Thursday

PreSchool Dropoff Disaster Drills: An Informational/Survival Guide




Ahh Preschool year 2 for Middler and year 1 for Youngest are coming to a close.  I'd be wrong to not pass along the crucial information I have learned these past 2 years.  Being not only a mom, but also a pre-school substitute at this school, I have acquired some valuable information regarding dropping off these precious gems for a morning of fun and play with fellow preschoolers.

First of all, I've seen it all.  These little Academy Award winning stars in Daytime Drama  have it all worked out.  Ruin YOUR day before you head out for 2.5 hours of rushed errand-running by giving sad eyes, forlorn looks, and all types of trickery before you go.  (Here's a fun fact:  This continues for approximately 3.2 seconds and then they are allll smiles as they head over to their centers to indulge in carefree play and giggles while you sit in the parking lot and cry, wasting precious minutes off the ticking clock).

I've compiled a short list of maneuvers to watch out for and how to deal with them in the best way possible.  This will require mental stamina and courage on your part.  These kids can smell fear a mile away and will exploit those weaknesses and use them against you.  If you are prepared, then there is no need for panic.





MANEUVER 1  THE FINGER DISLOCATOR:  This might seem like a pretty benign finger grip at first.  They might start off with one finger while saying Daddy/Mommy, stayyyy with me a little longer.  Then it aggressively turns to the spreading of the fingers in a torturous way causing finger, knuckle or palm trauma.  You could be looking at long term tendinitis and swollen finger joints if you don't nip this move quickly.  You'll need to think fast and distract them into holding something to let go of the finger choker.  Once relieved from this, you'll need to keep your hands out of the reachable space of your child. 


MANEUVER #2:  THE NUTCRACKER - ALSO KNOWN AS THE THIGH MASTER:  This can get awkward quickly.  They bury their face into your crotch space and automatically you start pulling your hips back like you're a hula champion.  Verbal negotiations will not work at this juncture.  A quick, Karate-Kid-Kobra-Kai-like sweep of the leg is a necessity to get out of this hold.  Doesn't have to hurt though - just a quick swoop - and a giggle and a tickle - and this should do fine.  At this point, when you've loosened the hand to thigh grip - give a quick kiss and a short but enthusiastic goodbye and let the teacher use a distraction method to transition them to play time.


MANEUVER #3:  THE TRICK HUG-TURNED CHOKING NECK GRIP:   This is perhaps one of the most stealth maneuvers of them all.  You tell your child to give you a big hug before you leave and they start off with a nice squeezy hug and then they turn on you.  They grip you hard around the neck and are sure to grip you in a way that it pulls your hair taut so you can't move and you can barely speak.  This one is a tough one to get out of because of the pain inflicted on the scalp and neckline.  You'll need to think fast once you recognize they've got you in the hug-turned-bad chokehold.  Tickling them is the only way to come out of this one alive.  Tickle - remove- distract - and leave.  And for Pete's sake - don't panic. It's not going to be funny when you are walking around in a neck brace for 3 weeks because you pulled a muscle.  It's the oldest trick in the book - you should know this.


MANEUVER #4 - THE ALL OUT TANTRUM:  Oh they've got you where they want you know.  They start yelling at the top of their lungs "I WANT TO GO WITH YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU..." and other heartbreaking cries for help.  They know your heart is racing from what the other parents and teachers are thinking about your parenting skills or lack thereof.  You have to be swift.  You have to be cool.  You have to quickly and firmly say - "you are going to have a great time playing at school while I am at the grocery store.  I love you, Goodbye."  And you go.  You go quickly.  Like a firedrill - no running down the hallway crying and falling apart.  You save that shit for the car.  You understand what I am saying?  They see you crack - just one time - and they will pull that stunt every gdam day of Preschool.  You don't want that reputation do you?  Because you know there is always one.  One parent who can't just walk away so their child knows they can get away with the floormopper move every day.  Don't let your child be the floormopper of the class.  It's not cool.


