Moving to the Preschool Class
“Don’t worry, he’s still your baby until he turns two years old.” These words were so comforting to me as we approached Micah’s first birthday. At the time, I was lamenting the loss of Micah’s baby days with a good friend of mine who had raised three of her own children. She continued, “Baby him now, while he lets you.” Those very same words, which provided me with relief a year ago, were now haunting as Micah’s second birthday neared.
I held on tight to my baby for the entire year between birthdays-literally and figuratively. As the year passed, I watched as a crawling infant became a walking toddler whose stride turned into a run before I could blink. His one-syllable speech patterns evolved into full sentences that even strangers could understand. I swear there was even a week where his baby fat just melted off his thighs and standing in front of me was a real-life boy. A tall one at that! Two year olds don’t wear onesies . Two year olds sit on the potty. They use a fork and spoon and drink from cups without sippy tops . They have a reputation that precedes them. Some call it ‘terrible’ and some say it’s ‘terrific’ but no one says that it’s easy!
You want to know something else two year olds do? They move out of the toddler classroom at school and start preschool, affectionately known as “the big boy class.” The week after his birthday, we received a letter from Kids ‘R’ Kids explaining Micah’s transition to the next classroom and a request for a conference prior to the move-up. During the meeting with the beloved Ms. Mya, I had a chance to look over his learning portfolio as she detailed the progress he had made in her class. My boy had mastered all his colors and shapes and he could call out the sounds to most animals. It seems he has a certain affinity for cows and goes around the classroom “moo-ing” (Good thing he doesn’t eat beef, I’d hate to have to break it to him!) His portfolio was comprised of weekly assessment sheets, samples of his art work (he calls them his “projects”) and photographs with notes about his development.
As I flipped through the book with Ms. Mya, I was really impressed with the level of detail. There were pages of notes that document important firsts like drawing a circle, counting two rocks on the playground or standing in line while waiting his turn. There was one photograph of Micah holding a baby doll and patting her back. The note underneath read, “Micah rocked the baby to sleep while saying ‘Time for night-night, baby’.” That’s when it hit me; he wasn’t the baby in the picture.
Ms. Mya walked me next door and I got a tour of “the big boy room” and an overview of the daily activities. I learned that the curriculum was accredited by SACS which is apparently a really big deal for preschools. The materials they used on a daily and weekly basis had met the standards of the accrediting agency to ensure quality in the classroom. This was an added bonus since we were already super confident that Micah’s school went above and beyond the call of duty. Knowing that a reputable agency put their stamp of approval on it was icing on the already well-frosted cake. His new teachers, Michelle and Nikki were really warm and friendly and assured me that even big boys needed their Mommy. They were already speaking my language! I was starting to feel really good about my little man entering his preschool years. I could fight it or I could embrace it. I choose the latter, mostly because I can’t change it and even though I so badly want to, I can’t stop time.
Recently, I came across the following quote by well-known author Gretchen Rubin. “The days are long but the years are short.” Two years ago, those words might not have meant anything to me. Heck, it might as well have been a foreign language. But these days, it resonates all too well. As we enter the two’s-whether terrible or terrific- I will hold on tight to my growing boy because I know that one day he will no longer want me to!