In the middle of October I signed both of my kids up for a Friday morning cooperative childcare program. It’s housed in the same building where Ryan attends preschool, and runs from 9:00-12:00 every Friday for most of the school year. There’s a director who leads the program and organizes the parent volunteers. The children are divided into age-group classes, from 6 weeks old up to 5 years old. Since it’s a co-op, parents commit to “volunteering” as a helper in a class once every month. So, for every three weeks that I get a morning “off” and my kids stay and play at the preschool, I work once a month as a classroom helper.

Someone asked me if I’d be willing to switch volunteer dates with them, so my first day as a classroom helper came sooner than I had expected- last Friday. Each week the parent volunteers are assigned to help in a certain classroom, and they try really hard to have a parent work in a room where their own kid is NOT present. I was slightly dreading that I would be assigned to the infant room, which would entail holding and feeding and changing crying babies for three hours, and walking them up and down the hallway to try and get them to sleep. Apart from the infants (and knowing I wouldn’t be assigned to Sam’s class- the toddler room, which I think would be THE MOST challenging age group) I was pretty okay with the idea of working in any of the other classes. When I got there, I learned I was assigned to the 3 year old room. Score! Wait…three year olds. THREE YEAR OLDS. Am I forgetting that the Age of Three is an entire year out of my eldest’s behavior that I’d rather not remember? Of COURSE I will be assigned to work with three year olds; they’re just so unpredictably, diabolically fun!

Anyway. It all went fine. The 3yo’s in my group were (mostly) well-behaved, and I even had some fun since I got to help with their Halloween party. But, the fact that they were having a Halloween party and were allowed to wear costumes that day made certain aspects of my time as classroom helper quite interesting. For example, this one kid, who happened to be dressed as Batman, had to use the bathroom THREE times while I was there. I’m no aficionado of Batman films, but I don’t think they ever went into detail about how Batman was able to efficiently change out of his bat suit every time he needed to use the potty. I could have used a tutorial on that, because Batman and I became intimately familiar with the bathroom last Friday. {{Have any of you read Little Bee? A wee Batman plays a central role in that book and I kept thinking about it the whole time I was helping this Batman with his bathroom duties.}}

Anyhow. This Friday thing is basically the first time Sam has ever been away from me in an organized setting like this. And Ryan will continue to adjust to having a fourth morning of a scheduled, organized thing in his week, so we’ll see how it goes.

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