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12 Things I Learned at Preschool

After what was starting to seem like a very long summer, preschool finally started last week.

First Day of Preschool

Miles goes for 2 1/2 hours four mornings a week, and Alice goes one morning a week. Simon goes no mornings a week. (Doesn’t Alice look thrilled to be going to school? She loved it once she got there!)

After just one week, I’ve learned several things from preschool…

12 Things I Learned at Preschool

1. Two and a half hours is not a very long time. At all.

2. It takes approximately 12.5 minutes from the time we walk out of the house until we’re all buckled in and ready to pull out of the driveway.

3. Teaching Miles and Alice to buckle their own car seats has added three minutes to our routine, bringing it to 15.5 minutes.

4. Preschool frowns on you leaving your kids in the car while you drop someone off at their classroom.

5. It takes approximately 7 minutes to unbuckle everyone, get out the stroller, get everyone out of the car, hold hands, walk across the parking lot, smile at the other mothers and arrive at the classroom door.

6. If you’re five minutes late to drop your child off, this doesn’t mean that you get to be five minutes late picking him up. (But I think it should.)

7. By the time you drop off your child, chat with the other moms, get the other two kids loaded into the car and are leaving the preschool parking lot, you have 2 hours until you need to be pulling back into the parking lot.

8. While blogland appears to be very gung-ho about limiting processed foods, artificial food dyes and sugar – they’re practically sipping Coca Cola through Twizzler straws at preschool. Oreos for show and tell? Absolutely – as long as you brought some to share. Two cupcakes for snack? Hell yes! I’m pretty sure they gave Mile pop rocks last week and told him to chug a Mountain Dew.

9. They’d really like you to be FIVE minutes EARLY picking your child up – and you may get the stink eye if you don’t show up until the time that school is supposedly over.

10. Preschool also frowns on you leaving your kids in the car while you pick someone up from their classroom.

11. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in 2 hours when you only have two kids with you.

12.Two hours can make a huge difference in my sanity level.

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  1. ah….welcome to the realization that preschool isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I always thought the hassle of dropping off the kids who hate going and pitch a fit for only 2 hours was not only NOT worth my time but certainly NOT worth my effort. But I did it. Then I sent my youngest to Young 5’s…biggest mistake of my parenting to date. Now he is FINALLY in 1st grade and hopefully will actually be challenged. Fingers crossed.

  2. ah….welcome to the realization that preschool isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I always thought the hassle of dropping off the kids who hate going and pitch a fit for only 2 hours was not only NOT worth my time but certainly NOT worth my effort. But I did it. Then I sent my youngest to Young 5’s…biggest mistake of my parenting to date. Now he is FINALLY in 1st grade and hopefully will actually be challenged. Fingers crossed.

    FYI re: sugar snacks 1) if you bring carrots and dip I kid you not the kids will eat that over the cupcakes…it sounds crazy but I’ve seen it done over and over and over again. 2) the state of Michigan implemented a sanitary guideline (as of 3 years ago- not sure what it is now) that required using a weak bleach solution on the tables BEFORE and AFTER snack. No Clorox Clean Ups or similar products could bemused because convenience is not acceptable. Said bleach was to be left to dry on it’s own- this makes complete sense from a scientific standpoint as this is what kills the germs but from a practical standpoint….notsomuch. 4-year-olds+bleachy wet table= must drag hands and clothes along edge of table as walk by…AT ALL TIMES. Where do 4 years olds keep their hands 90% of the day? In their noses or mouth. A little bleach snack for ya.

  3. Oh and you forgot to mention that if you kids go to morning preschool that starts at 9…the stores don’t open til 10 so you only actually have an hour to run any significant errands before the 11 pick up

  4. Ah, yes. The taxi season has begun for you as well! I totally left the other kids in a running car for both drop off and pick up. Just grabbed the extra key fob and the were in a locked running car. Lol! I finally looked through the preschool parent directory and found a family I had never met in my life and begged them to pick up Anderson on their way into town each morning. She gladly said yes and it changed my life! It’s so much easier just doing one car scuffle a day. I did however find out that she has 5 kids! I felt like a moron thinking I had some room for sympathy with my 3 kids ages 3 and under. This year Anderson is in Kindergarten so the whole day thing makes it way easier to get stuff accomplished and I even found a neighbor to take him to school each day! Happy taxi season. By the way, I really think you should have another kid, simply because we have been prego at the same time for all 3 kids and I just want someone else to join in my insanity of 4 kids in 5 years. Think about it. 😉

  5. elletaylor says:

    Geeeee, thanks, I teach preschool and pour my whole heart and soul into it.
    I really appreciate the pat on the back.

