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Preschool practice week

Both Bun Bun and Bunlet (but not Bunter–they don’t take fetuses) are starting preschool next week. This week we’ve been getting them ready for a leaving-the-house-at-8:30 routine. We’ve also been reading books in which various anthropomorphized animals start preschool, because the babies were expressing some anxiety about the whole thing. I’m a little worried, said Bunlet. Bun Bun objected strongly to the part where Daddy was going to leave. The books seem to have helped, and today as part of the practice Mr. Bunny loaded them in the car and drove them past the school. He reports that they said they were excited. That’s good progress.

Now I think I’m the only one who’s worried. When I did my last bits of writing about preschool, one of my fears was letting my children go out into the world. I am feeling it now. I am afraid that other kids will be mean to them, or that labels of various kinds will be attached to them, and all of that stuff, but I guess I’m mostly afraid that they will change. What if Bun Bun no longer loves bunnies best once she meets kids who prefer other animals? What if Bunlet gets all aggressive and starts making gun noises? What if they both come home wanting to be disney princesses once they interact with kids who watch TV? I guess it’s one part loving them just as they are and being so aware of how totally special and precious they are…and one part wanting to control every fucking aspect of their lives in terms of what they’re exposed to and what they think and believe.

There are lots of books for kids, but I think I need one. It should have very good artwork because I fucking hate children’s books with shitty artwork. Particularly the kind with verse that doesn’t scan AND terrible fake “I was drawn by a child but not actually” art. Anyway, it should reassure some anthropomorphized mama animal that her babies will change, and they will grow, and that learning to let them be who they are is a big part of a mama animal’s job. And that they will continue to value (at least some of) the things she values, and, most important, that they will still love her at the end of the day.



14 Comments Post a comment
  1. That sounds like a great book! I can see it in my imagination. 🙂 And the message is absolutely correct.

    August 18, 2015
  2. The frugal ecologist #

    Good luck! We are getting ready to send 2yo to a 2 day a week program. She’s ready for it but gulp.

    My fears are the same as yours, especially about princesses. Which is ridiculous somehow, but still real.

    August 18, 2015
  3. That book idea is genius. Maybe one of your fabulously talented readers will take up the idea and make it!

    Regarding the Disney Princess thing…We also don’t have a TV (we do watch short videos on youtube), so Gwen’s entire introduction to that culture was via nursery, where the “theme” this term has been that + comic book heroes. (She’s better at identifying them than I am). I have had a number of assorted thoughts about this, because I don’t really like the promotion of DPC (Disney Princess Culture), but so far, the actual outcome of the exposure hasn’t really bothered me (other than having to listen to endless renditions of “Let it Go”): As often as she tells me “I’m Elsa, you’re Anna”, she’s revelling in her Spiderman shoes. When pretending, she’s never “I’m a princess” but “I’m a fairy ballerina orangutan princess”, which I thoroughly approve of. And one thing I really like about being involved in medieval re-enactment is that I have “real life” princesses and queens to show her, to explain that they have duties and requirements and are active participants in their princess-ship and that with great power comes great responsibility (mitigated by a shiny crown).

    I guess the point of that was — even serious exposure to Frozen on a regular basis over the course of a winter term needn’t automatically result in a brain-washed DPC child. 🙂

    Are they going to be in the same room, or different rooms, due to their different ages?

    August 18, 2015
  4. Nicky #

    My boys are 5 and 7 (actually almost 6 and 8…) and I felt apprehensive, as you do. (Also relieved to have time away from children!) I applaud you for recognizing that you shouldn’t control every aspect of your children’s lives. Even though you’d like to protect them from the world, eventually they’ll need to live in it and they really should figure things out. (I worry a bit for my homeschooler friend’s kids. I’m sure they’re getting an academic education, but how will they do when they emerge from their protective bubble?)

    All the things you’re worried about probably will happen, eventually. They’re teachable moments, and will make your kids stronger. Parents are still the largest influence on a child’s life, and their values usually trump those of their classmates or teachers.

    Good luck, mama. If I had any artistic talent I’d include pictures with my pep talk.

    August 18, 2015
  5. CJ #

    Right here with you on this journey. Scary. I just want everyone to love my boys as I do.

    August 18, 2015
  6. The Bean had a bus that took us (Jackalope and me) to school and a space shuttle that took us home. I tearfully confessed all my fears to him about the new school — how I wouldn’t have friends and the teacher might be scary and I wanted to just go to my old school — and he said there was a great playground and I would have a lot of fun. He introduced himself at every step (“Hi. I’m the space shuttle driver. My name is Bean. You might remember me because I was also your teacher and your school bus driver.”) and sang us songs. I’m still pretty worried, but it helped a little. Maybe the Buns can be coerced into something similar.

    August 18, 2015
    • You’re such a good mama, Bionic. Tears.

      August 20, 2015
  7. Megan #

    Mine has been in daycare forever, and the influence other children have on him is huge, of course, but the other thing it does for him is serve to highlight the things that make our family special and unique. Rather than turning away from the things we value (yet, anyway–he’s 5), he seems to value them more because they are what make his family his family and not someone else’s.

    August 19, 2015
  8. Improperly scanning verse has a special place in Dante’s hell right alongside usurers. Or possibly heretics.

    August 19, 2015
  9. I have really struggled with this too. I am always impressed by those parents who are so cool and relaxed about it. I can tell you that it definitely gets better (I dare say I’m thrilled about school starting this year) but I would still happily read that book – as long as the artwork is good. The artwork is VERY important.

    August 19, 2015
  10. I wish I could say mine hasn’t come home knowing all the Disney movies she’s never seen and talking incessantly about “bad guys” and the shooting of them, but in the end that stuff is offset by how charmed I am when she comes home singing a new song I’ve never heard before or teaching me a yoga pose or being suddenly enthralled by volcanoes.

    August 20, 2015
  11. Anonymous #

    Was The Kissing Hand in your preschool book pile? It makes me cry every time…just really hits the nail on the emotional threshold of starting school.

    August 22, 2015
  12. “I’m a little worried” is the sweetest thing I ever read. This is the kind of feeling I imagine to be the very emblem of parenting, heartbreaking and so adorable, (and a bit thankful for the ensuing peace? Is that wrong?) Good luck, little bunnies, your world is expanding. Oh, the places you’ll go!

    August 22, 2015
  13. Steph #

    As we are also in preparation for preschool to start I took a cue from this and picked up a few books this morning for S. He cried about it when he realized they wouldn’t be together. I wish all 4 of our preschoolers the happiest and kindest of days ahead.

    August 31, 2015

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