What I Did At School Today

Today was my rescheduled time to talk to Daniel’s class about my job. You might remember that my scheduled time last week was postponed due to vomitapalooza (my car still remembers and so do I when the air is just right).  Unfortunately, today didn’t start off well because there was a wreck on the interstate that caused major traffic issues.  Daniel and I were in the car for an hour and arrived 20 minutes late.

The teachers graciously let me have a few minutes, and I sat down in a minuscule chair with my props.  I had decided to focus more on what my organization does (works with manufacturers) and then talk a teeny tiny bit about what I do (market research & playing with data), capped off with Krispy Kreme doughnut holes…made in NC you know!

I started off by showing some of the products made in North Carolina I thought they might recognize: a can of Campbell soup (they don’t like tomato soup based on the chorus of “ewwwws” the can received), a hat with Cheerwine on it, deodorant, and last but not least a model of a school bus (Thomas Built Buses are made in the Triad).  Then I explained that my job was to talk to manufacturers and pass along that information to my coworkers so they could help them better. I figured that sounded better than “I stare at my monitor all day while I crunch data and attend a billion meetings.”

The teachers guided questions about what my hours were like, what I studied in college to do my job, who I work with, etc., but the kids’ questions were priceless as I had been warned.

One little girl asked my favorite question:

Do you get to eat candy at work?

She was on a candy kick, apparently, because her next few questions and comments all revolved around whether candy was available and how much of it she would eat!

Another little girl was very interested in where I eat lunch and whether I like the band that plays at the university’s sporting events.  A different little girl asked how old you had to be to work where I do.

The children, all 4 and 5-year-olds, were mostly well behaved and adorable.  They also had the attention span I expected them to have and made me laugh a lot.

There wasn’t time for me to give them the doughnut holes then, but I left them with the teachers for them to have after lunch.  I was thrilled to find a sweet card from the class in Daniel’s backpack today.

pre-K card

Card from D’s Pre-K Class

I hope my talk was a bit interesting.  At the very least, maybe I left them with an idea that we still make things in North Carolina. Daniel wouldn’t leave my side the entire time I was in his class, and I hope he was proud of me.

Who knew that speaking to a Pre-K class would be as nerve-wracking as it was?


PS Thank you all for the support on my wreck and the humiliation I felt (and still feel a bit). While I wish none of us suffered from this fear or have had similar situations, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I’m going to start chanting, “You’re human. You’re human. Mistakes are a part of life.” I’m truly grateful for your support and commiseration.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who commented on the Beyond the PAIL post.  I’m still working through the comments, but it’s clear that many of us do identify as “other.”  More to come on that as I have volunteered to host one of the “Healing Salons” that Mel suggested for helping the ALI community heal and work through some of the questions that were raised.

We removed Daniel from his preschool at the end of February.  It wasn’t a difficult decision; it began to seem like the only thing we could do.  As you might recall, we had some issues with our preschool.

A week after I filled out the forms for Project Enlightenment to evaluate him, his teachers told me that Project Enlightenment couldn’t evaluate him because it is a county-based service, and we live in a neighboring county.  They quickly looked up our county and gave me the name of a similar service although when I went to the website, I discovered the service was located in Kansas and not in NC.  Oops.  More Googling, and I couldn’t find the service for my county.

In retrospect, I’m really glad that his teachers made that mistake because otherwise I might have agreed once again to have Daniel evaluated, and I think the roadblock helped me start to see the situation more clearly.  A few days after Jimmy’s grandmother died, Jimmy and I attended the mid-year parent-teacher conference.  We looked pretty rough: I was sporting third-day hair, little make up and whatever I had thrown on that was clean that day.  Jimmy had on a hat and several days of stubble.  We probably gave off a feral vibe to the teachers and frankly, weren’t in the greatest moods, especially since we had the super-fun task of going shopping for funeral clothes for us and Daniel afterwards.

