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The Learning Party

So a few weeks ago, one of the moms in our playgroup (yes, I’m typing that without irony, sarcasm, or bitterness – they’re cool), sent an email that one of the local schools was offering a once-weekly “Learning Party.”

They had me at party.

Parties are all cupcakes and booze and balloons and flowers.

I really wanted the learning party.

The premise was that parents are their children’s first educators and the learning party was geared towards showing parents how to help their kids learn and grow appropriately.

It was for children about 3 to 5 years of age.

Each week focused on a different topic:  Writing and Literacy, Math, Science, Kindergarten preparedness. . .

SIGN ME UP!

The morning of the first learning party, I hyped that shit like it was Disneyland.  “Mac, do you know what today is?!  Today we’re going to a learning party!!  That’s right a learning party!  How cool is that?”

“How cool is that?” Mac mumbled while sorting a bunch of Melissa & Doug reusable stickers.

“Super cool!” I practically shouted.  “Let’s walk and run a few errands and go to Learning Party!”

As the morning progressed, all the pieces seemed to be coming together. . .Excellent.  We’ll be there on time.  We’ll be fully dressed.  . .mostly clean. . .

WE HOPEFULLY WON’T HAVE POOP IN OUR PANTS?!

Yeah.  I began to notice Mac was dealing with some poops.  And he refuses to poop in the potty and he knows we don’t want it in his pants so. . .CLENCH.

Awwwwww gawd, NOT NOW.  Party?

I begged him to sit on the potty.  I offered him the iPad.  I offered him our great rewards.  I turned my back for a minute and he pooped his pants.

Whatever.  

At this point we were dangerously close to being late.

I scraped the turds out of Mac’s underwear while simultaneously brushing my teeth, dressed Teddy, and began to worry about Mac’s lunch.

He hadn’t eaten well all day. He had to be starving.

I stuffed both kids and a couple of PBJs in the stroller and we began our march through the Park.

We circled the school a couple of times looking for an entrance that could accommodate our stroller.  NOTHING.

Finally, I approached the main door and a nice person helped me carry the stroller up a relatively intimidating staircase.

Mac seemed cool.

We entered a class-room and FOOD!

FREE LUNCH!  FREE LUNCH AT THE LEARNING PARTY.  GOOD LUNCH TOO!  ROASTED VEGGIE SAMS, DECENT DELI MEATS, ALL THE FIXINS’.

What?  Wasn’t expecting this.  At. all.

I fixed us a plate.

And while we were sitting in our pint-sized seats snacking away, I overheard someone mention that the parents would be GOING TO A DIFFERENT CLASSROOM after lunch.

I practically choked.

A different classroom?!

Oh SHIT.

I hadn’t prepped Mac for this at all.  (And I hadn’t prepped myself for this at all.)  I didn’t know these people from Adam.  I was just going to LEAVE MY KID WITH THEM?!  And what about Mac?  Mac hasn’t been out of our sight since we left him with Uncle Mike when Teddy was born.

Get a grip you crazy bitch.  These are TEACHERS!

Still, I couldn’t finish my sandwich.

How will this work?

“Ok, Moms and Dads, it’s time to go to the other classroom,” one of the educators said.

I stood up, wearing Teddy. . .

My late Father’s favorite phrase running through my head:  “Discretion is the greater part of valor.”

“Enjoy your snacker-dacks, Mac.  See you in a bit,” I said, all cool, tousling his hair, stomach flipping.

As we were exiting, I grabbed the teacher’s arm, “He’s never been um you know, alone before.  I’m not sure how he’ll handle it.”

“It’s fine,” she said, “If he gets upset, he can come in the room with you.”

“Thank you so much,” I said.

I entered the parents’ room and braced myself.

And braced myself.

And braced myself.

NOT.  A.  DAMNED.  THING.

THAT LITTLE PUNK COULDN’T CARE LESS!  NOT EVEN A WEAK PROTEST!?  JESUS, THAT’S COLD!  YOU DON’T MISS YOUR MOTHER FOR EVEN A SECOND?!

I tried to focus on all the quality stuff the teacher was saying – she was good.  Very good.

I kept glancing at the clock.

Mac had refused to use the potty before we left and I KNEW he had to pee soon.

He’s doing so well with the other kids, please don’t let him have an accident and feel embarrassed.

Tick.  Tick.  Tick.

And just as I was about to excuse myself, the teacher wrapped up.

I practically threw an elbow at the Father of the 5-year-old who was blocking the entry asking about “sight words” or some such shit.

I tried to play it cool as I rolled in.

“Mommy was. . .?” Mac said.

“Just next door,” I said, “Did you have. . .”

But before I could finish, the teacher said, “Who’s his parent?” (pointing at Mac.)

Oh.  Shit.  Gawd. No. What?!  Do you already have him diagnosed with ADHD or something?

“Here. Over here.  I am,” I said flashing my biggest smile.

“He knows his letters.  How old is he?”

“Um, turned three end of May?”

“I was floored,” she said.

“He does know his letters, ” I smiled, feeling dizzy from the deceleration of my heart. . .

“He didn’t want to tell me some of them but I could tell he knew them.”

Huge sigh of relief.

“He’s adorable.”

“Thank you.”

TRUST ME, NOT SO CUTE OR SMART WHEN HE’S POOPING HIS PANTS. . .

Ahhhhnnnndddd. . .now I’m finding myself indulging in the most shameful, self-serving, GLORIOUS fantasies of pre-school.

For Baltimore Peeps:  The Learning Party happens again MONDAY the 28th AT 12:15!  It’s at the Patterson Park Public Charter School.  Check out their website or comment or email me for more details.  We even got FREE Chicka Chicka Boom board books and Counting Bears Books as swag. . .