Monday, March 3, 2008

I am feeling hesitant

School appears to be going well overall. At least on the surface. BOY definitely is enjoying the 1/2 day only experiment. Today when I picked him up, he was looking out of the classroom door's window, waiting for me. But, when I came in and it was clearly time to go ...he wavered, wanting to stay a bit longer with his friends. A good sign, I think. He is, sometimes, the only one leaving. (Most kids are there full-time 5 days a week or do a full day a few days a week.)

The time spent one-on-one with BOY has been really special. We get to run an errand or just be at home and play for a while together. Because of GIRL only being 10 months younger than BOY, the only time I had just with him was when I was pregnant with GIRL. And he was tiny. It is also an adjustment to have him home 3 afternoons a week without GIRL (she is still doing the M,W, F full days.) He asks about her each time, and it is odd for him to be without her. If we get a treat, he always wants to bring home one to GIRL. Last week he saved part of his doughnut for her. He is the most amazing child when it comes to sharing, and especially with his sister. I'm used to getting a lot done while they entertain and play with each other. And it feels odd to leave her there and not have her come home with us. I am very careful, of course, to not let her see me. She is in another classroom and is on her cot for nap time when I pick him up. She knows that I pick up BOY after lunch, but as long as she doesn't see me...she is fine.

When we thought we were leaving the school, we had a talk with BOY & GIRL and kept it pretty basic. We just said that we wanted to have more family time and so we were going to stop going to school for a while. Initially they didn't seem to have much reaction, but as a few days went by they started to talk about feeling sad that they were leaving their school. Then after we had the talk with the Director, we told the children that we were going to try something new. We said we would try BOY going 5 mornings only (he used to go 5 mornings and stay for 3 afternoons) and GIRL going the 3 days. They were both happy with the news that we were going to stay.

I find myself feeling ...not ambivalent, exactly...yet, hesitant. I am feeling hesitant. Part of me, of course, is embracing the idea that the school wants to show us that they can give BOY what he needs. But, I am also doubtful, from the experiences we've had recently that that will happen. So, to cover the bases I am still touring other preschool programs in the area. I'm keeping my options open.

A couple of things are weighing on me today. When I picked up BOY, the first thing he said to me was that he was playing with a puppy and had puppy treats behind his back. BOY has a vivid imagination and I ADORE that about him. It is a gift. I guess he was playing "puppy" with one of his friends, who was still sitting at the lunch table and the teacher was speaking with his friend saying, "I don't see any puppies here. Do you see any puppies here? The only puppy I see is a stuffed animal on so-and-so's cot." Well...the puppy is imaginary. Is that so bad? It felt like she was SQUELCHING him. And my radar went up.

GIRL was whirling around the tire swing with another little girl when I picked her up today. She is starting to form friendships and it is beautiful to see. When we got in the car and I grilled her about her day, she said she hadn't taken a nap. I asked her if she had looked at books during the nap/quiet time. (She LOVES to look at/memorize/be read to..books.) She told me that she hadn't because they are only allowed to have one book on their cot. Only GIRL would choose NO book rather than being subjected to ONE book ONLY. However, I can see her frustration. It seems a pretty stupid rule. At home she is used to taking a stack of books to the bed with her during quiet time. School is different. Different rules. Different people. And that is fine. But, then there appear to be rules that are ASININE.

So, I take it all one day at a time, trying to remain open to all the possibilities. And knowing that someday I will look back on all this hand wringing and brow wiping I've been doing and laugh at myself. At least I hope so...

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  1. I absolutely do not get people who try to stifle imagination. Without imagination we wouldn't have electricity, or computers, or indoor plumbing, or Barney . . . uh, wait, bad example. Anyway. The Queen has an entire entourage numbering between 2 and 10 real people (like Grandma) and characters (like Joe and Steve from Blue's Clues, but never Blue for some reason). They follow her everywhere and have grand adventures. I would hate to see that squashed down.
    And yeah, the book rule is completely idiotic. The more books the better.

  2. It isn't easy. You are a thoughtful mom.

  3. If preschool isn't the place for imaginary puppies, where is it?

    My girl likes a stack of books, too.

    It sounds like things are pretty good, but I can understand why you would still keep your options open. You'll do the right thing, in any case.

    Boy is sweet, sharing his doughnut. That's big stuff, right there! And I love having individual time with my kids. They're different alone than they are together, and it's very sweet.

  4. i think the comments like the ones about the puppy are harder on us then them. i feel so defensive when someone (no matter what age) is messing with my kids -- but i've learned that most of the time they are completely unaware of it....

    isn't this FUN?

  5. While the teacher's remarks about the puppy are somewhat out of context, my reaction mirrors yours: I don't like it.

  6. He certainly sounds more relaxed, which is wonderful. But his teacher didn't seem to get the memo that this is PRESCHOOL, where kids like to imagine.

  7. Is the problem the school or is it the teacher? She just doesn't sound like preschool material.

    At the same time, the mix makes perfect sense; good one-on-one time but also the opportunity to try his hand at school. Before too much longer, it won't be a choice.

    I think it helps to agonize then second-guess every decision, don't you?

  8. What a sweet, sweet boy. The image of him saving part of his doughnut for his sister makes me gulp a little bit. And I tend to agree with what Manic Mommy said to the effect that maybe it's the teacher that is the problem, more so than the school itself?

  9. I had an imaginary bear family: Papa Art, Mama Jane, Baby Art and Baby Jane. With a nod to Freud, all named after my very wealthy aunt/uncle. But I dressed these bears, gave them sentience. I learned from them.

    Go Boy!

  10. We are in the "hesitant" boat together. I am going thru that right now with my 6 yr. old going to public school for the first time. He is coming from a private/homeschool/classical/Christian education and he is a bit bored, but loves his friends. It stabs me whenever I drop him off.

  11. It certainly sounds promising to me JCK, man this motherhood gig is tough isn't it? You're doing good. You're doing REAL good.

  12. If he were seeing imaginary puppies in 6th grade then they might have something there. But preschool? C'mon.

  13. um, so what does it say that I wish so hard that I dream of puppies at 32?

  14. You are really conscientious. Keep up the good work.


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