Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006
Smarty-Pants
If you're not interested in hearing more about preschool, how wonderful my preschooler is, and how proud of a mother I am, skip this post. Fair warning!

Yesterday morning did not begin well. ST didn't want to get out of bed, and when he did (10 minutes late) he was in a foul mood. Getting him dressed took 15 minutes because he was kicking and screaming and generally refusing to cooperate. I had to brush his teeth for him (by force) because he refused to do it, and he also refused to eat anything for breakfast, preferring to sit and sulk at the dining room table. He started to cry (very atypical for him -- ST does not cry often) and sob, "I don't want to go to preschool!" while T wrestled his shoes on. T dropped him off at preschool and then sent me an email at work: "ST was bad today. Worst ever." Apparently, he screamed the preschool down when T left, clinging to T's leg and begging him not to go.

Of course this was a huge concern to me. Previous mornings ST has always been reluctant to go to preschool (and still ended up loving it by the end of the day), but it had never been as bad as this. After I taught my first class I called the preschool to check in on him. I spoke to the Director.

"Is ST still screaming his head off?" I asked, fearing the worst.

The Director laughed. "Oh no. He's practicing with scissors now. I think we figured out why he was having such a rough time."

"Oh really?" I asked. "Is it just that he misses us, or that he's not used to being in full-time care yet?"

"No. I think ST was simply bored in the 3-year-old room. So we moved him to the 5-year old pre-Kindergarten room and he's having a ball."

I asked her what triggered that decision (which I thought was a good one). "Well," she said, giggling a little, "when he started telling us what a terrorist attack was and what happened on September 11 and knew that chlorophyll made the leaves green, we knew he was a bit too advanced for the three-year-old room!"

I breathed a sigh of relief. It was something I'd been thinking about earlier: ST is not only physically larger (he's very tall; he looks like a five-year-old) than any of the other three-year-olds in the "3s Room," but he has a much larger vocabulary than they do. He had been complaining a bit in the past week about how he didn't like the other "babies" in his preschool class, and how he didn't like playing with them. He said before that his favorite part of preschool was "doing work with Miss Deanne and Miss Nicole." Deanne and Nicole are the Director and Administrator, and they'd let him do special things like help distribute milk for lunch, butter bread for the other kids in the kitchen, or sort coins in the main office (his latest obsession). He's always been more adult-oriented, and we've always treated him like a short adult. It wasn't an intentional move on our part -- he just fit in so well to our grown-up activities that it never occurred to us that he might be "abnormal." He helps with dinner, watches the news, listens to NPR, clears the table, puts clothes in the dryer and turns it on, etc. He's a responsible little boy, and he doesn't like to be treated like a "little kid."

This morning was dramatically different. He got up, got dressed, ate huge breakfast and said that he was ready to go to the "big kid school." For the rest of ST's time in this preschool (next Friday is his last day), he'll be in the pre-Kindergarten room. When he moves to the Daniels Center, he'll be in a room with 3.5-4.5 year-olds. I pray that his time there will be rewarding and challenging, because we certainly do not want a repeat of yesterday's morning drama!
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 9/21/2006 08:36:00 AM  
5 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger betty said…

    what a smart little boy - chlorophyll?

    it's cool they figured out a way to challenge him more, and also cool that you were ok with their decision to move him without asking you (i guess that's nothing to be uptight about, eh?)

     
  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Academic Investor said…

    Charming.

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger Leah said…

    What a wonderful little boy you have. And I'm so glad a solution was found - at least the short time till his next preschool will be happier for everyone.

     
  • At 12:04 AM, Blogger Lilian said…

    What an interesting story! I hope things go well in the new school. We've always talked to our boys in a very "adult" way. The dynamics of having two children makes it different, though. If we only had one, he'd be much more responsible and helpful (and he is when we get to do things only with him), but because we have to care for his younger brother too, they have to play together and I have to entertain both of them...

    What worries me about my eldest son and school is that he doesn't like to color, paint, draw, or "write." He's very slow and is clearly not ready for any of these activities in spite of the fact that he's 4 1/2. He knows his letters and numbers, loves typing on the computer, playing games online (mostly PBS), he has a huge vocabulary (in Portuguese, mostly) and is very smart... I'm sure he's fine, but I still worry. I wish we could afford to send him to a pre-school a few days a week.

     
  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger autogato said…

    Is this the little 3-year-old of strange church utterances fame?

     
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