Benefits of Babyschool

Today marks one year to the date I returned to work following my 12-week maternity leave. My, how time flies …

Whenever I have second thoughts about sending Maya to babyschool (which is often, as I miss my peanut enormously …), I think of all the creative things they are doing with her that I just wouldn’t even think of doing. It pains to me say it, but for as much as I’m a writer, I’m otherwise not a very creative person. And her teachers — all early childhood education college or grad students (or former teachers, etc.) are serving as amazing examples for me.

Exhibit 1: She’s a signing baby! For example, I never would have thought of doing baby sign with her. It just wouldn’t have crossed my radar. Today, she signs “milk,” “more,” “all done,” and “diaper” (though the last one is just when we ask for it, not yet related to if she needs to be changed, though eventually that’s the goal). This weekend I got my rings cleaned at a jewelry store in the mall and Maya began signing for milk. One of the salesgirls was watching her and asked me what she was doing and when I explained it, she called another girl over and Maya put on a little signing show for them. They were totally impressed!

Exhibit 2: She’s identifying objects I might not have thought of naming yet. I get BabyCenter updates so I have an idea of what milestones generally come when, but little things like learning facial features–that’s not something that I would have worked with her on yet, had her teachers not told me they were already introducing them. Today, she knows her hair, belly, nose, mouth and ears — and we mix it up. She also knows eyes, but most of the time points to our eyes, not hers 😉 It’s OK; we’re working on that one …

Exhibit 3: She’s learning cool songs. I am a terrible singer and make no apologies for my voice and how it might scar Maya later in life … but I don’t know a whole ton of interactive kid songs. I’m kind of sucky at that. Well, at babyschool, they do a version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat that goes like this:

Row, row, row your boat gently up the shore.
If you see a lion there, don’t forget to ROAR!

She actually “rows” her pretend boat with her little arms! It’s THE cutest thing. Who knew Maya can row!? Not this mama!

[She doesn’t do the “ROAR” yet, but she collapses into giggles when we sing it and already sings “ra-ra-ra-ra-ra” so I think in time she’ll get the ROAR all the boys in the class do.]

Exhibit 4: She’s a budding Picasso. I kid, I kid .. but in all seriousness, they do a ton of art projects at school. Granted she can’t exactly color in the lines or anything, but her projects are so cool and unique — and they are developing her fine motor skills in amazing ways. As her teacher noted yesterday in her daily report card, “Maya was very focused on painting with the paintbrush today.” (I suppose meaning versus using it as a weapon, running around with it, eating it).

I can’t thank her teachers enough for all they have done for her thus far, and this makes me want to give my SAHM friends and readers mad props, because seriously, I’m not cutting myself down but I honestly don’t think I could provide Maya with what school is giving her at the moment. Really. It makes me feel bad to say it, but it’s the truth.

I guess if anything, it reinforces to me that I made the right choice going back to work. She is flourishing at babyschool, and since I don’t see myself becoming a super-creative person in the near future, this is as good as it’s gonna get!!

I might always wish it was me with her 24/7 … but I trust these women to help her blossom. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.

How about you? If you’re a SAHM, what are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids? And if you’re a working outside the home mom (as ALL moms work!!), what have you loved most about daycare for your child/children?

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