My three-year-old son is starting preschool, and I’m not sure who is more nervous – him or me? I anticipate a high-energy first day of school. I can see the little people of the future arriving with all things tiny and good for the environment. I also anticipate that I will be wrought with anxiety about leaving the house on time and having the right lunchbox. Do I go to Target and buy a lunchbox, or do I purchase one online? Should I get him a state-of-the-art stainless steel container with BPA-free lids? Or do I get him a Spider Man lunchbox that’s decorated with the villain, the hero, guns, masks, and flying capes?
Do I wean him from his goldfish habit and send him with sliced cucumbers in a jar (no plastic baggies)? Is apple juice an appropriate drink, or should I fill his thermos with plain water? No sugar, of course, but what about crackers, bread, or bagels? Egg salad, tuna, or perhaps just a tangerine? The questions about starting preschool are endless and exhausting!
BEDS, ANIMALS, AND BATMAN
My son has his own bed. Now when he is hunched over his paint palette, paintbrush in hand and smock tied on, he can share with his classmates that he too has a big boy bed. But what if the conversation turns to pets?! We don’t have any pets! Maybe we should get a small gerbil or an aged cat?
When he is on the school playground, wide-eyed over the different trucks and new toys in the sandbox, perhaps the subject of Batman arises. He doesn’t really know who Batman is. He knows that Batman exists, but he doesn’t know about Robin, the Joker, or the Batmobile. Should I give him a quick tutorial about Batman, Spiderman, the Hulk, and the Goonies? Maybe a basic lesson on Trolls? So many questions!!
WHAT ELSE CAN HE DO?
He doesn’t have his own phone or laptop, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know they exist. However, he can build a mean barge with his Legos or a tower with matching rectangles and squares. He loves to watch Wild Kratts, but has never heard of the Giants or the A’s. My soon-to-be preschooler can count, and he knows his colors. He can climb to the top of the ropes tower and swing around like a little monkey! And yes, he has been to Train Town.
My son has never been on a merry-go-round or a horse, but he knows a hummingbird from a blue jay. He knows how to sing “This Old Man,” but he doesn’t know “Amazing Grace”. He can dig a hole like the best of the littles at the beach, but he hasn’t been canoeing. My son doesn’t have a scooter, but he can put some miles on his push bike, flame helmet and all.
ENDING OR NEW BEGINNING?
Overall, I’m still unsure about my son starting preschool. Is this an ending, or is this uncharted territory simply a new beginning? Will the act of purchasing new and cute supplies for preschool be overwhelmingly exciting, like buying organic washcloths, crib sheets, colorful rattles, and soft toys? Instead of finding the softest blankie, however, we will buy adorable clothes for the first day of school. He will get a spiffy new haircut and a fun pencil holder. Instead of being ecstatic when he rolls over, our hearts will melt when he comes home with a big smile and a story to share. Ready or not, preschool, here we come!