Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I fully acknowledge that I am crazy when I'm pregnant. In fact, I should just publicly and loudly thank my husband for not having me committed as soon as the test came up positive. I'm a professional, and I'm pretty sure he'd have a case. The best part of my crazy is that usually I know how crazy I'm acting, while I'm doing it, and yet still cannot stop myself. I just continue to rant about "How dare you have the audacity to do three loads of laundry today!" and "I said 64! The heater goes no higher than 64!" I can be gushing about how life couldn't get any better, then a breeze hits and I'm ready to declare war. I can literally see the relief wash over his face when my crazy is directed on someone else.

With this in mind, I try to take advantage of the moments of clarity to assess whether I should be making any major life decisions. Usually the answer is no. As in, "No, maybe quitting my job and moving to a yurt in Colorado, next week, is not the best idea." I also have to question when I find myself getting more and more worked up. However, sometimes it turns out that there is a legitimate issue and the pregnancy crazy is making me just uncensored enough to deal with it. Daycare has started to fall into the second category. I've talked about daycare before and described some of our issues with it. I really tried to give them the benefit of the doubt though. It's close to us. E's making friends. It doesn't seem dangerous. It's fine. But that's the problem. It's okay. And I don't think I'm okay with just okay. I have enough guilt over how long he's at school to tolerate okay. Then it got a little weird.

For the last few weeks E's brought home these packets of worksheets, around 8 pages of "P"s to trace or "Circle the things that are brown." A little peeved, I tried hard to tell myself that it was fun! he loves this stuff! it's just a game! Yeah, until you're yelling at a 3 year old that he can't leave the table until his homework's done. Until you're staying up late Thursday night to finish it by Friday. Until you're lying to the teacher about how water spilled on it and you had to throw it away (only once, but still not my finest moment). Then today we got a packet with a note attached that said "Due Tomorrow." I have at most 3 hours a night with my kid, and now we have to spend an hour tracing the letter "C" and the numbers 1-12? I wonder what they do during school, since he never brings home any projects and his "portfolio" contained about 12 sheets of paper? But I admit, I can be a little high-strung and so we tried. Twenty minutes later C and I both found ourselves sternly and loudly telling E that he needed to stop acting silly and get his homework done. And that's when I remembered. I'm the mom. What's more, I think giving 3 year olds boring, repetitive homework is stupid. So we're not doing it. Crazy or not, I don't think NOT doing the homework is going to academically stunt him. Just tonight we've talked about archeologists, hypotheses, the legal system, and how to apologize and accept an apology. He's a smart kid. He's verbal, social, and curious. The kid's creative and funny. I'm not going to kill all that and his love of learning by forcing him to trace 47 "c"s. I think this was the last straw.

There have been other issues at the school. Turns out they've been transitioning him to another class without telling us. Kids have shown us some "questionable" items they claim to have found in the sensory box. More often than not there's some kind of major fight or meltdown happening with other kids when we pick him up. Going there has started to feel like work and it's solidly just okay. So we're not doing it anymore. Starting next week we're going to start looking at new daycares. I'm hoping to find a place that feels better and is closer to how we want E to spend his time. A place that is focused more on nurturing than on "Portfolios." A place that feels more genuine. A place where the classrooms feel welcoming and accepting, rather than chaotic and overwhelming. I have to believe it's out there somewhere. If it's not, we'll have to look at other options. But I'm not going to settle for okay and I don't think that feeling that way makes me crazy or a snob. Luckily I've got the pregnancy crazy to give me the guts to remember that.


  1. I also have the pregnancy crazy, so I so get what you're saying. Our preschool is all learn-through-play, which is the only thing I think 3 y/o's should be doing. The full day school w're using next year is Reggio Emilia, which is child-lead learning through play, and we're excited about it.

    Did you like your current place when he was a baby? Could you send your new baby there and enroll him in a full-day preschool or monetessori program?

    Good luck! (also, this is probably inappropriate, but the "questionable items in the sensory box" cracked me up! The sensory table at preschool never fails to gross me out. It's like 1 step up from a Chuckie Cheese ball pit)

  2. You go girl!!!! Having endured over 24 years of education I say let the little man relax!! He has plenty of time to hate homework, don't start now. Move on, they aren't working as hard as you are to keep your kid happy with them.