Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Remember this? Those were the good ole' days. We are in preschool hell or maybe just preschool purgatory.

Does this look like the face of a little child who will sit at the door crying her little eyes out for a few hours waiting for Mommy to get off her fat butt and drive the family truckster back to preschool to spring the little jail bird?
No, but then again she is enjoying some sort of bonus apple juice cocktail which is normally against regulation beverage rules but since it was Moon Festival and all.....

She hates it, preschool that is...she's digs apple juice. I hate the hand off where she screams. I hate the pick up where all the other relaxed looking mothers happily collect their protegee's craft and tired but happy little person. I especially hate the little report card that has Miss Stacy's neat printing which clearly states she ate nothing, participated in no crafts, would not play on the playground and produced a multitude of crocodile tears for effect. Weep, sob, sniff. I have to give the little mite some credit in the tenacity department...she simply will not adjust to preschool. It has been the most tenacious I have ever seen her. The most dramatic, and the most wigged out. For the record she immediately calms down and starts giggling and cooing at passersby the minute she hits my hip. (This does mean I'm not doing permanent damage right?) I just tell my kids I'll pay for therapy later.

I so want to quit. But then I so want her to prove to herself she can do it. Overcome a big fear and learn to adapt, and then realize that the big sunny room filled with toys and crafts and yummy snacks is not in fact POW camp. I've been thinking about why this is so darn important to me. I guess I'm getting older and I'm interested in the stretch, the emotional stretch that is. The one where I try to start my own business, hang out with Chinese parents at Chinese school rather than my normal adoptive parent cronies, etcetera. Hey we all want to be a better person, build character, it gives you more crap to brag about to your grandkids.

But then why should she be interested in that? She's only a bit shy of two. Shouldn't she just get to hang out at the grocery store while pulling cheerios down off the shelf in aisle nine each and every Tuesday morning? Shouldn't she just get to swing the bathroom door open grinning every single time mommy needs a minute alone in there?

We are quitting, I don't care what the overly experienced preschool director thinks of me and Livi.

No, we can't quit after only 5 times. Give it 2 months, that would be the rational thing to do.

No, we are quitting. Gosh, I want to be in 9th grade again when I gave not one extra thought to quitting the flute and the orchestra.

To quit or not to quit that is the question.


Robin said...

I'm just a lurker, and not an adoptive mom so I can't speak to any kind of attachment (or not) issues, but I can say this:

I live in Israel, where children routinely begin full-time preschool at Livi's age. And they often do cry. A lot. A whole lot. They cry for about 2 weeks or so. It usually takes that long (and that's going 6 days a week) to begin to adjust and settle in. I don't know that I'd draw any conclusions yet, it's still early days. If you've stuck it out for a few weeks and there's no improvement, then maybe she's just not ready, or maybe that particular school just isn't a good fit for your daughter.

Hope this helps. Hang in there, this kind of stuff is tough on a mom.

Slipping back into lurkdom now...

Anonymous said...

This exact issue is my "parenting Achilles heel." My weak spot. My girl was a velcro baby, and still prefers her mama to anyone else. She is also a touch sensitive and shy. So, I figure we have nothing to prove at age two- and if we try things and she doesn't like it- we stop and try again later.

You have nothing to prove. She's two- hang in there, or quit. Just do whatever feels right for you and your girl. Good luck.


Michelle said...

I taught preschool and worked in a daycare center for fourteen years and I say don't quit. Some kids just take longer than others to adapt. She will become accustomed to it, and even learn to love it. There are so many wonderful things that children gain from going to preschool. I( have never been on your side of things, but I have been on the other side many, many times and almost 95% of the time the child ends up being fine, even if it took three or more weeks.

B-squared said...

Oh wow. I feel for you. Not sure this is much help, but one of the caretakers at K's PDO program talked about a "magic" 6-week time point (like it takes about that long for most kids to get into the routine). Of course, I can't quite remember (I know that's pathetic, having read your blog just 30 seconds ago) if you're at 6 weeks or not. Either way, do what feels right in your gut. Moms always know best.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

Don't quit. It WILL get better. how many days a week does she go? Can you stay and palyfor a while? leave her for shorter? How long does she cry(although the not eating is somewhat disurbing, too)...keep trying!

Elaine said...

We've been having a similar issue with our Goose about leaving her with her Nanny. Yesterday we had to leave her (and her sister) with the Nanny because I got stranded across town without transportation. It was pretty ugly. Several neighbors dropped in to help quell the screaming.
So I feel for you.
Our measure of what is too much for her is how long it takes after such an event for her to let go of my shirt and play again. Last time it took a few days. Yesterday she recovered by nightfall.
If Livi is happy when reaching your hip, I'd guess she's doing okay.
But -yeah. Nothing to prove at 2.

OziMum said...

Look at the bright side... you must be one AWESOME Mum!!! My kids couldn't wait to get into daycare/kindy!!! That says alot for my mothering, hey?!!

Beverly said...

I say quit. It is not going to be young or small long. She will grow out of the clinginess. Try again later, maybe after 2 or after 2 1/2. She doesn't seem to be as outgoing as your oldest one. Maybe she is just more introverted and needs more mom contact for now. I am also probably going against the wisdom of the truly experienced. In my defense my kiddo has been in full time preschool since 4 weeks after coming home in 2005 at 15 months.


Catherine said...

I'm just a lurker who hasn't even adopted a kid and I say QUIT! Two is too early and separation anxiety is at its peek between 24 and 30 months even for kids who were not adopted. Our little boy didn't do well at all when we tried to leave him around the age of 2. He is now 3 and absolutely loves preschool. There is a huge difference between a 2 year old and a 3 year old... emotionnally. What is the big deal about starting preschool so early anyway? All a two year old needs is Mama Love! Good luck to you. I love your witty sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Perrin ... first comment here. Having known sweet Liv from gymnastics (remember how she and Daniel shared food so nice together?). One word, QUIT!!! Don't force her to cope with you leaving her at that school. If she hasn't adjusted by now, she's not gonna! Enjoy having that sweet little niblet at home for another year. You can become a mogul in a year.