The teachers didn’t have much to say to us, and it was an awkward meeting.  They kept pushing to have him evaluated, saying “there’s no harm.”  They told us nothing had really changed behavior-wise since December.  They handed us developmental milestones for two-year-olds and three-year-olds, and I pointed out that he was doing all the things on both lists.  I tried to tell them how well Daniel moves and how surprised I was that they thought he had poor motor skills.  We reiterated how the Daniel they see is very different from the Daniel we see every day. Finally, very frustrated, I asked them if there was anything positive they could say about my child because all I had heard for 2 months were his “problems.”

When we left the conference, I knew we were at a stalemate with his teachers.  It’s like they had checked a box labelled “Problem” next to Daniel’s name and moved on.

A few weeks later, I took Daniel to the pediatrician for his 2.5 year well-baby visit (2 months late).  I told the pediatrician everything and after she observed Daniel shyly interacting with her, she agreed that it sounded like his school wasn’t a good fit and we should find something else.   People, when your child will interact with the doctor who has given him shots that make him cry every visit but not with his teachers, you know there’s a problem with the school.

At that point, we were already thinking about taking him out of school at the end of February, and I had started researching other preschools.  I thought that a school a little more lesson-based might be better for my curious little boy.  We had just received the monthly calendar from his teachers and I noticed that there was a little note telling us that one of the little boys had left the class.  I knew this little boy’s mother had been having trouble with the teachers too, so I emailed her, and she confirmed that they had wanted her to get him evaluated as well and that every specialist she took him to agreed that there was no problem with her child except the school. She also told me she had observed one of the teachers restraining Daniel during recess so that he couldn’t leave the playground area (it’s fenced in, so he couldn’t leave the area, but he liked to run in the grass around the playground equipment).  She admitted that she didn’t know the back story and could be misinterpreting what she saw, and I know that a disgruntled parent isn’t the most reliable source, but still.  Her story pretty much sealed it for us, but due to previously-made appointments, we had to keep him there a few more weeks.

On his last day, at pick up, the teacher reported he had opened the door to his class and ran down the hall. She commented, “it was a challenging day” and shook her head.  I emailed the school that afternoon to tell them we were withdrawing him.  I had spent a lot of time since December scrutinizing Daniel and worrying, Googling behaviors incessantly, stressing every Tuesday and Thursday (preschool days), and hearing Daniel say, “Not go to school” and what I realized was this:

There was absolutely nothing wrong with my child.

His only “problem” was that he was miserable at preschool.  What I think happened is that his teachers convicted of him of being 2 and a half: not sitting still, having difficulty transitioning between activities, hitting, running, knocking stuff over.  I think that when he started to hit the other children, a very normal stage for toddlers according to my frantic Internet searches, his teachers overreacted and maybe they scared him and he shut down.  Whatever the cause, he was unhappy there.

His last school artwork is still on our refrigerator, and it makes me sad when I see it.  I hoped he would meet and make friends with other children with whom we could have play dates.  I looked forward to picture day and enjoyed helping at the parties.  Most importantly, I wanted him to have fun and he didn’t.  When we use the word “school” now, he says, “No” very firmly, and that makes me sad.  I loved school and I can’t believe that he has already had a bad experience with school before he is 3.

I’m saddest of all, though, that I didn’t realize his unhappiness sooner and that we left him in a situation for months that made him miserable.  It breaks my heart to think he may have felt disliked by his teachers or at least that it wasn’t a safe, nurturing place for him.

And I’m angry at the school and myself because I was so caught up in the evaluation drama and my worry that I allowed it to color – however briefly – how I saw Daniel.  I felt like I couldn’t take him out in public or out with friends because he would be judged; we would be judged. He would embarrass us. I am angry that I kept trying to put him in some box and diagnose him.  I’m angry at myself for not realizing that when he ran on the playground or out of his classroom, he was literally trying to run away from them. I wish I had just trusted my mommy instincts from the beginning and replied, “I don’t think so” when they brought up having him evaluated.

So maybe it wasn’t me; it was you.

