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:
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: