Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Letting Go: The Real-Life Dangers of Preschool

As a woman who has been a stay-at-home-mom since the birth of my first child, I found it both liberating and devastating to send my children to daycare/preschool for the first time. After having gone back to school it became clear immediately that I would need some quiet time in my home in order to get my work accomplished in a (rarely) timely fashion.

It was bittersweet to drop my two-year-old son off and watch him run to play with his new friends and learn from a new environment. I was so excited for him to experience new people, places and things while also struggling with my lack of control. For his first childcare experience I was lucky to have found a lovely, brilliant woman with the patience of a saint and the like-mindedness I needed in regards to food, education and life in general. It was everything I could have asked for; in a word, Perfect. She was truly wonderful. The other kids? Not so much...

I've learned that you can choose your preschool setting with the utmost caution and only after hours upon hours of research, only to be introduced to Nasty Child whom your Perfect Child immediately connects with. And Nasty Child will have an undue amount of influence on your child, and thus your entire life. Seriously, he will leak into every waking moment of your life. Probably even your dreams. He's a soul-sucker, that one.

(it would be wise for you to prepare yourself for the coming onslaught of highly judgemental criticism of other parenting styles, and no, I won't be apologizing)

You see, Nasty Child lives in a world that my children can only dream about. One with unlimited and unsupervised time in front of the television, a host of video games violent enough to offend even me (notoriously non-offendable me), a bevy of scrumptious snack options whose only identifiable ingredient is sugar, no bedtimes, a complete lack of parental coaching on such trivial subjects as manners and respect, and a house full of furniture whose sole purpose is to function as an indoor trampoline and a place to spill their red Kool-Aid.

Among his other lovely quirks, Nasty Child has learned some spectacular vocabulary from home and he won't hesitate, not even for a moment, to share this delightful new language with your child. For while he may not be capable of sharing in the context of polite society, he's more than happy to share his oodles of life experience and impress upon your child the ways of a Cool Kid.

Save for hermetically sealing my home and rejecting society as a whole, pretty sure I can't find a way out of this unpleasant situation. In fact, I'm expecting that it will only get worse as time goes by. Awesome. So for now, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite phrases that my son has brought home from preschool. Enjoy, knowing that you aren't alone.

"Mom, go take a shower. I see some dirt on you. And you have a stinking butt."
"I'm going to kill you."
"The cops will come and blow your head off if you don't get off my bike."
"I'm going to kick your stinking butt." ("stinking butt" is the phrase of choice for October)
"The cops are gonna come and take your mom away forever if you don't give me all the train tracks." (cops: current favorite threat)

Believe it or not, my child isn't actually violent nor evil. Quite the contrary, actually. He's normally a sweet, empathetic child. I figure by first grade the son that I carefully molded and guided will be lost to me forever, in his place a sarcastic, unimpressed potty-mouth.

Wait, that sounds like someone I know... A little close to home, eh?

1 comment:

  1. Loved this one! We have experienced this in preschool too. It does make you feel helpless. I really dislike the "kill" phrases, especially having girls. We quickly put the kibosh on that. We know they are going to be exposed to all of this someday, but it just seems too early, right?