I didn’t think she was ready. She only just turned two, after all. My husband begged to differ. She’s smart, curious and in need of more social interaction, he argued. I saw his point, and even though I still felt another year at home wouldn’t hurt, I respected his insight enough to give it a shot.
Despite the (in my opinion) unnecessarily competitive nature of preschool placement, we were able to find a wonderful place for her, which set my mind at ease… somewhat.
The first day, we went like a charm. We were way more apprehensive than she was. She hugged us goodbye and happily joined the other toddlers on the playground. For the rest of the day, I barely resisted the urge to be that stalker mum lurking around the school grounds and calling the office every other minute.
When pick-up time arrived, her teachers had nothing but praise, and she jabbered on about her new friends and all she had learned.
Emboldened by the day’s success, I unwisely decided to take things further. If she was ready for school, surely saying goodbye to the pacifier would be a breeze. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What ensued was one fierce power struggle for the ages, and boy is she relentless (a quality that will no doubt serve her well in many endeavors, but for this purpose was pure hell).
After a week of torture, I finally gave in. I thrust the pacifier into her hands; “Fine!” I said “but remember this day when you’re forced to wear braces!”
Not my finest moment. But just like that peace returned to the Gerstle household. Who knew that something so tiny and seemingly inconsequential could mean the difference between sanity and chaos?
The moral of the story? None. I just want to say to all you mum’s figuring things out in various seasons of parenthood; you’re not alone. You’re doing better than you think, and nothing lasts forever. You will get through it.