Preschool: Why didn’t you people warn me?

Preschool: Why didn’t you people warn me?

Prek

I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life. Hard crap. Death, divorce, taxes. All of the things that could break a lesser woman, however, I had no idea what hard could be until Audrey started pre-K. See, I know my daughter. I know her sweet little heart, but I also know that one of the main reasons she is still alive is because she’s cute and she’s probably only cute to me because she’s mine. I know these things, I’m not trying to kid myself. So sending her off to someone who might not find her as cute as I do worries me, except for the fact that I know that legally they can’t kill her so that’s good, right?

I knew we would have some issues. I thought to call her teacher and give her a friendly warning but surprises are just so much fun. Audrey is “strong willed”(bossy) to put it nicely. She’s a leader, not a follower (again, bossy). She is vocal with a wide vocabulary and smart (bossy and a smart ass). Too smart sometimes while not being afraid to call you out. In fact, the other day I told my husband that I SWORE she gives me the “get your shit together, mom” look. Seriously, she does. In her defense, I often do need to get it together.

On the first day we had a long talk on the way to school about behavior and making good choices. I thought we were clear. That day upon pickup, a very sweet looking (and young, very very young) Miss Johnson pulled me aside and said “We had a tough day today.” Seems Audrey decided sharing was for amateurs, so was listening, cleaning, and pretty much anything else. Also, sand in the shoes. CRISIS! Crying melt down. Hysterics. And… Scene.

Day two: Wash/rinse/repeat

Day three we had a breakthrough. I decided to have a long talk with Miss Johnson about ways we could mutually team up to defeat the thumb-sucking dictator and reign supreme. I shared with her some ways that we work through issues and crying at home and implemented a sticker system to be done at home. You call it bribery, I call it winning. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Chart

The deal was that if Miss Johnson said Audrey had a good day at school she would get a sticker for her chart at home. After 8 stickers she could pick a prize. Not surprisingly she choose a stuffed Parasaurolophus. I know right? Who wouldn’t?

Several great days followed. She was like a new kid! Then we had a bad day. Audrey again decided cleaning up the toys was for the staff and refused by staging a sit-in under her desk and crying. Later that day she didn’t get picked to do some job (oh NOW you want to help?) and this time chose to crawl under Miss Johnson’s desk. When they politely tried to pry her from her den she hit the teacher’s aide in the arm.

A few more good days….

And then…the day from hell.

Oh this particular day I walked in for pickup to see a haggard looking Miss Johnson who clearly looked in need of a stiff cocktail. She started off by saying, “Now I want to just say that everyone’s child has had a day today. All of them. ALL. OF. THEM. However…”

And this is where it gets interesting. So apparently Audrey got a little tired during Circle Time and decided a nap on the classroom kiddie sofa was in order. At this point, judging from the new grey hairs on Miss Johnson’s very young head (she’s got to be 25, tops), I could only imagine that she could have cared less about the impromptu nap time. Except, of course, Audrey took it a step further when every time she spoke (you know since she was TEACHING and all), Audrey would loudly yell, and yes, this is a direct honest-to-God quote, “WOULD YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN, I’M TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!” 

I definitely didn’t plan this whole pregnancy thing out so well, timing wise, with the whole preschool thing because I don’t think I’ve ever needed a cocktail so bad in my life.

Cheers to you, Miss Johnson. Somebody get this girl a shot of vodka and a cookie…after hours, of course.

PS, can we talk, just briefly, about drop off. What the hell is the deal with school drop off? The first day of school I drove the wrong way down the drop off lines. Yes, I was that mom with my husband following behind me, completely mortified and cursing in way I’m sure would make a sailor blush. You would have thought I was clubbing a baby seal or letting Audrey mainline crack in her car seat! I’m new here people! Pre-k mom coming through! Drop off is like a well choreographed minivan ballet where nobody invited me to practice.  Drop off scares me. Whatever Minivan Mafia, I’ll park and walk. I like the exercise, it’s only 106 out.

