By the last day of school this year, we were all just DONE. Summer break promised rest, a break in the routine, vacations, swimming, cook-outs, and sleeping in. But I always forget that summer break never delivers on those promises. It doesn’t take long for reality to set in. And by now, we have reached the stage of the summer break in which the finish line (the first day of school) shimmers like a mirage. I could swear it’s just ahead, but no matter how many days we survive, it never gets any closer. When they stop whining at me and fighting with each other, my kids even grudgingly admit that at least school gives them something to do.
My daughter is so ready for school that this week, she decided to create her own school. In our neighborhood. She planned activities. She stocked up on snacks. She made posters. And when no kids came to her home-made school, she decided to make fliers and go door-to-door. She WOULD have school somehow. But sadly, I knew that hanging a sign didn’t mean that kids would suddenly flock to our house. It was a lose-lose situation really – burst her bubble myself and incur the resulting ugly meltdown, or let her discover on her own that children don’t just appear as soon as you post a sign. (Damn you, Caine’s Arcade, for making my kids think that eventually a crowd will show up.)
Finally, my neighbor took pity on India and let her 18-month-old daughter come over for “school”. India tried breaking out some of the Monstessori toys, tried to do some semblance of a “circle time” during which her pupil tried opening all of the bins in the playroom, and finally declared it to be snack time. Fortunately I had some Del Monte Fruit Bursts on hand – the perfect healthy toddler snack (that’s great for big kids, too).
The glow on my daughter’s face as she led her toddling student through games and snack time was absolutely worth the legwork we put into it. I’m sure the novelty will wear off as soon as she discovers that children age 3 and under either need diapers changed or help going potty and wiping. The horror! But for now, if playing school each day will get us closer to the actual first day of school, I will take it.