One of the reasons why I love being a full-time mom is that Caleb hardly ever gets sick. Last year, when he was in daycare, it seemed like he was sick all the time. Shane and I even had to miss a few days of work because he was vomiting or had diarrhea. I quit my paying job seven months ago and Caleb is just sick now for the first time since! He almost made it through the entire winter! And I haven’t been sick at all.
On another note, Caleb is 4 and knows all his letters and the sounds that most of them make and can write most of them too. This is quite an accomplishment for a kid who has spent a lot of effort avoiding anything educational, like books. He really is growing up 🙂 Since I have so much time to spend with him, I have been feeling like I could be doing more. But, I’m not sure what other things would be good to teach him. We’ve spent some time on the solar system, money and I’m going to get a U.S. puzzle to teach him the states. Do any of you have any ideas of good subjects to introduce him to?
And now I’m going to vent a little. We live in an affluent area. This was a good fit for us when I was working, but now that I’m not and my priorities have changed, my perception of the things and people around me have changed. After I quit, it didn’t take long for me to realize that SAHMs are rare and nannies are common. Many of them are Latina. I know this because I have the exact same conversation with many of them:
“No, I don’t”
“Oh. Your son?” (pointing to Caleb)
“Oh. He looks like the father.”
Not a question. A statement. He looks like the father. I didn’t get offended or anything. I found this way too interesting to get annoyed. Another common conversation (if you could call it that), comes from the moms that I meet on the weekend or their day off.
“How old is your son?”
“Four” (or “Three” when he was)
“Does he go to school?
“Nope. He just stays home with me.”
And then I would get that sense of disapproval. Like, they felt sorry for Caleb for not having social interaction or that he was going to be at a disadvantage in “real” school or … I don’t know what they were thinking, but I know they were judging. I really hate that what ever I do, there are people who don’t approve. It’s really annoying how people who don’t know me, but think they know what’s best for my family.
Anyway, I did get a bit annoyed about these countless discussions about Caleb not being in “school”, but I also found it very interesting and that helped me to not get really mad or nasty about it. I find it interesting that they never said “daycare”. It was always “school”. I mean, does a three year old really need to be schooled? Maybe this is a what moms in NY city experience with the competitive preschools. Moms seem to put expectations on each other to over burden our children.
I try not to be sucked in. I try to remember that it’s more important that he gets to play and do things that he naturally wants to do. It’s happened to me before. That I’ve felt like a failure because I couldn’t make him learn something that everyone else’s kid seemed to have learned with ease. But it turns out that when he’s ready, he naturally picks things up quickly. I just have to be consistent with introducing the topics periodically, so I can catch the moment when he is ready. And most importantly, allow him to learn things in his own time and not to judge him for it.
After making myself sound like such a victim, I have to say that the other day a SAHM (she had two boys, 4 and 2) I met at B&N’s kid’s area asked if Caleb goes to school. I said “nope.” Short and sweet. I did turn to her and smile, I don’t want to seem rude, but sheesh, what’s with that question? And then, after I was done judging her and my perception of what she was now thinking about my parenting skills, she said “Good for you. It’s nice to meet another mom who feels the same way.”