Boarding schools for three year olds: do such a thing exist? And if not: WHY?
I’m not even talking about entry age 3 until they leave school, I’m talking about: drop off the day before their 3rd birthday and collect at 3pm on the Friday after they turn 4.
I don’t know what it is about this age, developmentally, but it pushes aaaaaaaalllllllllll my buttons.
I feel terrible saying it, I mean obviously I love my child, that goes without saying. And we’re approved foster carers now so perhaps I should have more coping strategies at my disposal other than ranting about my parenting woes here on my blog…but there’s a very good reason we put ourselves forward as baby carers.
Babies. Babies, I get. They’re demanding as hell, but in a whole other way. I’d take a newborn over a three year old any day. In fact at this point I think I’d take a baby AND a hormonal teenager over a three year old to be honest. Because having a three year old seems to be a lot like how I imagine it is to live with a moody teenage son, but with the added ‘bonus’ of having to devote every single ounce of energy I have to keeping them alive, and having them in turn hate me for it.
I mean, let’s be honest here, who would given the choice, elect to spend time with someone whose idea of social interaction is to scream in your face at every suggestion, and whose idea of stimulating conversation is to ask 75 times in rapid succession for an ice cream?
When it comes to parenting, I am a firm believer in you get back what you put in. Maybe not right away, I don’t think it’s always instant- but eventually, things should balance out, right?
Like the fuzzy feeling of a soft newborn head sleeping against your bare chest after cuddling them to sleep, every shallow baby breath seeming to whisper “thank you for loving me, thank you for keeping me safe” or the way your five year old’s eyes light up when they’re chatting about their new favourite topic and you ask them questions about it. There’s something about 3, that makes the input/output more unequal. Oh he says he loves me, but it’s usually after I’ve agreed to let him watch Ninjago for the 3,758th time (Coincidence? I think not) He wants to show me affection but only on his terms, and usually when it’s highly inconvenient, maybe even downright painful for me, like when I’ve just sat down on the toilet, or I’m putting the shopping through the checkout at Aldi, or I’m in the middle of phone call with my bank. Then he’s all over me like a rash, elbowing my boobs, knocking my glasses off, smooching his face into mine, leaving a trail of snot in his wake.
In some ways it’s a bit like being in an abusive relationship: say yes to them and they’ll claim to love you forever, say no and expect violence. But regardless of whether you’ve just had Buzz Lightyear thrown in your face for suggesting they tidy their toys up, you’re still expected to cook their meals, wash their clothes, and wipe their arse. And you’d better be smiling when you do it to, lest they somehow sense your resentment bubbling under the surface and take it to heart, growing up believing themselves to be unloveable at their core, when really, all you wanted was for them to be nice to you for five fucking minutes out of the day.
(Let the fun begin!)
This blog entry was brought to you by THURSDAY MORNING!
And the fact that it’s not even 10am and already my 3 year old has hit me with an umbrella, screamed that he hates me, and peed his pants in the park as well as crying/shrieking/whining about the following things:
having to take his brother to school, wanting to be under the umbrella with his brother, not wanting to be under the umbrella with his brother, wanting to hold my hand, not wanting to hold my hand, the fact it was raining, the fact that wind exists, the fact he couldn’t go directly to playgroup from school drop-off (because it doesn’t start until 10am), the fact he needed a wee in the park, not wanting to pee against a tree, wanting to pee against a tree, unsuccessfully peeing against a tree, my refusal to buy him a McDonalds at 9.15am, my suggestion that he take his rain-and-pee soaked clothes off when we got in the house, his inability to take his trousers off standing up and so necessitating that he sit down, my offering him dry pyjama bottoms, his inability to put on said pyjama bottoms standing up and so necessitating that he sit down, my not turning the tv on immediately upon arrival back home, me leaving the room without specifying where I was going (the kitchen) and when I would be back (30 seconds later).
And if you found reading that in any way monotonous/confusing/frustrating then please spare a moment to consider HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW.