I Spend 20 Hours A Month Waiting Around For My Daughter’s Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities kids, goes like this. On Monday evenings, I wait one hour during her singing lessons. On Thursdays, I wait an hour and a half for her play practices. On Friday nights, I wait an hour and a half for her ballet classes at the National Ballet School and on Sundays, I wait another hour for her dancing classes at the National Ballet School. That’s five hours a week I generally sit in my car outside whatever studio she’s at.
And, no, I don’t think she’s over-programmed. She loves this shit, but five hours a week in my car (which is where I usually wait) over a month is 20 hours a month in my car, and that’s 20 hours I could be productive doing something that doesn’t include playing Boogle on my iPad while waiting for my daughter. That’s a lot of time for me to be sitting and waiting and pretty much doing nothing while counting down the minutes, thinking, “Is there anything I can do right now aside from playing Boogle?”
The problem with her singing lessons is that it’s only an hour. Yes, I can sit and watch every week but trust me, after hearing the group sing the same songs that they will perform in concert, it gets a little tedious. The same with her play practices. I don’t want to watch every week, because by the time the play production actually comes around, I’ll be bored out of my mind when I actually see the play.
Her ballet school is located in a somewhat shady part of town. When it was light out at night, I would go for walks, but I’m not feeling too comfortable doing that when it gets dark at six p.m. And there is nothing, and I mean nothing, around that school to do. (There is one coffee shop. But I don’t need coffee at seven p.m. at night.)
The school is too far from my house to go back home and come back. I’m not a very patient person. I’m the type that will get my hair dyed one day and then go back at a later date to get it trimmed because I can’t sit in the same place for more than two hours. Same goes for manicures and pedicures. Unless they are doing my feet and my hands at THE SAME TIME then I will go back twice.
The problem with extracurricular programs is that they are either too long or too short. I find this with birthday parties too. The hour ones I can sometimes deal with if I know other mothers and can sit and chat with them. But at some of the programs, I don’t know anyone. So I do what I can to kill the time. I bring a book. I bring magazines. I bring my phone and call friends. But in the back of my head I’m just counting down the minutes, even seconds, until I know my daughter will be done and I can get back home.
Waiting for your child in an extracurricular activity is like having a newborn and going on endless walks. You actually have no where you need to go, but you end up at a drug store just killing time because there is nothing else to do.
My grocery shopping is done on the weekends. It’s too fucking cold to go on walks. I find that I really don’t ever need to DO anything when I’m waiting for my daughter. And during the hour classes, which fall generally during rush hour, I can’t really do anything.
I guess I could make up chores – hey you could never have too much toothpaste! I could buy another tube! – but then I’d just be spending money that I don’t need to spend and come on, buying toothpaste is possibly as boring as just sitting in your car waiting for your child to be done with their classes. Like I said, there’s never any point in going back home after dropping her off, because by the time I got back home, I’d just have to leave again.
So, yes, I’m getting really good at Boogle on my iPad. But, god, waiting is such a waste of time. And the worst of it, is that it makes ME feel lazy, even though I’m the one driving her to all these places and making sure she gets there on time. That’s 20 hours a month, my friends, that I could be doing something productive. But at least I can say my high-score is 156 on Boogle!