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to discount or belittle the experience of anyone who is dealing with special needs.  If I thought Daniel needed to be evaluated, I would do so in a heartbeat.  These posts reflect my frustration with our former preschool and how they perceived and treated him.

Friday (and now Saturday) Foolishness

It’s Friday and I can barely construct a coherent sentence at this point, and I feel like rambling about some things that caught my attention this week.

Angelina Jolie

You might be astonished to know that I have a girl crush on Angelina Jolie (no judgment!) and after her right leg developed a mind of its own at the Academy Awards, I wrote a silly little letter to her. I’m not sure why I wrote it at BlogHer instead of here, but it might amuse you. Or make you think less of me.


On this week’s Roundup at Stirrup Queens, Mel posted a link to an article on Little Libraries, and I LOVE that idea!  Instead of a lemonade stand in the summer time, I envision Daniel and I setting up a tiny library by our mailbox.  I can share with the neighborhood my love for historical romance and Da Vinci Code knock-offs bought for 50 cents from the annual library book sale.

I juxtapose that article with an essay I read by Leon Wieseltier on the inefficiency, yet beauty of having a large, messy personal library.  To paraphrase Lord of the Rings, my books are my friends, and I suspect Wieseltier feels the same way.  I recently had to box up a lot of books and agonized over which I had to say goodbye albeit temporarily and which had the privilege of staying.  My books are double stacked on my shelves.  It’s messy, but yes, beautiful to me (not so much to Jimmy).

In the Kitchen with Preschoolers

I mentioned in my review of Bringing up Bebe that one idea that resonated with me was the idea that small children of capable of doing more than we give them credit for.  Along those lines, I read an article in Slate on cooking with preschoolers in which the author details how she cooks with her 3-year-old.  It turns out there are cookbooks devoted to helping small children learn their way around the kitchen!  I’ve vowed that we will make the yogurt cake mentioned in Druckerman’s book this weekend.  Wish us (me?) luck.

Great Posts

I’ve read a lot of great stuff this week, but two posts I read yesterday stuck with me:

  • Beth Anne at The Heir to Blair wrote about her thoughts post-Blissdom and realizing that while it’s not happening the way she thought it would, everything is coming together for her and she’s going to own it.  I was struck by her post because of how epiphanies are amazing at changing how you see things, especially your life.  I also liked it because I contrast it to where I am now and how I am feeling: I need that epiphany
  • Law Momma at Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) wrote a beautiful post about the death of her dear friend.  She used to wake up every morning to a text from her friend and wonders if she can keep texting her friend.  I loved it because we’re having similar thoughts in our house not 2 months after the death of Jimmy’s grandmother.  Almost nightly he comments, “I wanted to pick up the phone and call Mum…” and we still include her on emails we send of pictures of Daniel.

Other Randomness

  • I realized that my oldest pair of shoes is 12 years old.  They are Doc Martens that I bought in 2000 for a work trip to Memphis.  I love those shoes but they are heavy and huge and make my size 10 feet look even larger. That’s ok though.
  • I found an awesome conference on blogs and social media that’s in Ireland this year.  How did I not know about this conference last year when I was writing my Master’s paper on social media usage among manufacturers?  Probably because I was writing my Master’s paper on social media usage among manufacturers.  New goal:  present or at least attend this conference one day.
  • We quit preschool last week and I toured a day care yesterday.  More on that to come next week.
  • Great article from Paul Ford in Slate on his and his wife’s attempt to figure out what to do with their leftover frozen embryos

How was your week?

An Open Letter to My Son’s Preschool Teachers

Dear preschool teachers,

My son is many things:

  • tall
  • sweet
  • funny
  • shy
  • smart
  • sensitive

One thing he is not:

  • a problem

Yet, I believe you consider him to be a problem.  The problem child in the class.  The one who zigs while everyone else obediently zags. The one who needs help and training on how to transition because he’s never been in a structured environment before.  The one that wants to climb and run and play. The one that doesn’t want to mimic the gestures or routines in music class. The boy who knows his shapes and colors already.

