We thought that this…

We thought that this summer, since neither Kevin nor I are teaching for a change, we'd save some money on childcare and have them in pre-school only three days a week. We'd do our research/writing on those three days, and could do housework and/or fun activities on the days they'd be home. That plan, I have to say, was a dismal failure. I don't know how stay-at-home parents do it. I really really don't. I would be screaming my head off if I had the kids home 24-7. I am not a yeller, but a full day with Anand would raise anyone's voice several decibel levels.

Kavya is actually fine, and often a delight, and even at age 2.75, I don't remember her being particularly much trouble. But Anand, my god. He is just this intense ball of energy and destruction, and by lunchtime on the days he's home, Kev and I are both frayed and miserable. Anand will grow out of this, I know (I hope!), but at least for right now, pre-school does a much better job of absorbing his energies than we do. Anand runs, he plays, he has many little friends and races around like a loon with them, and he's just so happy there.

Here, despite two adults supervising and not even trying to get any real work done, Anand pops screens out of windows, he tears warning labels off them, he rips baby tomatoes off the vine, he flushes unnamed items down the toilet (he did another one this morning, and I have no idea what it is, hopefully we won't have to bring the plumber out again), he dumps dirt out of my plant pots, he pulls grown up board games off the shelf and scatters the pieces to three of them across the floor (yesterday), he gets bored and starts hitting his sister when she doesn't want to play with him anymore, etc. and etc. and so on. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

So starting next week, they're back to five days a week, and Kev and I are both relieved. It makes our budget tighter for the rest of the year (especially with the recent dishwasher and AC repairs, sigh), but we can manage it. The kids are in school today, and so far I have emptied and spread three bags of mulch in the front yard, watered the grass a bit, emptied the car and taken it in to be seriously cleaned (it seriously needed it), and done a myriad of other tiny chores. In a minute I'll go pick up the car, and then my plan is to come back and write from 11 - 4, taking breaks every hour or so to unpack a box or organize some shelves (while resting my fingers, which otherwise would cramp up from five hours of straight typing).

And at 4, the kids will come home, and we will be happy to see them and spend the next four hours with them, reading and cooking and eating and gardening and playing. They are sweet when they're worn out from a day at pre-school. Although even so, it is generally a relief when bedtime finally comes.

Maybe we should have had kids at 20 after all. Waiting 'til almost 40 might have been a strategic error.

3 thoughts on “We thought that this…”

  1. I think I read they go to a Montessori preschool? Do you mind me asking when Anand started and how long are their days? Patrick is 2.5 and Lucas is 10 months old and some days are harder than others. My tolerance level seems to be about 4-5 hours and then I’m ready for a break, even if it’s only someone taking one of them off my hands. My husband seems to have a much higher tolerance than I do, but he’s also physically stronger than I am and likes to play rough with them and I can’t manage it. On one hand, I’d like to put Patrick in a part-time program a few days a week just so he could spend time with other kids and let me focus on the baby, on the other hand, Lucas adores his big brother and is so much happier when he’s around. I’d have put Patrick in Montessori at 2 if we’d only had one child, but it’s harder to know what to do when there are two of them and costs are nearly doubled.

  2. Oh, and I don’t think I could’ve managed this at all in my 20s. While I might have had more energy, I certainly didn’t have the patience to manage and infant and a toddler. I know several young women in their mid-20s with young children and they seem just as tired as frazzled as I do.

  3. Yes, it’s Montessori, and Anand started very young, though I don’t remember exactly. I had to go back to work after 3 weeks, though. They go from 8:30 – 4:00.

    It’s definitely pricey, although our school does give 10% discount for the second child. Another option you might consider is a nanny share; we did that for a while, and it was a good way to keep costs manageable and still give them a playmate or two.

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