We’re into week two of preschool, and so far everything is going really well. Every morning when I wake Annabel up to get ready, she hops out of bed, excited. She loves helping me make her lunch (and she’s finally started eating it…or giving it away, who knows). Leaving her at school has been no problem, too. In fact, yesterday after she climbed out of her car seat she said to me, “You don’t have to walk with me, Mommy. I’m a big girl.”
Annie being gone a couple mornings a week has been really great. I thought I would miss her, but it’s been good for us. She gets her time free of the matriarchy, and I get some time with just James. However, James’ morning nap fills up the majority of the time Annie is gone, so basically it’s me and Rigby, sitting on the couch, eating bon bons.
On Tuesdays, I signed Annie up for an enrichment class that focuses on drawing. She loves to draw and color, so I thought she’d enjoy having some guidance in that department. I picked her up after her first class yesterday and she had this:
First they draw their image with pencil, then they color it in. Annie told me this is, “A rainbow with grass and trees and a sun.”
My only complaint about preschool rests with Annie herself. Without fail, when I get her in the car after class and say, “What did you do at school today?” She responds, “I don’t know.” I try asking more targeted questions like, “Who did you sit with during lunch?” or “What song did you sing during circle time?” She will either reply again that she doesn’t know, or she will make something up. For example, yesterday when I asked her what song they sang, she replied, “Um….we sang a song about how some of the kids miss their mommies.” Thinking that sounded cute, I asked her to sing it to me. “Um…sommmme kiiiiids…miss their mooooommiiiiiiies….and they cry and they cry and they’re sad but I don’t miss yoooooooou!”
After she’s been home for about an hour, little bits and pieces of the day will come out. Unfortunately, this information is exclusively intel about the classroom “naughty kids.” Like, Annabel, I’m glad that (allegedly) you have not yet been naughty in class, but I don’t care if little Johnny Doe is a bad listener, or that Janey Doe likes to climb on the benches. Glad to know your tattletale gene is working, though!
I figure if she wasn’t having a good time at school, she’d tell me. Still, I wasn’t expecting the tight-lips about school for a few more years! Threenager indeed.
When my son started school he hardly told me anything at first. Except that he had teabags (ravioli) for lunch. My daughter on the other hand relayed everything chapter and verse on the way home everyday.
“Tea bags” made me bust out laughing as I’m reading while in a long line at Target. Whoops. But seriously, that is awesome!
Ha! Yep. I can’t act too interested bc that shuts my daughter down in a heartbeat. I have to ask upbeat, offhanded questions (“So! Did you have music today? Oh, you had gym?”) but am only permitted one or two before she starts saying, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Like Annie, details about her day leak out in other ways later. In that book, How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, they suggest not asking at all, but that is HARD.
My Em was the same way. I learned early on to ask how the day went and then I waited for details.
I am glad she is enjoying it and that it is an easy transition. Fair warning never talk about anything you and James/Mike are going to do while she is at school. I used to tell my kids that we sat on the couch and waited for pick up. It got a little hairy when the youngest could talk and would tell but I always deflected. Once they find out you may do anything remotely fun they will never want to go back to school.
Ask her again at bedtime…sometimes the memories of the day start flooding back at bedtime!
michele bertolini says:
I agree. I got all the information at bedtime. Mostly because they weren’t anxious to go to bed, so they would talk.
As my kids got older, I would ask them to share 3 things that happened during their day. We would do this at dinner time. Usually more than 3 things were shared!
That song about the kids missing their mommies is hilarious! Perhaps they really did sing a song about that, and she couldn’t remember the real words?
Rebecca Cee says:
I used to teach preschool, so I know there is at least one! “mommy comes back”, by hap palmer is very sweet and comforting.
We used to all share our “highs” and “lows” of the day at dinner, each person took a turn. Sometimes we would do highs first and then after everyone shared their high, we would each do lows or we would each say our high then low to mix it up & keep it fun. This helped when they hadn’t shared much. The hardest part was for me to pick mine, because my high was always seeing my kids at the end of school (but they got tired of hearing that everyday, thinking I was just saying it because it was an easy answer), and sometimes my lows weren’t appropriate to share with a kindergartner (idiot in the carpool lane, store, at my job, etc. lol). We didn’t do it everyday, you could do it when she hasn’t shared much info. I know some families do this at bedtime instead of dinner.