Yesterday you handed me the forms for me to sign to have him evaluated by Project Enlightenment, and I had the chance to read the report you had prepared.  Nine boxes detailing issues of concern, and you had checked almost all of them.  Defiant behavior. Aggression. Motor issues. Attention issues. And then I read the comments.  The only positive one was that my son is good with puzzles.  Thank you for reducing my 2.5 year old little boy’s only strength to being good with puzzles.  And you think he has low muscle tone?  By that point, I was in disbelief.  Of all the items in your report, that one was the  most ludicrous.  This child has been climbing up and down stairs well and fearlessly for months.  This child loves doing somersaults on our bed.

Again, I wondered who was this child you had described. I must have looked shocked because you hastened to reassure me that these weren’t observations made in one day but over the course of the last 3 months.

I left, went to Barnes & Noble and bought Daniel a new book because that’s what I do after one of these increasingly horrific preschool encounters.

When I walked in at pick-up time, he was sitting a little separate from the rest of the class (whether that was by design due to how you want to separate him to manage any hitting or by accident I don’t know).  He looked up at me and smiled.  You commented, “what a nice smile!” as if you hadn’t seen him smile before.  I thought that was so strange. Is my child smiling at school such a rare occurrence?  You told me his behavior during the first half of class had been good like he had been at drop-off but not as good the second part of the day.

It was then I realized that you do not know my child.  You see, what I saw at drop-off was a child who had shut down.  He had no expression on his face and looked overwhelmed.  He looked at the floor as he sat there, and he looked miserable. That’s not my Daniel, and if that’s what you consider to be good, desirable behavior then we have a problem.  No wonder you were so shocked to see him smile.

I have no doubt that based on the Daniel you see at school, the person from Project Enlightenment will say he he has a problem.  And we will pursue further testing and evaluation to get him any help he needs.  I really am glad that you, his teachers, are bringing your concerns to our attention, but what really bothers me is how you seem to have written him off.  It’s like we’re all just biding our time until the evaluation happens and you can kick him out.  And that we never hear anything positive about him.

He’s not an automaton.  He’s a little boy and that you seem to have forgotten that…THAT’s the problem.


Daniel, the Preschool Pariah


It has taken more time than I intended to post about last week’s conference w/ Daniel’s preschool teachers due to work insanity and (constant) family crises.  After this morning, I’m glad I waited to post so that I could add impressions from my morning at his preschool.

Last Monday we nervously met Daniel’s two preschool teachers in his classroom around lunch time.  I was nervous.  I don’t know if J was, but I was.  The four of us setted ourselves down into those tiny preschool chairs.  I felt ridiculous because I am almost 5’10”, and my knees came up to my chest.  One of his teachers is tall, too, so I wondered if she felt silly or if she were used to it after years of teaching 2-year-olds.

I felt numb once they started talking, but the gist of it was that I didn’t recognize the child they described.  Preschool Daniel is very reserved.  He’ll interact with the adults but won’t do a lot of the physical movements in music class like jump up and down.  When they ask him questions, sometimes he won’t respond and has a blank face.  During free play, he will sometimes stand in the window and stare out (the window overlooks the playground, so I can understand that).  Most alarming, Preschool Daniel is a hitter and kicker.  He’ll go up to the kids and hit them for no reason.  Towards the end of his class, he is out of control and won’t follow directions, preferring to knock toys off shelves and throw things.  However, academically he is great.  He loves puzzles, knows the alphabet, numbers and colors very well.

His teachers suggested we have him evaluated by someone from Project Enlightenment, an early childhood education and intervention program.  They weren’t really clear for what they thought he should be evaluated.  I first thought they meant speech but as they continued Daniel’s issues, I began to fear the big A, the diagnosis every parent fears.

But then I remembered that Daniel is not like Preschool Daniel at home.  I’m not saying he isn’t mischievous or doesn’t misbehave, but the Daniel we see is a chatterbox.  He plays with his trains, trucks and blocks happily and quietly. He jumps up and down and climbs the furniture.   Totally different child.

