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Article: Too Cool for School

andrea richards

Too Cool for School

Well, it's here, the moment that I've been eagerly awaiting and terrified of: preschool. My two-year-old started last week and we are both exhausted. Who knew this first, tiny step into learning would be so taxing? First, getting on an actual schedule after our free-for-all summer stinks. My party girl can't sleep before 10, which means I've dragged her bleary-eyed to school tardy every day, despite the fact the school is literally in our backyard. (And I really do mean literally-we share a fence.) Thank goodness there's no draconian punishments like detention in nursery school because she'd have a permanent spot. Her school couldn't be a sweeter place: They play all day, sing, dance, make art, do yoga, garden and have a crew of critters to adore (fish, bunnies and mice). Sometimes, when I drop her off, I'm overcome with jealousy that my day isn't going to be half as fun. Still, the separation is tough. Even though I stick around until she's comfortable, she cries when I leave and I feel horrible, like the most evil person that ever existed. Put together the execs of Enron, BP and Wall Street, mix them with Magneto and Dr. Doom, and they still aren't as awful as me. I keep reminding myself that this is best for both of us-for her, it's a chance to have social interaction with peers (read: ignore them until they have a toy she wants) and an opportunity to learn to trust and love caregivers outside the family (wonderful people, who, no doubt the more she loves, the more I will dislike). For me, school means time to work and maybe even take a shower. You know what's getting me through these long days? Kanye. Yes, I had no idea his songs could soothe the ache of maternal yearning but there you go. I play the disc for the baby after coming home from drop-off and "Good Morning" immediately calms me down. By the time we hit "The Good Life" I'm thinking, "Yeah, that's what I'm living, toddler-free, baby." That high comes back down with "Hey Mama," and by the time "Homecoming" plays, I'm pacing the floor like a lion, ready for pickup. Are you suffering through sending a child to school for the first time? Does it get easier as kids age? Because if she starts actually being able to carry that cute little backpack on her own, I'll just wither and die out of uselessness. Is there a Kanye song that can help with that?

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