5 Warnings You Could Have Given Me About Preschool

Well, seasoned parents, there are a few things about preschool I could have used a head’s up about.  I’m not blaming you, but I am compiling a list as a friendly reminder to myself next time someone with younger kids asks me, “Hey, what do I need to know about preschool?”  If someone else asks you, just refer them to this post.

1. Fashion: No one mentioned that many 3- and 4-year-old children would be dressing way more stylishly than I do.   One day, I will embrace the fact that some of them have designer skinny jeans that I suspect did not come from Costco.  But, for now, seeing a 3-year-old kid with a Vera Bradley backpack, suede spectator shoes, and Seven For All Mankind jeans stirs a little something inside me.  I think it might be envy.  Or white hot rage.  Depends on the day and how dirty my own non-designer pants are at the time.

2. New Relationships:  Sadie seems very happy and her self-esteem is skyrocketing along with her social life.  She has all these new friends– ones that I didn’t pick for her because they are the spawn of my BFFs.  The other night, I sat with her while she brushed her teeth (not because I am helicopter mom, but because I appreciate good oral hygiene), and she looked at herself in the mirror LOVINGLY and said, “I’m my best friend.” I made her brush her teeth two more times while I composed myself after having my heart enlarged 50 times by hearing her profess her self-love.

3. Sleep: I should have known this, but I could have used some tough love on this one, ya’ll.  Sadie’s preschool class is in the afternoon, which means no more nap for her (or me, but I am above self-pity, as you know).  I think I might have done Sadie a disservice by not gradually weaning her from her nap before school started.  Instead, we just started taking her to school every afternoon instead of having her snooze for 2 hours.  Now, she falls asleep everywhere:

TIMBER! A face-plant on the bed at 4:30 PM

TIMBER! A face-plant on the bed at 4:30 PM

It's a 2-mile drive home from school. And This. Happens. Every. Single. Day.

It’s a 2-mile drive home from school. And This. Happens. Every. Single. Day.

The only non-inebriated person sleeping on public transporation.

The only non-inebriated person sleeping on public transportation.

Sadie! Sadie! Want some candy for dinner! WAKE UP!

Sadie! Sadie! Want some candy for dinner! WAKE UP! (How’s that neck angle working for you, kiddo?)

At night, she can no longer make it to 8 PM, because she starts acting like a drunk person around 7:00 PM (not a cute, flirty drunk person, but a belligerent “I live behind a trashcan and am looking for a fight” drunk person).  I think a gentler process might have been kinder.

4. Recognition Issues:  Twice when I have gone to pick up Sadie, she has filed out with her classmates, and I didn’t recognize her.  There was this little voice calling out to me, “Mom, did you bring me a good snack?” and I knew the voice, but I swear to sugar-free pudding, it took a few seconds to pick out my first-born child.  At first, it freaked me out, because, really, how do I not know my own flesh and blood from among 13 other children? But there was something about seeing her in this unfamiliar context that made her unrecognizable for a few split seconds. (It’s possible my Costco glasses prescription needs an update.)  But with a little warning, I could have skipped the part where I thought I was having a mini-seizure or a stroke because my cognition was that impaired. Now I think it was just a deeper recognition that she’s growing up and becoming a different little person.  Maybe let other moms in on this little secret.

5. Those newsletters from my child’s teacher:  EXCUSE ME, but why didn’t anyone give me the skinny about the cuteness that is the weekly newsletter?  I need to buy a fainting couch for these weekly missives from Sadie’s teacher.  Right before Jeff and I pass out from exhaustion around 8 PM, we review the slide show that Sadie’s teacher sends.  We laugh our asses off, mostly at Sadie who appears to be right at home at school:

Guess whose kid just face planted into her Graham cracker at snack time? MINE, that's who.  Me so proud.

Guess whose kid (front left) stuck her face into her Graham cracker at snack time? MINE, that’s who. Me so proud. (I told her not to eat with her fingers, so she’s a rule follower.)

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39 thoughts on “5 Warnings You Could Have Given Me About Preschool

  1. CRAZY FUNNY SHIT right here. I’m sorry to swear in a post that has so many adorable pictures of your child in it. But girl, you be funny! I mean REALLY REALLY funny. And I am 100% onboard with all of the above. I totes should’ve had your back on this, for reals. Also, I have to tell you that despite my locked-in love for you and your blog, it’s tough love time: Afternoon Preschool?! Dude, bad move.

    • I know! What was I thinking? I was nervous about having to be up and out somewhere but now? We wallow around all morning wondering what to do and when to get in the car. It’s not healthy. Big foul ball there.

  2. Both of mine stopped napping when they turned 2 like it was some sort of birthday present I’d given them (as if!), so we avoided that pitfall. But could someone have warned me about clothes having to be “pretty”? My daughter did not do this before preschool. I blame all the other girls with “pretty” clothes who do not have to dress may daughter at Oh-God-thirty in the morning ,for-the-love-of-God-just-put-on-those-pants-I-don’t-care-if-they’re-pretty…Ahem…Also, I “had” to buy her nail polish (which I’d been planning to buy anyway) because Molly did NOT believe her nails had polish, and OMG we HAVE to show Molly how pretty our nails are! She. is. four. not. fourteen!!!!!

