Preschooler Steps

What’s written on tomorrow’s date on the calendar has been staring at me for over a month, and I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

I thought this wouldn’t be a big deal to me, but I find myself ignoring it as a way of denial.

Tomorrow night Cort has a Preschool Information Meeting for getting Eddie signed up for preschool.

I really thought I would be ready for this.   I thought I would be excited for Eddie.  I mean, I am excited for Eddie.  Academically he is totally ready to be in school.  I can teach him just so much before he needs someone who is dedicated to knowing what and how to teach 4 year-olds (which Eddie will be this summer).  Between his daycare mom and myself, Home Slice can count forward to 20 and backward from 10.  He knows all his letters.  He can recognize his name when it’s written on something.  He can color in the lines (when he wants to, which is not often) and he can hold a pencil/crayon correctly (when he feels like it, which is not often).

We do lots of literacy stuff: he can predict, make connections, infer, and even tell stories based just on pictures.  He even recognizes some words.

He plays nice with others and knows how to share.

But he is ready for organized learning.  Something Cort and I can’t provide since we both work full-time out of the home, and something his daycare mom can give him just so much of with babies to take care of too.

And so, this fall, my oldest baby will go to preschool.

I didn’t think it would, I don’t know, hurt so much that he will be going away.  I mean, it’s not like he’s with me during that time of the day anyway.  He’s always at Renae’s house and I am at work.

But somehow, knowing my little boy will be going to school three afternoons a week is…like a punch to the gut.

Like I said on Monday, I know he is ready, but it’s just so hard for me to let go.

This is another one of those steps that is ready and so excited to take.  And I am too, except…it’s terrifying to relinquish another bit of control.  Another bit of being the only one in his life.

That sounds creepy and weird, but I mean it in the least creepy and weird way possible.

I mean it in the way of a mom who is doing her best to raise independent kids, but who enjoys having them depend on her.

So I have a bit of denial about the fact that my first baby will be old enough for school in the fall.  Even if that school is “just” preschool.  Even if there won’t be a missing boy from my daily life.  Even though I know he will have an amazing amount of fun and excitement…as will I when he tells me all the things he learns and does.

I’m just not good at change.

Which is really why Cort is going to the information meeting.  His listening ears are not clogged with anxiety and worry like mine are.

So this week learn about preschool; next week sign him up.

Pardon me while I hug him a few hundred times to try to keep the remaining baby-ness squeezed tightly in there.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I wept when the 3 year old started going to preschool in November.
    He’s doing so well, and so am I.
    And so will Eddie and you.

  2. He is growing up so fast! I’m sure he will do amazing in preschool and you’ll love hearing all about the friends he’s made and the things he’s learned. I can only imagine how hard it is that he’s big enough for it already though.

  3. It’s not weird at all. My oldest child started Kindergarten this past fall and I had this heaviness in my chest for weeks before hand. I work full time, my kids have never spent their days with me. They’ve always been in a daycare setting. But something about putting her on that school bus just destroyed me. I sat up all night crying on the eve of Kindergarten. I cried when she left, I cried when she got home.

    Being a mom is heartbreaking…but wonderful…so weird.

  4. I promise you, it will be okay 🙂 Slow deep breaths…these moments go by so fast and it’s completely understanding and valid to feel so many mixed feelings and emotions. My youngest started Head Start and will be heading off to Kindergarten in the Fall while I will be leaping with my middle child into middle school!

    Sending you huge warm hugs and permission to feel everything you are feeling in the moment.

  5. Both of our boys started Head Start on the same day (in different age-based classrooms). The teachers were great engaging them. Mama had to leave the building swiftly, with as much dignity as I could muster. Yeah, on the whole they took it a LOT better than I did. :O)

  6. I made, um… strongly requested that, Ryan go to the kindergarten information night for next year. Gulp.

  7. I was (and am) excited to sign mine up for MMO and preschool, but it does leave some bittersweet lodged in the chest. The teachers at their school love them like their own and because they know how to teach these ages, they help ME to teach to their age. It helps me understand them better, and, in turn, keeps me from losing my cool over things that are developmental milestones, annoying as they may be. I wouldn’t be the parent that I am without these people, so as bittersweet as sending them to school may be, we need this.

  8. Katie, I’m going through the same thoughts with CJ — there are things that I think he actually needs from pre-school. He needs to share better. He needs to be less-reliant on his parents. He needs to figure out something other than “cry” when he doesn’t get what he wants right away.

    But, at the same time, I just cannot picture my little boy “going to school”

  9. OOOH, so us registering Gio and Jacob for KINDERGARTEN…OMGWHENDIDTHISHAPPEN???? is weighing on me too. I know how it feels, they are not with me all day, but going to Kindergarten, going to a new school, being 5.

    HOLD ME KATIE, I thought i was ready and yet my heart is just bursting with emotions…just like you.

  10. Mamaintheburbs says

    I felt the same way when we sent Sylvia to preschool this past Fall at 3 years old. It was a sad couple of days but she now loves learning and got a great progress report. It also gives me a much needed break 2 mornings a week. That might sound a little selfish but it does wonders for my mind.

    I wish you the best w Eddie! I’m sure this wont be your last post regarding preschool so I look forward to following his adventures!

  11. Believe it or not, I still remember these EXACT feelings…
    And I’ll bet it’s hard for you to imagine Eddie not being with Charlie, too.

    I loved when Jack and Karly were still at the same daycare.
    It was so hard to separate them and send him off to school.


    He needed it. He was ready even if I wasn’t.

    Yesterday, I signed him up for his first DRIVING LESSON.

    So. Not. Ready.
    We mothers never are.

    We simply have to let them do it.

  12. We’re just about getting there. P. wants to go to school so badly! I don’t know if I’m ready. I do love to watch her learn… but my husband had a vasectomy today. I am nursing the littler one and thinking, nooooo, too fast!