Ever since school started this year it has been a battle of wills to get my youngest daughter to attend Kindergarten Enrichment 3 days a week before her actual kindergarten class in the afternoon. My reasoning was since I enrolled her in half day kindergarten was this would fill in any potential gaps she would miss by providing her with supplemental learning materials.
Yes, most of that is a lie. Truthfully I became overwhelmed by the exhilarating prospect of being all alone. However, after much deliberation I have decided to take her out of the program because so much of learning occurs outside the classroom. Hey Sweetie, spell B-O-T-O-X, good now try L-I-P W-A-X, here’s a hard one P-E-D-I-C-U-R-E! I think parenting and flexibility go hand in hand. Rather than placing greater emphasis on academics, I signed her up for golf lessons so she may now focus on developing athletic skills. Theoretically she can earn a scholarship for having exceptional brains or brawn and frankly, it makes not the slightest difference to me.
I do however maintain exceedingly high expectations for my children in terms of their education. Here is why: Although I am in absolutely no hurry, I plan on furnishing my home with expensive white furniture and nice, plush carpeting of a light hue one day. This has long been a fantasy of mine. And I know this will never, ever come to fruition if I have a slovenly twenty-eight year old, in between jobs at the gas station and her four kids from three different fathers living with me because I am so riddled with guilt over my lack of parental involvement and therefore continue to enable her because that is seemingly the only way I can appease my gnawing conscious. Ooooooh Heeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllll Nooooooo.
When I gave birth to these little creatures, it became my life’s purpose to ensure that they survived in this world. I spend much of my waking hours talking, playing, loving, disciplining, teaching, encouraging, reasoning, negotiating, laughing, driving, arguing, snuggling, dancing, bitching, organizing, kissing, hugging, listening, yelling and watching. Some days I cry with inexplicit joy over their magnificence and the blessed fortune I have in raising them. Annnnnnnd other days I want to stand in the bathtub while blow drying my hair on the highest setting during a thunderstorm because I am so fucking worn out.
But I have my eye on the prize and that is to raise my daughters to be self-sufficient, confident, happy women, capable of taking care of themselves and filled with enough self-love to tell riffraff that comes along to go fuck themselves and the monster truck they rode in on. I am fully aware that I am the greatest influence in their lives right now and I take full advantage of opportunities to do the right thing because I know they are watching. Learning how to love myself, not being scared of failing, laughing at my mistakes, being assertive about my needs, not constantly bending to appease others and having fun in life are some of the greatest gifts I can give my daughters. As well as telling them the cold, hard truth…. The giant warlock tattoo you want to get across your shoulder blades may be cool in high school, it will look lame as fuck when you are picking out a wedding dress one day, remember that. Oh yeah and don’t smoke because that is fucking nasty too.
I realize it is not just the task of learning how to read and write but the sense of accomplishment that follows which is precisely why I do not give two shits when they tell me I am “mean” for making them study and do homework. This is also why I swallowed my pride last night and called my friend Monica to ask her how to do second grade math because it was harder than a couple of nipples vacationing in the Arctic. My daughter just looked at me, shook her head and went back to rapping her spelling words. Obviously, there is no roadmap to parenting (which is fine with me because I couldn’t read the fucking thing anyway) we just do whatever it takes having faith that one day they will understand why we did it. And hopefully, I will be sitting on my white couch, basking in the glory of knowing I gave them the best foundation I possibly could before they left for college and I changed the locks. XO