Toddler on the way to school.
Any parent whose been through it understands that starting pre-school is a tremendous undertaking for the child and the parent. The child is embarking on a new routine and about to spend their days with people they don't know, "strangers". Up until now, they've been instructed not to trust strangers. And on the first day of pre-school, they are expected to willingly go into the custody of these strangers for an entire day without objection simply because their parents say so.
My Daughter Has Protested Pre-school with Tears
Like many, my little girl has said, "I don't think so!" She expresses her objections through tears, hand gestures and yelling things like, "I want up!" "I want you!" "Leave me alone!" (said to the very helpful little girl who tries to console her every day.
As said in my prior post, before this week, my daughter has been enjoying the closest thing to heaven on earth. She has gone where she's wanted, eaten what she has wanted, and napped when she's wanted. This week that all changed. Now she is on a schedule mandated by others and is being given the food offered by the school. Ironically, she hasn't complained about the food. Her parents have other thoughts about the sugar and fat content that I will share in more detail under separate cover.
Since I'm a blogger, have friends with older children, and generally the type of person who tries to be prepared for every situation, my daughter's reaction didn't catch me completely off-guard. Still, the stress that I have felt about it has been surprising. Even though this is school and not daycare like the teacher said during orientation, leaving her feels like abandonment.
Seeing My Child Cry Makes Me Question My Decision
As a working mom, I have asked myself, "If I didn't work full time would I have even started her in pre-school at 2 years old?" Before she started, I was convinced that pre-school was the best for her. However, after learning that she's the youngest child in the class I'm not too sure. I recognize that being a working mom is fraught with questions and compromise. This probably won't be the last time that I question whether I am doing the right thing as a mom.
My one saving grace is that I know that she is ready, intellectually. She has risen to the occasion by not having any potty accidents, getting a 10 out of 10 behavior report daily, and having positive things to say about school at the end of the day. She has faux conversations with her teacher on the phone at night where she discusses her school day and what she wants to do the following day.
A girl in my building who has a friend who teaches pre-school says that it takes children two weeks to adjust to school if they attend every day. Here's hoping the tears will end at drop off for mommy and toddler soon!