Ready for College

After I had my little boy I was excited to do all those great, experiential things to grow my baby’s brain.  You know, the ones with the side effect of making you feel like a good mommy, too!  I was so disappointed when I found out that everything – all the baby swim lessons, story times, and mommy-and-me classes – were offered almost exclusively during daytime hours.

While I was at work.

Sure, there were some weekend offerings, but they filled up lightning-fast.  I got discouraged enough that I stopped looking for activities and resigned myself to the fact that such fun things were not an option for us.

Fast forward two and a half years, and my new obsession is preschool.  How can I get Conlan into a preschool program when they are all offered mid-morning 2 days a week?  How do I fulfill my obligations at my full-time job while figuring out a way to transport him from daycare, to preschool, and back to daycare right smack in the middle of my day?

Again, I get discouraged and entertain the idea that preschool might not be an option.  But then I start looking into it again.  After all, it’s preschool.  And if I can’t get my son into preschool then he won’t be ready for school.  And if he doesn’t get off to a good start then he won’t go to college.  Obviously.

And while I haven’t solved the preschool problem yet I’ve found something that has at least calmed me down for the time being:  Family Story Time.  Turns out, the library has an evening story time with stories, songs, and crafts.  We’ve been attending regularly for the last couple of months.  It’s a great, educational, and engaging activity Conlan and I get to do together while Daddy is at school.

At first, though, it made me a bit more frantic about my preschool search.  As all the other children sat quietly and attentively, mine rolled around on the floor, picked at the carpet, and eventually got up and ran around the back of the room.

Oh, dear.  This would never do.  Already I’m anticipating report cards marked with “Has trouble following directions.”  Or “Plays with trains excessively at the expense of all other activities.”  There’s a box for that, right?

Week after week I coached my son all the way to the library.  “We follow directions.”  “We listen to the story.”  “Mommy wants you to behave at story time.”  And week after week I found myself dashing across the room to catch my little boy before he ran through the emergency exit and set off the fire alarm.

But you know what happened when we went this week?  He sat down.  He paid attention.  He followed directions.

Eureka!  Perhaps my son will go to college!

I’ll probably start panicking about preschool again when spring rolls around, but right now the urgency has subsided.  At this point Conlan’s not a lost cause and his future is still bright.  Whew!  I haven’t ruined him yet!  *sigh of relief*


6 thoughts on “Ready for College

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Wouldn’t you think the high demand for evening and weekend children’s activities make those places think they should offer more sessions then? I’m having preschool anxiety too.

  2. If you aren’t able to get into a preschool, you might try teaching him the basics in the evenings. Nothing formal or stressful, just try to find teachable moments and fly with them. Thirty seconds here, a minute there -with their sponge-like minds, it really makes a difference! When my son was young, and I first began to teach him to count, we counted everything: eggs while cooking, cars going by, tiles on the floor of the hospital’s waiting room – everything. You can do the same thing with letter recognition, colors, etc. I used to keep a memo pad in my purse to teach my son new letters when my husband went into the gas station to pay for our gas. After learning a few, we had great fun finding letters that he already recognized while we were out and about. Good luck!

  3. Oh! I forgot! I wanted to tell you that my son was also terribly obsessed with trains. He wouldn’t play with anything else until he was five or so. But I used it to my advantage by creating alphabet train flashcards. I originally created them so that he could make three-letter words with an engine, a coal car, and a caboose, but you could use them for letter recognition too, if you like. You can download them in Word format on my blog under “resources.”
    And don’t worry too much about the train thing. My son still loves them (in fact, he was using Google Sketchup the other day to try to make 3-D models of them), but he did eventually become interested in other things!

    1. Oooh…what a great idea! Thanks! He’s already got numbers, colors, shapes, and letters down. Our next thing is to work on is letter-sound recognition, so this will be great. We do the counting/cooking to – it’s one of my favorite things to do with Conlan. Every night when we get ready to make dinner he says, “What we do next? Wet’s wook at the wecipe!” 🙂 Thanks again for the tip!!!

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