Sometimes I get down on myself. I wonder am I doing enough for my son. We go on adventure walks, we read books and sing songs. We listen to music and have dance parties in the middle of the living room while wearing our pajamas at 3 in the afternoon.
We go to visit family and spend our time eating ice cream and picking flowers and sticks and rocks.
I love those moments. I love those days.
I met a mom the other day while at the park. She had three kids, twin two year olds and a 5 month old. She showed up in her fancy stroller - I have to admit I had stroller envy for a moment. She was dressed perfectly down to her designer jeans and cute little top. She showed no sign of stress as her kids walked nicely next to her while on their way to play.
We exchanged a friendly hello at first and that was that. However, once Oliver walked up to her son and wanted to play we started up a conversation. She was extremely nice, almost too nice. It made me mad at myself for cursing her and her perfectness in my head.
But anyways, we got to talking, she asked if Oliver went to school. I said no, he was only a 17.5 months and that hes home with me everyday. She said, "oh".
Oh, oh what?! I asked. Not out loud of course because that's not the way I roll. I asked that to myself while I'm still cursing her perfectness and the fact that she is not sweating and its 9000 degrees outside. Because you know perfect girls don't sweat.
She continued saying her older two have been in childcare at the best in the area since they were 9 months old. They know sign language and are currently taking lessons in Chinese.
Chinese?! I thought to myself. Where does one even go to get Chinese lessons. She told me they have a private teacher come to the house and teach them.
I told her Oliver can say "Oh Toodles" and he learned it from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Of course, as I expected -- her kids don't watch TV.
As I'm baking in the sun and starting to turn into a lobster and she still hasn't broken a sweat -- My sweet adorable child pushes her kid down.
Not on purpose of course, he is little he doesn't understand boundaries and he really loves to 'boop' noses.
I felt bad, but they are kids - this is what they do. And it wasn't even that bad - her kid was totally fine. I have to admit that I'm glad Oliver did it. Not glad he pushed a kid over and made him cry - but I'm glad he gave us a reason to leave.
We left shortly after 'the insident' as I like to call it. On the walk home I thought about all the things her kids did. And wondered. Am I doing enough? Am I setting my child up for failure? Should he be in daycare/childcare whatever you want to call it - socializing with other kids? Bilingual - should I start finding someone to teach him a 2nd language - he can't even speak English yet?!
The more we walked the more I thought about it and the answer is No!
No, he is only almost 18 months old. He should be here with me and his dad. In his home. With his family.
Making the choice to stay home and take care of my son was so important to me.
Teaching him things the way I wanted to teach him was so important to me.
Spending as much time together as possible because I know it all ends way too quickly - Is so important to me.
My happiest memories are those spent with the people I love. I want that for my children too.
That lifestyle may work for that woman and her children. She may be happy with their Chinese lessons and fancy childcare.
But for us and our family it's swimming in the back yard and running though the sprinkler. Walks around the block in the old school Radio Flyer. Making forts out of blankets and couch cushions in the middle of the living room.
Oliver has his whole life to learn and be a grown up - for now, I just want him to be a kid - that's our kind of perfect.