I've never been one of those moms who want to hold onto the "baby" in their child. In fact, I think it may be against all Mom rules to say this, but. . . .
I don't really like the baby stage.
It's too clingy and demanding. There is just too much that has to be done for and with a baby. Peanut, at 15 months old, is just now coming into the stage that I like. Yes, she (and Bjorn) are whiny and demanding and tantrum-throwing, but they also can do some things for themselves.
Bjorn can get his own snacks and drinks. He can go to the bathroom by himself, pick out his own clothes, and remember to put them in the hamper when dirty. That's something most 30 year old men haven't figured out. My 3 year old is ahead of the curve.
But I really enjoy watching both of them grow up, and all the new and exciting things that come with each stage. I rarely feel sad or nostalgic when looking at baby clothes or old pictures; I get excited thinking about all the things we can now do together.
So I'm surprised that I'm in such a quandary about preschool.
For a variety of reasons, right now we are sending the boy (and Peanut) to daycare, not preschool, when I work. Since I only work three days a week, and not the same three each week, this gives us the flexibility to choose when he goes to daycare and when he stays home with me.
But he is not getting any education from his daycare.
He has friends there, and he is learning the "social education" that is so important (so I'm told) for children this age. But he has always been good at socializing; he shares, plays and makes friends with every child he sees, everywhere. Seriously. He sees a little boy or girl across the store and the next thing you know he is shouting "Hey, friend - do you want to play with me?!"
I think he's socialized.
Now I would like to get him more formally educated, with letters and numbers and songs and activities. I want to go to a Christmas program where he sings "Jingle Bells" and bangs on the triangle. I want to have notebooks sent home with drawings of his hands like a turkey and a Christmas tree and a heart.
There is just one little problem.
I don't want him to go.
I mean, I do. I do want him to go. When I'm working. I want him to go three days a week, when I am working and he needs to be watched by someone, so it might as well be a fun, school environment.
But I want him home with me the other times. I want to take him to the zoo and the space museum and the park and the store and the gym. I want to watch movies and play cars and yell at him for being constantly at my feet when I am trying to get stuff done. I want him to play with his sister and his dog and his cars at his house. Because he has the next 13 years of his life in school, plus 5 years of college, if not more. He has the rest of his life to learn and go to school, and I only have this time to spend as much time as I can with him.
But I also want him to learn and have fun with his friends. I want him to love school, like I did, and love seeing his friends and his teachers. I don't want to slow him down developmentally just because I, selfishly, want these last two years before he is required, by law, to go to school.
So that is my quandary. My problem. Do I send Bjorn to a preschool that he would, most likely, love but lose that last little bit of time with him? Because of my work schedule, I would have to pay for full time preschool, but I could use it as part time, only sending him when I am actually at work. Would that be too awkward a change for him? Would he then be behind in preschool because he is not there everyday; would skipping the days for learning "m", "r" and "y" put him behind?
I need help from moms who have been here. Moms who put their children in preschool. Moms who want their alone time, but also want their time with their kiddos. Moms who work. Moms.