Thursday, January 10, 2008

i am talking about this again because i am clearly a glutton for punishment

Cal started his twice a week pre-preschool playgroup this Tuesday, and so far, he seems to be liking it. I mean, you know, he talks about "school" at home, and these stories aren't punctuated by tears or tales of midday throttlings by Thuggo the Abnormally Large Two Year-Old. So that's good.

I think what we mainly need to work on before he's actually ready for real preschool is the separation portion of the program, which is really why we enrolled him in this class in the first place. They try to allow the kids to do it gradually, and there's no absolute mandate that there must be no caretakers in the classroom by X point in the semester, so we're just sort of going with the flow and feeling out what Cal is ready for. For instance, Joe brought him the first day, and Cal was so instantly absorbed in all the toys and activities that when Joe got a page from the hospital 20 minutes into the class, he felt that he would probably be safe to step outside the room for a moment just to return the call.

Well, you know, I wasn't there, but I am told that what happened when Cal looked up and realized Daddy was gone was what we euphemistically call "a meltdown." Well, I guess that's not much of a euphemism. Luckily, the incident didn't seem to do too much harm--he was still excited about going in today, and our nanny says that he had a good time. So, you know, we'll work on the separation bit.

Though our prime intent for sending Cal to the pre-preschool is so that he will eventually crush the USMLEs (um, kidding and whatnot), they seem to be a good job of accomplishing our other prime intent, which was to get him used to a more structured classroom environment, with a teacher, set activities, and rules. You know, because usually we let him run wild in a lawless environment like we're on HBO: NO LIMITS. Not really. But it's nice for him to have these little activities and tasks, like hand-washing and group snack time, and he has enjoyed showing off his new skills at home. Like today, the kids learned about drinking from a regular cup, not a sippy cup or a covered cup with a straw. I myself have rarely allowed him free reign over an open cup, because hey, I have enough stuff to clean, but as Cal told me at dinner, all it requires is "two hands" and for one to "do it slowly" and "be careful."

He is taking to outside instruction so well I am going to suggest to the teachers that the next addition to their curriculum should be how to use the Swiffer.