Oh, those tears! Those tears when I left him this morning. Now it’s all coming over him. My child has understood that I am leaving, actually leaving, him at that place in the forest.
I nervously spend the day at my auntie’s house, looking at the phone every ten seconds to see if maybe, maybe I missed a call from the preschool: Mosquito. I hadn’t. They didn’t call all day and when I went back my child was sitting at the table with his cheeks full of cheese. Since my husband is vegan we eat vegan dinner together every day, but since I consider fish and seafood to be one of life’s most wonderful experiences plus the fact that I grew up in a gourmet household, where food was of great restaurant quality most days of the week, I can’t exclude certain proteins from my daily diet. I can’t because it makes my soul feel poor and just because I am poor on the outside I don’t have to punish my soul for it.
Where was I? Oh, yes, my son had his cheeks full of cheese! He has never tried cheese before. He has never drank cow milk before. Because I don’t drink milk on a daily basis and I don’t use cheese in cooking very often – especially not since Husband is vegan. So Igge got to try it for the first time at Mosquito and he loves it. He had had three cups of milk already and was sitting in his chair looking like a hamster baby who’s just discovered the fascination of stuffing cheeks. When he saw me he just waved and started to smile – then he realised that the cheese would fall out if he did, so he kept his cheesy poker face.
As I was dressing him to leave, one of the teachers came up to me and asked to talk to me. My first thought was “uh uh. Did Igge bite another child? Did he streak again? Did he start a riot?” No. With a smile she kindly reminded me about certain bullet points they have written in the welcome sheet they sent us before we started… As mentioned before, I used to work as a preschool teacher and when I got pregnant I started thinking about things that a parent could do to make a preschool teacher’s day as easy as possible. Because let’s face it, they have a million things to juggle at once, every day. Therefor, when I became a parent myself, I was going to make sure to be an exemplary one! All the teachers would talk about me and the rumour would spread; “Have you heard about that perfect parent at Mosquito? Imagine we had just one like that in our preschool!”
- Label everything that belongs to your child. If there are 15 children in a group it’s really difficult for the teachers to know if those black socks belong to Arnold or Sophie. Usually you can’t ask a one year old about it either.
– We had labelled everything the first day, the second day I remembered after I had put Igge’s sweater on and tried to chase him with a pen, which he didn’t enjoy one bit. Day three and after I just forgot all in all.
- Don’t bring private toys to the preschool. First of all the toy might break if another child gets their hands on it, which another child will. Second of all it might (read: it will) be fighting over that toy between children. Third of all, preschools usually have a lot of pedagogical toys you can use. Usually.
-I brought Softy, the favourite stuffed dragon for potential comfort, which is okay in my eyes when it’s schooling in – week. What I didn’t think about was that I always left the diaper bag on his spot and in there, there was a whole cavallery of cars, wooden animals and a walk-along-snail. Of course Igge had snuck away from the playroom at one point and emptied the diaper bag of toys. Unlabelled, toys.
- Make sure there are clothes that fit the weather for your child at their spot. Not always are there warm clothes to borrow. Make sure there is at least one set of change in your child’s box, in case of an accident.
-We bring the snow pants back home everyday so Igge can play outside at home too. I forgot to bring them back. My child had to stay with a teacher inside a whole day because he didn’t have any warm pants. Opsy. That day he got to make easter decorations and besides in his mouth, he got a lot of glue on his clothes. The change of clothes I had brought were apparently size 68, which he grew out of six months ago. So he got to wear his glue-covered outfit, which explains all the Kapla and feathers that were randomly stuck on him that day. Or why he let me hug him for so long. He didn’t let me, he just didn’t have a choice cause he was stuck to me.
- Be on time in the morning. Circle time is the most important thing during the day. That’s when you “warm up” and realise your friends and teachers are there and that you’re a part of a group.
-We were late 4 out of 5 days the first week.
- Keep your child’s box neat. Nothing else than the most necessary should be in there.
-I thought a lot about this when I worked myself. I was stunned how parents could make their children’s boxes such a mess even though they weren’t even there!
Now I understand. I don’t know how it happens, but it does. I’m the worst of them all.