Tomorrow, Little Dude goes to pre-school for the first time.
He is too young for pre-school.
The time PJ is in pre-school is supposed to be Mommy-Little Dude time.
But something has to give… Or, I should say, something ELSE has to give.
And it is my resolve to keep him out of pre-school. Because my patience and the seams in my too tight pants already “gave.”
I am hoping that pre-school is an affordable way for me to have the Mommy-no kid time I need. That is Mommy-Gym time, Mommy-Toilet brush time, Mommy-Organization time, etc… etc…. In order for our family to function well, I have to function well. Every mother knows this. A bazillion books have been written on the topic. It is obvious. But it is hard. Still, I have not unpacked half of my closet from when we moved in June. My closet is still full of boxes that I dig through when I need something. And I am starting to resent it. A resentful Mommy is no fun, no fun at all.
Little Dude will be in a classroom directly across the hall from PJ. Their school is in a church. When we drive past the church Little Dude sometimes says, “There’s PJ’s school.” And sometimes he says, “There’s Little Dude’s school.” I decided this was a sign – he must be ready to go.
When we picked out this pre-school we picked it out with Little Dude in mind. Sure, PJ was going first, most likely for an entire year without her brother. But the questions we asked were all about being a trans-racial family. Finding a pre-school that fit our needs was HARD. I only wanted part-time. I did not want overtly religious. I wanted diversity. And in my town where no-one ever looks twice at our trans-racial family, finding a diverse pre-school was hard. It scared me. It pissed me off. And I probably took that out on the poor, pre-school directors of our community.
I got tired of being sneaky about what I was trying to assess, so I just started asking, “Hey, how many black kids you got in your school?” “Um, uh, um.” Yes, they all stutter. Not because they are racist. And not because they don’t know how many black kids are enrolled, but because, maybe, they don’t know why I am asking. And, maybe, because they were raised to be “color-blind.”
Maybe I wasn’t quite that blunt. At least not every time. But sometimes I was. The pre-school search was hard. And I was weary. Do you know how many pre-schools do NOT have websites? No – either do I. It is hard to assess – since they DON’T HAVE WEBSITES! But it is clear that even those with websites are not web-savvy. So neither the sites or the pre-schools are easy to find.
Wait, this is like a flashback to a post that should have been written last spring when I was still astounded by how hard it was. Today’s post should be more about the happy ending because I actually did find a pre-school and we actually LOVE IT.
PJ started in September. Her teachers hung a poster of Ethiopia in her classroom to honor our family. While her class isn’t a rainbow of color there are different types of diversity – a child living in foster care, a child whose primary care-taker is her Grandmother, an African-American, twins… you get the picture. And the teachers – Ms. L and Ms. R – WE LOVE THEM.
Little Dude will be in a different class. And it feels like the U.N. – Asian, Hispanic, Special Needs, this class is diverse. The teachers – well I am afraid that I will NOT love them quite the way I love Ms. L and Ms. R. But that is okay. I am okay. Really, I am okay.
Pre-school feels like an attachment Litmus Test. Up until this point Little Dude’s attachment seems fantastic, better than one could hope for, what every AP dreams of. Tomorrow we will start to find out if that is true. And I hope his teachers are savvy enough to be able to tell if any aberrant behaviors are just toddler-isms or if they are a peek at a previously undetected crack in the attachment foundation.
SAG will drive the kids to school in the morning. If there is one thing I do know about our attachment, it’s that I am not really ready for this step.