In a little over two weeks, I’m going to have a preschooler. Part of me is pretty excited to go back to school shopping for the very first time. Squee! All those cute little bento sets, lunch boxes, and backpacks! New outfits and shoes! I’m particularly thrilled to get two afternoons a week back for myself (well, for myself and the baby). The rest of me feels like this can’t possibly be happening already. Three and a half years old already? When did this happen? All at once she seems so grown up! I can’t help but wonder if we are ready for this.
Is Teagan ready for preschool? We’ve been struggling with behaviours lately that I know are developmentally normal, but they still drive me up the wall. When I ask Teagan to pick up her toys or to be gentle with her sister, and she grins and says, “Nope!” When I tell her she needs to go to her room and she says, “No, you go to your room!” When I get mad and she laughs in my face. I find myself shouting far more than I would like, and I have to keep reminding myself, “She’s three. She’s three.” Whoever coined the phrase “terrible twos” clearly didn’t have a three year old like mine.
I worry that Teagan will be disruptive and unruly, and the teacher won’t be able to manage her behaviour. I worry about getting a phone call asking me to come get her and to never come back. Logically, I know that my kid is far from the first one to give her parents a hard time. I’m sure that the teacher has plenty of experience with stubborn preschoolers. I remind myself that Teagan behaves differently with us than with other adults. But I still worry.
Am I ready for preschool? I wonder about how starting school will impact my little girl. Will having to share the teacher’s time with seven other children teach her to be more independent in entertaining herself, or will she become more demanding of my attention at home? I know that spending more time away from her family and socializing with other kids will introduce her to new and unfamiliar ideas and experiences. All of a sudden, I will no longer be in control of everything that she’s exposed to.
For the last three and a half years, I’ve been the centre of Teagan’s world. I guess I’d better get used to the idea of sharing her. Her world will only get bigger from here on out.
Do you have a first day of school coming up? Or if you’ve been there, done that, please share with me how you handled it.