Daddy Duty — Part OnePosted: March 22, 2007
My wife and I are quite fortunate to have her mom watching our son every day while we’re working. It just makes it very easy all around. Can’t beat family. It’s that simple.
But, hey, everyone needs a break. So, for the last week, my mother-in-law has been in Florida, which means we had to juggle care of our son between ourselves and a friend who has watched him before.
So, for me, that means Daddy Duty. The way everything played out, I was to have him twice, essentially for a day and a half. But, within that day and half were two significant events — story time at the library the first day and preschool the second day.
I figure, hey, you like everything I read — or at least I hope you do. That being the case, you might get a kick out of my experiences during this time I was ‘on duty.’
In this post, we’ll tackle story time. Preschool will be its own post.
I do consider myself very active with my son, and I love every minute we have together. However, I will admit to feeling my stress level go up (just a bit!) when I’m, well, the ‘man in charge’ for a set period.
So story time at the library was our first activity. We were a bit early and my son led me right into the room where things happen. I saw other kids and moms when we first walked in, but, hey, my son’s 2.5, he knows where to go. He does this every week. Not me.
I did what anyone would do — I followed the person who’s done it before! But, after he took his place on the mat and I was trying to figure out where I should sit, nobody else was coming in the room. Finally, the ‘teacher’ comes in and told me that the kids normally gather on the other side until they are all there before coming in.
I plead ignorance and told her I was simply following instructions — for a near three-year old. She smiled.
Then the moms come in. So it’s me and five moms. I’m normally ok with that, but I do admit to feeling a little self-conscious, perhaps even out of my element. I shouldn’t have thought that. But I did.
I was sitting in a chair in the back of the room, giving my son his independence for this program. But, with that, all the moms come in and sit around the mat or against the wall near the mat. Well, I can’t just sit back there, right? I get off the chair and sit on the floor — just like the moms. Ok, I thought, I’m good with this.
What amazed me at that point was not how much the moms did — but rather, what they didn’t do. The ‘teacher’ was reading books about airplanes. Well, a couple of the kids stood up, walked to her and pointed to different things in the book while she was trying to read to the group. She was clearly annoyed and, I think, was waiting for the moms to do something.
Only they didn’t. At least not at first.
Finally, after about the fourth time with a couple of the kids, two of the moms actually made an effort to follow the teacher’s instructions and not have the kids just getting up and going to point at the book.
And, I’ll admit, I was nervous thinking about what would happen if my son got up and did something. Would I react the ‘right’ way? Wait a minute. I shouldn’t worry about this. He is just 2.5 afterall. And, whose to judge if my reaction would have been right?
But, you know what? I didn’t have to worry at all. He followed directions well and simply sat and enjoyed the stories.
I did, too. And, yes, I can’t help it. I was proud. Oh so proud.
Not just of my son though. But also of me.
Afterall, I made it through story time.
What else? I got nothin’.