely focused on someone else.  Maybe preschool is going to be good for both of us.  Noah will learn important skills like counting and how to pee standing up, and I'll get a chance to figure out what to do with the extra time I have to myself.  I'm thinking yoga - because maybe if I have a firmer butt that bench won't feel quite as uncomfortable when I have to go through Rose's transition next year.  

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