She hasn't even started school officially and I'm learning so much.
First of all, let me explain something. Olivia is going to a private school. I can admit to being a bit of an education snob, and since we were used to spending the money on daycare, we could afford it. It's no more expensive (right now... it gets more expensive as you go...). We're hoping to move to a better school district before we're paying tuition on 3 kids.
Now, her school is little. 400 kids from 4K through 12th. I learned during orientation a few weeks ago that the problem with a small school is that it isn't easy to get lost in the crowd. Especially when you have 3 kids acting like they've just finished a Cafe Mocha or something. I'm sure the principal will have her eye on us.
Today was Open House. We got to go drop off the multitude of school supplies and meet the teacher. Let me go off on a tangent for a second about the school supplies. Olivia goes to a private school. I pay tuition for her to go to school. I understand buying the normal supplies like pencils and crayons. But paper towels? Copy paper? They can't afford that off of what we're paying? Hell, tack an extra $5 to the tuition and go buy the stuff in bulk at Sam's for Pete's sake.
So, in addition to meeting the teacher, I got to see a few of the other parents.
I am totally not private school material. Granted, Open House was a drop-in event over a few hours, so I missed more than half of the other parents. But the ones I saw were way out of my league. The moms who stay home and still have the money to shop for boutique clothing for their darling princess. I'm not saying that is bad. I'm saying I can't relate. I work. If I didn't work, we couldn't afford to send Olivia to private school. Hell, we couldn't afford rent. That's the life we've chosen. That's the life they've chosen. We might get along famously and become best friends... but I doubt it.
It is jealousy? Partly. But not entirely. Even if our household income suddenly expanded, I don't think I could ever really relate to the women I saw today. I am not into fashion or hair. I own like 3 or 4 pairs of shoes. I don't accessorize. The only manicure I've ever gotten was for my wedding. It would be really difficult for me to find something in common without digging down deep into their personality and I'm just not that outgoing.
I was a little sad when I looked at all the sign up sheets for Room Mothers and party volunteers. My job is pretty flexible and I could help out for some things, but it's hard to committ to it right this second. And there were 7-10 names on each list before I got there. There are only 14 kids in the class. There was definite jealousy going on inside me there. It's like I want to be involved but my antisocial side makes it a little difficult, especially when it's evident that I'm not needed.
And lastly, I wondered if I'm the only one who hasn't taught their kid how to get in and out of the vehicle by themself. Olivia can unbuckle herself. That's it. She isn't strong enough to operate the van door. She can't buckle herself and doesn't want to. When I pick her up and drop her off, I have to get out and let her out or let her in and buckle her up. A couple other parents were like, "so I don't even have to get out when I drop them off, right?" I guess they're going to have to just hate being behind me in the drop off lane for a while.
I feel like I'm going to be That Mom.