I like the last comment. My husband and I do this. We got it from that great movie the story of us with Michelle phieffer.
Alejandra Hernandez says:
When my eldest started preschool I got the same answers. No matter how I asked. But surprisingly since she started Kindergarten she has told me what she does almost every day now. I’m glad she has done so because its hard for me to feel so out of the loop.
Try talking to Annabelle about what the girls are wearing. That always got my daughter talking!! Worth a try….
My niece is the same way. She just started first grade and is still giving me “I don’t know”, “we didn’t do anything” answers…. REALLY CHILD!!!!!! ha ha.
Colleen MN says:
Get used to it. I always got, “I don’t know.” or ” I can’t remember.” But at night, after bathes and book reading, we would lay down and talk and it all came out. She’s growing up!
Ha! My boyfriend’s daughter is 2 and I just met her for the first time. She was cracking me up because she goes around talking to herself, pretending to be her teacher! She will call people out from her class, but apparently she NEVER gets in trouble She walks around the house saying “________, YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION.” “______, do you want me to call your mommy?” “________, no, you can’t do that right now!”
cindy w says:
I think this is normal, Catie used to do it too. I’d just ask her a few different times, “So, did anything else fun happen at daycare today?” Little bits & pieces of the story would come out gradually. But I never got a full recap.
It was really hard to deal with the fact that she had this entire other life that I wasn’t part of and didn’t really know much about. I’m mostly used to it now, but sometimes it still bothers me.
I love your approach to preschool. I feel like Moms get so crazy over it!
My boys are the same when I ask about school. It comes in dribs and drabs, but I keep asking. I too ask for 3 things that they did in school. I also share about what I did during my day so they get the idea of how to share. It will come, sometimes when you least expect it.
Yup, my son did that last year when he was three. “How was your day at school?” “Fine.” “What did you do?” “Nothing.” About halfway through the year he deigned to share with us that he did not like the baked potatoes they sometimes served for lunch. Thank goodness for the class web site!
Elizabeth McKinney says:
Haha, Annie’s talk of the naughty kid reminds me of a story my Grandma told me:
When my uncle Eddie was little and began kindergarten, every day he would come home with tales of “Charlie”. Well, Charlie was awful! He didn’t listen to the teacher, he hit the other kids, he stole their lunches, ect. At the first parent-teacher conference, my Grandma was determined to find out about Charlie and figure out who his parents were so she could talk to them about their terrible child. The teacher heard her out, have her a strange look and said, “Mrs Carlin, we don’t have a boy named Charlie in our class. But I did want to speak to you about Eddie’s behavior!” My uncle Ed was the bad kid!! He’d made up the name Charlie so his mom wouldn’t know it was him! My uncle Ed dies when I was very small, so I never got to ask him about their family legend. But he did end up a smart student who was well liked, so there is always hope
Actually I think this comes from the short story by Shirley Jackson called “Charles”. A classic!
Elizabeth McKinney says:
Omg, I’m dying laughing! I just checked with my mom and she confirmed that my grandmother has told this story many times over he years. She says my grandmother must have read it and used it for herself. If you knew my grandmother, you would know that is totally in character for her. She is one strange lady. Now I’ll know to give credit where credit is due, lol. Wait till I tell my brothers and my cousins. They’ll be shocked! Hahaha!
Yup. There’s barely any info from my 3 year old or 5 year old. Ugh.
My kids have never told me anything about school – I completely rely on friends to let me know anything important. When I used to ask my son what happened at school he would respond with “I can’t tell you”.
I used to ask my kids what they did in reverse order. So because I knew they sat in a circle while waiting for their parents to pick them up, I asked what they talked out/who they sat next to, etc. Then, “What did you do before that?” “And before that?” Sometimes seemed to help.
Looks another comment about how what happens at preschool, stays at preschool.
We tried asking what was your favorite part of the day, that sometimes got a response.
