Lisa says: Do you volunteer at your kid's school?

Lisa's excited about volunteering in Addy's classroom, but wonders if it will confuse her.

By Lisa van de Geyn
Lisa says: Do you volunteer at your kid's school?

Addy headed to school

Honestly, I can't believe I already have a kid who goes to school. The second day I picked Addy up from Ms. E's class and checked her school bag, her folder had a package of forms for me to go through. (So weird that now I'm the mom signing school forms and not the student passing my mom the forms to sign. I realize I've been out of school for, um, a long time, but still.)

Anyway, we signed her up for the milk program — where she'll get a small chocolate milk for lunch every day she's in school. I signed the document that allows her picture and/or name to appear in the school newsletter or on their site. (Hey, the kid's been splashed over since she was conceived — remember those pee tests?) I filled out the form about drop-off and pick-up — I'll be the one who does both. Finally, I filled out the volunteer form. I have to say, I was pretty darn excited about this one.

One of the reasons I chose not to return to my full-time gig at Today's Parent and freelance from home was so my schedule would be flexible so I could volunteer in the kids' classrooms, go on school field trips, etc. (I always loved that my mom came on our trips in school; I want to be able to do the same with my kids.) I checked off that I'd be happy to volunteer by helping the teacher with clerical stuff (stapling, stuffing envelopes, stuffing folders, photocopying, etc.), and I'd be interested in coming into the classroom to assist by reading with the kids, helping them get their coats on for recess and dismissal, etc. In the "other" section, I wrote that I'd love to volunteer on the parent council and on field trips. 

The next morning, when I took Addy to school, I watched a whole whack of little kindergartners freaking out about leaving their parents — there was a ton of crying, screaming, kicking, etc. Thankfully, Addy was OK, but I could tell that she was concerned and/or wondering about her classmates. Then it occurred to me — Addy has teared up a couple of times in class (very briefly, and only because she "missed her mommy"). She's understanding that I'm not going to be in class with her, and she's accepting it. Will it confuse her by volunteering in her class? 

(If I may, I have to bring up poor Donovan again. Donovan was the boy who, in my kindergarten class, sat under the wee water fountain for three whole months crying every single morning, wanting to go home. I remember his mother volunteering in our class, and the days she was in, he wasn't nearly as bad as the days she wasn't. So maybe it wasn't smart for Donovan's mom to be in class?)

Anyway, I'll wait and see when volunteering starts, and how Addy's progressed. In the meantime, I'm wondering: Did you/do you volunteer in your child's class? What do you do, and did it ever confuse your little one that you were there one day and not the next?

This article was originally published on Sep 14, 2012

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