 

Comments

  1. Nicole, I am dying. DYING! LOVE your post. You are such a good writer and I just loved reading about Audrey’s smart ass “leadership” personality. (Hmmm, wonder where she gets that from???) The straw that tipped the camel’s back for me was her taking a nap and telling the teacher to be quiet. OMG. That little girl!! All I can tell you is it gets better!! I didn’t have the same problems as you. I was the mom who’s child was screaming like I was putting him into a death chamber — who’s teachers had to literally peel him off of me for weeks. I would cry, he would cry, it was a hot mess. He would of course scare all the other kids (who were already nervous) and start a steady stream of crying preschoolers. The other parents and teachers must have loved us. Anyway, he slowly learned that preschool was OK, like Audrey will learn that she has to follow the rules. I promise, it will get better! Oh, and drop off is a nightmare at first. I don’t care what school you go to — all those “experienced” moms giving you dirty looks as you continue to make wrong turns and figure it out. Give them all the finger. That’ll show them. xoxo, Jen — Oh, and ps, since I’m not pregnant, I’m happy to have that stiff cocktail for you, in your honor.

    • Jen- I missed out on the whole separation thing. She could have cared less if I was there her entire life. On the first day of school, I was good and hormonal, we walked in and she just took off to play. There was crying, however, only from me though. I find the response from this post hilarious. 99% of poeple think it’s hilarious but I’ve also had people wonder why I allow this to happen, with no discipline whatsoever. Umm, just because I didn’t bore you with the details of the time outs, long drawn-out discussions and hours of no TV and iPad (which hurt me more than it hurt her) that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Right? Maybe I need to an ammendment to the post.

  2. Nobody warned you because we’re all living our own variations of this and just trying to survive! Now the drop off line? I probably should have warned you about that. And it’s no better if you park and walk in. I’ve gotten so many door dings and an irate parent yelling at me to “F-off” (sad but true story) that I don’t recommend that choice either!

    • I was shocked by the minivan mafia. I head heard scary tales around the campfire from friends who had been though it and survived but never have I actually experienced it. Holy crap. Them chicks don’t mess around, do they? And you’re right, walking is no better. I live in Phoenix and it’s summer time. Not a time when people usually go for leisurely strolls outside, if you catch my drift. And school started right when the morning (all damn day) sickness set in. That and the heat, I’m surprised the kid made it it school at all…We can think my overpowering need for an uninterrupted nap for that.

  3. P.S. You might like this carpool post from the Dose Girls:

    http://www.thedoseofreality.com/2014/08/19/rules-carpool-line-back-school-style/

  4. C’mon, girls! Smart ass? Flip them the bird? Bitches? Mafia? Holy crap? Get your shit together? Christ? Is this truly who you want to be? Is this where your heart is? Is this truly the example you want to set for these little ones who love their mammas and watch everything you do and hear everything you say?

    Being a mom is hard, hard, hard. It is a struggle in oh so many ways and none of us feel like we know what we’re doing all the time. My heart goes out to you and to each and every mom … we are all in the same battle and if we are not careful, if we are not wise, if we do not continually turn with repentant hearts to seek spiritual guidance for such a challenging and important role, our hearts become calloused and we become more harsh and cynical and jaded and we close our eyes and we end up nothing like the moms we dreamed we would one day be.

    When things are tough, do we need to turn to name-calling and stereotyping and making assumptions about what other moms are thinking? To me that’s not funny or creative … it feels like it only serves to create animosity rather than support other moms and embitters your own heart. Ask for help from a mom who is a few years ahead of you who has already jumped these hurdles. Read more books. Pray. I am *all* for transparency and honestly discussing how hard it is to be a parent, but the cynicism and harshness just makes me sad.

