Thank you all for your kind words and reassurances and advice regarding our preschool debacle. Some of the advice sounds really good, like making a special calendar where she can cross of days and always know when preschool is coming, or bribing her. I'm totally in favor of bribery as a parenting technique, but we have decided to give her just a bit longer to work through her feelings before we start paying her off with candy. Since many of you mentioned it, let me assure you that I am not lingering at drop off, prolonging the screaming and the inevitable. Rather, I am stopping the car just long enough to boot her out of it and then driving off, trying not to watch her wailing in the rear view mirror. (Her school does a carpool lane and there are many, many competent adults outside to receive her, she isn't just going it alone.) (I feel I have to clarify for the trolls.) And I must confess that my favorite part was hearing all the stories of your own experiences of kids who could peel asphalt from the road as they expressed their opinions about being abandoned at preschool. More than all the helpful advice of how to work through this, it is comforting to know that my kid is far from the first kid to go through this, and that even kids who spend lots of time in non-parental care have problems and it is not (or at least not solely) all my fault.
All that said, on this week's second Preschool Eve, Mia melted down at bedtime. All about preschool. Then she spent half the night screaming. Again all about preschool. Then she spent much of the morning sobbing. Preschool once again. But, about 45 minutes before school started, she pulled herself together. In fact, she wanted to go to preschool. In fact, she wanted to leave right now and so I had to drive us around the neighborhood for a while until it was actually time for school to start. When the time came to drop her off, she didn't cry. She didn't scream. She just went to school, and now she is terribly bitter that she doesn't get to go again until next week.
I don't think we are out of the woods, but I think they are thinning out and we have discovered an unused footpath which we have decided to follow on the hopes that it will eventually lead us out of the woods. (Too much? Sorry, got a bit too enamored with my metaphor there.) This may be due to my skillful and inspired parenting, which involved validating Mia's feelings, telling her how great I thought preschool was going to be, assuring her that she wouldn't always feel this way, and finally telling her that while I was happy to talk about it as much as she wanted and it was always ok to cry if she felt like crying, I wasn't going to listen to any more whining about it.
Or possibly, it was because Snow White called her in the morning to wish her a good day at school, and Jasmine called in the afternoon to congratulate her on doing so well. Yeah, probably that was it.
Did you know that you can have the Disney
over-marketed cash-whores Princesses call your kid? Well, you can. I sort of wish I didn't know about it either, but click here and plunk down three bucks and your little princess can talk to a real live Recorded Princess for roughly 45 seconds. You're welcome. Or, I'm sorry. Cinderella and Snow White sound pretty realistic (although Snow White sounds like she a phone sex operator playing innocent school girl, just like in the movie), but Jasmine is nowhere close. And no, I can't believe that I have reached the point where, not only do I order my three year old two Princess phone calls a day, but I critique the delivery.
Anyway, light at the end of the tunnel possibly in sight. Thanks for all your support.
(And also, wow, I had no idea that fundraising was so ubiquitous these days, and I suppose it is good that I got the wake up call now so that I am mentally prepared for it. But still the idea of a for-profit organization holding a fundraiser for their own benefit just seems... I dunno... a bit tacky.)