Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boy trouble-free (for now)

So many of you responded to my Boy Troubles post last week, I felt I should post an update. Although it's only been a week since my discussion with the preschool director, I have noticed some extremely positive changes in the before- and after-care set-up. When I drop the kiddo off in the morning, there are teachers positioned throughout the gym playing games or putting together puzzles or just generally keeping the kids busy. And I haven't yet seen any little boys in timeout. Then, in the afternoons, the administrator has been in the gym with the kids, which seems to keep the caregivers on their toes. While I realize that these are just the first steps, I'm feeling much better about the situation. And even more important, Sweet Boy seems really happy this week, too. So something's going right over there.

I did learn an important lesson last week, though. It's crucial to speak up every time something bothers me in matters of preschool and childcare. I think so many of us hesitate to bring up our displeasure, thinking that the preschool teachers and directors know more about childcare than we do, or that if we squeak too loudly they'll somehow think less of us or come down harder on our kids. But I realize now it doesn't really matter if the teachers like me or think I'm a pushy mom. What matters is that I open my mouth when things are bothering me. For the sake of my child. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but we moms (and women, in general) spend a lot of our time trying to make sure people like us -- it's difficult to put that aside, but sometimes necessary.

On a related and much lighter note, I heard Sweet Boy "reading" in the living room while I was cleaning up after dinner. His latest favorite thing is picking up a book -- any book -- and telling me a story as if he's reading to me. Tonight's tale was about a scary, hairy monster walking through a dark, dark forest, and the brave alligators and elephants that stood up to him and told him to stop scaring them and turn on the lights. The storytelling was quite elaborate, with sound effects and different voices for each of the characters. (And you know I eat this stuff up!) When I finally finished the dishes and went in to sit with him on the couch, I cracked up at the book he'd selected for tonight's reading: The Trouble With Boys, by Peg Tyre -- which I borrowed from the library last week and which sort of set off the little preschool maelstrom in my head. Ironic, no?

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