Thursday, October 4, 2012

Serenity now!!!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Just for the record, I'm not in AA. And I'm not really the praying type, either. But the older I get, the truer the Serenity Prayer becomes for me. There's an ebb and flow to which of those three virtues I need at a given time. At times, the "serenity" part speaks to me. At other times, the "wisdom" part seems the most pertinent. And of course, there have been times when the "courage" part seemed most necessary.

Right now, I need a little serenity. The backstory:

Katie and I visited a co-operative, parent-run preschool this week. It was awesome. There were 15-20 toddlers, each with a friendly parent. There were more than a dozen different play activity areas: music, dress-up, wheeled toys, painting, train table, sandbox, climbing slide, play house, gravel pit, and - the pièce de résistance - a really large and fun water table! As soon as I put her down, Katie made a beeline for the kids at the water table, and all the adults gawked at how easily she fit in. Like a duck to water! Of course, for a 22-month-old, "fitting in" just means being comfortable playing with toys. I don't think any of them care who the other kids at the table are, as long as nobody is touching their toys! 

Each activity station had one parent as a supervisor. Each week, they split the parents into two groups: supervisors and observers. The supervisors each take a station and basically make sure the kids aren't playing too rough or getting hurt. The observers are kind of off-duty; they watch what their child is up to that day, and fill out a thoughtful questionnaire about their child's development and activites. After snack time, the observing parents get to go into a separate room with the teacher, and have a lecture and open discussion about parenting! How cool is that?

The entire school was set up with toddlers in mind. Everything was at toddler level, there were tons of well-made, sturdy, safe toys, and I just got the sense that Katie could run wild and have an amazing time exploring, and not hurt herself in the process. Not that I generally worry about her hurting herself - she's the toughest kid I've ever met - but it's nice to have peace of mind anyway. 

We were so impressed, we decided to sign up. The 20 hours of required work didn't seem too bad once they explained what it's all about. Neither did the 3-hour yearly maintenance duty. I'm absolutely thrilled - we start on Monday!

So why the serenity?

Because Katie caught a cold during our visit. She is now a sniffling, sneezing, fountain of snot. Poor girl! I've never seen anyone sneeze this much. Plus she just threw up ALL OVER ME.


I know I have to accept viruses if Katie is going to be with other toddlers in a school setting. And I think the school will be great for her social development, as well as my development as a parent. So I'm just going to have to bite the bullet. SERENITY NOW!

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