Preschool

This was actually on Kale's birthday, but he was in a similar mood then.

Kale has been going to preschool with some regularity for a few weeks now. He can go (and we pay for) five days a week, but so far we haven’t yet made it to five for a variety of reasons. He enjoyed it immensely when we first started going and we’re starting to see a bit of a backlash from him about going now.

For one, he’s dropped his naps. Sigh. It was only a matter of time,  I suppose for Kale to give up the nap, and I’m torn about this because I’ll be honest with you guys – I got a buttload of work done while Mr. Pants slept. This house doesn’t magically clean itself, laundry doesn’t magically do itself, and clients do not magically pay me for doing nothing, and so that short burst of time that Kale would sleep was the time in which I got a lot done. Don’t get me wrong, Ross contributes to the household operations, and so the few people who have given me the sage advice to “make your husband do more” – while good intentioned – are shooting at the wrong moose.

So I’m having to learn a new way of completing my billable work. The summer market season is finally over after 18 long weeks, and so I have less time-dependent work that needs doing. But i also have more research and thinking based work that needs doing for the consulting business. So, I’ve so far been fitting it in during preschool. Which sort of works though I always feel like I haven’t gotten enough done and never feel like I can get into the meat of things in the limited time I have between drop off and pick up.

And the other, slightly more troubling part is that Kale has recently decided he HATES going to preschool and when we ask why, he tells us he dislikes another child at the school. This child does not speak English, and while he’s a nice kid and he’s only three, he sometimes tries to get the attention of the staff and other children in ways Kale doesn’t necessarily appreciate such as sticking his hand in Kale’s face, or more seriously, pushing and hitting.

I’m struggling with this on a few levels. One, Kale is a great kid who is good natured but he’s not an angel. He has done his fair share of inappropriate pushing or invading space and I’m mostly okay with it because, well, he’s THREE and that’s what they do. We have been working incredibly hard to help him learn that we are nice to other children and that getting the attention of people is best done with words and timing. So, here’s this little boy he goes to school with doing the EXACT OPPOSITE and not knowing enough English to be told how better to do it.

Secondly, I’m struggling because I’m the one that gets to listen to the WAILING Kale will start once he knows he’s going to school. Dropping his nap also means that Kale is more tired, and is sleeping more, and Ross and I are working on trying to scale the kid back so he is in bed earlier and won’t sleep as long in the morning, thus giving him more time to wake up on his own and be happy and peaceful, rather than me stomping around the house trying to wake him up with enough time to eat breakfast and get dressed and walk to school without rushing him. This kid is like me and will NOT BE rushed without a scene.

I know, wah wah wah, right? I have friends who have told me stories about how hard it is to get their families organized first thing in the morning, at like, 6, so that there is time for daycare drop offs, school drop offs, et cetera. And here’s me whining about it being hard to get Kale out the door for 9AM. So there’s a whole other part of this connundrum to analyze – why am I so bothered about it?

I can deal with the time – with the summer market season over I literally have every weeknight available to do my consulting work (although I don’t mind going out to socialize once in a blue moon) and so its going to take some getting used to.

The big thing is that I’m feeling horribly bad about myself and how angry I find myself getting.

Today, for example, we actually got out of the house on time, and about 50 yards from the house, Kale had a complete meltdown about the fact that I grabbed his wrist to speed him up, and in the process, it jarred a piece of cereal (the breakfast he hadn’t eaten) out of his little snacky bag, where it promptly fell – splat – into a puddle. So he FREAKED and it just sent me over the edge and I screamed at him, right in his face, I was so full of RAGE, and now, I don’t even know exactly what I said, I was that angry. I seem to recall I yelled at him about leaving the cereal alone, about how we were going to be late, and I think I even threw in a “IT’S YOUR FAULT” for good measure.

Let me just state for the record that this is not a parenting moment I am proud of.

We came home and it was Ross to the rescue and he spoke to Kale on speaker phone and got him calmed down and all that. And I apologized to Kale for yelling at him and we’re all good, he and I. But still. I feel like a giant heel.

[Pity Party: To make matters worse, I had to go to the dentist today to repair a broken tooth that I broke last week and he had to freeze it and drill it and fill it, and then I found out the company didn’t get a (totally improbable but hey, since we’re whining here) bid we put in for. Seriously, I’m pretty certain I’m going to get shat on when we take the dog for a walk. ]

And so, here we are. Kale is working on the permanent couch dent in the living room watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I’ve escaped to my office for my own little bit of downtime.