J and I left the meeting determined to help Daniel build his social skills.  I think the main issue is that he is with only adults all the time.  We did participate in classes at The Little Gym for a year and he didn’t interact with the other children, but none of them really interacted.  J and I have noticed how reserved he is in general, and I think some one-on-one play dates would be very beneficial.  When I ask him about his classmates, he names them all.

And then came today.  Today was the holiday party and last day of preschool for a year.  I walked Daniel inside and watched as he sat down in the area where his class meets.  Another student in his class came in, and Daniel walked over and smacked him on the head.  Immediately.  No provocation whatsoever.  We’ve been working on not hitting and gentle touches, so I addressed the hitting immediately.  Another classmate, a little girl, walked in and he did the same thing.  One of his teachers walked over and suggested that I have him sit against the other wall because that’s what they do to keep him out of reach of the other students.

Finally, all of his class were inside, and they walked to their classroom.  I watched them, and my heart broke.  My sweet boy is such a menace that he has to sit away from his class in order to protect his classmates.  My sweet little boy who cuddles his stuffed animals which such tenderness.  Who gives us the best hugs and kisses.  Who tells us he loves us.  Who cries when I cry or when he thinks he has accidentally hurt one of our cats.  Who cries when one of the trains has an accident in one of his Thomas movies.

J and I were there the rest of the day, and it was shocking.  I witnessed him hit several of the girls.  The looks on their faces were awful and he kicked the 14-month-old sibling of one of his classmates.  I was so embarrassed.  After they came in from playing outside, we could tell he was done and he certainly showed it.  Instead of sitting with his classmates, he started pulling down toys from the shelves.  His teachers both made a point of telling me throughout the morning that this was the behavior they had told us about.  I wanted to crawl into a hole. 

After class ended, we sort of slunk out.  I had bought gifts for the teachers, and I kind of threw them on the table with the others.  I just wanted to get out of there, and Daniel decided to make it even more difficult by having jelly legs and not wanting to walk.  After we buckled him into his car seat, I started to cry in the parking lot.  He said, “Mommy, happy face,” his way of asking me to smile and be happy.  I kept saying, “no, Mommy has sad face.” 

I’ve got a lot of thoughts jumbling around in my head.  First of all, I keep reminding mysef, and J does too, that Daniel is 2.5.  He’s still so little.  I know the hitting is not at all abnormal for his age, and we’ll keep working with him.  He’s been testing our reaction to his hitting his leg or the bed or table, so I think he’s trying to work all of this out.    He’s also reserved in unfamiliar situations, and it takes him a while to warm up.  That’s not so unusual, is it? 

I’m so concerned, though.  Why after 3 months of preschool is he now hitting his classmates?  Why does he come home talking about them like they are friends?  Am I overreacting?  Am I underreacting?  We did notice that none of the boys in the class seemed very responsive in music class (Daniel did pretty well) and that he definitely was the most active and exuberant child.  Is he simply spirited?  Is this the beginning of a long fight against an ADHD diagnosis or worse? Maybe it’s not the best preschool environment for him?

My mind always spirals towards the worst-case scenario, so I’m not sure what to think.  We went to the mall after preschool and got home fairly late for his lunch.  I made it for him and watched him sitting calmly in his chair at the kitchen table, eating his food and watching a movie, his face so alive and expressive.  He would glance over at me and smile sweetly, my sweet boy again.

The Sting Comes When You Least Expect It

After 2.5 years, it finally happened:  we were judged about our parenting because we – I – work outside the home.

It’s been a stressful time for our family with J’s grandmother being in the hospital recently and doctor appointments to make as well as family dynamics to referee.  We’re all a little torqued.  On top of the health issues, Daniel has suddenly been behaving naughtily at preschool by hitting other children.  His teachers tried time outs and redirection but yesterday, they had to call MIL to come and pick him up early.

