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True Confessions: Preschool has me Stressed

August 16, 2011

Listening to this story on NPR last week only confirmed my belief and parenting practice that kids should go to preschool. I love it when that happens! In fact, I would ignore all data that refutes my current parenting beliefs or practices, but fortunately, I have not heard any. So back to that story: kids who go to preschool just do better at life (less jail time, better education, better jobs, better earning, etc. etc.). You get the idea. Need I mention that I also attended preschool? It changed my life! I would probably be blogging from jail if it weren’t for that church basement.

Although I agreed philosophically with the story, I heard it while working through a preschool crisis. I don’t want to get into the whole story, but let me just say that although I found myself with a 4-year-old eager for schooling, he was without a preschool. Although this was not my fault (we had been wronged(!) by a preschool that had registered him), it was just one more thing that made me feel like a total loser of a mom. I know every parent has regrets and failings here and there–I’ve got those too. Want proof? I pretty regularly hit the laundry wall, where I hear that voice in my head “you can’t even keep your kids in clean clothes!” Or the dentist tells me someone has a cavity, and I hear “good parents don’t have to deal with that–their kids have clean teeth.” “Didn’t you want Lily to start piano this year? You don’t even have a piano yet!” And of course “your kids want a snack, and look at that crap you let them eat–fruit snacks are not fruit.” So yeah, that self talk isn’t very helpful, but I suppose it isn’t very unusual, either. But then I whammy myself with “your kids don’t even have an intact family!” whenever I notice the absence of an extra spouse and parent. So on top of all that, all summer I’ve been looking at Peter, thinking, “what kind of a mom can’t even get their kid to a preschool?”

Now I know some kinds of moms philosophically oppose preschool, or any school, and while I disagree with those kinds of moms, this was not a failure of philosophy. This was a failure of me. I just didn’t have my act together or the appetite to dig in and make those calls and take those tours and start all over again on arranging my life to be able to get Peter to and from an institution I could trust with my boy several times a week. Ugh. Every day I failed to provide my child with a fundamental childhood experience. I hated myself. Enter NPR and their crumby pertinent programming! Stop! I KNOW I need to get it together! But nothing was coming together. Preschools were full, or unresponsive, or too expensive, or on days I just couldn’t swing, or what have you. No one wanted my baby!

How could they say no to this guy?

Crazy talk! Believe it or not, preschool admission is not done on the basis of looks. Really, it is first come, first served, and here I was scrambling in August.

Friends: Peter has been placed in a preschool. It is imperfect, for sure, but at least I can always remind him of his higher earning potential because I hustled to get him in there. I feel much better. I still have many parental flaws, but I think I will sleep better tonight knowing someone will teach Peter his ABCs.

(Of course he already knows his ABCs).

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    August 17, 2011 2:09 am

    Ok…now I am TOTALLY determined to get Hamilton in preschool this year! It’s just unfortunate that the best preschools here are about $600 a month. For full day plus housecleaning and dinner for the family? No…3 half days. 😦 Boo. But if he’s in preschool that will lead to a better income later in life…he can pay me back, right?

    • esodhiambo permalink
      August 17, 2011 10:04 am

      Keep your receipts! I am sure Hamilton won’t mind a bit.

  2. Kate permalink
    August 17, 2011 2:10 am

    p.s. If preschool admittance WERE based on looks alone, he’d be IN anywhere he wanted.
    p.p.s. Do you think a mom exists that’s not wracked by guilt on a semi-regular basis? Hmmm…maybe one of those Housewives….

  3. Jo Pfaff permalink
    August 17, 2011 2:27 am

    I Agree show me a guiltless mother, and I’ll be looking at someone who’s not a parent at all. Believe me there are several things I could say to you that you do and have for your kids that mine doesn’t but I’m trying hard not to compare myself to others lol it’s a goal I’m working on in YW. luv ya Emily you really are an amazing mom don’t doubt that.

    • esodhiambo permalink
      August 17, 2011 10:11 am

      No! Don’t compare!

  4. Anna permalink
    August 17, 2011 7:35 am

    Just wanted to give you an ‘Amen, sister!’

  5. Sheree Budge permalink
    August 17, 2011 8:14 am

    You are an outstanding mom. Check Craigslist for cheap or even free pianos. Probably will need tuning and maintenance.

    • esodhiambo permalink
      August 17, 2011 10:15 am

      Yeah, I’ve been to look at some, but not been brave enough yet to buy one. Maybe now that my preschool problem is behind me, I should look again.

  6. August 17, 2011 4:37 pm

    Ok. I admittedly have not ever seen your parenting in action, as I have not seen you at ALL in the last 15 or so years, but I am guessing that you are a GREAT parent. Not a good one, a GREAT one. So, rah, rah, rah, goooooo IMPERFECT MOMS! (that’s all of us).

  7. Deborah permalink
    August 20, 2011 1:58 pm

    YAY!! you did it. I am eager to hear the details.
    BTW, fabulous picture of Peter. Did you take it? It’s a keeper.

    • esodhiambo permalink
      August 20, 2011 7:41 pm

      My cousin in law got us all at the family reunion–I need to print it.

  8. Scott permalink
    August 22, 2011 9:39 pm

    Piano, you say? Lily’s more than welcome to come next door and practice on ours.

    (Ari says “hi, Lily” and she’s looking forward to being home from Indiana later this week. Me, too!)

    • esodhiambo permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:08 pm

      Actually, as a direct result of my whining in this post, I scored a piano! Lily is very excited to start lessons. But thanks–we look forward to having you back, too.

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