Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mommy? I mean, Mrs. Petty?

Well, here they are.  Emmett dressed up for school all on his own.  He picked out the shirt and workout pants.  He said he didn't want to wear just a tee shirt.  So cute.  He is also so excited about his pencil sharpener that he wanted his pencil sharpener to be in the picture.  Carmen was up bright and early eager to get started.  John really needed to hold a potty training graduate certificate.  He spent our whole first day of school pooping on the potty like a champ.  He is all set! I know, I know... Someday poop won't be my favorite topic of conversation.  

Oh my, what a day.  Every time I think about how busy I am in the summer and how tired I am, I always think about the first day of school.   What the heck?  How am I going to keep up with the house, take care of the children, AND give them their education, too??!!

The answer is... I have no idea

I just do it.

And I love it.

Today was quite a day.  First of all, we were late for school because John was pooping.  How appropriate!  The plan is we all go downstairs together and we don't come back up until we are done.  I am doing three hour blocks of time this week.  There is a break in there, of course, but we don't go back upstairs until school is over.

One of the best decisions on my part is to NOT do anything on my phone that is not school related.  the children are very happy about this.  I told them I am all theirs, no phone for Mommy!  It really helps me to keep focused on them and to give them every bit of my attention.

This morning, Emmett asked me to go downstairs first.  So I went.  I was in the classroom getting ready and in comes Carmen with her backpack and all.  She said, "Good morning, Mrs. Petty", with a huge smile on her face!  I greeted her with a big hug, "I am so happy you are in my class!  How was your summer?"

It was sooo adorable.  Then in comes Emmett and I greeted him the same way.  They just love it!

In fact, at the end of the day, they wanted me to go up first.  So I am up in the kitchen and in comes Carmen.  She has a big smile on her face and says, "Hi Mommy!"  I greeted her with a big hug and asked, "How was your day? Did you have fun at school?"

Oh my gosh, it was adorable.  In comes Emmett and I did the same thing with him.

To us, it may seem like a silly game.  To them it is the world.  It is them making sense of who I am to them.  What roles do I play in their lives?  How will they show me respect as we navigate through jam packed days of time together?  I love to see how they treat me as teacher and mother.

For example, today in school, Emmett was telling me something and I could actually see how he thought about what he was saying and he changed his tone a little bit because he was showing a certain respect to me as teacher.  I love seeing how they relate and how they learn to understand they need to respect me as Mommy, too.

All those years teaching and seeing how my students treated their parents so differently than me!  I would always marvel at how mean they could be to their parents but how sweet, kind, and respectful they would be to me.  Well, now I am both!  I am teacher AND Mommy.  What a fascinating thing to see.  Keeping the roles clear also helps me to see how I am treated as mother and how I deserve to be treated, as well.  It helps me to keep things in check.

Enough about how they treat me.  What about how I treat them?  I gave them a little speech last night and held their hands and told them how I always wanted to have children of my own when I was teaching students in the public school.  I told them how much I loved my students but I always knew it wasn't the same because they weren't my own.  So I told Emmett and Carmen how happy I am to have them as my own and that I am able to be their teacher.  I told them thank you for that.

And they got that little look on their face that only I know.

It was a look as if to say, "right now I am the most important, most loved child in the universe.  I shall sleep well tonight knowing that my mommy AND my teacher loves me so."

What a joy to be the teacher of my very own children.  Here's to a great year.  

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