They also want to have a meeting with me and J to discuss Daniel’s behavior.  Intellectually and after feverishly Googling of “toddler misbehavior at preschool,” I know that hitting is very normal behavior for a 2.5 year old, especially one who hasn’t been around other children much at all.  After all, that’s why he is in preschool. Despite knowing all of this, my anxiety and worry creep up until I have a pit in my stomach.

So yeah, I get it.  We’re all stressed, so I can understand how a phone call can get out of hand and next thing we know, J and I are being told that we don’t see Daniel as much and therefore don’t know his daily routines and behaviors as well since we work.  I know it was a thoughtless comment. I hope it was a thoughtless comment

But after the anger settled to a simmer, the hurt remained. Despite working outside the home, J and I both feel strongly that we know Daniel – his moods, his feelings, his likes and dislikes and his routine.  I don’t think that our working -my working – means that our relationship with him suffers.  He knows who mommy and daddy are.   He comes first with us.

Why does it always have to come back to quality vs. quantity for time spent together?

I love Daniel with all my heart and then some.  We went through hell and back to get him and live for his hugs and smiles.  Isn’t that enough?


J and I are both feeling very “blah” this week and can’t exactly put our fingers on why. I think part of my “blahness” is because I’m having problems with my vision. I have horrible vision and wear contact lenses. A few months ago I had my eye exam and got new contacts and even more exciting, a new pair of glasses. Then my face started to hurt. Eye strain. I finally figured out something was going on with my prescription, and the eye doctor changed my left prescription. A few weeks later I started having aches around my temple and under my eye and even more fun, neck and arm soreness/stiffness. Back to the eye doctor I went and got a new prescription for my right eye. And here we are again, a little over a week later and I’m having slight facial soreness again and worse shoulder and arm soreness.

Argh. I don’t know why it is so difficult this time to get the correct prescription. I’ve worn contacts since I was 12, and I’ve never had this much trouble. In addition to the various aches and soreness, the eye strain makes me feel like I can’t concentrate well and put my thoughts together coherently. I feel all grumbly this week.

J thinks his “blahness” is due to stress. His company has gone through a “merger” with another company, and details about what the merger means for employees are starting to come out. We think he’ll be ok job-wise for about a year, but will he be offered a job with the new company? Will the job be in Charlotte, meaning either we move or no job (and we don’t want to move)? The good news is that we have a little time to prepare. The bad news is that the job market isn’t great.

I also think we’re tired. Not tired in that we haven’t gotten enough sleep but emotionally tired. The last 12 months have been really, really hard and I think we’re scraping the bottom of our energy reserves. Depleted.

I don’t think Daniel is feeling “blah.” He loves playing with his letters and is so happy to see his trains when we get home. He is slowly but surely adapting to preschool, which is a huge relief. No tears at drop-off today though his teacher reported that he cried a bit when they got into his classroom.

Hopefully this “blahness” will go away soon.

You are my sunshine

Preschool Mommy Fail – Already?

Today was Daniel’s third day of preschool but his first full day (2.5 hours), so I was a little nervous about how he would do. I was even more nervous because I had to wake him up an hour earlier than usual because I needed to be at work by 7am to head to Lake Waccamaw (near Myrtle Beach) for a meeting, and that meant I needed to meet MIL for drop-off at 6:45.

MIL called me after she dropped him off at preschool, and I was cheered, briefly, to hear that he had happily gone into the classroom. Then the other shoe dropped: MIL mentioned that it looked like he was supposed to wear yellow today because all the other kids had on something yellow.


On Meet-the-Teacher day, we had been given a folder full of information, including a calendar that listed what the learning objectives would be for each day. Each month the class focuses on certain colors, and once a week, the students are to wear that color. It’s clearly denoted on the calendar. Apparently, all the other mommies and daddies had studied their calendars and dressed their children appropriately. Except for Daniel, whose folder was still in my car.

I felt awful. On the one hand, he’s only 2 years old, and it’s not like he’s going to be ostracized over not wearing the color of the day. “His hair is yellow,” I wanted to argue, but the real issue was that I suddenly felt I had let down my child, and it’s only the third day of preschool. Cue working mom’s guilt.

