Exactly one year ago today, I published a blog post discussing some of the concerns I had about starting preschool. It was both a nerve-wracking and an exciting time for us as parents, because it meant our little baby wasn’t really a baby anymore. She wasn’t even a toddler anymore; she was a preschooler.
We had a number of concerns at the time, so I thought I’d revisit some of them now as we prepare to send her back to preschool the second time around.
Social Skills and a Structured Environment
Addie is an only child. And when she started preschool last September, she was still the only grandchild on either side of the family too. As you might imagine, she was showered with love and attention from day one. All the toys are hers. She’s always the center of attention at the dinner table.
She never really had to learn how to share and since she had never been in daycare, she had never really experienced a structured group environment. Based on our experience of taking her to story time at the library, we knew she really struggled with sitting still. We anticipated that “circle time” at preschool would be a challenge.
And indeed it was. As was learning how to wait your turn and how to share toys. There was an adjustment period, to be sure, but I think she’s a lot better about all of that now. It helps that she was already quite social and outgoing, wanting to say hi to everyone.
The Bathroom Business
So, the good news was that our little one was mostly potty trained by the time preschool started last September. She’d tell one of us she’d have to go, and off we’d go to the washroom. The bad news is that she wasn’t quite ready to go on her own and would want some assistance. We were concerned this would create a problem.
Generally speaking, everything went well. Understandably, some of the children had accidents over the course of the school year. These things happen. And everyone has lived to tell the tale. That’s why the teachers recommend you always pack a change of clothes for the kiddo. As we get ready to go back to preschool, I imagine this will be less of a problem since the kids are older.
On Afternoon Naps
Here’s a concern that sort of resolved itself. When Addie first started preschool last year, she was enrolled in the afternoon class. This conflicted directly with her afternoon nap. When a spot opened up in the morning class, we switched her over and she was able to continue with her regular afternoon nap schedule. Go figure.
Realistically, though, we were probably overthinking and overreacting to the whole situation. Like everything else that concerns the little one. If she had stuck to the afternoon class, we would have figured out a new routine. And she would have been fine. Even now, her napping schedule is inconsistent. C’est la vie.
And now we’re less than a month away from when she’ll be going back to preschool for year two. I’m much more relaxed about the whole situation this time around; it’s familiar territory now. Whether I’ll be singing the same tune next September as she heads into full-day kindergarten remains to be seen.