Even though it was only a four day week, somehow it seemed longer than usual. We are moving the children who are now three from the two year old rooms into the preschool rooms, which of course means that now I have several children who do not know the ropes and so are running wild through the room. This is not so fun and means that things have been crazy in preschool land. But I do have some requests that I would make of people who have children entering school for the first time, whether it is preschool or kindergarten.
1. Teach you child to wipe their own bottom when you begin to potty train them. This seems to happen with little girls, they are taught to wipe which of course makes sense, but then the little boys do not know how. It is a helluva a sight when I hear "Mr. Boxer I am ready" coming from the bathroom and when I go to find out what they are ready for, I find a little boy bent over with his ass in the air. So please help them to learn to wipe, I know children do not do such a great job at this and I don't mind being clean-up crew (yes I did that intentionally), but finding a child just waiting to be wiped who is four, my first reaction is, "Your arms ain't broken, do it yourself" and then of course I encourage them to do just that and then offer to help them when they are finished.
2. Teach your children to not comment on the penis of another child, at least not out loud. I walk by the bathroom which we share with the next room over to hear, "you worry about your own penis and not your friend's penis." I, of course, backtrack and just look across the bathroom at the other teacher with what must have been a puzzled look as she said to me, "he said that his friend's penis looked silly." I guess luckily it was boy and not a girl that made the penis comment, but still... Teach your children to keep their penis comments to themselves, please.
3. Having your little girl ask a male teacher if they "have ever seen a girl's boobies" puts said teacher in a tough spot where he is forced to lie to the children. I am not advocating not teaching your children about the parts of the body and I actually believe that safe touch and other early forms of sex education are a great idea, but asking the personal experience of a teacher is not such a great thing to encourage in your child. They need to be taught that certain conversations do not happen in school unless they want the teacher to be fired.
4. Be realistic about your expectations for your child and their potty training. If your child is fully potty trained and not not have accidents that is awesome, but most children will have an accident once in a while and so you need to make sure if they teacher asks for a change of clothes that you send at least one set of clothes if not more. There is nothing harder than running around trying to find underwear and sometimes pants for a child because you have not set any in or have not replaced the two to three pairs of dirty stuff that was sent home the previous day. That forces the teachers to have to borrow from another child and so now your child is wearing someone else's underwear. Pee pee accidents are not so bad, it is the poopy accidents that will really stain clothes and don't be surprised if the teacher just throws the underwear away if it bad enough.
5. Fuck is not an appropriate word for in school so please discourage your 3-5 year old from using it. Also, when your child is wandering around the room saying "kill the teacher, kill the teacher" and it is brought to your attention, please remember that the teacher is only trying to help.
6. Do not name your child Tigerlily. Yes I know it is from Peter Pan and yes I like Peter Pan and unusual names can be cool, but that is taking it a bit far in my opinion. That child will be put through hell as a child and probably even as an adult. So think when you name your child, if you want to name her Lily as an homage to Tigerlily and just know about the real meaning than fine and even tell her at some point, cool, but if you name her Tigerlily, yeah not such a good idea.
So yes the ABCs are important and so is counting and learning to read, but there are more important things to work with your children to learn.