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More Harping on Preschool

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.)

Comments (21)

I can go with tacky. Definitely. Probably morally bankrupt if I thought about it too long.

Glad that Mia is rounding that corner!

I wonder if the Princesses can call Declan and tell him to stop peeing at night so we can get rid of his pullups?

I am relatively certain that this Princess Phone Call Deal will be my salvation and also my doom. Thank you. Also, I am glad to discover that my preschooler is not the only study in contradictions out there. "I want cranberry juice. I don't want cranberry juice." IN THE SAME BREATH.

Your Princess call idea was inspiring. I have placed that link in Favorites for future manipulating, I mean, use. Thank you!

brilliance! princess power!


We pretended to make a phone call to Santa once, to get some poor behavior under control. Leave it to Disney to capitalize on that. (I love Disney of course. I'm sure I'll use the princess telephone service in the future!)

sounds like $6 well spent! awesome!

Wow, that was quite a turnaround. And I thought we were doing good. Yesterday Button got an "I Didn't Cry All Day" award from her teachers. She carried it home herself and stuck it to the refrigerator.
I am totally going to try that Princess thing... whenever Button learns who the Disney princesses are. It's not a theme we frequent much around here.

OMG! That princess phone call is so inspired I can hardly stand it. Where was that when I needed it? Mine are 11 & 14, so not much on the princess thing now but when they were Mia's age,princesses rocked. We did "Breakfast with Cinderella" at Disney when they were 2 and 6 and it was phenomenal! You are truly a genius!

Love the princess call!
Love the metaphor!
Have a nice weekend:)

I have to know how you heard about this. And if they one for pooping on the potty, I'd think about it.

I'd go with tacky. My neice attends a private school where they hold no fundraisers. they merely charge the same as Stanford to attend.

Do either Lightning McQueen or Wall-E make phone calls? 'Cause we could sure use that around here! Of course, a male sounding JUST LIKE Santa Claus works wonders, too! :)

Hoping Mia will like school better next week!

I found you! I used to read Diary of a Playgroup Dropout! I was scrolling through the comments at Sundry, and there you were! I am soooo EXCITED!

I am also done being stalkerish. Sorry. I really am excited, but in a calm, non-threatening way. The princess calls were inspired. And I second the Wall-E request. Man, that would come in super handy!

Um, why did you PAY for this service?! You could have ANY female call any time you want for free, and talk to her as long as she likes, and you can force that female to say anything you want (preschool is awesome, sharing with baby brother is awesome, letting Mommy and Daddy sleep an extra half hour on Saturdays is awesome), and this female could be anyone you want (Dora, Cinderella, Madonna).

I must admit, what an amazing idea on the part of Disney. I mean, amazing as in: great idea for an effective way get what you want with your kid!, and great idea for making loads of money for little to no work.

I refuse to accept that their sultry Snow White actress is any better than my old college roommate.

And, heck, for $6, it's not that big a deal, I know. But it's the principle!

But I wholeheartedly thank you for the idea! My daughter may soon be getting some calls from Thomas regarding the superiority of SHOES over sandals in wintertime.

Oh that princess thing is too funny.
I don't think my little boys would be too excited about it, though. Maybe I should order myself a princess phone call!

I missed the whole preschool discussion the other day, so if I am repeating an idea I apologize. My youngest had a difficult time adjusting to preschool last year until her teacher suggested that we give her a family photo that she could bring to school to look at any time she missed us. It worked brilliantly; she kept the photo in her backpack the entire school year (although the teacher said she rarely looked at it after the first few days) and she was clearly comforted to have us with her.

I remember those first school days, and they do get better. My kids are now in 5th and 7th grade, and I can barely squeeze a "bye mom" out of them. What happended to my hug? It's true that you have to enjoy every milestone, no matter how annoying or distressing. Eventually, they ask to be dropped off at the corner, and you're left wondering; what happended to my baby.

And a day care fundraiser is totally tacky. Day care centers charge so much as it is, it's insane to ask parents to go through that. I can't stand school fundraisers. I'd much rather make a tax deductible donation to the school.

I like Disney less and less with each passing day. And that's saying something, because I didn't like them all that much to begin with. Your crossed-out use of the w-word pretty much sums it up. They've raised hoovering our wallets to an art form. Their contribution to our "culture" is laughable on a good day.

Still, as a parent, I know where you're coming from. We do whatever we can to make it work, trying different things, improvising and adapting as the environment around us evolves. You're in tune with your daughter, doing what you need to do. That's an absolutely inspiring thing to see.

maybe mia's just a little.. dramatic? in everyday life?

love love love your princess bribe solution!

Oh, and my 2yr old boy does that 'i want/I don't want' thing. in the same breath. :::rolls eyes:::

I am a long time lurker here, but I love your blog and the princess phone call idea is so genius of you! You are so funny. We just started the whole preschool thing too! I just can't stop laughing about the phone call...we might have to use that too!

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So the Fish Said...

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