Before I became a parent, there were all kinds of things I was sure I would never do. One thing I was sure I would never do? Send my child to preschool. I had it in my head that if I sent my child to preschool while I was a stay at home mom, then I wasn’t doing my job properly. Well, I’ve been a parent for three years now and guess what? Jude started preschool last week. One week and we are already sold. It turns out that by sending Jude to preschool, I am doing my job properly and exactly as it should be done. It’s wonderful for him and us. Not only is it great for him to get out of the house and make friends, but he’s also learning new things and it’s even helping with his potty training!
Jude’s school is actually called a nursery school here in England. However, it’s the same thing as preschool. We had a home visit from Jude’s teacher and teacher’s assistant a week before he started school. I loved that. It felt personal and it gave them a chance to see Jude in his natural environment and get to know him a little bit better. They did staggered start for the kids in Jude’s class and he was in the last group, so he didn’t start until Friday. Something else I was sure I’d never do as a parent? Cry when I dropped my kid off at school for the first time. Oh boy, was I wrong. I cried. Jude didn’t cry and I didn’t let him see me cry, but I cried quite a bit. Not only is it sad to see my baby growing up so fast, it’s daunting to leave him with people who are essentially strangers to us, and we’ve never done that before.
When we picked him up that day, we were sure he would be talking nonstop about what he had done all morning. We were wrong. He was worn out! He talked when we asked him questions, but otherwise he was pretty quiet, which is very out of the ordinary for him. He napped for three hours that afternoon.
He’s gone three times since then. When we picked him up Monday afternoon, his teacher informed us that he’d been using the toilet like the other kids and had, in fact, asked to wear big boy underpants. I posted before about what a hard time we had with potty training Jude, you can read that post here if you’d like. In that post, I talked about finally learning to relax on potty training and let Jude tell us when he’s ready. He has definitely done that! For about a month now he’s been going in the “big potty” pretty frequently, but we still just let him tell us when he wants to go. We felt pretty confident that once he started school and saw the other kids using the potty that he’d want to do so as well. We were right. His teachers are wonderful, they told us not to worry about anything, just pack extra underwear and extra trousers for him and they’ll potty train him. We bought him some big boy underpants with characters from his favorite show, In the Night Garden. He wore a pair to school Tuesday morning and this morning and had zero accidents both times! Jude was so excited about his new underwear that when he got to school this morning and his teacher asked if he was wearing them, he said, “Yes, I am! See?” And proceeded to pull his trousers down right there in the middle of his classroom. Too funny!
I am so glad we decided to put Jude in preschool. I think it’s just what he needed. On top of everything he’s learning already, I think having a break from each other makes us appreciate our time together that much more. I also get some one on one time with Melody and we all get out of the house for a bit because we walk to Jude’s school and back. I always felt like if we lived in America, where Jude would have several younger cousins and the children of my friends to play with, I wouldn’t have bothered putting him in preschool. I thought that I could teach him what he needed to know and that he would get the social interactions from those children. Well, our plans didn’t work out, and we aren’t in America, but I’m learning every day that that doesn’t have to be a bad thing if we don’t let it.