Thursday, July 13, 2006

Preschool Blues

"Please don't send me, Mother," my three year old politely requested this morning.

She wouldn't call me Mother except for her attraction to language and the options it presents, how words stand in for other words.

"Sorry, Una. You're going." This is her second preschool in a year. The first she attended only three months, and had so many reasons for staying home with me on preschool days. I overlooked her comments at first and then Halloween rolled around and she started having episodes of fearing witches and goblins, stuff she was learning about at preschool, and she still didn't want to go. We took her out.

We were preschool-less from December to May, when she was bouncing off walls, obviously bored. And we started her at Kaleidescope. She is energized when we pick her up there on a preschool day, excited about her busy bee helper magnet craft or her construction paper Noah. But we're back to the same old questions, "Can I stay home with you mother?" "Please don't send me mother."

I think she'll be socially phobic for years to come. I worry about her first dentist appt. (which I'm putting off), worry about her first haircut with a guy named Shannon at Buzz. Shannon is heavily tattooed, pierced, spike-haired. I worry about the first day of kindergarten, leaving her with a babysitter. Not that I think she'll come to harm, but that she will think she's in danger.

THis morning I arrived home after a slew of doctor appts and the grocery store. Lauren was babysitting and Una had green marker on her face from an hour of saturating amorphous two-dimensional shapes on paper with crayola washables. As I headed downstairs to do some writing, Una mentioned the marker on her nose. "I see that!" I said, to which she responded with a wide smile.

"Are you pretty happy about that?" I asked.

"Yep, it's perfect for Buzz-day."

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