Today I took Carver (and his 2 year old sister) to chat with the teacher of a local preschool, run by a Lutheran church in the area. The website, their blog, my emails with the coordinator had all been very impressive. I figured it was worth a shot. I needed to know if I had other options, rather than the developmental preschool he's at.
Fridays are generally hard for the 3 of us. We are all tired and we usually spend the morning at home so I can clean, which makes everyone a little cranky. We headed over there before lunchtime just to add "hungry" to the mix.
It was a typical preschool classroom and she seemed very nice. My emotions have been close to the surface all week, I've been literally losing sleep at night worrying about this. I was perhaps not in the best frame of mind to have this meeting. The kids were trying to ransack the toys while I discussed Carver and heard about their program. Within a few minutes, I realized that this was not going to be an option for him and wanted to get out of there ASAP. I wish now that I would've found a way to do just that. Instead, I chased the kids around the room and cleaned up all the stuff they got out, while trying to concentrate on the sweet preschool teacher voice telling me he seemed like a typical preschooler, excited about a new place. Her words were all kind, but the look in her eyes revealed the feeling of "he's a handful, she's crazy to consider this." But, in all fairness, I was so caught up in my own flood of emotions that this might be totally off. Less than 5 minutes into it, I realized tears were coming. I prayed and prayed that I could hold them off to the drive home. But that was not to be. She had to console me, offer me tissues, for crying out loud. That's when she told me about their routine and program and I really knew this would never work. 18 kids, 2 teachers, circle time, letter tracing, art, all good things. But she reminded him maybe 5 times that the neat little house was just a reading place and not for toys. 3 times she reminded him not to go out the back door. Twice he got himself a drink with a cup without asking. 2 seconds for me to imagine their "sensory table" of water/rice spilled all over the floor if Carver played there. She didn't say no. She said we'd have lots of communication, that we'd need a few weeks as a trial to see how he interacts with the class and that I might need to stay with him, as they'd done before with a special needs boy. Clearly not an option for me and his little sister, not to mention the hurt if it didn't work out and the challenges with that.
I cried more in the car, more at home, more on the phone to my sweet husband, more to my poor neighbor, more at home, while I tried to take a mini-nap with Carver. It's been one of those days.
It was crazy to consider a typical preschool, of course. I should've known that. It's brought to the forefront all my worries about kindergarten. Which I do NOT need right now. It also made me extremely grateful that we have a developmental preschool at all, poor parent-teacher communication and all. And that alone is probably worth all the tears.