Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

I Survived Preschool

Dear Friends,

My body has been invaded by an alien virus that’s had me pretty much bed-bound for three days, and my brain is dehydrated. The following is a regurgitated post (appropriate for my current condition). I posted this before even my mom would read my blog, so I hope it feels new to you and that you’ll forgive the double-dipping…

PLUS: Since my son’s teacher has asked me to help in the classroom next week, I probably needed to read this again and remind myself I can survive a day with a group of little people.


At 36-years-old, I should be able to attend preschool without cold sweats and wardrobe dilemmas, or so I thought. In a completely unintentional and out-of-charachter moment of martyrdom, I volunteered to fill in for half a day at my son’s preschool while they were short-staffed.

From the moment I said, “Yes” to the teacher’s request for help, until four days later when I walked into the classroom, my nerves were on fire. Ask me to give a presentation or to teach an adult class, I’m your girl. But ask me to spend three hours with a group of small children…holly shit. Doesn’t my son’s teacher know that I’m not a kid person? Doesn’t that aspect of my personality come through loud and clear?

While I was dreading the experience, my son was ecstatic with the idea of mommy coming to school with him. He’s not old enough to realize that once his friends meet his mom, they’ll run screaming.

I kept gently reminding Aaron that I was going to need his help. Since I didn’t know all the routines and rules in his class, it was his responsibility to show me how everything operated. Yes, that’s right. I put the responsibility of taking care of his mom squarely on his almost four-year-old shoulders.

What I didn’t expect was how he’d rise to the occasion. As the child of two type-A personalities, I guess I should not be surprised that Aaron would take his mommy-mentoring responsibilities so seriously. From approving my attire as I was dressing that morning, (”Mommy, purple underwear are good for school days.”) to taking my hand as we walked in to the classroom, showing me where to hang my coat and store my bag, introducing me to his friends and then promptly telling me it was time to begin our work, he was my little hero.

Some of Aaron’s buddies had given me a quick once over and apparently surmised I was cool enough; they wanted to work on something as a group. With a couple of quick lessons from the teacher, I set off with Aaron and two of his friends. Believe it or not, everyone had a blast, including me.

The kids were fantastic and I felt like the coolest mom on the planet. Several of the children were arguing over who got to sit next to me during circle time and I think I was more popular as an adult in preschool than I probably was as a kid. Aaron’s face was luminous, and I never could have guessed how much it would mean to him for me to spend three hours helping he and his buddies explore color wheels and letter sounds.

By the end of my substitute stint, I was exhausted and had definitely developed a new appreciation for Aaron’s teacher and her ability to interact with and help direct more than 20 children in a Montessori classroom. It’s really quite impressive. Would I do it again? Absolutely. But please don’t ask me to do it again really, really soon.

Here are a few things I learned during my morning in preschool:

  • My hands-on involvement will be a key indicator by which my son will measure my interest and commitment to his academic achievement.
  • There’s nothing like shared experiences to help open conversation. All of a sudden Aaron is telling me about things in school he’d previously not wanted to talk about…I guess in his mind I’m one of the gang now.
  • Comprehension depends on involvement. I have a whole new appreciation for the Montessori classroom, and if any doubts lingered, they are now abolished. This is the right environment for my child.
  • I can actually survive a large group of little people, and I can have fun doing it. By the time I hit 50, I may even figure out how to be silly.
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20 comments to I Survived Preschool

  • Amy

    Hope you are feeling better. See I think little people are easier because they are honest and forthright about everything, and I mean everything!!!

    Amys last blog post..Dinner Conversation

  • donna

    You must have been popular the first time so that they want you back. Great idea, Stand tall be brave and come down to their level ( I do mean sit on the floor) and have a great time doing it. Even if this is a regurgitated blog it is new to some of us. Welcome back, I miss it when you are not blogging. Glad that you are feeling better. Hope it doesn’t run thru the family. Next week is coming faster than you think

  • never underestimate the health benefits of being silly!
    feel better soon…

    thistles last blog post..Manic Monday

  • SICK?????? You poor thing. GINGER TEA can help, yes indeedy…

    garys last blog post..S*X BOMB!

  • I hpe you feel better soon. I always enjoyed volunteering in my sons’ classes. Now I am working at the school.

