This last year my only daughter started preschool. What started out as a weepy escapade every time I thought of my baby growing up, quickly turned into days where I found myself pining away for school days. You see, I’m a work from home mom and finding time to get things done with a busy 4-year old is hard to come by. Even though she’s in school only 6 hours a week, that’s 6 hours where I don’t have to feel guilty for her watching TV or desperately trying to get my attention while I wrap up a project.
Once school was in full swing, I quickly realized that although I loved having some time to myself each week, this whole preschool thing? It’s a LOT of work. I now realize that preschools only stay functioning because of all the non-stop participation from parents. I seriously LOVE that my daughter can’t wait to go to school every morning. But I also have to be honest and confess a few things have slipped through the cracks this past year:
1. We never read the library books.
Each week, my daughter gets to take home a new and exciting library book. You know where it goes? In the hall entry way, where it stays until it’s due back next week. Don’t get me wrong- we love reading in our house, but the likelihood that we will either lose the book in our own stash or that I will just continue to forget to return it is all the more likely then actually reading it. I always pull the library bag out with the best of intentions, but it never actually gets read.
2. I don’t ever want to take home the class bird.
Like many classrooms, we have a class pet- a bird. And I don’t ever want to take it home with me. The one time we signed up, we ended up having a flood in our kitchen and I managed to convince the teacher that the poor bird may not like being in the house with 6 drying fans running. I actually did fully intend to sign up again, and I know my daughter would love a chance to have Elsa (the bird) come home with us some weekend. But I’d be lying if I said it’s something I was looking forward to! The bird still hasn’t made it home, and with 4 weeks left in the year, I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll pass us by!
3. I really don’t like show and tell.
I fully see the value in a child participating in show and tell. It develops rapport with other children, shows their imagination and increases their communication skills. Those are all wonderful things. You know what is NOT wonderful? Racing around on a Tuesday morning trying to find an item to share for the letter Q. And hey, even the “easy” letters can be a pain when you wake up and the first thing that hits your mind is “It’s share day!” Nothing like a little preschool stress to start the morning right!
4. I completely forgot about that fundraiser. Ok, three of them.
My daughter goes to a small private, Christian preschool and it is the perfect fit for our family. But part of “the deal” is that we get to help raise funds for wonderful things like teachers resources- something I’m fully on board with. I was gung-ho for the first fundraiser, because it was so fun- hello wrapping paper! But by the time the apple pie fundraiser, Mixed Bag fundraiser, and the trike-a-thon came around, I was completely out of steam. Those things stung the worst, because I love supporting our teachers. But the fact is, I just can’t keep up with what color my daughter is supposed to wear to chapel, what scented play dough I’m supposed to make for the class this month, and my daughter’s TWO teacher’s birthday’s are (coincidentally- both around Christmas because, MORE GIFTS)- much less to tell family and friends to buy some magazine subscriptions.
5. I totally stressed out about our weekend with “Casey the Cat.”
Preschool’s like to be all cute and give the kiddos fun things to do on the weekend. Our particular school has “Casey the Cat” and he requires adventures, that need to be photographed. Then the photos need to be printed, and placed in a journal, where they are then written about in detail. I’m so glad “my daughter” knows how to photograph, run to the Kodak kiosk at Target to print photos, and then document her weekend escapades with a mangy looking cat that looks filthy no matter how many times he’s been washed. While I love the memories and the participation my daughter feels by taking home this class favorite, I couldn’t help but be stressed by the mountain of steps it took to give Casey a good time.
For all the stressors that preschool can bring for me as a parent, I’m still glad my daughter gets to enjoy so many sweet adventures and make just as many memories too.
Do your kids have as many activities as we did in preschool?