So my precious 3 year old spitfire just got her little ears pierced and she’s doing great. She’s a darling child. Very smart. Very assertive… at home.
I found out on Thursday of last week that she has one chance at voluntary pre-kindergarten (this might be a Florida thing, so bear with me). One. She turns 4 on the cut-off day. I wanted to keep her home another year. She is academically ready. Socially… well, not so much. She backs all up inside herself when in groups of unfamiliar kids/adults. She gets instantly timid. In gymnastics class, where she was the youngest, she would always get pushed to the back of the line even when it was her turn. If another girl wanted to go, she’d back off and let her go. It’s not out of kindness. It’s out of shyness. Into her mouth her fingers go, doggy-eyed like she might cry, and if I was there she’d hide behind my legs. Timid.
My husband and I went round and round about this before we decided several months ago to keep her home another year. Truly, that decision was made with only her interests in mind. We would rather she be the oldest in the class, not the youngest. This might not seem like such a big deal right now. But as she gets older she may develop slower physically than the other girls. Being a small-breasted girl before I had kids, I can tell you how miserable it is to be teased in school by boys and girls alike when my boobs didn’t go past an “A” cup and it seemed everyone else was in a “D” cup. Not only that, but peer pressure for a girl who is younger than everyone else might be harder to fight. She would drive last, graduate at 17, and so on. Use your imagination… remember high school… and if you weren’t the youngest, try to imagine had you been. It makes me want to vomit!
You can come up with the idea that we could hold her back a year. Sure we could. But then she watches all her friends move up while she stays behind. Done early enough it might have very little impact. But, then again, it could hurt her deeply.
My options are these…
1) Keep her home and just shove her head first into Kindergarten next year. No preschool.
2) Send her to preschool this year so she’s better equipped for Kindergarten next year.
That’s it. No other options for us. I am not the homeschooling type (even though I’ll give a standing ovation to those who are).
I was not prepared for this. I am so upset over it. I am trying not to let it get to me. But I am really upset.
I have to teach her how to wipe her butt by herself (for #2, she can do #1 alone) in about 3 weeks. I have to decide where to send her, visit the schools of interest, fill out the county paperwork, visit with a person at the Early Learning Coalition, get her approved at a school, and finalize it all in about a week. Fine. I can handle that.
Then I have to drop off my child who has never been in a daycare center or at anyone’s house for more than 2 hours without me or daddy or her brother, and trust some people who I don’t know to protect her and teach her and care for her a few hours a week.
I am not ready.
I am not ready.
So in one week my precious 3 year old has changed into this preschooler with earrings. What am I going to do when she starts liking a boy other than Spiderman?
I am SO not ready for this.
If I had known this when I scheduled her c-section, I would have picked one day later. One day and I could have kept her home another year. Unbelievable!