Making matters worse, while Daniel had a pretty good day overall in preschool, something happened on the playground the last 30 minutes that caused him to cry and still be crying when they led him to MIL’s car during carpool. Somehow that felt like my fault too.

I vowed to bring in the calendar and put it on the refrigerator as soon as I got home, and I did. Funny thing, though. When I looked at the calendar, I didn’t see today noted as “Wear Yellow Day.” Instead, it looks like Thursday is “Wear Yellow Day.” Hmm. Did everyone else misread the calendar? Maybe I didn’t screw up after all.

Guilt ebbing. And by God, I’m going to find the yellowest outfit possible for Thursday.


Family portrait in the wind and rain

Daniel started preschool on Tuesday, and it went…ok. His teachers took each child into the classroom one at a time, and they did it so masterfully that I don’t think Daniel realized what was happening until the door was closed. After that, a few of the parents went down the hall for the “Tissues and Tea” meeting that was supposedly our orientation but that I began to suspect was really more of a time-killer because this week, our 2-year-olds go only for an hour.

At 10:30 we marched down the hall back to the classrooms and the doors were open. When I entered the room, Daniel was sitting on one of his teacher’s laps, reading a book. The teacher told us he had cried when two other toddlers crowded him while playing, but that the crying ended quickly. I heaved a sigh of relief and held out my arms, and he ran to me. I picked him up and carried him out to MIL’s car, and he wrapped his arms around my neck and buried his head in my shoulder.

We had survived the first day of preschool.

Daniel is a little slow to warm up to strangers, especially other kids. I know that this behavior is pretty normal for his age, but it makes me worry about whether he will embrace preschool. I think he will. Eventually. He likes the toys, and he likes the teachers, but the jury is still out on the other kids.

My Sweet Boy and I

His preschool is a church-run preschool. MIL and I researched many preschools and visited a few. We visited the preschool associated with the Catholic church at which he was baptized, but we agreed that we didn’t like it. It was kind of dark and gloomy, and the director was terse and smug because they had a waiting list. I didn’t feel like she actually liked children either, so we crossed it off our list.

We both had a really good feeling from the preschool we chose as soon as we toured it. They were welcoming, and the director obviously loved children and cared deeply about the preschool experience. And even though I am not religious and normally shy away from religiously-affiliated activities, I felt that my Doodle would be safe, protected and cared for there. My instinct was confirmed when J and I had to travel to Florida suddenly for his father’s funeral. We would be gone during the preschool lottery for non-members and making sure we were able to secure a place was a big concern. MIL called the director, explained the situation, and she let us register early, and that kind act secured my loyalty.

His class is the "White Bunnies"

As the first day of preschool approached, my anxiety has increased. Daniel has been cared for by us and his grandparents almost exclusively since birth. I know he isn’t used to other children and is a bit reserved by nature, so I know preschool will be good for him, but oh how I have worried. I have worried that he won’t adapt and will hate preschool. I have worried that he will think we have abandoned him. The preschool gave us literature on separation anxiety intended to help our children, but in some ways, I think I am having separation anxiety.

As of today, Daniel’s first week of preschool is over. He didn’t cry today but according to his teachers, he needed lots of hugs, which they are happy to give him until he feels comfortable.

My sweet boy. I’m glad he’s in a preschool that will give him the comfort he needs and let him adjust at his pace. I’m sure that making friends with the other little boys and girls will follow.

‘Twas the Night Before Preschool

‘Twas the night before preschool. Daniel’s clothes have been laid out. The outfit is probably a bit too fancy for preschool, but it is the first day.

His extra outfit, socks and diapers have been put into Ziplock bags and carefully labelled with his name. I wrote slowly so it would be as legible as possible.

I signed up to provide the snack for September: a bag containing Ritz crackers, Goldfish and cheerios sits on the table in the hallway.

Daniel has had his bath and is squeaky clean. We’ve been reading Corduroy Goes to School in preparation.

Everything is ready for September 6.

But am I?