    • Oh crap, are you serious? The saving grace for us that there are only 4 girls in Sadie’s class and one is a tomboy so not too much pressure. The boys are pretty little J Crew dudes and it’s cute as well. But my kids? Carter’s all the way.

      • Yep. All it takes is one. But, it doesn’t appear to be related to any particular brand. My daughter is just girly all. the. way. She did NOT get that from me! Pink or purple are heavy favorites, and she prefers tights-like pants over pants that are “crankly” (read, wrinkly fabric). And she HATES jeans. I may not survive preschool.

  3. My first child in preschool was my son and he didn’t (and still doesn’t in second grade) give a hoot about fashion. My daughter let me know as soon as she could dress herself (at 14 months, the little over-achiever) what she liked to wear and that hasn’t been influenced by any person on the planet, thank goodness. My twins will have to live with daughter’s hand-me-downs and get over it.

    My first two were non-nappers before preschool, which makes me feel lucky. No idea what the twins will do with that as they are 17 months and very much need naps.

    I haven’t had recognition issues, either, but that could be because both of my kids ran out of preschool with the intent of tackling me flat in the hallway, so I never had to look for them. I did, however, need to brace for impact the moment the door opened.

    Glad the first three weeks went so well!!

    • Oh my goodness, I forgot you have like 100 children. I knew you had a lot, but when you list it all, it sounds like a hundred. I don’t think my daughter cares about fashion– like yours, she thinks she is the bees knees. I sure love that about her. She gets it from her dad.

  4. Hilarious post. Especially love the pictures of Sadie sleeping everywhere. I hope that there isn’t some blog out there that is the inverse of yours talking about how badly my kid dresses at pre-school. I think my kid was the only one at school wearing a western shirt and too big jeans today. And uncombed hair. But I know you feel me on that. You can’t keep that curly curly hair under control all (or most, or any) of the time.

  5. Oh so funny. Poor sweet tired Sadie. I’m so glad she’s having fun though. Has she had any more nightmares since school started?

    When my daughter was on the volleyball team in high school, I had the hardest time picking her out on the court. Her team was composed of 12 adorable Hispanic girls all wearing matching outfits and ponytails. Thank God they had numbers on their backs or I would have never known which one she was.

  6. My 3yo is in full-day. We didn’t really do a nap transition either. They have nap time during the day and he NEVER sleeps. He always tells me how he watches his teacher instead. Of course, he’s beyond exhausted. And having him share a room with his baby sister of late has not been wise. I’m letting him sleep in till 8 am and putting him down for the night at 7:30 to make up for it.

    Otherwise, LOVE preschool. Love how happy my kid is when he comes home.

  7. Her body will figure out the nap situation, don’t sweat it at all. It took my son a month or two — but on the upside aren’t the early bedtimes WONDERFUL? Before the nap ended he was up until 9 or 10 every night and suddenly it was 7pm! He’s back to 8pm (his baby sister goes to bed at 7) but he sleeps until at least 630 – sometimes 7 or 730! Dare to dream my friend. Dare.To.Dream

    I am not having such a similar preschool experience but you are hysterical nonetheless. Sadie is simply awesome – that hair, that attitude, that mother. She’s got it all going on!

  8. The nap thing is pretty funny. My son is in preschool from 9-12 and won’t nap in the afternoon now. What is truly painful is that my 2 year old refuses to nap too. I think I’m going through a period of mourning. I might also be losing my mind. The only good side is that they’re both ready for bed at 7.

  9. Do you manage to work in a nap when your little doll’s at school, or do you run around instead trying to get stuff done before you have to pick her up?

    • YOu just asked the question I KNOW my husband is dying to ask. He hasn’t. I am glad you did. During her preschool I run like a maniac: writing, grading papers, returning shit I bought, going on a run, etc. etc. I never sit still. It’s not working because I am CUCK-COO right now.

  10. I purposefully withheld information so you could have the makings of this fabulous post! You can thank me later (cash is fine). The pictures are perfecto! Sadie is too incredible! And OMG the line about being her own best friend? I’m teary just thinking about it!

  11. LOVE # 3 – especially the pics. We’re starting pre-school here too. And I’m actually liking the few naps. His bedtime was creeping into 9:00 territory, which actually almost past OUR bedtime. So, I’m relieved it’s now back to 7:00 so that we now have time to do important facebooking before we collapse into our own pillows. And, I think the not recognizing your own child might be a good thing. Maybe an indication that she’s coming into her own and exudes that. It’s new to you. I am spared that problem because Caleb is the only white kid in his class, but I’m now wondering if I would have that same experience in the US… Terrific post as always!!

    • Oh thank you. Good luck with preschool. And you’re right– the fewer naps does buy us time at night, which is nice for me and hubs. And u think you’re right– Sadie is coming in to her own. It’s very cool.

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