In honor of Monsoon's last day of the first year of preschool, I'm pulling out the post about my anxiety as he started preschool - way back in the fall (from another cyber place). You can participate in Scary Mommy's Flashback Friday by sharing your own older post that nobody read OR a real live flashback story.
My baby starts preschool next week and, like most other parents, I'm sure, there's some anxiety going on... for me. After all, it's about the parents, right?
I'm sure every parent has fears and issues as their children go out into the world at various points in their lives. While most of these fears are never realized, there are always the situations that arise out of thin air without expectation - good or bad. So with all these worries about things that are possible - maybe even probable - to happen as my son enters this stage of life, do I have to, or can I help, being anxious about the things I can't even think of, too?
Trying to teach him values that he is expected to adhere to at preschool isn't so tough... until someone else enters the picture. We don't play with guns; unless you are at anyone's house who has lots of them to play with. "Poop," "pee," "butt," "fart," and other related terms are "words we can say in the bathroom;" until Daddy teaches you to sing, "There's a skeeter on my peeter knock it off..." and Grandpa makes up fun play themes like, "I'm a burp and play, you're a poop and fart [doll]." You don't even take notice when other people look different from you, until Grandma reads you "Little Sambo" and when I take you to the waterpark you point to a little boy your size with darker skin and ask me, "Where is his tiger?" We do not hit/kick/use hurtful hands at all... except when Daddy or Grandpa or Papaw or anyone else gives you boxing gloves or a pillow or a stick for a sword or a real toy sword or a play hammer or.... ahhh, the list goes on.
So will my kid be the kid who annoys the teachers with all the inappropriate behavior? Or will he cry all day, too afraid to do anything at all? Or will he have to sit apart from the other children in a straight jacket so he can't hurt them? Please don't let him be the kid who punches the teacher in the nose! (It does happen - a kid punched me in the nose the first week I worked in a classroom). Even his good qualities come into play here: what if he tries to kiss the other kids b/c he's so used to being affectionate at home? All those germs... ewwww!
Why isn't it enough that I think he's the cutest, sweetest, funniest, smartest, most charming three-year-old in the whole world? Why do I have such a hard time believing that other people will see him this way, too?
And is it normal to worry that your own child will be the one alienating others rather than worrying that he'll be alienated by others? What kind of mother am I? And should I send a list of all my concerns to his teacher so she knows that if he does behave inappropriately that I'm sorry in advance? (No, I wouldn't actually do that).
If anyone knows of any issues not mentioned in this post, please write quickly so that I have adequate time to process and develop just the right amount of anxiety before he actually starts school. Otherwise, it might be too late - he may have already proven me wrong.
Sanity or Patience: choose one.
Do you ever have one of those moments where you think, "HA! I am sane!" Then you step in dog poo with your bare feet and remember it was your idea to get the puppy...?