  6. I have learned many of these same things! One thing that’s nice about my daughter’s preschool is that they have a drop off/pick up line, so I dont have to drag my baby and stroller and everything out of the car. They take her out, I put her back in. The only negative is that it can take a long time. Convenient, but not super efficient. I was also pretty surprised by those snacks! Every student in class is assigned something to bring one day a month. Among the nutritious offerings she’ll be receiving this month are Fruit Loops and Oreos (thankfully not on the same day). At least there are some decent things on there, too.

  7. So true! Made me lol.

    And to elletaylor: I love my son’s preschool and his teachers! It’s a great experience for him, a great break for me, and I really appreciate how wonderful they are with my son. I don’t think this post was meant to criticize preschool teachers AT ALL. It’s more about the parents’ process of adjusting to the rules and schedule.

  8. Oh elletaylor – you’re going to be just fine. What I left out of this post is how much my kids and I love their preschool teachers. The fabulous activities they’re doing. The wonderful friends they’re making.

    I’m sure you’re wonderful at your job! And I really hope that you bring a little more humor to your job than you brought to this blog!

  9. Fun post! I had to ask…..has Miles become the trashman for his teacher at preschool yet?

  10. Hi Anna,

    Hysterical as always!!

    When my Carly was three, she knew how to buckle and unbuckle her seatbelt, but the obstinate brat (and I say that lovingly) wouldn’t. We were on vacation in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons during her birthday, and I was weary of that damn seat belt. I had an epiphany. I told her that she could not turn four, no way no how, until she could buckle/unbuckle her seatbelt all the time. When she could buckle/unbuckle the belt, we would have a fourth birthday celebration for her! My husband, my mom, and Carly’s seven-year-old sister went along with this in a very matter-of fact-fashion. Her birthday was the next day and the seatbelt was buckled/unbuckled from that day forward.

    File this away in your mind and maybe someday you can pull it out and use it to your advantage!!

    Take care.
    Judie S.

  11. I bet those blessed hours go way too fast at times.

  12. I leave kid #3 in the car (w/the DVD going so he doesn’t cry at being left) all the time. This year the twins go for 3 1/2 hours. The downside is I have to get them there a half hour earlier. As all my friends cried (literally) when their child left for kindergarten and they were going out to be with “strangers” I think I was the only one bummed they weren’t going to all day kindergarten and had another year of preschool (which we have to pay for x2).

    As for snacks, the parents bring them (low budget here) and they give a list of fairly healthy stuff, BUT what kills me are the constant bday parties. Then the parents bring in cupcakes, candy, goodie bags for all the kids. They are wired when I pick them up and don’t want lunch. Just sing to them and hand them an extra carrot stick, in my opinion.

    At least I get stuff done while they are there and the 2 year old has some peace and quiet.

  13. Love this idea. I am so sick of buckling 3 kids.

  14. Great post! This year for us it’s the juggle of Kindergarten for the eldest, and preschool 2 afternoons a week for the next. I am NOT a morning person, hence the afternoon preschool. If I could get them to start kindergarten an hour later, it’d be perfect! Oh, and @Jill G, I am also as crazy as you, due with #4 in Nov. Sure makes life interesting!

  15. LOVE this! I taught preschool for a couple of years, up until the birth of our latest little man and all of this is very, very true. Especially the part about the food. It’s fun to get the kids sugared up and then send them home. 😉

  16. Very funny post. We homeschool, so skipped the preschool thing, but I took them to camp this summer for a week in the mornings. What a pain. Not sure if it was worth it, especially with the distance we drove to get there.

  17. Ease up there, elletaylor. It’s all fun and games until someone reads too much into it and makes everyone else uncomfortable.

  18. Oh man, we are homeschooling our twins and this post just solidified my decision to do so. It’s not easy and I have fantasized about them attending school. Them having all those sugary snacks with dyes would just send one of my girls through the roof and bouncing off walls with a mean streak to boot. She is an angel and completely different kid when corn syrup and dyes are avoided. I also would be so stressed out waking them up to get them to school in time that I’m pretty sure they would hate me after a week of that. Your post cracked me up too though, great writing !

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