Right now, I’m not sure who dislikes preschool more – Kale for the child that he doesn’t like, or me for the hammer it’s thrown into our lives. Trust me, I know it will get better and will normalize and we’re working on Really Big Stuff here and that’s okay. But seriously. Preschool. Meh.

8 years ago

7 Comments

  1. First – I’d like to say that I completely understand where your coming from although I’m not in your shoes. Secondly, have you thought about switching preschool to the afternoons? It really works well for us & Aidan would not be cool with being there in the mornings. They need loads of time and warning for changes especially when they have their own agenda. It’s hard to remember that, but I think if you could change to afternoons, which may avoid the other child, things may turn around. Just my thoughts! 🙂

  2. I can understand the day your having.. put on your shoes and take the little man to a park, and enjoy the simple things again! or put him in a stroller and take him for a run… It is only a small moment where things are wild, they will settle, and you will work it all out. Never a heal, always learning….. ((hugs)) to you both!

  3. Sigh. Sing it sister. Moira is getting better with going to school which is only 3 days a week but it can still be a struggle and I was hoping to walk there and back (you know, exercise?) but that gives M way too much time to start fretting so I drive her so she has more time at home to be distracted.

    As for dropping the naps – do you still give him quiet time? I always insist M has quiet time, it’s part of our schedule and it is non-negotiable. Almost every day she tells me she doesn’t want it and I ignore her and tell her “I’m going to nurse F & put her to bed. You go have your pee, pick out a story and meet me in your bed.” She always meets me in bed. I still do the nap routine: read stories, sing a song and turn off the lights. 9x out of 10 she plays in her room but once in a while she falls asleep but she is always a better version of herself when she comes out of that room. And I need the break too – sometimes I need to lay down, or sometimes I get to read (this is if F is asleep, she’s trying to drop down to one nap a day so our lives are in total flux right now). Anyway, I really believe kids need a quiet time on their own to recharge their batteries – even if all you get is 45 minutes.

  4. been there, so done that (the screaming at my kid bit).

    it does get better eventually, but the losing the nap thing – throws a spanner in the works each and every time. quiet time, as mentioned by melanie, is a saviour. for me and the wee guy it was time spent quietly, each doing our own thing alongside each other – no mummy reading aloud, no mummy interacting, no entertaining – just wee guy doing his thing, and mummy getting on with hers. it’s worked well to this day

    PS: the afternoon preschool thing sounds good too – i’d suggest not giving in to letting K decide his fate but that isn’t very crunchy at all these days, in fact it’s shockingly bad mummy behaviour 😉

  5. Do you remember the little girl that used to fight to go to bed until she would just pass out from pure exhaustion? Well, I would carry that little girl to preschool at 9 am kicking and screaming she didn’t want to go. I calmly handed her over to the teacher and 2.5 hours later I had to drag her kicking and screaming that she didn’t want to leave.

    Today, 9 years later, it is basically the same thing. Tuesday was a fun morning. When told it was time to get up she told me, plainly and simply, “No” and that was that. I told her that was not an option. She called me a bag. I grabbed her arm to twist her to face me, she took a swing at me. Yup, that is our typical first day back to school after the weekend. This morning I was told she didn’t want to go to school because I was sick and I should get some rest and she didn’t want me to have to drive to pick her up after school. I thanked her for thinking about me and that she made a good attempt but it wasn’t going to work – she was going to school. Every day after school I sit out in front of the school, in my car (thank goodness for andriod phones) waiting for at least 20 minutes for her to stop chatting with her social circle and get her butt in the car.

    If you somehow think things will get easier you are sadly mistaken. What happens, I believe, is that we, as moms, just learn how to deal with it and try a variety of things to get them to just comply without incident. I have a 19 year old that sleeps in until 1 pm and stays up until 5 am playing computer games. He thinks that sending a resume to a random posting on craigslist is good enough of a job search. I must now think of yet another creative way to get his butt out of my house. It never ends! 🙂

    And don’t beat yourself up over yelling at Kale. Megan and I have yelled many times and I can honestly say she doesn’t hate me for it. After our Tuesday morning episode I would have thought when I went to get her she’d be “distant” but nope, I got to hear all about her lovely day and who said what and who did what and blah blah blah.

    Welcome to motherhood 🙂

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