Dear Crabby, Why is preschool so hard?

Dear Crabby,

I took my four-year-old son to preview a preschool today. I should have known better – he instantly regressed to constant interruptions, requests for toys, and a seeming inability to verbally answer the teacher showing us around. How can I teach my son proper social etiquette?

Sincerely,
Red-faced Rhonda

Dear Red-faced Rhonda,

Yes, I know that routine better than I wished I did. I can remember when our little angel was ready for preschool and we took him in to interview at the same school I went, too. As a matter of fact, the same lady who taught me was still working there! As the preschool director was interviewing us, everything was going so well. Every question she asked us, we answered properly. Then she said she would like to hear from the future student – our son. So she asked him if he knew any of the alphabet yet. We knew that he did know the entire alphabet, but we could not answer for him, so I gently said, “Go ahead, son, and answer her.” He just stared at the floor as if no one was talking to him. There was a very awkward silence during which time I decided to discretely poke my finger in his back to help motivate him. You would have thought I stabbed him or something the way he jumped and yelled! The director of the school gave me a stern look and simply said, “Hmmm,” as she jotted something down on her notepad. I was so embarrassed – both by my son and by my own actions! The rest of the interview was a blur, but somehow I guess we both got accepted. I did not go to jail for child abuse and he did not get sent to obedience school like I thought he might need to. I guess kids areDearCrabby funny that way. They will not perform on demand, but when you want them to be quiet and listen, they have all sorts of things to say. Now my daughter was the exact opposite; she ran right in and started playing with the toys there. When the director asked her some questions, she looked right into her eyes and answered clearly. I was shocked! After my experience with my son I did not have high hopes, so I just sat back and watched it all happen. It was a pleasant surprise though. I guess all I can tell you is if you expect the unexpected, you will be fine. I have come to learn that kids are here to throw us off our game and mix up the mundane and boring life we would all otherwise live. After that incidence with my son and the preschool director, and the other experiences at doctors’ offices, the museum, the funeral home, the… well, I could go on and on, but let’s just say I have learned to stay on my toes and not be alarmed at whatever happens. What’s that? You want to know about those other experiences? Maybe next time – keep reading!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at [email protected].

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