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