School's Out Forever
Despite my prayers, school has not been extended year round
I was one of those parents who became obsessed with the choice of a pre-school for my two-year-old. I had spent much of her life researching where she would begin her education journey that I assume will eventually lead her to Harvard… Or the Peace Corp, I haven’t decided yet. Anyway, there were meetings with directors, calling every school in a twenty mile radius, and sadly, occasionally sitting in the parking lot and watching to see how well attended the children were on the playground. I finally chose a small pre-school in Westport. Note that I say “I” because my husband had no say in the decision. He understood that I had lost my mind in regards to the importance of her pre-school education and feared that if he chimed in on his thoughts, I would possibly cause him bodily harm. He was probably right.
As I braced myself for the fits of hysteria that would surely ensue once my little girl realized that I was going to leave her with strangers, I wiped away a tear. Much to my surprise (that’s putting it mildly, more like shock), she literally ran up to her new teacher and gave her the biggest hug I’ve ever seen. She didn’t shed a single tear. Actually, she didn’t even look back. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have spent $48 on books about how to deal with separation issues and toddlers.
For some reason, I had always assumed that her teachers would resemble Miss Lippy from the Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison. You know, kind of like a hippie who eats glue and rolls around in the art supplies when the kids aren’t around… but much to my dismay, Hayden’s teachers are quite normal. Exceptional, actually. So, given this information, I feared what she would repeat… and repeat she did.
There was the one time she announced to them that “Mommy and Daddy laugh when I pull down my pants and show them my butt crack”… or when I asked where she would like me to put her backpack, she proudly answered “up her butt”. Clearly, the child has an obsession with her back side. It could be worse. Let’s just say I may have a potty mouth when driving… around people who cannot drive. I’ve heard Hayden scream out from the back seat “Green means go lady!”.
When you teach your child ridiculous pet names for their privates, you don’t really think that one day you will have to explain those names to their teachers. There’s something amusing about making up a word and using it whenever referring to their little tushies/butts/behinds/bums- or in Hayden’s case, tookus.
I had to explain to these normal looking adult women, who were in charge of my child, all of her quirks. I had planned it in my head exactly how I would calmly explain her slang words, weird actions and hardships- but when the smart/pretty young teacher asked me if there was anything special she should know about Hayden, this is what I said… (imagine me stuttering and speaking ridiculously fast)…
“Um, yeah, she calls her rear end a tookus, her private is called a stellina which translates into Italian for little star (nervous giggle)- She’s afraid of puppets. She watches way too much TV, it’s kind of my fault and I know that the Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t suggest that, I’ll stop keeping it on so much. She doesn’t know any of her colors, my Mom thinks she might be color blind… oh, and she’s completely OCD about washing her hands.”
Insert awkward silence.
“Don’t worry, most two year olds don’t know their colors yet. She’s probably not color blind.”
Despite the hundreds of art craft projects that I throw away weekly when Hayden isn’t looking (The Art Institute of Boston is obviously not in her future), that school has been an absolute fantastic place. I thought it was hard to drop her off for the first time, but I don’t think I can mentally prepare myself for picking her up for the last time. I’ve begged. I’ve pleaded. They simply will not extend school year round. I’m at a loss on what I will do with this child all summer long. I know I will not be doing any art projects.
Anna Sforza-Zapotosky is the definition of a multi-tasker. Why have one love when you can have many? She is a full time Realtor with William Raveis Real Estate servicing all of lower Fairfield County. You can hear her as “Anna Zap” on-air with Connecticut radio stations, 95.9 The Fox and Star 99.9. She has performed standup comedy all over New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Her most important role though is as a Mommy to her beautiful three year old daughter Hayden, and wife of seven years to her college sweetheart, Paul. Together, they are making it in Fairfield County.