    Smalltown Moms last blog post..Daring Gigglers

  • Feel better soon! And thanks for the story.

    WickedStepMoms last blog post..I wish…

  • I used to dread helping out too, but it’s a great way to find out what’s going on in their world, especially as they get older.

    And occasionally, it’s fun. I swear.

    Hope you feel better, mighty quick. Hopefully there’s not a direct correlation between volunteering and catching something nasty…

    Lisa Miltons last blog gives new meaning to the ‘happiest place on earth’

  • I always feel like a rock star when I pick up the kids from school. The kids recognize me and shout, “It’s Henry’s mom!” They all come a running. I love feeling popular among the 4 year olds.

  • Hey, hope you feel better soon! Volunteering is incredibly rewarding, at any age your kids are at. Even 17 ;) .

    goodfathers last blog post..The Shed, Chapter 1

  • Mommies aren’t supposed to get sick. I sware it should be a rule. And, thanks for [re]sharing this post! It was a little hoot in my day!

    Happy Wellness!

    Farmer*sWifes last blog post..For the LADIES, for the LADIES, for the LADIES OF THE HOUSE!

  • ‘Tis the season. We (meaning, the entire family) usually get our first big, bad cold of the year in October. It’s almost like a sloppy “welcome back to school” kiss! I woke up this morning with a tickle in my throat, which I hope is nothing as I have to chaperone a bus full of 4th graders on a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg on Friday.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better. Loved the post…and you’re so right, it IS amazing how the kids love seeing you at school (even when they won’t let you touch them in public:)

  • I missed this the first time around so I’m glad you re-posted it! I never thought I’d ever be a “kid” person. I grew up generally disliking children and that never changed until my hormones finally kicked in around the age of 29. Now I just love going to my son’s preschool. I love talking to the kids. I love when they run up to me shouting “Logan’s Mom! Hey Logan’s Mom! See what I did? See my new shoes? Wanna know what I’m doing after school?” I love having that interaction with them and I am going to miss it as he grows older and he and his friends lose interest in sharing with the grownups.

    HeatherPrides last blog post..6 Coffins

  • Feel better!

    My favorite part is the bullet about shared experiences. Gosh! That is true for all of us. That’s why it’s so important for us all to work together on things no matter what our age, gender, religion, ethnicity, economic situation, etc. Brilliant.

    Lisa Ps last blog post..The Hypocrisy

  • Now is there any better feeling than THAT of being a rock star! Now please feel better NOW. The interweb misses you.

    MamaGeeks last blog post..I Miss This.

  • Tricia

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and for your well-wishes. I’m on the mend and feeling much better. I don’t remember the last time I was sick, except of course for the occasional cold. This was probably exactly what thatcoolbroad said, which made me laugh: a sloppy “welcome back to school” kiss. Gotta love the germ-spreading that accompanies children.

  • What a GREAT story. You will be silly by 48, trust me.

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    Cheri @ Blog This Mom!s last blog post..PROMPTuesday #25: Giggle Over Spilled Wine

  • Isn’t that awesome? I used to help out every week when the kids were little and their friends would say, “Your mom is so cool!” Now? Yeah, not so much. They prefer to pretend they don’t know me.
    Glad you’re feeling better!

  • Hope you’re feeling better, Tricia. I wanted to share a nice remedy for this season of yo-yo temperatures – the Neti Pot. You can get one at any major pharmacy for about $15 and they’re spectacular. Basically, it’s a saline nasal irrigation that’s very simple. I bought one that comes with about 50 packets of saline/sodium bicarbonate. You just empty a packet into the Neti pot, fill with warm water and stir. Get over the sink and put the spout in a nostril (pick one, there’s only two!) – when you tip the pot, the saline solution just flows through your sinuses and back out of the opposite nostril.

    I have chronic sinus issues and since I’ve been using the Neti Pot, I’ve gotten congested, but not infected. It will relieve headaches without medication and generally make you feel better.

    Dougs last blog post..The Best Sporting Event Sponsor EVER

  • Jan

    Ah…I’m so glad you’re feeling better, my dear.

    Jans last blog post..*POP* Goes the Culture

  • Jen

    Glad you’re feeling better! Pre-kids I helped my sister out at a bible-summer-church-school thing. I was not a kid person at all, but really enjoyed myself!

    Jens last blog post..Spanking in Schools

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