Monday, February 4, 2013

Preschool and the panic that goes with it

Last Wednesday we went to visit the preschool I had in mind for Lu. She will be THREE YEARS OLD this year! I can't even begin to believe that she is so old! But she is and I have felt for a long time that it is important to let her go to a little bit of preschool. She is going to go to two days in an integrated classroom which means she will be with children that do and do not have disabilities. Chad and I were very adamant that she not be in a class that only had children with special needs as she needs to be challenged at her age level and there's no reason for her to not be with all kinds of peers.

Now, in general, throughout life, I have never seen myself as a control-freak...maybe others have seen me differently, I don't know. But, when it comes to Lucille May, I am a self-proclaimed, unashamed, unapologetic, super-mega control freak. I have very clear guidelines for all that she needs in a day and how that should take place in her life. My cousin, Danielle, calls me bossy; I instantly correct her and say "assertive". I don't believe anyone takes care of Lucy better than Chad and I. Grammy and Pappy do a pretty bang up job and I acknowledge there ability to lovingly and competently stand in for us, but it's still not exactly as I do it. CONTROL-FREAK. And like I said, I am completely unapologetic about it. I believe that Lucy is so strong and healthy, so big and smart because of my uncompromising standards for her care. So, with that being said, please take a moment to imagine the absolute panic that I experience at the thought of just going ahead and leaving my sweet patooty with a room full of strangers! But...I'm gonna.

As I have said in the past, I plan on being primarily responsible for the bulk of Lucy's education, so I am not sucking it up and sending her to preschool for the academics. I'm doing it for her and for her independence. With the exception of a few things (scooting, picking up toys to chew on, watching TV, smiling, hugging, kissing) Lucy needs another person for almost everything she does. That person is mostly me, and then also Chad of course when he is not at work. When she goes to preschool she will still need someone all the time. She will need help moving around the room, playing, eating, coloring...everything, but it won't be me. I think the only way to help Lu feel a little bit of independence is to let her go out into the world and do some things without me, just so she knows that she can.

With all of that being said, it literally makes me feel like vomiting. What if they let her choke, or fall over and crack her head, or what if they are mean to her, or ignore her, or don't believe in her? What if they don't use her PODD, or don't give her enough to drink, or don't dab the drool from her chin? I could probably go on forever imagining all of the things I believe people might not do as I think they should. All of the staff that I met were extremely nice, interested, enthusiastic, and seemingly competent. Since meeting them, I feel like I know deep down it will be okay, but one of my favorite quotes of all time that I tore out of a Readers Digest many, many years ago and have always carried with me is : "Worry lives a long way from rational thought." I KNOW! But it's hard to remember that all of the time!


  1. Are you REALLY a control-freak? In my opinion -for whatever that's worth -I'd say NO! Just a very assertive mother who has to be that way in order for her baby to grow and experience as much as is possible in her life! The integrated pre-school experience if really a valuable tool for any child and especially for those with special needs as it gives them a chance to gain those all-important social skills.

    I remember very vividly the first day the van arrived here to pick up Maya and take her to her first day at pre-school. She was eligible to go the year before but Mandy decided not to send her that year so she was almost 4 when she started on her journey. Even Uncle Clayton came down to the house that morning to see her off on this new adventure for her and all three of us came back into the house crying after she left. A mixture of tears of joy as well as a bit of fear too, I confess to that. She did well, as did Kurtis too, when he turned 3 years old and began attending pre-school through the same agency as Maya. Granted, neither of them have the issues Lu has but, as great as she has been making achievements, I do think this will be a terrific experience for her -and for her classmates too! Just make sure that the TSS or aide assigned to her is one who is really proactive for the child! I'd recommend the one who Kurtis has had for the past 2 years now but then again, that would mean we'd have to give her up and she's so super great with him, I'd hate to see that happen. (Yes, a bit of selfishness there, ya know!) But survey the aide situation very closely to be sure it is a good fit for you, for Lu and it will be beneficial for all concerned!

  2. Are you a control freak? Mmm-hmmm....but yes, that does make you the best parent for Lu. I am currently about to vomit at the thought of having to put Maddie on the school bus with a complete stranger driving her ON THE ROAD in a huge careening metal vehicle to school and back every day. We have her IEP transition (to Kindergarten) meeting sometime this month and that is what set me off. We got through the whole sending her to school for 3 hrs a day with strangers thing-and actually came to enjoy the break knowing she was in good hands and enjoying herself...I guess I will get used to the school bus thing too......