Well, Makili started preschool this week. I wouldn't describe it as a raging success. I'm actually pretty bummed about it at the moment. It is a new program and I thought it would be a good fit. The teacher's kid went to the Waldorf school and so that influenced the environment, which I thought looked great. And it was affordable (a nice way of saying cheap.)
(Raph just told me that I'm going to be "the worst mother ever when our kids really go to school.")
Makili was excited about school yesterday, but he didn't want me to leave, and despite the pressure from the teacher for us (the parents) to leave, I stayed hoping that Makili would feel comfortable enough for me to take off without too much drama. It didn't help that there was a kid curled up in the fetal position in the corner for the entire time I was there or another kid who was trying to break down the door to get to his mother - behaviors that of course Makili was absorbing. The teacher kept trying to console the sobbing boys while keeping the rest of the kids sitting in a circle waiting quietly for the teacher to be ready. You can imagine how well that went. Finally I told the teacher she needed to get a song or something going to distract the sobbing kids and engage the other kids, which she finally did. Makili warmed up and after I took him to the bathroom (even though I asked the assistant teacher to ask him if he needed to go - the potty dance being a pretty good sign that he did - and she forgot) I slipped out without saying goodbye as he settled in to play. I felt bad about leaving without telling him and waited in the hall to see how he was doing. Next thing I knew the teacher marched them to the bathroom, and she was holding Makili, which of course made me feel like crap. BUT, when I picked him up at the end of the day, he was having a great time on the playground and when I asked him what he wanted to do in the afternoon he said "go back to school."
Then this morning, he did NOT want to go to school. I decided that we were just going to do it. And I took him there and promised him that I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye. Today they started on the playground because the teacher decided the really awesome big playground was too big, and the kids needed to stay on the little tiny playground with a sandbox with no tools/toys, and what not, and the headstart program has the little playground in the afternoon so the preschool had to use it in the morning. So the teacher wasn't outside to greet the kids nor did she even show her face until 9:00, when the program is scheduled to start. The fetal position kid wasn't there today, so it was just the screamer and another kid sobbing about his momma leaving. (Why are we doing this to our kids again?) Makili was definitely hesitant, but I stayed and he played eventually. Then they started lining the kids up to "march" inside. The assistant teacher was telling them to make "a train" so I tried to get the unruly kids more into it by singing a train song, and then a marching song. I thought we were just headed inside. The screamer was still freaking out and so the teacher told the Assistant Teacher to have us march around some more. Seriously? THE TEACHER I PAY FOR PRESCHOOL MADE MY KID MARCH! for no reason to go nowhere. It was busy work for 3 and 4 year olds. And the kids were over it in about 4 seconds. At which point the teacher called out the window to have us go back to the playground for a while "or something" This led to me getting the kids to do the hokey-pokey in a circle while we waited for it to be okay to go inside.
I could go on and on here (like I have been to Raph and my mom) and I know that if I pressed the issue that Makili would be okay there and would even enjoy it, but I don't want this sort of experience for Makili. I guess I've decided to pull him out. I wish there was an option that I was more excited about. Waldorf and Montessori school are too damn expensive and require you to attend too many days a week. I'd really like him to get to play with some other kids on a regular basis, but this just doesn't feel like the right fit.