This morning I tugged socks onto Sophia's unwilling feet. I pulled a shirt down over her head, a bit of a struggle as she refused to push back. I combed her hair and she raised tear-filled eyes to me. "PLEASE, Mom. I don't WANT to go today."
Preschool. She didn't want to go to preschool.
I made her go. I've let her stay home so often lately that I'm feeling cringe-y about it, and today I put my foot down and urged her, weeping, into the car. Her big issue is the worksheets. They start the day with these ridiculous, asinine worksheets (that aren't even developmentally appropriate for...well, for humans, but certainly not for FOUR YEAR OLDS), and Sophia hates them. If she doesn't finish them fast enough, there's no time for coloring, and coloring is her favorite part.
She started off the school year so enthusiastic about preschool. She even went to bed more willingly the night before a school day. When I picked her up, she chattered and chattered and chattered about the wonder of all things school.
But then, ever so slowly, that light started to dim. The work started to increase. There wasn't anything new to report, just the same things they'd done last week. She had friend issues. It got harder and harder to get up on school mornings until she began to get weepy many mornings before she even got out of bed. I tried talking to the teachers, but never felt like I got anywhere with them. Sample conversation:
"Sophia has been having some problems with MonsterChild."
"OH, NO! Sophia does FINE with the other kids! She's always playing with someone!"
"Yeeeessss. Okay. But apparently some of the girls she's playing with are saying mean things to her."
"No! She's GREAT! MonsterChild has older siblings, so she can come across a little harsh sometimes, but they like each other just fine!"
"Um. I...don't know how to respond to that. Sophia has older siblings, but she's not a jerk."
"NO! She's GREAT!"
"Huh. Am I supposed to say thank you now?"
Okay, I didn't say that last part in the outside the head voice. Nonetheless. The point is that things have been going downhill, and I haven't been able to work any of it out with the teachers. Last week I told them that Sophia was in tears nearly ever school morning over the worksheets, and they reassured me, loudly and repeatedly, that she was doing FINE on the worksheets, JUST FINE.
I know she's doing fine on the worksheets. I know what Sophia can do, and those worksheets are an inane waste of her time. The fact that she's capable of doing them is not the point. The point is that they're so boring that they make her itch with desperation to get away from them.
I have to figure out what to do. We're so close to the end of the school year, and the end of the year is usually so much fun. Parties, graduation, nonsense. I've been holding on, thinking she'd enjoy all that, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth it. I don't want her to feel like she failed at preschool. Then again, I don't want to go along with the teachers, as though they haven't failed her. The whole thing is complicated by the fact that I'm picking an entirely different school experience for Sophia, and so far I've really screwed it up. The fact is, I failed at choosing her preschool, and while the fault isn't entirely mine, that just sucks. I'm looking forward at all the other decisions to come, and I am awash in panicky dread.