Our 3 year old boy has just started attending play school this year. Naturally, he has now picked up 125,870 different colds, sniffles and flus and, I can only assume, is basically a walking petri dish.
Thus, I give you the Before I Had Kids before/after starting school bacteria comparison . . .
It’s time for another Before I Had Kids flowchart!
It seems there’s always another activity, always another event – how is a modern, time-pressured parent to determine whether it’s necessary to attend? Consult this handy flowchart and wonder no more!
Click image to enlarge.
Did you enjoy this? You might also like:
Parenting Flowchart: “Am I too Sick to Parent?”
Parenting Pie Charts: Spending Habits Before and After Having Kids
Ah, Show and Tell. It’s a time-honoured tradition that teaches children how important it is to have better stuff than other people you know.
And of course the school year starts off with the best of intentions, but as the months wear on . . .
A portrait of every one of your daughter’s classmates that you helped her paint on a large canvas, which you then had framed and donated to the class as a gift.
A hand-knit scarf your great ancestor Mildred Middlebottom made for a soldier who served served in the Franco-Prussian war and single-handedly halted a German invasion while wearing it.
A collection of seashells you gathered together last summer.
Half-finished colouring book.
The same dirty pair of mittens she’s worn to school every day since October because you forgot to send anything for show-and-tell.
A nine volt battery that used to be in a really cool toy that got broken and thrown in the garbage.
The mittens again.
A page torn out of the 2003 International Plant Nutrition Institute calendar.
A tic-tac that sort of looks like a white smartie.
We have a daughter who is now old enough to go to school 5 days a week. Because we both work, she stays for lunch and therefore needs a lunch and two snacks packed every. single. day.
Before I had kids I really didn’t realize how difficult it is to pack 5 lunches and 10 snacks every week that are nutritious and have some remote likelihood of being ingested by a 5 year old.
You go get some groceries on the weekend, you spend some time packing a kick-ass lunch for her on Sunday night, but as the week wears on, and the groceries and patience start to wear thin, things can get a bit less well-rounded . . .
Before I was a parent, I don’t think I could really have imagined with any certainty the spine-twisting, knee-buckling devastation that is Watching Her Get Onto the School Bus For the First Time.
There is so very much that awaits her on the other side of those creaky old doors, just up those three impossibly tall steps.
So much joy is there. So much discovery. So many new worlds and people and experiences. But also so much pain, so many obstacles and so much hurting.
To see it for the very first time, to know that beyond those doors and up those steps are fights her Daddy won’t be able to fight for her, owies her Daddy won’t be able to fix, and tears he won’t be able to erase with a blankie and a cuddle and an enthusiastic story . . . it’s almost more than a parent’s soul can handle.
It’s the simultaneous terror and wonder of being a parent that at once breaks your heart and builds it back up again.
At least, that’s how it feels from here. Just try telling that to the little girl in the polka-dot backpack, grinning and bounding up those three impossibly tall steps right up into a whole, shiny, big new world . . .