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5 Things You Will Miss About Preschool

It’s the time of year for graduations, and if your child is finishing preschool this is your first time through the ups and downs of promotion. You may be excited that your little one is growing up, and even more excited that you don’t need to pay the monthly tuition anymore (provided your child is moving on to public school), but I’m here to tell you about the things you won’t realize you will miss until your child walks out of nursery school for the last time.

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1. Macaroni art projects. Seriously. You may complain now that your house is a swirling maelstrom of beans and pasta glued onto construction paper, but you will miss those craft projects. (And who invented shaving cream painting? I have a few choice words for you.) Kindergarten students don’t do nearly as much art as preschoolers, and you certainly won’t be receiving any more of the teacher-assisted projects, such as the cute photo of your little one printed on a tote bag or apron.

2. Bathroom help. They won’t need it now that they’re big kids, right? By the time they hit elementary school, most children have been potty-trained for a few years. But what you don’t realize is that without a preschool teacher lining up children for bathroom breaks every few hours, some kids will never use a toilet. They will hold it until they get into the car—in traffic—and then scream that they need to go NOW. Other common bathroom deterrents include button-up pants and not wanting to waste precious recess time taking care of bodily functions. And you might think your days of receiving a plastic bag full of soggy pants are over, but it happens once in a while, even in early elementary school. The good news is that it only takes one embarrassing accident in front of the big kids to remind Kindergarteners to take care of their own potty business.

My preschoolers gave me ample hugs and kisses before running off to play in the sandbox.

3. Lunch help. Perhaps your child went to an all-day childcare center that served hot meals (manna from heaven!). Or if you had to pack a lunch, the aides could heat up leftovers or even poke straws through stubborn juice pouches. Not anymore.

4. The sign-out sheet. I used to be annoyed by the backlog of parents waiting to initial the clipboard at the classroom entrance. But you know what’s worse? The expectation that your 5-year-old is capable of walking out of the kindergarten door to find you in the crowd. Or worse, waiting at the car pickup line without getting into a van with a strange man offering candy. The good news is, that by the end of the year your child will be asking for play dates with classmates and the other child’s parent can pick them both up from school without being fingerprinted and showing three forms of picture ID.

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5. The drop-off clinginess. Both of my boys had unexpected bouts of separation anxiety throughout their preschool years, usually on mornings when I had to rush off to an appointment. But even on the easy days, my preschoolers gave me ample hugs and kisses before running off to play in the sandbox. Take comfort: It’s a good thing if your kids are happy to run off to Kindergarten. They will still be thrilled to see you at the end of the day.

What do you miss about preschool?

Image via Maria Manco

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