FWIW, we have the same issue in 1st grade. Apparently there is some code
I love preschool. This is the first year where I don’t have a preschooler in…gosh, I don’t even know how long. And I miss it! There’s just something special about preschool. Oh yes, it must be all those cute 3 and 4 year olds!
To get them talking about their day can be tough. I used to ask, “What was your favorite part of preschool today?” and usually that got some kind of specific response.
Even now, when I ask my kids “What did you do in school today?” I will still get the “Nothing” response. So then I say, “What…did you sit in a chair facing the wall with your eyes closed all day? Because even then you’d be sitting in a chair facing the wall with your eyes closed. Technically you can never be doing “nothing” because if you’re not doing anything then you are sleeping, and if you are sleeping you aren’t doing “nothing” — you are sleeping! and that is something. So when you say your did ‘nothing’ then….” and I just keep going on and on with this until they finally say, “OKAY, OKAY! I will tell you what I did today! Just STOP!”
Hey, whatever it takes, you know? whatever it takes.
heather m. says:
after teaching preschool for 10 years, i can tell you that very, very few 3 and 4 year olds are able to recount their day. they live in the moment. big events will be remembered, but the day-to-day details (like who you sat with or what songs were sung) fade away. as long as she is happy and independent while meeting new friends and having a blast, she’s all good! honestly, i’m a bit jealous of her teachers, she’d be an amazing little one to have as a student!
I’m a preschool teacher too. After teaching two 2 1/2 hour classes today complete with outside time, snack time, “work time”, and a story today, I’m not sure I could tell you what we did today! And I made the plans and set up the classroom! I can tell you we had fun and played well with others.
Enjoy anything she shares.
Awwww that “and they’re sad but I don’t miss yoooooooou!” would break my heart in little bitty pieces even though I know it’s best that she’s so independent.
I busted out laughing when I got to the part of the song about not missing youuuuuu! That’s so hilarious. Not that she doesn’t miss you but that she sang it. Your kid cracks me up. I think if something serious was going on your daughter would tell you. I think there is somuch going on sofast that she might have to process it a bit before she can sort and tell.
That will be her only response for the remainder of her school days. My kids are in 2nd & 6th grade. I currently homeschool my kids, however, they have been to public school in the past & they always came home with that response!
My Gram used to ask me when I was little, “What was the funniest part of your day? What was the scariest part of your day? What was the happiest part of your day?” and on and on. Some of my stories were real, some were made up (I always made up a story for the scary question). It was our special thing, while I sat on the swing in her big tree and she sat beside me on a bench.
I grew up to love writing and story-telling (I work in theater), and she takes total credit.
Annie seems really imaginative and creative, so just a thought that might get her talking. =)
Leslie K says:
My 3rd grader still tells me EVERY DAY about every kid who got in trouble and why!
It’s nice to know we’re not alone. I get “I don’t know”, “I don’t want to talk about it”, and “We can talk about it later.” I will ask her for three things and she’ll say “No…only one thing.” Today she was very happy to tell me about the little girl in her class who gets into trouble, though! I try to ask her questions and I’ll get it wrong on purpose, so she’ll correct me. It works! Luckily, this is from my 4 year old. My 7 year old tells me everything and in order. I love it!
Rita Mannelli says:
My son who turned 3 last month has been going to preschool/daycare since January and when I ask him what he did he says “played.”
Try asking Annie about the Sweet & Sour moments of her day. It’s the kid version of Hunt The Good Stuff. It will help both of you focus on the positive and effective ways she can keeps those positives happening.
Cathy Loftis says:
My daughter is in college and it is like pulling teeth to get any information from her that she can not answer yes or no. So I have started asking her like I did when she was little what is your favorite subject, what is your least favorite subject. Who is favorite teacher, who is favorite friend to sit with. who do you play with at recess. Maybe that will help. Hurts when they are pulling away from those apronstrings, doesn’t it.
Oh yeah, I started getting “I don’t remember” when I asked my son what he did in school beginning in preschool too-it’s crazy how much like teenagers they are! He’s now in first grade & still “can’t” remember his day. Lol.