Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Unspoken Truth

Yesterday, at the Iowa City Public Library, my sister and I were sitting in cushy leather chairs enjoying our lattes while H played at the train table and rocked on the upholstered dragon. It was my idea of the perfect outing...I got to sit and visit with my sister without worrying that H was bored and would thus misbehave, interrupting my adult time.

While we were there, a man in scrubs walked in with four children ranging in age from about eight to two years old. He had a large stack of books in his hands and said to the eldest "Can you take Katie up to see the comics? I can't because..." and he just trailed off, not providing a reason. After he walked away, Sherri and I looked at each other and said sarcastically...because Daddy doesn't want to. We both thought it was awesome that he didn't even try to come up with an excuse because he had nothin'.

I really enjoy my kids, and I'm happy with my decision to stay home, but I am just not the mom who couldn't wait to be at home all the time so she could get right down on the floor and 'play tea party' or build with Legos all the time. I like to think that I'm 'fostering imaginative play' by allowing H to entertain himself for large chunks of the day. Which is probably why I work so hard to fill our days with one activity after another...not as much idle time for me to really examine what a lame parent I am.

I remember when J had inquired after I first had H if I would ever want to have an in-home daycare...uh no, no I would not. In fact, I would rather be responsible for the smell part of a quality control position at a manure-based fertilizer factory than to have a full-time daycare in my home. I like having kids over to play, and to babysit occasionally, but daily? No thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for women and men who can open their homes all day everyday to other people's kids, create crafty projects with them and generally build social skills and esteem in the future leaders of our nation. I am just not one of them. At least I know that about myself, right?


Alex Elliot said...

Honestly I think there are a lot of parents out there who feel like that, myself included.

MomtoSophieandOliver said...

Hmmm...That makes two of us. Unfortunately, my children are not as good as Henry is at self-entertainment.