Yesterday I met one of my favorite bloggers, Scary Mommy, at her book signing. She was warm and lovely and I was glad to meet a real life Mommy Who Is Making It in the writing world. When I got home, I checked out her website again (www.scarymommy.com) and got sucked into the Confessional for the majority of the evening.
I even posted a couple of my own, but honestly, the confession I wanted most to make was one that I believe requires a bit more reflection, examination, and explanation. Here it goes:
I think my kids should be home-schooled, but I really need time to myself, so I’m sending them to public school. (At least for Pre-K).
Lala and Loopsy are energetic, imaginative, inquisitive, and unique little creatures. I know every mom feels the same way about their kids. But I’m serious, Peeps. Haha.
I’ve found that they learn like little sponges when allowed to explore and investigate on their own (with my supervision and guidance, of course). I’ve found that when I try to explain something or “teach” them that they are easily distracted, frustrated, and no real learning takes place. I want them to be able to just blossom at their own pace, like wildflowers. Yes, I know that’s corny. Shut it, Bestie, I know you’re out there, giggling and rolling your eyes, dammit.
Also, they ARE twins and I’m soooooo nervous that they’ll either be separated and traumatized or lumped into some Loopsylala person and not appreciated for their individuality. I know sisters are sisters and they need to branch out from the little world they’ve created together, but twins really are different. They need each other more than they need me, and that’s the truth. Especially Loopsy. She is very social and will make friends everywhere, but with every other situation, she really looks to her “big sister” for guidance.
Another reason is I think Lala has a small twinge of Aspergerian tendencies. (She may or may not have inherited this from her father). She becomes very overwhelmed by smells, sounds, textures. She’s been known to tear around the house screaming if her sleeves are too tight or if she can “feel her pants.” She has a difficult time accepting praise of any kind, and doesn’t want anyone watching her as she attempts certain tasks, like putting on her shoes or clicking the buckle in her car seat. She becomes fixated on negative thoughts, like I once slipped in the shower and hit my head, so for months and months and months, she would wig the eff out every time I’d take a shower. It was borderline manic. I worry that in a traditional school setting, she’ll be labeled a problem child or a mental case. Maybe being in a more structured setting will help her, who knows…
But that’s the downside to her non-neurotypical side. She is extremely musical. Even as a wee babe in her bouncer, she’d bounce to the rhythm of a song and sometimes she’s squeal along, with perfect timing. The Christmas before last, we bought her a toy drum. The second it was out of the box, she held the sticks over her head and counted out “One, two, three, four…” before commencing her banging. Recently, listening to an orchestral piece of music, she was able to describe the scary scene it brought to mind, about a monster chasing a bunny or some shizzle like that. It’s amazing. I worry that peer pressure or competition will wash out all that ability and all that joy she gets from music. If she’s in a homeschooling environment, her musicianship can be a template for her to learn all kids of things, from vocabulary, to math, to foreign languages and cultures, to physics. See what I mean? I know I could do this for her, but it would take just A LOT of commitment and it would be very hard.
Loopsy is the more empathetic sister, and she often will notice a child on the playground playing alone and will say, “Mommy, I’m going to talk to that boy.” And she’ll skip off and make a new friend. She worries about the bunnies in the back yard being cold at night. She has been known to cry because a flower she picked has wilted and really wants to “wake the flower back up.” I worry she’ll just get her little heart broken in a traditional school. She’s so compassionate and so easily swayed by the emotions of others.
Both of them are super creative and make believe is like a way of life for them. There have been times they try to engage other kids in their games only to be met with crazy looks or even scorn. I love that they can make a pack of markers into a family that lives in a box, but I’m afraid that teachers or other kids will just take away the family and throw the box in recycling or something and just crush their little spirits.
So, see, Peeps, I’ve made an argument FOR homeschooling, here’s why I’m sending them to public school this fall…
Its quite possible that I’m too overprotective of my girls. (Noooo? You don’t say? Meh!) They could probably benefit from some distance from me and from that world the three of us have created together.
Also, I need a friggin break!!! Not just time to myself, although that’s part of it. I need help raising these little wonders! I often think about how lucky working moms are because they can share the child rearing with their day care providers. As a SAHM, everything they learn, good or bad, is from me or their father. That’s a lot of pressure.
A third reason I’m sending them is that I have my own dreams, ya know? Pre-kids I considered getting my MBA, writing professionally, going back to teaching, becoming a licensed make up artist. Diverse and varied, wondrous dreams that I really need to get back to. One day the twins are going to fly the coop, and I’m gonna need something to do, right?
I dunno… Maybe these are thoughts that all moms have before sending their little ones off into the world.
Feedback would be appreciated!