My daughter is ready for pre-school. My husband and I are not. I can tell she is bored with us and the everyday play of the living room, so we are putting our own fears and feeling aside. We've been investigating pre-schools for the fall and each time we visit one she is more excited. Let me rephrase that. She is more and more comfortable squiriming out of our arms and bolting to the group of kids and subsequent toys.
I imagine her first day of school so often and the myriad of things I will do to keep myself too busy to worry. It wasn't until today that I thought about what it would be like for her. What challenges will she face and in turn try to figure out? What if she were to have her own weekly blog like her mother, and bring to light all of the untold stories of the playground? As her personality starts to shine I'm guessing it would sound a little like this....
"Why Pre-School Sucks...Sometimes"
"Give Mommy a kiss?" Mommy says with that look in her eye she has whenever she goes to work. Like I'm never going to see her again. I don't know what she's so upset about. She's leaving me in this awesome place with all these toys. She's suffocating me with a hug and I know she wants to say goodbye but look, look over there! Its the music thing I have at home. The one with all the colors and the sticks and that smelly kid Jack is going to get it before I do!
"Okay, okay", I say to Mommy. She's going on about me being good and how she is going to miss me and I can't get my jacket off fast enough!
"Okay bye!" I give her a wave and dart to the music thing. Jack arrives a second later and looks at me. I shake my head no. I try to ignore him and continue hammering away at the keys but he looks so defeated. I can't help but feel bad so I give him a stick. He quickly yanks the other one out of my hand, pushes me aside and starts to play. I get up and reluctantly go over to the dolls thinking Daddy is right. Boys are yucky.
We eat some snacks and then everyone goes over to the sticky stuff. Miss Dianne called it Play-Doh yesterday. Smells good, I wonder how it tastes?
"Not in the mouth!" Miss Dianne yells at me. I look up at her and see she is giving me the same face Mommy does when I'm in trouble. Hmmmm. This confirms they are clearly working together.
This place is cool but weird. I can tell there are some rules. And its confusing. Like yesterday I went to get my Dora cup and Miss Cindy told me it wasn't mine. It looked like mine. There was Dora on it and Boots. I tried to show her how I can drink out of it like a big girl but she told me no again. Then she handed me another one. It was the exact same one!
The same thing happened when I saw Mickey Mouse. I couldn't believe he was here. I just left him in his stroller at home! I don't know how he passed us in the car but he was here when I came in! I went to give him a hug and the new girl, Sophia ran by. I said hi and waved and said, "Me Mickey" to introduce them. She just stared at me. "HI!" I said a little louder and then she walked away. Did I do something wrong? Then she went over to Miss Dianne and started crying. Miss Dianne came over and told me I needed to share. What's this word share that I keep hearing? They are all about it here. I never hear this at home. Sure Mommy and Daddy tell me to share with them all the time but I know they don't really want to play with my blocks so I just ignore them.
I've been playing for a while and I'm getting tired. The older kids are all playing with the same doll and I'm tired of fighting for my turn. Its time for a snuggle and some Fresh Beats Band.
"Milk and Beats!" I say. Daddy's not around so Miss Dianne and Miss Cindy will have to do.
"Milk peez!" Miss Cindy gives me a funny look. Did she just poop? I think for a minute that she should be like Mommy and go on the potty. Then I remember I'm just being ignored. This is not the kind of service I get at home. I'd be half into a Fresh Beats Band episode by now snuggled into Daddy's chest but no. Not here. Its chaos. Jack is now fighting with Sophia for the music thing. Miss Dianne is playing with the twins and Miss Cindy is now trying to tell that stupid boy Xavier not to put Play-Doh in his mouth. Man, that kid does not listen!
Now its time to line up. I hate this lining up. I never have to do this at home. We put our coats on and I'm praying we are headed somewhere fun. We walk outside and I see him. Standing in his red sweatshirt with that big smile. "Daddy!" I shout and run to him. His hug is nice and soft and warm. Not like Ms. Dianne or Miss Cindy's.
"How was your day?" he asks and whisks me into the car. I tell him everything and am very detailed though he just says "Wow!" I guess one day I'll be able to tell him everything like Mommy does when she gets off the train. He says "wow" too but kinda different. Not as excited.
"Say bye bye to your friends," Daddy says as he straps me into my car seat, "You'll see them tomorrow." Monkey is in the seat next to me and feed him one of my cookies as Daddy puts on the iCarly theme song. Monkey looks famished. I'll have to leave him more snacks tomorrow.
I see my classmates and their parents getting into cars. They're all pretty fun, but I'm beginning to learn a few things about them. There is definitely a pecking order in this class. The bigger kids tend to get their way. They are immune to my tantrums, which is odd because they work so well at home. But little do they know I've got some skills too. I may only be in the 30th percentile for weight but I can stack up to eight blocks and say dragonfly. All I need is some time at home to regroup. Time to practice more runaway drills with Mommy at bath time and bulk up on goldfish crackers. Then Thursday, that music thing is mine and Smelly Jack will have to find a new toy.