There’s that recurring fear that I’m a bit too old to be a first time parent. Last week, there was one such moment.
We took my son for a playdate at a preschool we hope to send him in September. He had just turned 1!!! When I was a kid, I didn’t go to school until a few days before I was 4. There was nursery school and then there was kindergarten and then you started all those grades with numbers. Yes, my younger brothers went to 3-year-old nursery and I think I had heard of pre-nursery. But my son will be three months shy of his 2nd birthday when he starts.
In the Toddler class he tried out, all the kids were at least 10 months older than him. And they were still so little.
My first reaction was – he’s just not ready. But then I had to remember how much further along he’ll be once September rolls around.
Some kids sat in the corner listening to stories, others played with toys. There were two tiny kids with hands and faces covered with paint, standing in front of easels doing their best Jackson Pollack imitations.
He kind of stood around taking it all in, not joining them but not shying away either.
I was pretty confident things would go well when the kids all sat down for a snack a little while later. My son will eat anything.
He waited very nicely as the plate of rice cakes went around the table. I was nervous, though, because he had never had one and I worried they were too big. I’m the parent who cuts things into tiny pieces for him. So much that my wife is worried I’m going to give him a complex – that maybe he’ll end up sitting in the middle school cafeteria 10 years from now still cutting his PB&J into small cubes.
But he chewed away, eating the rice cake quietly as he watched the other kids. He wasn’t as polite once he’d finished that first one — he soon grabbed the cake sitting in front of the girl next to him.
Yesterday, the envelope came from the “school”. There was a moment of panic when I saw how thin it was. Then I remembered, this wasn’t a college telling my son whether he was in or not. Just pre-school – and the news was good. Now we just have to come up with the tuition.