Saturday, 25 February 2012

She’s Picky

Things have to be so perfect, or else she cannot work it
She’s hard to please, can’t take her ease
She’s Picky, Picky, Picky – Here we go!
Chorus: (x2)
She’s Picky ‘bout everything, ‘bout everything
She’ll drive you nuts, she’s picky
Picky, picky, picky, picky
She has to eat organic, she wants to save the planet
Don’t smoke or drink, she won’t wear mink
Her skin she will not tan it.
Her house must be the cleanest, her kids must be the keenest
They must be smart, better not fart
Or else she’ll be the meanest
Chorus (x2)

We all know her.  The crazy lady at the playground who practically bathes her kids in hand sanitizer if they so much as look at the monkey bars.  The only women not wearing sweatpants at Mommy Group who looks like she is about to have a heart attack when you mention stopping at McDonald’s on the way home.  The mother of the kids wearing matching Hugo Boss outfits at the mall.  Whatever form she takes, she is often recognizable by the vein bulging in her forehead, the beads of sweat gathering at her temples and the fake grin plastered on her face.  I should know – I am her.
Yes, I Wendy, Mommy-blogger extraordinaire, am a self-proclaimed Picker.   I must do everything perfectly, to the best of my abilities, be better than everyone else and do so in full makeup.  You think it is annoying to be in the presence of Miss. Picky for all of an hour at your library’s story hour?  Try being her – it is no piece of low-fat organic sugar reduced gluten-free cake, I’ll tell you that!
While spending my days trying to keep my two year old clean is a struggle, and spending my nights planning nutritious meals that my kids will actually eat has taken its toll on my sex life, my biggest challenge so far has been preschool.  As a teacher myself, I have very high standards for my children’s education yet I am loath to part with my appendages to pay for it. 
After our recent move back to the Real World, I discovered that the Real World has a distinct lack of pre-schooling options.  Back in Neverland, there was an over-abundance of preschools.  There were so many preschools, and so many kids went to preschool from the age of 2 onward that I felt that my kids would be missing something if they weren’t in preschool too.  However, back in the Real World, I have found only two preschools within a 20km radius and let’s just say I would have to invest in a wheelchair to move my legless-ass around if I were to send my kids there. 
So after gaining a new clump of gray hair I decided that if you can’t send ‘em, teach ‘em.  Hell, I am a certified teacher after all – if I can’t teach my own kids a thing or two what was the point of those not-yet-paid-off student loans? 
At first I wasn’t sure I would have the discipline necessary to go through with it.  An hour a day of structured learning time, planned, prepared and executed by me?  Most days it is a struggle to get my kids to get dressed and eat breakfast.  But by using a great curriculum I found online (, stealing elements from Prince’s Neverland preschool, and cutting out two hours of sleep a night I have managed to get a great system established and have kept it going for a whole month now!  Ok, so I have to start dying my hair now, but that is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.
Here is a quick overview of my mommy-preschool set up:
Learning circle time:  Sing welcome song.  Talk about topic to be learned that day.  Play game related to topic (scavenger game, matching game, puzzles). 
Craft time:  Do a craft related to topic.  I try to alternate types of crafts to work on different skills like coloring, gluing, cutting, etc..
Final circle time:  Come back from craft table, do a dance to a children’s song related to the topic of the day to work on gross motor skills.  Have story time.  Sing goodbye song.
From this foray into schooling I have learned several things:  1) My kids really enjoy structure.  They look forward to school every day and it is during that time that we have the least disciplinary issues because they know what to expect.  I also enjoy playing school but only because I am an insufferable know-it-all and relish the opportunity to share my knowledge with others.   2) Preparing kids crafts is time consuming and dangerous.  Warning:  if you are going to make a matching game of capital and lowercase letters don’t use permanent markers, as inhaling the fumes for the 3 hours it will take to draw out the necessary 52 letters will destroy so many brain cells that you will have to get out a calculator to determine how many capital and lowercase letters there are altogether.  3)  There are good reasons preschools are so damn expensive – kids really do eat the damn glue and go through the rest of the art supplies like Charlie Sheen goes through hookers. 
Unfortunately, this experience has not helped me to be less picky – if anything, now I feel more pressure to be perfect as my performance will directly shape my kids perception of education, not to mention their intellect for years to come.  But who knows?  I could get fed up with the sleep deprivation and nursery rhymes and throw in the towel tomorrow, thereby making this at best a hazy memory laced with bad artwork that my kids will look back on in the future - if the marker fumes have not permanently damaged their long-term memory.  Or maybe Ellen will catch drift of my latest Mommy-mix and I will become famous, write Mommy-mixes for SNL and finally be able to afford a real preschool. 
Hey – even picky girls can dream!

No comments:

Post a Comment