Tuesday, October 26
I'm referring to our decision regarding Ava and preschool here. Who knew, right?! Who knew I would spend countless hours, zillions of braincells (or so it has felt) and a WHOLE lot of emotional energy pondering the value of preschool versus no preschool for my 3-year old.
But she is my kiddo, and she is very emotional and she is hard to figure out (can you say "female"!?!) sometimes!
So let's not beat around the bush here. Today was Ava's last day of formal pre-school for the year. We are going to attend the class field trip on Friday (seeing as it sounds like fun and I get to go we figured we might as well end on a positive note!) to a local farm for a hay ride and pumpkin picking and whatnot, and that's going to be the end of it.
I have had oodles of people tell me why I am wrong to pull her out; that I'm giving in, that she needs to "learn", that she needs to socialize, that if she is having this much trouble now won't it be worse next year, that we're setting some sort of precedent...yadda, yadda, yadda.
I have had my closest friends (thank you Sarah and Sara) and my lovely sister (thank you!) agree with me that the whole thing is seemingly causing WAY more stress than it is worth.
Scott is going to vomit if I bring the subject up one more time because we ladies, well, we mommies, sometimes obsess about things a little bit. Sometimes. And our poor husbands get to be on the listening end of all things obsessed about.
And, in the end, I had to make a decision that wasn't super clear....
For those of you who don't know the backstory here, Ava HATES being dropped off at school. Still. Seven weeks into this whole thing. All of the other kids have either settled in, or dropped out long ago and I seem to be the only one whose kid is digging in her heels (literally today!) and screaming when I drop her off.
She is happy as a clam when I pick her up. Sometimes singing and showing me what she made. Often quite chatty. It's why we've kept going as long as we have...at first I thought it was a separation anxiety thing (and it may be a little bit), but I've dropped her off at the nursery in the gym, I've left her with babysitters, etc. etc. and she is totally fine.
Apparently she stops crying within minutes of my leaving, but she CLINGS to the teacher all day. The teacher has been a saint about the whole thing, but she does have 15 other kids to take care of! Ava apparently also doesn't engage other kids in the class-- she mostly only talks to them if they talk to her. When I ask her why she hates school her answer is "There are too many kids!"
So anyway, I won't get into my whole analysis of what I think is going on...it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we had to make a decision that was best for our family.
At the end of the day I do feel our society is a bit pushy on our children...there is an expectation that they start school earlier and earlier...if they don't like it, tough...there are a lot of things in life they won't like.
My take is, she's 3! I'm home. If she is a child who has anxiety, especially caused by large groups of people, why force her to deal with it now? Perhaps by this time next year she'll be in a different place emotionally, and, if she's not, then that's o.k. In my book, if she's not enjoying school and I'm home anyway, why not let her enjoy one more comfortable, unstructured year home with me and her sister. She'll have the rest of her life to run around structured and scheduled and forced to deal with groups of people she doesn't like!
I'm a little sad about the whole thing. I loved the songs she was coming home singing, and the cute little crafts, and was looking forward to the Thanksgiving potluck and the Christmas show the kids were going to put on. I enjoyed doing her "homework" with her and and ordering books from the scholastic book form. However, I realize she'll have MANY more years to do all of those things as well.
We have her in gymnastics, I take her to music classes and I'm hoping she'll start going back to Sunday school (she started putting up a fit about that when school started...too much school for her all at once!)
At the end of the day, each child is different and we need to take it as it comes. Ella is usually running into the preschool and sitting herself in one of the chairs while Ava is fighting me at the door!
All that said, it wasn't an easy or clear decision, even in the end. But, as Scott said, "Lis, when you make decisions they often come with good results and bad. You have to determine which good and which bad you want." In this case, the stress it was causing her (and our entire family on school mornings!) isn't worth it.
Alright. Enough said. I think my brain hurts!
Would love to hear about your decisiveness or indecisiveness in regards to parenting your children! That way I won't feel so crazy!