Preschool Reprimand

I’ve heard friends with older children describe it: the horror of being the parent that gets pulled aside during after school pick up, and “talked to” by the teacher. My children–two out of the three–are only in preschool. Nonetheless, it’s already happening.

My kids are smart. Considering their ages–the older two, that is–they are pretty compassionate and well mannered. This is what I had been told by other people, until recently.

“We had a couple incidents with P-U-D-D-L-E-S,” the preschool teacher spelled out for me yesterday, referring to more of Landon’s pee accidents that have now become common place at school. Two weeks ago, he’d purposely dropped his pants in the nap room and peed all over the couch. “And this one,” indicating Ellie with a nod of the head, “had a small -A-C-C-I-D-E-N-T, and then stripped herself N-A-K-E-D in the bathroom where I found her crying hysterically because she didn’t have a spare pair of underwear to put on.” The teacher, whom I am generally enamored with due to her skill and tenderness toward our children, proceeded to describe how she had to coax Ellie out of her rapidly spiraling melt down, and back into the classroom where the other children were waiting to start a new lesson.

When Ellie and Landon first started attending their new preschool, after having been yanked without warning from their old preschool due to an incident I described in my January Montana Parent article: Choosing Childcare Wisely, it was generally warm, glowing reports on how my children had done each day. Ellie whizzed through the lessons, Landon hugged the teachers freely and played nicely with the other kids. Now, I’m almost dreading the drop-off, pick-up procedures…wondering what will be next. My friend Katherine sends her daughter to the same preschool. Apparently the teacher was scheduled to call her this morning to discuss some dynamic of concern occurring between her daughter and Ellie. Perhaps this will be on the docket for next week’s rendezvous.

My children–all three of them, including 20-month-old Gabriel who is still generally quiet and compliant (plus he’s one heck of a Mama’s boy) really are great kids. They’re just smart enough to know how to, incredibly effectively, test the waters…and the allegiance of their care takers. I should know; they test me every day.

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