Preschool has crept up on us. Suddenly, it seems that EVERYONE is at preschool, five days a week. And BabyBoy and BabyGirl are not yet three. I want to cry.
Cry because I did my research, I made my decision…..and still the societal pressure is forcing me to second-guess myself.
Are my kids going to get left behind? Are they ever going to be able to hang out with kids their own age? Am I stopping them from asserting their burgeoning independence?
The fact is, my ‘dream preschool’ does not exist (at least not within our neighbourhood). So it becomes a balancing act – when do the benefits of preschool outweigh the benefits of staying at home?
We tried unaccompanied preschool for the under 3s for a week. In the week I did not leave my kids alone. Instead I observed. It was a shambles. There were lots of tears from some of the other kids whose parents left them unaccompanied. The class schedule was all off. BabyBoy and BabyGirl were antsy and clingy after the summer break. I did not get a good feeling about it.
So before I had to leave the classroom, I pulled BabyBoy and BabyGirl out of the class and headed back to our playgroup. A few tears I expected. Hysterical crying for 1.5 hours (by one poor girl) I did not expect. I can’t bear the thought of putting BabyBoy and BabyGirl through that.
And the reason I can’t is that I can’t understand why it is necessary. I need to be really convinced that something is in the best interests of my child before I cause them that much distress.
So, I have taken the decision to wait. To hang back until I am sure BabyBoy and BabyGirl are ready for preschool, rather than preschool being ready for them.
‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Well, that is probably so, but when you are the only person in the village doing something, it is incredibly lonely.