We’re scheduled to tour the preschool we want BigBrother to attend in the fall on this coming Thursday. That’s right. Preschool. He won’t quite be three yet come September but as he’s just over the cut off and already potty trained (minus an accident here or there) they are willing to make an exception and take him.
Part of me wanted them to say, “Nope! No can do!” But, I called. I asked. They answered. And suddenly we’re on the slippery slope towards preschool.
We already know that we’ll like the school. Friends of ours sent their daughter and had lots of raves. FireDad has also been in the school on various occasions for fire demonstrations. We’ve researched quite a few schools in the area and this one seems to be most in line with how we teach BigBrother already and is, you know, clean and well-staffed. It’s a win-win situation.
The morning, two-day-a-week class was already full. I didn’t think he was ready for three days, so we’re going to be enrolling him in the afternoon, two-day-a-week class. Since his birthday will definitely cut him out of early enrollment in Kindergarten, he’ll have three full years of preschool. Next year, we’d switch to mornings, two days a week and the third year would be the mornings, three days a week. A slow, gradual work-up to mornings, five days a week in “real” school. I think I like the slow approach. Even though it’s giving me heart attacks.
He’s had some experience listening to teachers in church but no real experience yet. Isn’t that what preschool is for? We’ve been working on the importance of listening (read: not ignoring Mommy) and some other things. We’ve introduced him to the concept of teachers. But I have no idea how to further prepare him for preschool. It’s not as if he’s in daycare. It’s just All Mommy, All The Time up in this piece. And while we do fun learning things every day, it’s not really the learning I’m concerned about. It’s the whole other kids and sharing and remembering to go pee on the potty without me asking every 40 minutes to an hour and not hitting or biting or kicking. I mean, he doesn’t normally hit or bite or kick but he’s not normally with a bunch of other children. I’d have playdates with some other Moms who have kids his age but things have been busy lately for all of us. Perhaps as it gets warmer and we don’t feel like we’re forced to show off our messy houses we’ll all have time for the park or backyard playdates.
That said, I like this website’s ideas for preparing your child for preschool. Though the thought of taking him shopping for a backpack makes me weepy. How is my BigBrother really big enough for this kind of stuff? Where did his chubby cheeks go? And why does he reply with, “Of course,” whenever I ask him questions? Who is this really big kid and where did my chubby-cheeked little baby go?
Tips on enrolling your kid in preschool for the first time:
1. Be sure to call early. The morning class, as I said, is already full and we’re five months out.
2. Don’t tell your kid that he’s going to school in the fall. The kid has no concept of seasons and thinks everything is immediate. Right now, all he is doing is talking about school and gets mad when I say it will be a little while. I forgot about the immediacy of his world.
And yes, that’s all I’ve got. I’m new to this and it feels very big and scary. BigBrother seems not to be bothered. Me? I have a thousand and one questions for the teacher who will be giving us a tour on Thursday but no idea if they are normal questions or if I’m totally going to come off as Helicopter Mom. I also don’t know when or how to broach the subject of the fact that, yes, he has an older sister so he’s not just making up stories and no, she doesn’t live in our home. I really thought I would have some time to prepare for all of that. I was wrong.
Perhaps all of this is why I’m sitting here with a stomachache this morning. Or, now it’s afternoon and the stomachache has not gone away. Of course, BigBrother is not fazed. I am jealous.