Only, this was not a very well-run pre-school. The kids got snack time and recess and not much else that resembled a normal day in pre-school…or any school for that matter.
So, this week was vacation week at Carlitos’ pre-school. Because they obviously needed a week-long mental break from all of that dot art and singing and toddler Yoga. Obviously.
Okay, I do understand that it is normal for pre-schools to have a week of vacation in the winter – it just seems kind of silly when you think about it. Like, the next thing you know we are going to be giving them standardized tests to see where they stand academically as four-year-olds.
In any event, the scheduling of play dates during vacation week was starting to make me break into hives. Our calendar was starting to look like a hooker’s during Mardi Gras. Oh, wait, that’s backwards. At Mardi Gras everyone is just giving it away for free, huh? No business for those who want to get paid to show their ta-tas. So, I guess it was more like the calendar of a Country Club during June. There we go – we had as many play dates scheduled as weddings scheduled at a Country Club in June.
I couldn’t handle it.
So I pared us down. I sent out one email saying we were having a play date on Wednesday afternoon at our house and anyone was invited.
Intelligently, I also scheduled a separate ‘Work Date/Play Date’ for Wednesday morning. I hadn’t tried this before, but I now know that a Work Date/Play Date is similar to…a ski race in August? Meaning: can’t happen.
I am so sorry. I am really struggling with the analogies today. Brain is a little fried.
In any event, from 11:00 – 2:00 there were four little males ruling this roost, while the other mom and I tried to work. Then, at 2:00, the rest of the play daters arrived. By 3:00, we had nine (NINE!) little ones running around the house. (To be fair, two of them can’t run yet…but they do already know how to demand attention.)
I thought I was prepared.
I had cleaned the house. I had hit up Costco. (Sidenote: I have never seen the bag of 479 string cheese sticks disappear so fast! We are usually struggling to finish it by it’s Use By date.) I had paper plates for their little snacks. (I totally felt like Kate Gosselin.) I only put out some toys and kept the ones that could be dangerous locked in the closet. Oh yes, I went into this battle feeling like little Susie Home Maker and Mother Extroidinaire….
Turns out, if not given enough toys, kids will make foam play mats into airplanes and folded clothing into confetti. Also, when given carrot sticks, cheese and strawberries, carrot sticks stay uneaten on the plate. Clearly, by the end I was brutally reminded that I am still a Real Mommy. But that’s okay, because I am not sure I would have any friends if I were Susie. And I like having friends and that Carlitos has so many little friends, because honestly? Yesterday was so much fun. (Or So. Much. Fun. in ‘blogger talk.’)
We all ended up at the playground on our block and the kids had a blast. They looked pretty darn cute walking there, too. Quite a little troupe. All they were missing was the rope with the colorful handles and people would have genuinely thought we were a pre-school…with a fabulous child:adult ratio. I am also pretty sure that Carlitos isn’t the only one in the crew that passed out before I even got to page 5 of our first book last night and slept in a little this morning.
So, all in all, I would call it a success.
I just wouldn’t call it a ritual. Next time I will have a list. First three people to respond make the list. You miss the cut-off?
Better luck next time.*
*Oh, who am I kidding. Everyone is always welcome. The more the merrier. Just bring some vino next time, okay?