    • Heather,
      I’m sorry you feel that way. I really really am. You and I seem to know each other though passing or at Moms of Mission but I get the feeling, from your comment, that you don’t know me. Completely understandable. And maybe we got off on the wrong foot here. Perhaps going back and reading some of my other posts will give you a real indication of me as a whole, and not just some snarky post about my daughter’s preschool experience.
      When I write posts for my blogs (as I have been doing for going on 4 years) I picture myself sitting around a table full of coffee and chatting with my most near and dear mom friends. It’s a place where we can be candid and truthful and, most often, funny about how hard being a mom truly is. Because if you can’t laugh in the face of a floor full of Cheerios when when can you? Right? But just so we are clear, these conversations are here, in my head, on this page and not to or in front of my daughter. Because I have this small outlet, I am able to be 100% the example I am wanting to set for her. I am proud of who I am as a mom, top to bottom, and I stand by every thing I post or I wouldn’t do it at all.
      You’re not the first to have issues with what I have posted, and certainly not the last. It’s a bit of the beauty of this genre as a whole. I once posted about how I used BabyWise to sleep train Audrey and was completely torn apart over it and told she was going to grow up not knowing how to love. Or when I posted that I put a lock on her bedroom door when she was able to climb out of her crib. I’m sure there was more than one threatened call to CPS on that one. Can you believe it? But this is what I do. I put my life and my parenting out on public display meaning anyone with an internet connection gets to tell me I’m doing it wrong…and they do…often.
      However, I was convicted and you brought up a few good points so I did a couple revisions without changing the entire theme of my post..which I do stand behind. It’s funny. Does it tell the whole story? Nope. But I’m not trying to teach someone how to navigate the world of preschool, I’m just telling my funny little view of it.
      I’m sorry you didn’t see the humor in what I posted, I am the first to admit that not everyone thinks I’m funny. I’ve been told that my whole life. Then again, I’m not here to write for everyone. I have a small reader base. I always joke it’s my best friend and my mom, sometimes. And I do pray. I pray hard and long every single day that I am doing the right thing, that I am raising Audrey to be the Godly woman the Lord intended her to be, that I, myself, and setting a high enough standard for her and my husband every single day. So don’t worry, there is a lot of ground to heaven chatter going on around here.
      So thank you so much for your comment. I always appreciate comments and when people visit my little corner of the internet. But just so you know, I know a lot of great and holy Christian women who know it’s okay to let the S-H word fly every now and again, especially when you’re elbow deep cleaning out a crib full of it. God still loves us. :)

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  5. He *does* still love us and that’s the beauty of it!  I appreciate your words to me, Nicole. I love, love, love that you turn to prayer as one of the many ways to align your heart … just awesome!  I honestly don’t know how I would be able to be a decent / constant work-in-progress / hopefully typically loving wife, mother and friend without that foundation. And yes …. you are oh so free to post any and everything you want … it’s a truly amazing thing to be able to swap thoughts with people from all over and all backgrounds! I know I learn something from every exchange, just as I am in our exchange! 

    I do hear ya … I am all good with funny … and you are funny!  Seriously, raising kids provides AMPLE material. My hubby should get back into stand-up comedy again with everything our boys do and say. It’s just the harsh words that name-call and perpetuate stereotypes and make assumptions just don’t seem funny to me. They make my heart hurt and make me sad. We are adults … let’s not be the adult version of mean girls. I know we don’t want kids treating our own children that way … let’s not do it to each other, even if it’s indirectly. Let’s be counter-cultural. From out of the heart, the mouth speaks … let’s encourage each other in this hard, hard job rather than tear each other down. Anger, frustration, bitterness, the propensity to mock others … it isn’t pretty stuff. When I notice those feelings within myself, it’s a call to examine my heart so that I don’t unintentionally pass those tendencies on. {Please see work-in-progress statement, above. I am not perfect but am *thankfully* forgiven when I repent!} Your writing influences many people, Nicole, and you’ve undoubtedly blessed many with your transparency.  Take captive every thought, sweet friend, you are a great writer who is completely capable of being utterly hilarious while still being God honoring and uplifting.

    It’s so neat to see that you are having another baby after all your struggles! Our infertility struggle was a long and heartbreaking nine years … what a gift you have been given! I know that you will appreciate this little one even more because of the waiting. God is good. His timing is good. This little one will be blessed to have you for a mamma.

    This short time in your life … this time with littles … will be over in a flash and more than anything I just want you to enjoy every aspect of it! Some phases are challenging. When my six year old suddenly began having full-on, sweeping, panic attacks last year it was one of the hardest things I had ever experienced. Praises, praises for the help we sought and the tools we learned that have helped our sweet boy learn to calm himself and regain self-control when he felt suddenly out of control. It sounds like your current phase with Audrey is a hard one, and my heart goes out to you and to her. I do not, by any means, have everything all figured out, but am always happy to chitty-chat if any of the tools we have learned would be helpful to your little family. We all gotta stick together and help each other out! Don’t know where I’d be without kind friends who speak into and guide me through my particular struggles. 

    Alrighty.  ENOUGH with my long novel! I know you have much more important things to do! Hope your Wednesday has more ups than downs. I’m off to the 1st Grade Parent / Teacher Conference … wish me luck!

    H

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