Dear Teachers….

Dear Teachers,

It’s the day before my littles begin preschool.  Today was one of our best days of the summer, and I am so acutely aware that tomorrow they’ll be off to meet you!

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Ugh, I’m dreading it.

OMG, I’m so excited.

My kitchen is organized, breakfast is planned, and a newly printed “chore chart” is laminated and taped to the fridge.  Their newly issued school bags are out on the counter, filled with things like “an extra change of clothes, just in case” and a “healthy snack.”

I got both of them to bed by 8pm tonight!  Hooray!  This is especially victorious since we were 30 minutes away from home at 6:50pm.  Horses and grandparents and all.

There are so many things I wish I could tell you about my kids.  I wish I could take you all to lunch and tell you everything.  Instead, we got 15 minutes in a whirlwind “meet the teacher” experience and a few forms where I got to explain my kids in 2-3 sentences at a time.    I get it, but as you well know (you’re moms, too!) there is always SO MUCH MORE to tell!

So tell you, I will.

Let’s start with the girl.

Poppyseed is my big kid.  She was a daycare kid until age 1 when I stopped working, and you can totally tell by how go with the flow she is.  She has not met a teacher or a babysitter that she did not love.  She is a social being – like me.  She NEEDS her friends.  She NEEDS to play with others. Though I should also point out that she is large and in charge.  You’ll soon see how outspoken she is!

Ma’am, I feel as if I should apologize now for the following things she is guaranteed to do this year:  She will back talk.  She will push a friend.  She will claim she “didn’t hear” you.  (She did.)

I have your back on this.  We don’t tolerate back talk, pushing, or pretending to be deaf when it’s time to pick up her favorite toys.  I look forward to working together and learning from your ideas of literally decades of working with kids her age.  I know my kid better than anyone on this planet, but that doesn’t mean I will not respect and be thankful for your ideas and the amazing skills you bring to her classroom.

She is going to love you.  She will give you the biggest, tightest, sweetest hugs.  She’ll close her eyes and lean into you with the corners of her lips turned upward and wrap her arms around you.  She will trust you and adore you.  If she gets sad, you will be able to ask her why.  She will confide in you.

She loves monkey bars, princesses, doing “projects” and confirming that she is only eating gluten free snacks.  Ha.  Really.

She is going to learn so much this year.  Writing and adding, how to do more complex projects, the beginnings of reading.  She will be a different kid by May.  I am so excited for this year.  She is about to be a real life big kid!!

I love that little girl so much that as I think of her growing up and becoming less of the baby on my chest, that first night in the hospital, I feel tears dripping all the way down my face.  Ugh.  Tell me, why do they have to get so big, so suddenly?

I love this child.  Please, enjoy her and know that we are happy to have you in her life!

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Okay.  Let me regroup.

I have to change gears a little bit.

I have two completely different children.

To the two year old teachers, let me fill you in on my little man:

He came into this world quietly.  That serenity that lasted about 2 days. (The photo below shows lip gloss, by the way.  Not blood.  Not that day, at least.)

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The first time he really, really cried, my husband and I looked at one another and thought, “Woah…like woah.”  That baby has the strongest, loudest voice, and he WILL be heard.  Now, having just turned 2 a few weeks ago, his body is growing to be as large as his volume.

I’ve seen other two year olds, and his motor skills are pretty ahead of the average.  He can jump, he can run, he can climb.  He will love the two year old playground, but let me assure you that he would be JUST FINE on the three year old playground, and he’s going to try to bolt over there at least a dozen times.  Good luck containing him in that small toddler area… good luck.  I may take him to the park before school to give him a chance to really play before school, and you’ll be happy I did!

While he wouldn’t be left behind in an obstacle course, I beg you to please, please be patient with him as he speaks.  My sweet boy just started talking this summer.  He’s doing so, so well!  He says new things every day, and I know that you will only help him to learn even more exciting words.  This time last year I was literally losing sleep over his speech.  It was too early to worry, but “it’s too early to worry, boys are just like that” is so easy to say when you are not the mother.  To know that my boy is joining your class with the ability to say 3 word sentences is truly the biggest relief of my year.

But here’s the thing, this kid is thinking a zillion times faster than he can talk.  And unlike my eldest, he has never had to spend a day without his mom.  I know his every move, murmured word meanings, and quirks.  Tomorrow he will look at you and start making kissy/puckering sounds.  If you don’t understand, he will make those kissy smoochy sounds faster and stronger.  You will likely feel confused, and he will become frustrated and fall backwards onto the floor.  EPIC FIT.  At this point, GOOD LUCK, I say, good luck.

That kissy sound means, “I see a horse!  Can I please, please, PLEASE play with it?  By the way, I don’t want to share it.  With anyone.”  It may be a horse picture on a wall, a merry go round, or an actual horse toy.  If he makes those puckery sounds, he’s eyeing a horse, and it will make his day if he can get his hands on it.

(By the way, good luck removing the horse from his gaze or hands, if that must be done.)

(By the way, again, we kiss to horses to make them trot when we ride them.  Thus the sound.)

I don’t know how you’re going to console him when he melts down, but I know you will.  If you can get him to lay his head down on your shoulder while you hold him, you have either earned his trust or just completely exhausted him, so give yourself a pat on the back.  I also don’t know how in the world it’s going to work out when another child wants what he has.  I will be praying all day that he keeps his hands and teeth to himself, though I don’t have high hopes.  #Lordhelpus.

I’ve almost backed out of sending him to school a thousand times, though I know if I did it would be robbing him of so much fun, and so much learning, and so many friends.

I’m nervous.  Really nervous.  But I know he’s ready, and I know he’ll love it.

Thank you for being open to him and to us.

Last, I want to let you know how much my kids love each other.  They DO, oh my gosh, they just adore each other.  When my kids see each other in the halls or on the playground, you will likely hear my little boy say, “Thi-Thi!  Thi-Thi!”  (Sissy, Sissy) and hear my big girl say, “JOHNNY BOY!  Heyyyyy baby, are you having a gweat day!?” Please tell me about these encounters.  Tell me if she hugs him and he hugs her back, or if she hugs him and he pulls away and screams NO.  I can’t wait to hear these types of stories of how they interact together when I am not right there.

I’m going to have a tall glass of water followed by an inch of pinot noir, and then I’m going to sleep.  Tomorrow marks a new day, and I am already counting the minutes until I pick them up!

Thank you, teachers, for loving our children well.


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