Doing My Time: In the Pre-K Library

I’m as guilt-prone as the next mom, but there are some things I simply refuse to feel guilty about. Like hiring a pro to clean my house now and then and not volunteering at my son’s school. Look: I’ve got a 2yo, writing deadlines, and a mountain of laundry the size of Everest. So, sorry – I’m not using up my precious 2 hours and 45 min. a day that my older son’s in preschool to photocopy worksheets while I pay a babysitter to watch my toddler. If you do? Yay for you. You win.

The thing is, on Mondays the kids have library and almost ALL the parents have volunteered to read to the class. I know this because I’m cc’ed on e-mails listing the library schedule full of parents and caregivers more selfless than I. Although I tell myself if they’re on salary or have family to watch their other kids, what’s the big sacrifice?

ANYWAY… I could tell it would mean a lot to Miles if I volunteered to read. So on a day C. was off work to watch Riley, I did. My first mistake was getting all gussied up. I realized I needn’t have spent 20 min. flat-ironing my hair and choosing accessories when the other mom volunteer strolled in wearing workout gear. My second mistake was listening to my 4yo when he told me I didn’t have to bring in a book, because his class got to choose one for me to read.

So there I was, scrambling amidst the haphazardly organized books to find one I recognized. (Where is the Dewey decimal system when you need it?!) Aha! “Arthur Writes a Story.” Perfect, since, you know, I’m a writer. Just to be safe I picked a backup, some book about a hibernating bear. Lame.

The kids pile into the library, all bedhead and mismatched patterns. (So it’s not just MY kid. Whew!) Miles gives me a little smile, then slinks to the back, too cool for school. The girls start clamoring to show me their nail polish and sparkly shoes. I DO like a cute pair of Mary Janes…

I introduce myself as Mrs. So-and-So (even though the other parent said, “I usually just say ‘I’m Billy’s mom’”). Then I announce, all enthusiastically, “So, kids! I thought we could read this book about Arthur writing a story, because I’M actually a writer. Or, this book about a b—“

“The bear! The bear! Read that one! We have that book at home!”

Those kids could give a flying pig with a pancake that I’m a writer. Any ideas I had about impressing this crowd with my literary credentials went right out the flower-decaled window. Humph.

So I read the book about the dumb hibernating bear and they were enthralled. I did all the sound effects – I snored, I roared, I stomped my feet. I even threw in a fake burp. If I was giving up my morning to volunteer, I was damn sure gonna do it RIGHT.

And you know what? It was fun. I could tell the kids enjoyed it, even Miles. And it was a nice break from the laundry and my keyboard. In fact, I liked it so much…that I volunteered my husband to go in and read next week.


Shannon @ AnchorMommy said…

Hahaha! I love this. You and I are on EXACTLY the same page when it comes to volunteering in the classroom. Great job on the fake burp! And on letting your husband experience the joy of volunteering. Very generous of you. 🙂


Was the book "And the Bear Snores On"? I LOVE that book. 😉

I feel the same way about school volunteering, and my kid's not even in school yet. We considered a cooperative preschool where I'd have to work in the classroom every 3 weeks or something, and I thought, "Well, what's the POINT of sending him to school if I have to go, too? How does this help my work schedule?" (Also, I don't really like kids all that much and am pretty sure that a morning spent herding 10 of them would lead me to drink hard.)

Mom2Miles said…

Yes! That's the book. Overrated, IMO. 😉 LOL re: your comment about why do you have to go to school, too.

Mama Cee said…

Very funny story. I especially like the end. I'm sure your hubby is jumping for joy. I made a mistake of dressing up when I volunteered for the Father Daughter dance at my daughter's elementary school. All of the other moms who were volunteering were wearing jeans and t-shirts and here I am looking like a schmuck in a hot pink skirt and high heels. My daughter thought I looked pretty, though.

Kelli @ writing the waves said…

I guessed right – Bear Snores On. Cute book. There's whole series of them in case you need a book for your husband. haha 🙂

I am a sucker for reading in the classroom, I admit it. That was probably my favorite thing about teaching. Props to you for the gestures and sound effects. Sounds like you are a natural! 😉

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