It seems like just about every day that I dropped my twins off at preschool or picked them up, there was something the director needed to talk to me about. No shot records. Wrong shot records. Updated shot records. And of course we had to go over all of the details with Claire’s peanut allergy, lest they actually need to administer her epipen, God forbid.
But I was still caught off guard when she asked to see me after I delivered the girls to their room last week. Did I forget yet another immunization? Is Rachel having too many accidents? Oh geez, did my tuition check bounce?
She spoke carefully. “I wanted to talk to you about moving the twins to the younger class…”
My defenses instinctively shot up. The younger class?
We’re being demoted? In preschool?
I listened incredulously as she detailed her reasons for thinking they would do better in the younger class – a class that in all honesty has kids that are closer to their age. The kids in their current class are all turning 4 in the fall, while their March birthday makes them several months younger. And six months can make a significant difference when you’re dealing with 3 and 4 year olds. I didn’t realize this when I based my decision mostly on the Tuesday/Thursday classes that would break up the week nicely.
I left with a heavy heart, my confidence in my and my girls’ abilities shaken. The words “immature,” “misbehavior,” and “disruption” swirled through my head. Words, I might add that never even came out of the director’s mouth.
See, my girls have never been in a preschool or mother’s day out program before. While their classmates gather around and wait patiently for the teacher to start the story or song, Rachel and Claire want to get up from the circle and play with the exciting new toys. While the other kids are content to sit for longer craft projects, sometimes these projects are a little too long and laden with steps for my girls and their shorter attention spans. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let them run hog wild around our house (all the time…), but they still need a little more coaching when it comes to doing things as a class as opposed to doing whatever they want.
In the younger class, they’ll be around more of their peers in that respect — kids who are also first timers in a school type atmosphere. Over there, they’ll work on all of those things together. They won’t stand out as the kids who aren’t sitting down or disrupting the story.
As for the school, this is their job. The director runs a wonderful program and employs warm and loving teachers who genuinely care for their kids with all their hearts. I have to remind myself that these recommendations are being made out of the best interests of my children, not for anyone else’s convenience.
I trust them. I trust their judgement. I trust their experience. I trust their abilities to gauge what my children need to flourish and be successful, while still allowing them to have fun and be three.
I want my girls to shine. I want everyone to see the smart, sweet, beautiful, spunky, polite, and wonderful children that I know, and I don’t want any of that to be overshadowed by the fact that they may be having trouble following directions or participating in group activities. In a class with kids closer to their age who are also sharing in this new experience with them, they’ll possibly feel more at home. They will flourish.
So onto the new class we go. I’m still a little sad and uncertain of the unknown. But my girls are resilient. They’ll love their new teacher. I’m the one having a hard time letting go of their first classroom and the fun projects and the cute little bears on the wall where they hung their bags. But I need to trust that we are making the right choice.
Preschool is a whole new world for us. We’re fumbling and making our way as best we can, but we’ll get there. Together.
Has the new school year brought any unexpected changes or experiences for you?