Wait. What’s The Purpose Of PreSchool?

It's not really "back" to school, if she's never been, though, right? (image from http://tgtbt.com/bts.htm)

It’s not really “back” to school, if she’s never been, though, right? (image from http://tgtbt.com)

The signs have been there all summer, but with less than 24 hours to go, it’s dawning on me that I have completely misunderstood the purpose of preschool.  Here’s more proof that one of my super powers is making everything about me.

I have been building up the back-to-school wardrobe for the past 6 weeks. Frugally and carefully, I have purchased some dresses and pants and a new fall jacket.  Only recently did it occur to me that Sadie might need some clothes too. After all, she is the one actually going to school.

But did I buy myself some new back-to-school outfits? Yes, and they match the gray tint of my mini-van perfectly, since my role is to chauffeur Sadie to preschool.  I may have gone overboard on the afternoon I found out that I was selected from a group of my peers to be the assistant room mother.  As I read the email about my new school duties (“oh my god, a meeting every month?”), I felt threatened by a wave of emotions: 1) Joy at being chosen, 2) afraid of the “burden” of my new responsibilities (“Oh, Lord, what if I have to bake?”), and 3) a little hurt, frankly, that I am only the assistant.

To deal with the heady mix of emotions, I bought a few outfits.  If you lived in my head, you would have done the same thing.

Over the top? Yes, but I am ready for a field trip to the opera or a visit to a local farm (even if it’s raining).  That counts for something.

Also, Jeff has given so many pep talks of the “just be yourself” variety, that I can mouth the words along with him.  Was he giving those pep talks to our nervous daughter about to embark on her school career? No.  Those pep talks are for me because I am scared of other mothers and, clearly a wee bit insecure, since I am the woman who buys new clothes so that the school monitor who walks Sadie to my car at the end of the day will think I am a humble mix of motherly, stylish, and a woman who knows how to dress for her body type (apple-shaped with big breasts).

Is it any wonder that my kid had a few nightmares recently? Imagine having ME for your mother!

But this isn’t an “I totally suck” post, because I have done amazingly well in other areas school preparation.  Take the morning I took Sadie to Target for her backpack.

Me: “Honey, you can have any one you want.  It’s your choice.  Mommy loves you and supports your autonomy.”

When Sadie reached for the most garish eyesore (also known as the Dora backpack), I smiled and said, “Great! Is this the one you want?”  When she confirmed she was not interested in the super darling Olivia backpack, I let it go.  I stifled comments about her horrible taste in backpacks.  I gave her a kiss.  I let her have her own desires.

Maybe during those few hours she’s in preschool, I can stumble on to the life that I left lying around here somewhere.

Good luck, everyone, returning to and starting school tomorrow!  Have you picked out YOUR outfit yet?

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41 thoughts on “Wait. What’s The Purpose Of PreSchool?

  1. Did you forget the suck up to the teacher and front office staff gifts???? THESE are A MUST! A great cute notpad that coordinates with the theme of the classroom and a gel pen are awesome for the teacher and a store bought cake or ‘bucket’ of junk food is awesome front front office staff…. THEN YOU CAN HAVE AN EXCUSE TO SHOW OFF YOUR OUTFIT… just sayin… OH WAIT … you do have an outfit for gift bearing right??? SERIOUSLY! First day of school is NOT all about the kids… I am humbled by your awesomeness is being prepared!

    • Well, you are an expert, I should have discussed this with you at the beginning. It did NOT occur to me to bring the office staff some treats, but of course, they deserve it and it gives me a chance to ….well, be seen. ;-)

    • Dora is fine and she’s the best of the lot as far as the the stuff that Sadie is exposed to. But this backpack. It makes my eyes bleed– it’s huge and purple and seriously, I practically black out when I see it. I will post picture. (Boots is pretty cure too.)

    • Yes! Who else is going to need those outfits for the teacher meetings and for the stuff that comes up all the freaking time at a school. YOU! Especially you, because your kids are older. They will care how you look as their representative. Get on that.

  2. the only clothes i wear are “gym” clothes in the hopes that i will find the time to exercise each day. i don’t even know what a real outfit is anymore. but i appreciate those who do. you deserve it.
    tomorrow is our first day back but not for my pre-schooler, he doesn’t return till next week!

  3. Pleae see my post later tonight regarding what to wear. Oh, and the backpack thing? I order them from Lands’ End. The kids only choices are in regards to color. No garish cartoons, no glitter (ok, there would never be glitter because I have boys, not girls, and they are not fond of glitter – at least on backpacks and clothes). LE backpacks last forever and, sort of like Talbots, they are classics and always in style.

  4. I hadn’t even thought about what I’d wear to walk Nathan to his first day of kindergarten. I don’t have time to shop!!

    Great post. I’m sure be a great class mom!

  5. I’m laughing at your backpack experience because we had the same experience at Target. I was trying to force my son to get a new one…he insisted that last year’s would work fine and that I shouldn’t waste my
    Money. I tried to push 6-7 different ones and nothing. He is using the same back pack, but did finally pick out a new lunchpail after I told him that the old one was unsanitary! He isn’t concerned about spending my money at the Lego section or Video store ;)

  6. Of course it’s about you…you’re the Mama! Except for Sadie, you’ll be spending the most time at this fine establishment of lower learning. It doesn’t really matter what SHE wears you can always claim she dressed herself (after choosing her own backpack)…but everyone is pretty sure you dressed yourself. No worries…you are very stylish. I like to think I survived the Pre-K years as well as my kids did. I have some nice friends of my own to show for it. You will, too…and if not, you can use my husband’s theory on meeting new people: “I have enough friends”. Have a great first day (Sadie, too).
    (P.S. one of my girls is still carrying a 5-yr old backpack because she still likes it…there is hope you will get the same value out of Dora :P )

    • Back to school is really about shopping, right? How I miss that! Even the annual Staples trip was great fun. Nothing says back to school for profs like red gel pens! Well, I chose a less glaring burgundy shade to be less traumatizing. Lol

      I hate Dora too but I’m totally into Sponge Bob. Hmmmm, I’ll have to look into Olivia.

      Did you and Sadie survive?

      • I love those school supplies sales. We did well today. Sadie is a fucking champ. She won’t say boo about whatever happened except she had a graham cracker. We are all exhausted from the build up!

  7. Hahahaha! Would it be weird if I bought some new clothes (for myself) because YOUR daughter is going back to a school she’s never been to? Because there are some cute solid colored t-shirts at Target that I really want.

  8. My mom was the assistant room mother and I remember that, even as a nine-year-old, I was so proud of how pretty she looked when she visited my class.

  9. My kid is embarking on year two at preschool. I am not aware of the existence of the office of room mother, let alone assistant. I drop off in work out wear routinely. I enrolled him for three reasons: socialization, outdoor time even in inclement conditions during which I’d bail on the playground (those kids are always outside, foul weather be damned), and I need the school to store him for 24 hours a week so I can work.

    Is my kid doomed to social pariah status due to my drive through attitude???

    • No way! I do love how those kids go out to play no matter what. It’s so hard core. I can’t imagine three better reasons to enroll your child in school! I am rocking work out wear today. No shower either. REBEL.

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