Inquiring Minds

So a funny thing has been happening in our house lately. Harrison has been walking around singing songs and telling stories that I know absolutely nothing about. Not the words, not their authors…nothing! 

This morning, after breakfast, he started doing a dance in the dining room, while giving out these instructions: “Two steps to the right. Two steps to the left. Clap your knees. Ugh. That’s really hard. I can’t do that. Now three steps forward.” OK, so that’s both instruction and commentary (not to mention hilarious, if you ask me), but such is life with a preschooler. 

We’ve got two weeks of preschool under our belts now and as far as I can tell, it’s going great. The honest truth, though? I really don’t know much about how it’s actually going!

I’ve dropped Harrison off each morning and picked him up three of the four times. He’s always excited to hang up his bag and go into his classroom; I usually have to ask for a hug or kiss goodbye and then I leave without him (or me) having any fuss. When I go back get him three hours later, he’s excited to see me and comes running (or walking as fast as his “walking feet” will allow), a big smile on his face and greeting me with a happy, “Mama!”

And while he loves having anything – papers, crafts, book orders, anything! – in his backpack to show me, I might as well already have a fifteen-year-old male living in my house because I canNOT get details out him about what he’s doing when he’s at school.

If I ask if he sang songs or read books or played a game, he’ll tell me, “Yes” but nothing else. He also has yet to tell me any of the other kids’ names and if I ask what so-and-so brought for snack (because I can see on our calendar who brought snack that day), Harrison will look at me for a second and say, “I don’t know. What was it?” as if I’m playing some guessing game where I’m playing dumb with him. Not the case, Kiddo! Mama really has no idea and would love to know so much more!

Being the helicopter that I am, I have to resist the urge to ask for song and book titles and a list of activities and everything else that would quickly put me on his teachers’ radar as a complete nut job and control freak. I can’t help it; there is just a part of me that just wants to know and then implement all of it at home, which IS crazy because it’s not like I run a real structured house or day-to-day curriculum. I guess I just want to know what he’s doing because it seems like such a long time for him to be gone (three whole hours? without me?) and he comes home bigger every time (just like he does when he visits his grandparents for a few days).  

What I’m quickly learning is that his world is quickly becoming less about me. And while it’s a little hard to swallow, that’s not a snarky comment or even a sad or sappy one. I’m glad he’s getting this opportunity to be with and learn from others. I think it’s a wonderful thing for him. And really, if he’s already absorbing songs and stories (and dance moves!) and processing them, that’s great; it shows me how ready he is to learn and grow and do. All good things, my friends!

And since I can’t seem to get a whole lot out of him on the day of (my best guess is that those dance instructions are from last week), I am measuring the success of each day by the standard we set on Day One. Did he come home in the same clothes he wore to school? So far, that would be a resounding YES! Potty training and glue and snack and play are all factors in that, yet he’s been in the Win category every day. I’ll take it!

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