Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which Of The Wee Ones Do I Love More?

It was bound to happen eventually. After all, I do have two children. And now they’re school age and attending different schools. Besides, Mister Man had a (single) field trip this year to PetsMart and Little Miss had uhhh none.

So of course, this Friday I have a conflict.

Mister Man’s preschool class is going to the zoo for the entire day. They leave from school on the bus at 9:15 and return to the school at 2:30. Little Miss’s preschool is having an all school picnic.

Last year, I went to the zoo with Mister Man, and it was fun. Well, except for the pregnant mom who got bus sick before we reached the first main road away from the school. And Mister Man almost getting bus sick on both the way to the zoo and on the way home. And the screaming meltdown overtired past my nap incident we had when it was time to leave the zoo.

Plus, Little Miss can’t go on the bus with us, she’s even more in need of a nap than Mister Man, handling both of them at the zoo by myself isn’t exactly my idea of a picnic, and I did go to the zoo last year with him already.

Little Miss’s picnic is for the entire school and families, so Mister Man is invited to join everyone. But it’s only from 11:30 to 12:30, so he’d be home from school and missing out on a “big” experience with his classmates. Oh yeah, and Little Miss is going to a different preschool next year, so we won’t see any of those people (other than the five of the twelve kids in her class switching to the new preschool) ever again. And both times we’ve had events at Little Miss’s preschool – a back to school picnic and a Valentine’s Day dance – she’s ended up getting hurt with a bloody lip that’s required and ice pack, etc.

So which event am I supposed to choose?

Actually, I had to choose by yesterday. I finally flipped a coin, figuring that would at least not pin the decision on me when the wee ones come to me looking for funds for therapy years from now. The zoo won.

So umm I called my dad and asked if he’d watch Little Miss all day – and gave him the option of the picnic but he’s not the most social person to start with – while I took Mister Man to the zoo. Surprisingly, he agreed. However, I’m going to meet them at the zoo, which means that I can leave Little Miss later than I would have to otherwise, plus Mister Man won’t get bus sick in my car (knocking on every bit of wood I can find). This also gives me the opportunity to leave when we need to leave and drive directly home versus the disaster we endured last year.

My dad did volunteer to take Mister Man to the zoo so that I could go to the picnic with Little Miss, but that would be a bit awkward in my mind. Last year, the class pretty much stuck together, and the moms chatted and hung out and helped out as needed. Either my dad would be an odd wheel in that group or he’d be off by himself, in which case why go to the zoo as part of the field trip at all?

I also learned last year to pack a lunch. The form has the option of buying lunch there or bringing lunch. I remember field trips from when I was growing up and no one ever brought a lunch, so we planned to purchase our lunch. We were the only people to do so in the entire preschool. And it was a massive line. And then we had to wait for our food to be cooked. By the time we got back to the picnic tables with our food, most people had finished or were just about finished eating. This year, I’ve learned.

My only annoyance at the zoo right now is that I sent back the form saying that I’d meet the school at the zoo (an option provided), but I have no further information. Where do I meet them? What time do they plan to arrive? Where do I get my ticket? I’m giving it until tomorrow before I send a note to the teacher requesting those minor details.

So did I do the right thing? Should I take Little Miss with me and try to hold out as long as I can (technically, I could take her and pay for her ticket, but I’m worried about meltdowns and multiple children running in multiple directions)? Should I have gone to the picnic with both wee ones instead? How do you decide what to do when you have conflicts between your kids’ schedules?


Cookie May 20, 2008 at 11:28 PM  

That is difficult to make a decision about what to do with which kid. You're lucky though, the kids are still young and they probably won't realize (or at least remember for very long!) that you were forced to choose. Also, I hear that a trip to the ice cream store brings forgiveness ;)

Steph May 21, 2008 at 6:38 AM  

Totally the right call, I did hte zoo trip this year and loved it. Let us know how it was

Irene May 21, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

My kids aren't old enough to have scheduling conflicts, but I am sure it is coming soon enough! You did good though!

Michelle May 21, 2008 at 11:32 PM  

Cookie -- You're right that they're probably too young, but I do worry about how I handle this as it happens again and again for the next 14 years (18 if you count college -- yep, they're allowed only 4 years to graduate).

Steph -- thanks for the support. I'm hoping it'll go ok and that Little Miss will understand why she isn't going! I'll definitely blog on it, just for you.

Irene -- I never thought that 4 and 2 was old enough to have field trip conflicts, but what do I know! Good luck as you come into this stage, too.

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