Yesterday was Sabrina’s Halloween party at preschool. Having gone through this with Sammy, I knew the routine. Get the e-mail asking for volunteers. Scramble to get your reply in so you get your first choice (please not the craft project). Walk in through the back door that will be conveniently unlocked just for this occasion. Set up the craft. Feed the kids their half-healthy, half-sugared up snack. Read a story. Go home with a buzzed kid. Done.
Two years ago when Sammy was a student there, I watched the other mothers sail through these parties with practiced ease as I chased my toddler around the room (what else was I supposed to do with her?) to keep her grubby mitts off, well, everything. I’d toss out the snack I’d brought or scatter stickers for the hastily planned craft (see, don’t assign me the craft) as quickly as possible and hope the teachers didn’t think I was too much of a hack. But now, apparently, I’m the seasoned mom, as the newbie moms watch me or (heaven forbid) ask me questions. At first, I was mostly astonished that anyone would think me the voice of knowledge for such things. But then I realized, I was judging the moms putting out the craft (just let them do it themselves; we can hose off the glue later!), or trying to read a second story just as the sugar kicked in (good luck with that one). And that wasn’t fair, because not that long ago (shut up, it was only 2 years), I was that mom.
I guess I have acquired some knowledge along the way, and that’s good. The problem is, it’s knowledge about things and stages past, and I’m coming up with more and more questions about the phases were about to enter. Parenthood is a never-ending cycle of learning and confusion, confidence and fear. I’d really love the opportunity to relish in the confidence part a little longer, before the terror sets back in again.
At least I get a few moments like this when I can put my hard-earned expertise to good use. It’s craft before snack, people. It’s so much less sticky that way.