"Take him to Preschool", they say! Including my husband who lovingly points out how much I need a break. However, I know how his brain works. If I get a break that means he gets a break from me...and the stressed out, slave-driver that I am. Either way, I'm backed into a corner.
My son no longer needs a speech therapist because he miraculously began speaking perfectly almost immediately after beginning therapy. The therapist suggested he go to Preschool because he's missing the "social aspect". I explained he's plenty social to which she insisted it's mostly with adults- 'He needs to get down to the level of other 3 yr olds'.
Ok, so my son prefers to talk to adults or older kids (his sister is 8). I was an only child and preferred adults. My son also has a personality similar to mine and I'll never admit there's anything wrong with it...thank you very much! Because I never truly related to a good chunk of my peers, I've been called some awful things like 'Old Soul', 'Wise beyond my years', and 'Mature'. Hey, I know. It was tough. And my poor son has gotten the nickname from me: Little old man (but he acts like one).
I distinctly remember thinking high school was too immature for me so could it be Preschool is too immature for my son? I never went to preschool. In fact most of my generation didn't go to preschool and I feel like we are far more personable than the addicted-to-tech generation.Take away those devices, and then tell me how social they all are. Not every minute of our lives was scheduled as it is today, and heck they even want to schedule socialization into the child's life!
I'll leave no rock unturned though. Just exploring the options...
Maybe I'm wrong (don't tell anyone). I doubted everyone else's persistence with Preschool, but nevertheless I walked my butt into one and checked it out. Spoke with a lady. She said he'd be allowed to take a blanket or toy from home so it has our smell on it. I had to ask if I could board my dog there (wasn't she talking about a dog?).
This nice lady led me to a room where my son could potentially interact with his peers. The room had a spacious gathering table for "family style" eating, a corner that looked like a make-shift living room and sleeping pads (I own a better dog bed) on the floor. Now let me check out his "peers". They looked tired, dull, robotic, empty. No disrespect to the women who MUST put their kids into daycare. I will NEVER condemn you because I know you've been backed into a corner too.
After the lovely tour, I expected to pay just pennies a day for this style of living. To my shock and horror, it was $50/ day! I nearly shit my pants but figured that would set a bad example for the Preschoolers who were probably trying to phase out of that.
I decided to prove everyone wrong and took my son to a (free) Preschool group. This should be good enough. After all, I quit a lucrative career to stay home with my daughter and never put her in Preschool (By the way, she's doing great in school). I took her to groups where we gathered with her peers and other mothers.
I take him to a group. He's still as a statue, looking at the other kids like they're crazy when everyone else (including myself) is flapping their arms and making all the appropriate movements to the song. His speech therapist (and my husband, by default) were right. Turns out he isn't on a 3 yr old "level". After all the nonsense (I mean nursery rhyme fun), it was time for free play. Many of the kids played by themselves while my guy purposefully engaged in play with a couple of the kids. Finally! A point for my side!
Wait ! What? I need to justify my thoughts about Preschool and my son? Hell no, I won't be taking him to one. I hate that this ordeal began with my own doubt of whether others knew better than myself about what's best for my own child. He's a friendly introvert, and he likely always will be.
Funny (or not) thing is, it's become acceptable for others (outside of our family and friends circle) to have a substantial input about how to raise our kids. Someone, some study, or some institution knows better than the mother? Ummm...I don't think so! But then a stupid notion, or viral article, catches on like wild fire. We need to get honest- we have lost that engagement and intuition- I see it all the time.
It was an uncomfortable flashback to the time when I tried to continue my career AND be a mom. You better believe there's opinion on that coming from everywhere. I failed the "Modern Woman" requirements despite all the "helpful" advice from everyone.
Damn feminists for making me think I was less a woman for not being the new woman! Well screw you, I believe a woman should listen to her intuition. Now go be useful, feminists, and lower the cost of childcare for all the fabulous working mommies out there!
What the hell is going on when others are suggesting mothers take their kids to preschool even if they don't have to?
I don't live in a cave or a secluded island miles from civilization, but somehow I'm made to feel I'm in danger of raising an anti-social preschool-aged creature from the lagoon! My bank account felt in danger though. Wow, is childcare expensive! Luckily my visit to the potential Preschool wasn't a waste. I took that price sheet straight to my husband and said 'I believe I need a raise' sprinkled with some R. E. S. P. E. C. T! Pony up, Pumpkin!
So here I am, still left with feelings of indecisiveness. It's the price you pay for deviating outside the norm and following your gut. I could listen to everyone else. My son could listen to the Preschool group leader and make all the cutesy hand gestures appropriate for nursery songs OR we could just be who we are. It's an easy choice when I understand my son- I was/am a lot like him.
I see the differences between my son and other kids. I love it! He will be an outlier! He won't learn to follow until he's 5 1/2. Oh sure, his kindergarten teacher will be burdened with teaching him how to raise his hand to speak or get permission to go potty (because he didn't learn these essentials in Preschool).
In the meantime I'll stay active in the groups for him, but it will be an experience not an immersion. So I said to him..."Let's pop on some Sesame Street then go to the zoo!"
This time (before school) is the ONLY time we get as parents to have an effect on our kids' life. Be an influence before everyone else!
The mommy business is the most important job on earth. Keep it up ladies!
Wine Advice + Uncommon Sense
Everybody needs to express themselves in some form- mine happens to be written form...with an opinion. Occasionally I get in the mood for some wine and answer life's tricky questions.