This September is full of firsts for our family. Positive, new, scary and exciting. Even though September is the ninth month of the year, it has always represented a ‘new year’ for me – even more so than January. There are so many things to look forward too. September represents routine, new adventures, new starts, cooler weather (yay), scarfs and family. For us now, we get to add school, well in our case preschool.
My daughter will be going to preschool. How did we get here so fast?!!?! The plan wasn’t to start preschool until she was 4. It just made sense with me being home full time, I wanted to selfish and soak up all the time I could with her before the word ‘school’ entered into our daily routine. But Scarlett, true to herself, decided it was time for preschool. In July, I started to hear, ‘Mommy, can I go to school today? Ppppplease!’. The search started for a preschool, and one that met all of our requirements.
After many visits, a few let downs, we found a preschool that we feel comfortable and confident with. Scarlett was very impressed with the toy selection! Needless to say her requirements were a bit different from ours.
Now, this is where I feel, well not like a ‘regular’ Mum. I am not worried about leaving her at the preschool. This I know will not be a problem. She often gives me a hug and kiss and a wave good-bye before I am ready. No, that isn’t the part I am going to have problem with. It’s the part where she runs into a problem, like a mean kid. She is going to have to handle it by herself. This is going to be her first real taste of reality. Mum and Dad won’t be there to step in and save her or diffuse the situation. She is going to have to figure it out on her own.
That’s what scares me. The unknown.
‘Hi! My name is Scarlett. Do you want to be my friend!’ This is how she approaches kids at the park. She isn’t shy, but when the other child doesn’t know how to response, they walk away and Scarlett gets hurt. She immediately thinks they don’t like her, when that’s not the case at all. Getting her to understand this is tricky. She is forward and wears her heart on her sleeve. I want to protect her always, but the sad truth is I won’t always be able too.
Maybe preschool at the age of 3 IS the best idea. More so for me than her.
It’s really hard to watch your child learn. I want to do it for her but that won’t help her in the long run, it will cripple her more than anything. She won’t have the skills needed to handle a similar situation later in life. I know all this, but it still doesn’t make anything easier for me as a parent.
Of course no parent wants there child’s feelings to be hurt, they want them to always be smiling, laughing and happy. Kids emotions are big. They are experiencing everything for the first time. I feel like I am coming to a time when hugs and kiss and maybe a band aid aren’t going to be able to fix the problem.
I encourage Scarlett to use her words to describe how she is feeling. Since turning 3, her vocabulary has grown… a lot! She is starting to feel more emotions that just happy, sad and hungry. She is bursting with joy, excited, almost peed my pants excited, frustrated, upset, angry. These are words she is using more and more. It’s helpful because it narrows the problem down.
I suppose I am nervous for preschool because I won’t be there to know. I won’t be there to teach her and help her along.
I have this day dream, vision, not sure what you’d call it, that Scarlett will come home from school and we will sit down at the table and chat about her day at school, while sipping tea and having a snack. We will giggle and laugh at the silly things that happen in class or we will have a heart to heart and come up with a solution to the problem that may have come up. I think this is the only thing that keeps my nerves calm, hoping she will talk to me about her day and her problems.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for preschool but I am also a little bit nervous. I think that is normal.
Maybe preschool isn’t just for the kids, it’s training wheels for the parents as well. It’s a big step, a necessary step. I think it’s just as much us parents as it is for the kids.
She is growing up so fast. When did this happen?