My daughter, Natalia, is now a preschool kid. Thank God. As long as we can swing it, my husband and I will gladly fork over money so someone else can spend several hours each morning wiping the snot, drool, and crap that comes out of her little body.
Let somebody else deal with a toddler who already knows the power of her voice. A screech so high only our dog Thor and the other mutts in our neighborhood can hear it. I swear his stress level has skyrocketed since Natalia took over the house twenty-five months ago. And my stress? Let’s just say I used to love working at home; now I think it blows—well, except for the four hours Natalia’s at preschool each day. That’s heaven on Earth right here in Miami, Florida.
But the heavens part when the little devil gets home from school and takes over my office and every other part of the house. After just twenty minutes, the place looks like it has been hit by a hurricane. A category four. Try typing up a television script or a post for this blog when your kid’s pushing you out of the chair so she can log onto Sesame Street for her daily Elmo fix. Or begging for a forth cup of milk. Or slamming every door in the house. I used to have a nanny help take care of Natalia. But when Natalia started school a few months ago, we had to cut the nanny’s hours so she quit. I don’t blame her. But my work day has never been the same. Definitely need a replacement, but the thought of bringing another stranger into the house has turned me into a procrastinator. Gotta do it. Wanna do it. Wish I could hire someone else to hire a nanny for me. So until I work out my issues with a therapist or head to the beach for some belly tequila shots—my work day is going to suck.
But like most moms, I just figure out how to get things done. A sentence or two while Natalia’s playing jingle bells with the dog tags on Thor’s collar. He’s stressed, but thankfully patient. An entire paragraph while she does laps around the kitchen island. At full speed. Proofread while she tries to open the gate to the stairs then gives up and tries to shove her head through the slates instead. Her big lollipop head doesn’t fit. But sooner or later, Natalia runs out of steam and goes to sleep. No sleeping pills, I promise. When I check on her later and kiss her angelic face, I forget about all my bitchin’ and head back to my office with a smile on my face.
I’m happy she’s here with me. But mark my words, if Natalia ever goes off the deep end and gets kicked out of the toddler room at her Montessori school, her teachers are in for the biggest cat fight in preschool history. They will have to wrestle me for Natalia’s school uniform. Mornings are my time.