My daughter aced preschool (if it is even ace-able) and other than a stray butterfly on day one, I never gave it much thought.
Enter my son, who will be starting preschool Monday. I decided to send him to the 3 year old class when technically (by 3 days) he could go into the 4 year old class. Considering he is still struggling with potty training, and physically and socially much more 3-ish than 4-ish, it seemed like a good idea. Add to that the fact that even Bilbo Baggins pointed and laughed when he saw Rocco’s marker on the growth chart, and we officially had a red shirt on our hands.
I now completely understand the anxiety some mothers have when sending their child off to preschool. I never judged you, I just didn’t get it. Now I do.
Here are my concerns:
Poop accidents at school – I’m already having visions of him stinking up the office while waiting for me, and informing the staff that ‘There’s a pwoblem wif my diaper”.
Penis talk – We taught him the proper names for body parts for two reasons. 1) Potty training encouragement and 2) Self-awareness around private parts. Much like having this talk with my daughter, there have been some residual effects. Mostly just that he narrates it’s activities as if he were training to be a voiceover artist focused only on male body parts or the lifecycle of the sea cucumber.
Potty anxiety – It isn’t the potty, but the GOING in the potty. After a stray splash on his first attempt to pee in the potty months ago, every effort has caused him to cry and panic about going potty. We got pull ups approval from the school in hopes that he’ll join in quickly, but I have an easier time imagining him graduating high school complete with Jake and The Neverland Pirates pull ups under his gown than I do envisioning him joining in the 3yo potty conga line.
Water play – Because I don’t own a wet-vac, I’ve preferred to present our at-home beverages in covered sippy form. Unfortunately this may backfire when he sits down with his labeled preschool cup and gets his first drink of water poured for him at snacktime. Open container never inspired so much fear as it does now.
Public pookies – While farts are cute in the confines of the house, and maybe even encouraged by the highly entertained parents of a cherubic performing toddler, we never really thought through the long-term consequences. We called them pookies (rhymes with cookies), and now the gassy little houligan announces each and every one (regardless of venue) before awaiting his accolades.
Hitting – Let’s just say, I can only hope there is a biter in class to overshadow this.
Video game speak – I’m sure my screen time allowances might be considered indulgent by some, but he loves his games. He is reading at probably a 3rd grade level, so I don’t think we’ve done too much damage. The potential problem comes about when he chooses to communicate only in Bad Piggies grunts or starts asking strangers about the goings on in Little Big Planet…as if it were a real place.
Boob Grabbing – I know you are wondering on this one, so here it is. I breastfed until 5 months. I think it is unrelated, but judge if you must. He is obsessed with those things and thinks they are public domain. I have had the talk with him over and over, but if a set is available, he’s most likely going to test their surface tension and use the word ‘boing’ in some capacity.
Reading superiority – I mentioned above that his reading ability is stunning. We never taught him to read, but being a late talker due to an invisible cleft palate, Rocco soaked up everything Super Why! had to offer and more. He knew upper and lower case letters, sounds and letter sequencing by the time he was two and reads at a 2nd or 3rd grade level now at not quite 4 years old. This is great for school right? Probably in first grade, but not in a class full of kids who are just learning their letters. I am picturing him raising his hand to tell Mrs. P. that he finds the ABC song simpleminded and obtuse.
Blatant disregard for authority – I’ve often said that for Rocco, three is the new two. He was never a terrible two, in fact his nickname was ‘sweetie boy’ (and not in a mobster kind of way). As he has progressed into the threes, he has mastered the arts of bottom lip protrusion, stomping, crying, yelling and, tantrumming. I’m not seeing this as a preschool win-win for anybody.
I have to add that this little nut is one of my favorite people on earth. He loves hugs and saying ‘I wuv you’, playing board games at length, singing songs, reading, laughing, and generally being adorable. I’ve often said that his face is as soft as a marshmallow’s bottom. He is perfection, and I guess what I’m really worried about is that they won’t be able to see past some of his very minor issues referenced above to the cuddly bundle of yummy-ness I see.
Worst case scenario? He gets booted from preschool because of one or more of the aforementioned challenges, I get labeled a bad mom and we lose his tuition money.
It’s not so bad though. At least I’ll have a partner in crime until a new school year starts.
And at least he isn’t a biter. Those kids are heathens.