I'm so happy my little girl loves school. She goes bounding off to get on the bus each morning and a smile that satisfied smile of a mom who knows her daughter is confident and excited about new experiences.
Then she gets off the bus with a big smile on her face, but a little less spring in her step. I tell myself it's because she's exhausted after 6 hours of pure fun - but I know the truth... she isn't so thrilled about coming home.
Don't get me wrong - she LOVES me. She loves her family. I know she's happy here and has a lot of fun.
Today she slumps down in her seat as she's having some grapes after school. "Mom, can I pleeeeeeeeeeeeease go to aftercare? Those kids look like they have so much fun... and they get to go back out to play so they get an extra recess."
hmmmmmmmm..... I try to explain to her that aftercare is for kids who have parents that work away from home and they can't go home quite yet. I try to explain that she's lucky she gets to come home (this is not intended as a bash on working parents... work with me here - I'm just trying to psych my kid up that another 2-3 hours with her friends and playground equipment isn't like a daily visit to Disneyland...) and hang out with us.
I can tell from her response she isn't buying my brand of enthusiasm. So I change tactics and ask her why she DOESN' like coming home. Her answers surprise just a tiny bit. She says she doesn't like having to share everything with her sisters (I can see that), she doesn't like that I make her take a couple of minutes to sit down and have a snack and relax (hmmm?), she doesn't like that we don't have a jungle gym out back, and she doesn't like that I make her follow rules.
Alrighty then. I'm pretty sure that other than the jungle gym thing - she just reassured me that I'm doing an okay job.
As I listen to her in her playroom with her little sister giggling hysterically as they slingshot their stuffed animals across the room I know she's happy to be home. Isn't she? Do they have aftercare for moms?