Monday, June 22, 2009

...And we stumble coming out of the gate

Well it's summer. Tenley's last year of pre-school is officially over, and we've moved on to the more relaxed summer session at school- which we decided to only do 3 days a week of in the name of relaxation...and saving cash. So it's on to Kindergarten in just 9 short weeks (we still have no idea which school she's going to, but that's another blog post). Mostly, I think she's ready to be there...and then we have days like today...

One of the local gymnastics gyms is hosting 3 different weeks of summer camp: $200 for 5 days, 6 hrs. a day- it's an awesome deal. Plus, this gym has a foam pit which Ten loves, and her regular gym does not. I figured this was a prime way to a) get some extra "me" time, and b) allow Ten to experience a longer day on her own without 3 teachers looking after her- something she'll need next year in K. We got Ten all psyched for a whole week of all day gymnastics- and she's asked every week since registration if this was "gymnastics camp time". We made sure she understood that Mom & Dad would not be there- that she would be there after lunch and we would not be there until mid afternoon. She was good to go.

This morning, after we put on her shiny purple rhinestone encrusted leotard but before we left the house, I showed her that in her backpack there was: a washcloth for sweat, a hairbursh with extra hairbands, her Tinkerbell waterbottle, shorts & tank top & undies...just in case (although she hasn't had an accident at school since Oct). I reminded her that she was taking her purple insulated lunch bag with salami, cheese, carrots, strawberries & a juice box in the main compartment, and 1/2 a PB&J and a granola bar in the front pocket. I reminded her that she needed to remember to go potty, tell her coach that she needed to go, and to remember to grab a handfull of TP before she climbed up on the potty, because she wouldn't be able to reach it once she was up there.

We got there, and I was relieved to see that there were at least a couple other 4 year olds in this session too. We put her lunch in the fridge. I showed her where the bathrooms were. I reminded her to put her shoes in her backpack. The coaches called class time, and my kid ran onto the floor without so much as a good-bye or a hug and kiss. I watched for about 5 min and then left.

Life was quiet and blissfull for the next 5.5 hours.

I returned to the gym right on time to find my kid on the trampoline in her tank top...and underwear. I was mortified. First, where the hell were her shorts?!? Second, an accident?? Are you kidding me?? ...and on the first day. The nice mom of the other 4 year old said "I think she just had an accdent...I tried to offer her a spare leotard, but she said no." I thanked her and explained that she had shorts, and I had no idea why they weren't on. Tenley couldn't explain that either, nor could she explain why she had waited so long to go potty, or why she hadn't put the yucky leotard in the provided ziplock. So Ten then turns to me and says, "Mommy, I know you made me a peanutbutter and jelly today, but it wasn't in my bag!" Oh sweet Jesus. The kid's brain is like a sieve. The nice mom, horrified for my child says "Oh did she not get to eat?! Does she want a snack??" I check the bag and discover that the main compartment is empty of all but a couple strawberry bits. "Tenley", I say "were you not paying attention this morning when I showed you where your sandwhich was??" as I show her again. Clearly missing the point, she looks at me earnestly and says "Can I eat it now??" The nice mom asks kindly "Oh, when did she turn 4?" I sigh- and completely embarrassed say "She's almost 5." I look at her fed and dry daughter and say hopefully "When does yours turn 5?" "Oh she just turned 4." Yep. I'm mortified. The nice lady introduces her daughters and niece and taking pity on me and my clueless child asks her 11 and 8 year olds of they'll keep an eye on Tenley and help her tomorrow.

:::sigh::: These are the moments when I wonder why, for a child as bright as Ten is, she can't hold a relevant thought in her head. I could when I was her age...but maybe that was where I benefitted from full time day care- I had always had to remember things and sort of fend for myself in a sea of other toddlers. I am rarely embarrassed by something Ten does, but I was today: I felt like we were one giant mess, the objects of shaken heads and clucked tounges, and that I had a neon sign on me that said "Clueless Unorganized Mother". I'm sure that's not really the case- I think it was just my vision through the waves of heat coming off my cheeks.

Oh well, 4 days to go, and we have nowhere to go but up.

1 comment:

Terynn said...

As someone who works with children, all day every day, as my 25+ year profession (speech/language pathologist, serving 0-5 year olds)...I can tell you we/they (teachers, day care providers, gymnastics camp instructors, etc.) have seen it all.

And mostly, it makes us chuckle; not judge, not cluck, not gossip maliciously. Chuckle.

Out of affection for kids and the realization and that they are all different and all wonderful.

Tenley is her own person. Always has been. Always will be. (and yes, I do know it is always funny and cute when it's not *your* kid).

Enjoy the blessing and fun that is Tenley. :~)