The Wallflower And The Butterfly

I’m starting to see that there may be a difference between what I want and what my daughter wants.

I know — stop the presses — right? Well, I really am just figuring out this concept on a deeper level.  I never said I was a genius.
The thing is, I want my baby with me. Pretty much all the time, in fact. Well, maybe not all the time — I would enjoy a weekly babysitter as much as the next gal, don’t get me wrong. But during the day, I mean, I want her with me.

I’m starting to feel a lot of pressure to put my daughter in school several days a week. Apparently that’s what we do these days with our kids. But this baffles me. It’s not that I think it’s wrong, it’s just so unfamiliar to me.

When we were young, didn’t we stay at home until age 5 and kindergarten? And now by age 1 almost every child I know is in some kind of school; and that excludes daycare. Stay-at-home moms have their kids in some kind of regular program by the age of 1 as well as working moms. That’s four whole years earlier than what I expected. Four years I assumed I’d be at home, doing the domestic-mommy thing.

I’ve spent a lot of time considering whether this new trend is the best thing for our children. I’ve thought about the moral or ethical elements of this choice and I’ve come to this conclusion: it’s not a moral or ethical question, as far as I can see. As much as I’d love to decide that my inclination is the right thing for all children everywhere, really, it’s just about me. Again, I know, another shocker.

I’m a homebody. I work from home. I worked from home even before I had a baby. And, much to my husband’s chagrin, I want him to work from home as well. I want us all to be together and when he calls me unreasonable, I tell him the truth: if he loved me, he would stay home.

But it’s starting to look like my daughter may not take after her mother in the social realm. Early clues? Her need to say hello to every single person in the airport, individually and face to face. Her desire to walk from person to person during her weekly music class, interacting with every parent and child, and never sitting still. Her extreme verbalizations, culminating with the recent naming of stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers in the doctor’s office.

No, no, I tell myself, she’ll be fine without external stimulation for another four years. I, über-mother, am everything she needs.

Oh come on. Can’t you humor me?

Not to worry. I’m going to visit schools in the near future. But be forewarned: I don’t plan to like any of them.  
 


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