Santa totally screwed me this Christmas. Not only did I get mittens, but despite my begging, pleading and cajoling, my daughter’s preschool stubbornly insisted on closing for two entire weeks. Two weeks!
It’s not that I don’t relish time with my kids. But when my older daughter is out of preschool it doesn’t mean I don’t have to work. I have to work. And care for the kids. Did I mention we were all also sick with RSV and ear infections? Eight appointments with the doctor in 12 days. And my 3-year-old was home for three weeks (she got sick the week before the Christmas break).
There are so many (so many) reasons why I’m glad she went back to school yesterday. But none more than these 5:
It’s Back to Bedtime, Baby 1 of 5It's hard to negotiate with terrorists, er, toddlers. Particularly at bedtime. And it's hard to explain why, exactly, they have to go to bed when you can't come up with a single reason beyond, "Because I want to be able to leave my half-full glass of red wine on the coffee table without fearing you'll knock it over." But when there's school the next day, that's as good a reason as any to send the kid to bed. Like, now.
Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Butt on Your Way to School, Dora 2 of 5It was cute for about a minute when all of a sudden my daughter insisted that she was Dora the Explorer and must be addressed as such. Okay, it was cute for about 28 seconds. Three weeks later I'm beyond over it. I get it: I'm Mami, my husband is Papi and she needs to wear a backpack at all times lest we risk the world coming to a tragic and bloody end. Fortunately now she's able to take Map and vamanos to school, where she can maintain her Swiper-no-swiping vigilance in the classroom among the building blocks and imaginary tea parties. I'm sure the preschool staff will appreciate her help. However, if not, too bad. It's totally their turn.
Buh-Bye, Purple Monkey 3 of 5OK, yes, it's cute and all that my kid thinks she's Dora. What's not nearly as cute is how I now not only have to cater to Dora, but also Boots, Dora's sidekick purple monkey. When I wipe my kid's butt, I have to wipe Boots' butt, too. When I feed my kid, Boots demands his own plate. And not only does he demand his own plate, but an entirely different meal. However, the kid went back to school yesterday and you can bet your bottom dollar that Boots went with her. He's fully the teachers' problem now.
No More Sleepovers with Dora and the Purple Monkey 4 of 5My daughter really made the most of the past three weeks as Dora. Not only did she become Dora, but she had sleepovers nightly with Boots in her new Dora sleeping bag, which she received for Hanukkah ( it had something to do with the miracle of the oil and the Maccabees, apparently ). While it was kind of cute the first night, what we came to realize fairly quickly was that she used the sleeping-on-the-floor thing as an excuse to get up and leave her room every 43 seconds or so ("Mami, I have to go pee!" "Papi, I need a cuddle!"). However, everyone knows there are no sleepovers on school nights. Hallelujah and praise the lord.
This Means the Holidays are Officially Ov-ah 5 of 5I don't mind the holidays, really. Any of them. It's just that in December there are a lot of them. Maybe just a few too many, actually. And with a 3-year-old, you celebrate all of them, regardless of whether they're part of your culture, religion and/or threshold for pain. Fortunately there's no time like back-to-school time to cut the cord and start looking forward instead of back. Valentine's Day, here we come! That is, if the kid promises not to get sick and stay home again for an extended period of time. In which case, I'll be holding all future holidays hostage until she goes back to school. Again.
Photos: Meredith Carroll
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