Friday, March 07, 2008
Preschool and Blankets and Hammer Pants, Oh My!
I'm working today. All day. Two jobs, until 11. Can you see my megawatt smile gleaming through your monitors? No? Odd.

In protest, I've spent most of my time here (job number one, AKA "the office") working on finding a preschool for my son. Unfortunately, most preschools have a "must be four" by September 30th cut off. And so I'm now considering nursery schools, for which programs are given ridiculous or completely random names. Camelodopheri (seriously), Pisces (other groups include the Little Dipper's and Aquarius...), and most any derivative of Teddy Bear or Snuggle Bug you can come up with.

And some of these places are just ridiculous. Sweet Pea's wants us to fill out a questionnaire, all of us. My son would need to list his favorite foods and colors (as well as name his friends, pets and relatives...) whilst my husband and I answer such subjective questions as:

How is your child special and unique?

What are we? Snowflakes?

When I step back and remove myself from the fact that I'm actually, officially, considering sending my son out into the world to be cared for (and taught by) another human being, I freak out a little and somehow feel as though I'm admitting failure. Which isn't the case. I think that my son is smart and developing well at home under our guidance. I just want to give him an opportunity to socialize (re: get used to not being around me 24/7 - which might allow us to sit through an entire sermon without him screaming bloody murder from the children's church room...)

I went to preschool and wasn't damaged by it, for goodness sakes. I even met my first little boyfriend and smooched him behind the trashcan while at good 'ol Paddington Station (apparently names haven't gotten any better or worse in the past couple of decades...and as for the boyfriend and I - we did actually reunite briefly in junior high, but ultimately his MC Hammer pants and flat top proved to be more than I could handle.)

Still, Mommy guilt is sneaky and it's getting to me a little over this. And worse, it's a double edged sword - I feel guilty for sending him out (for six to twelve whole hours a week without me - the horror), and if I kept him home I'd feel guilty for not giving him the opportunity to be apart from me and learn from other's.

Of course, I've been letting Mommy guilt get to me a little more lately anyhow. It started with the kids not settling easily the other night for bed. When I went in to check on them, my son asked for a glass of water, while Lila was curled in a ball, rocking back and forth, face down on her blanket, moaning "Blanket...blanket..." I delivered the water, blew kisses and left thinking how adorable it was that my daughter is so attached to that darn blanket.

Fast forward five hours. It's after midnight and we're getting ready for bed, before I stand up from the couch, I realize my daughter's blanket is laying on the carpet at my feet. How had I not noticed that? And the realization dawns - she wasn't snuggling with her blanket, she was sobbing FOR it.

And so began a week of feeling inadequate over the all but irrelevant parts of our lives. Though, I do have to say I'm pretty proud of Lila for self-soothing herself to sleep without going into a tantrum for lack of her precious blanket. Not that she normally does resort to tantrums...but she is getting ever closer to the dreaded two's (which started at about 18 months with her brother.) So I worry.

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Blogger Agent M said...

I was a stay at home mom for five years. I went back to work when my first son was five and my second son was three. L went to kindie and Q went to preschool. L's transistion to kindie was awuful and I truly believe it was because he had never been away from me for the first five years of his life. If I had to do it over again, I would send him to preschool a few days a week starting at three. My younger son, who is now four (and a special needs kid) is in his second year of preschool and has just thrived.

Good luck in your decision!

P.S. I used to read your blog years ago, under a different name. I'm glad to have found you again! The kids are beautiful!

Blogger Mella said...

Hi Agent M! Thanks for the insight - I'm 99% positive that we will be choosing to enroll him in nursery school. Most likely only six hours a week or so, nothing huge. Just two mornings to start.

Which reminds me, I'm supposed to be calling the school this afternoon...

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