I realize Elena is only three, so we’re in for two years of preschool, but today was a momentous occasion!
Our morning started like any other: Elena woke me up, asked for breakfast (told Tim he couldn’t get her breakfast and only mommy could), wanted “Marshmallow Cereal” ie. Lucky Charms and insisted she would eat it all, not just the marshmallows (as always, she only ate the marshmallows).
But it all changed when I reminded her that she started preschool today. My child that was SO excited for preschool just yesterday turned into a blubbering mess. I love her but she tends to err on the side of DRAMA. She went so far as to claim she was sick and couldn’t go (on her first day of school, ever).
We got out the door and I managed to keep her smiling in the car by performing not one, but two, glorious renditions of “Love is an Open Door” with her. Of course I was Hans and she was Anna.
She was a bit shy when we got to school but eventually kicked me out the door. She was a little disappointed she couldn’t “watch me drive away” as she always does when anyone leaves our house, but settled for watching me walk down the hall.
I made it home without crying, but tried to keep myself busy for the 2.5 hours she was gone. However, several thoughts kept going through my head and I was just convinced I was going to get a call to come pick her up and never bring her back.
Elena has been at home with me for just over a year now (after I left my job shortly after she turned two). That means the majority of her behaviors are a direct reflection on me and my parenting, right?
Here’s a few things I just couldn’t get out of my head:
1. What if she cusses? Seriously though, she is attending preschool at a church but LOVES to say “damn it” these days. I am not sure if it is better or worse than she always uses it in the right context. Me: “Elena, tomorrow you, Camille, mommy and daddy will be leaving Iowa and going back home.” Elena: “Awww damn it!”
2. What if she poops? Children are required to be 100% potty trained to attend preschool. I’m not too worried about this because Elena is definitely potty trained but she has some strange habits when it comes to going #2. Just this weekend my sister-in-law took her to the bathroom and after she finished her business, Elena spread her cheeks and asked her to wipe her! What if she did that to the teacher? And worse, what if she asked for a piece of “poopy candy” because we still haven’t been able to eliminate the incentive.
3. What if she cries the whole time? She was doing pretty well when I left her, but she’s been known to cry, A LOT. I would hate for her to be THAT kid and cry the whole time instead of having fun. Her wonderful caregiver at her previous daycare can attest to the fact that Elena literally cried EVERY DAY when I dropped her off (but of course she always stopped once I left). She’s spent the last 14 months at home with me almost every day so I was definitely a bit concerned.
4. What if she bosses everyone around? To say my child is a little bossy might be an understatement. She loves to talk and is a sassy little thing. She spends a lot of her time with adults and it usually goes one of two ways when she is around other kids: she either bosses them around or she spends a lot of time tattling on the other child for not sharing when she has no intention of sharing either.
5. What if she refuses to listen to her teacher? I love her, but my daughter doesn’t have the best track record of doing what she is told sometimes. She is a great kid but she is so damn (hmm, maybe I’m the reason she says damn all the time) smart. Seriously though, she manages to get her way a lot mainly because she tends to have a legitimate argument or outsmarts an adult somehow.
I am pleased to report I got no phone call from the preschool director asking me to pick her up and never return. When I picked Elena up her teacher assured me that she had a great day. Now I don’t have to worry again until Friday.
When I asked her about her first day of preschool, she proceeded to tell me all about snack time. Go figure.