Preschool, etc.

Today was D’s first day of preschool for the year.  He’s going to the same school as for the past two years, with mostly the same group of kids, so it was pretty much a non-event for him.  I went in late so I could help take him to school, but 5 minutes after we got there, the teachers were lining them up to head out to the playground and he was off without a backward glance.  I was misty-eyed anyway, looking at the little kids in the two-year-old class, and being boggled at how big D is compared to them, and trying to wrap my head around the idea that he’ll be in kindergarden next year.

Suzanne at Mother in Chief wrote an post last week about the pressure she’s feeling to send her daughter to preschool, as most of her playgroup friends are going.  I’m sure her daughter will be fine either way.  We freely admit that preschool is as much about giving T a bit of a break from D’s constant desire to be entertained as it is because we think it’s useful for D.

Preschool has also helped T break into the social world of SAHMs and their children, which really wasn’t happening before.  They were happy to have their kids play with D at the playground, but no one was inviting them to playdates.  I think women are just very reluctant to invite a "strange" man into their house, or to accept an invitation from one.  And T was more focused on playing with D than with schmoozing up the moms, which made the social connections even harder.  Since D started preschool, he’s invited to many more parties and playdates.

6 Responses to “Preschool, etc.”

  1. Cynical Says:

    At one point while I was part time I joined a local stay-at-home-dad’s mailing list, with the rationale that I am most comfortable around men anyway as it’s just what I’m used to from college and the industry in which I work. The organizer of the list was very uncomfortable with the idea, he didn’t get why I wanted to join, and sent me a list of mom’s organizations. He did let me in, but that initial reception made me feel so awkward that I never made any attempts to actually meet up with the group. I regret not giving it a shot (and too late now since i’m back to full time)… if I do change my working hours at some point in the future I want to try to make more of an effort to meet up with SAHDs, just have to remind myself “They’re as nervous as you are.”

  2. dave s Says:

    I have never felt that moms were hanging back from me – both my wife and I work, but I have been more active in play dates, playground trips, etc., and it never seemed that it was about me, it was always about whether our kids enjoyed being together. Obviously, your mileage may differ…

  3. Mary Says:

    Run, do not walk, to the library or bookstore and get yourself a copy of a book called “Little Children” by Tom Perrota. It’s actually about, among other things, the weird dynamics between a stay at home dad and the moms he meets on the play ground. It’s also about suburban angst, the dangers we see lurking everywhere threatening our children, and people searching for fulfillment in the midst of diapers and dirty dishes. And it’s also strangely profound. (Honestly, I just want to have you read it because I’m sure your review would be fantastic!) Love your blog.

  4. jackie Says:

    Preschool here is DEFINITELY about giving me a break just as much as it is about being good for the children, which I do believe it is too, in our case.

  5. bj Says:

    my daughter is 4, going on 5, and in her last year of preschool, too. Her “best friends” all graduated this year and went on to kindergarten, including her best best best friend, who she loves. Yesterday, in the car, the song “one is the lonliest number” came on, and she told my husband that “she was the lonliest number, becaues all her friends have left, and that she’s never going to smile again in school.”
    I’m not prone to nostalgia but the disappearance of my daughter’s friends into kindergraten had me feeling misty eyed for quite a while.
    Now, we totally adore preschool. We think it’s great for our kids, and actually do it at least as much for what we think it gives them as any breaks it gives us. I am extremely pro preschool for my kids, but I think that’s partly ’cause I am not very good at amusing them.
    bj

  6. Suzanne Says:

    I’m kind of hoping that my son’s preschool will allow me to connect with other stay-at-home moms. Since I stopped full-time work in the spring, I (and thus my kids) have kept to myself mostly. I think I’ve been waiting for the built-in social network that preschool provides rather than having to establish one on my own. (Oh, and I think it will be a very good experience for my son as well!)

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