MANEUVER #5:  THE KNEEGRIPPER/ANKLE BITER:  This one is awful.  It's happened to me.  There's not much that is worse than this because it is so heartbreaking that your child would throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take them with you.  This one also entails them verbally promising you things like if you take them, they won't act up in the grocery store, they won't complain, they won't bother you.  It will all sound very very tempting.  It's all an act.  But you and I both know they will start asking for sugary cereals before you even get to the cereal aisle.  They will get out of the car-cart that they promised you they would stay in with the seat belt on, five minutes into the trip, while you are forced to steer that over sized, obnoxious vehicle around the store while they insist on walking along side you. Promises made in haste at drop off will be broken soon into your grocery trip.  Keep these thoughts in mind when you use all of your arm strength (and you may even need a teacher as back up) to pry them off of you.  Again, quick confident kiss and verbal affirmations and you turn around and walk out that door.  Never mind the echoes of your child screaming for you that follow you down the highway.  I guarantee you if you wait 2 minutes they will turn to giggles.  Focus.  It's all a show.  The joke is on you.

Don't spend your 2 hours of mental regrouping worrying that your child is miserable at pre-school.  They aren't!



In conclusion - here are some dos and don'ts to help you with drop off.  Remember, this is a humor blog and is not meant to cover all of the what ifs and problems of preschool.  It's just a satirical look at dropping your child off. 



  • Reward your child for drama-free drop-offs (high five, lollipop, trip to the park, etc.)  Make them feel like a big boy or girl! (Why stop the bribes and negotiating at this point?)



  • Do not laugh at them for their fears - talk them through and work with them. (You can laugh later with your spouse over a cold beer or glass of wine).



  • Stay cool when you drop them off.  Don't get teary eyed or emotional.  You will see them soon.  You need to regroup and they need to play with other kids.  They will take your lead that you give them. (Ease your anguish by first taking a trip to Dunkin' Donuts or your local Starbucks and eat your sad feelings away).



  • If your  preschool allows, let your child take a special item from home. Sometimes just having a comfort item will ease their anxiety. (A lock of your hair, tshirt of yours, freshcut fingernails of yours are all inappropriate items - go for a small stuffed animal, preferably clean and without misc. goobies.)



  • Don't  fuel the tantrums by giving more attention or affection.  (Don't throw a tantrum yourself either - you will be labeled as the crazy mom - a title that will be hard to shake the rest of the school year).



  • Keep good-byes short and simple and walk away.  Do not try to tip toe off or sneak away.  Better to be honest that you are leaving to get your work done so they have closure that you are gone instead of wondering where you went.  (Mommy/Daddy disappeared into the air - just like that!  NO! You are not the tooth fairy - you are their mom.  Suck it up, say goodbye, and be on your way!)





  • The sooner you learn to embrace the time you have while they are in school, the more you will be able to recharge your batteries and give them even more when they get home from school!



    The more you know. 

      XO XO and chokey, neck grippy hugs, nutcrackers, and thighmasters,
    ~DG

    (pics from google images)



    

    21 comments:

    1. Yay - I'm the first comment! This is SO on the money and hilarious! My favorite is the neck choke - my son has mastered this. He's so good at it, in fact, that he's pulled me down to the ground several times, which amuses him to no end.

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    2. Where the heck where you 6 years ago when my kids were floor moppin', neck chockin' and leg humpin??? Hahaha...i loved this and it is SOOO true. It didn't take me long to call their bluff, particularly with the boys. But I always felt so bad for the first-time mommies who just couldn't do it. I saw quite a few wiping tears as they headed out to their cars. Every. Day. This was a fantastic post!!

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    3. The last one is the BEST. I teach pre-k, and if mom would just walk her child in and leave him at the door, the other points would be moot. (One year, I had to gently tell a mom who stayed and stayed and did her child's seat work for her that I knew SHE knew how to count and sort, but I really needed to know if MARISA could do it....)

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    4. This is awesome, I get all these but I know the "kiss, say goodbye and bolt" trick. My friend worked at the first preschool I ever used and she would text me 30 seconds after I left saying my daughter was playing happily, so I know it to be true. What I wanted to comment on really is the GODFORSAKEN car cart at the grocery!!! They promise with their tiny cute little begging eyes to stay in it the whole time and 5 minutes later they are out and I HATE HATE HATE pushing that f'n thing!!! We only get the car on special occasions now, like when we are just running in for beer. LOL
      Thanks babe! Devan

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    5. Hey beautiful! Thanks for joining the blog hop!

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    6. Found you on the blog hop. I was laughing the whole time I read this. My oldest is independent and I don't even get a hug goodbye most times. Youngest is the clinger. When I go to my moms group, he fusses when I drop him off down the hall for the babysitting (he's even with his brother). It happens every time, but I've been assured he stops within a minute after I leave. He even asks to go to the group, but still cries at drop off time! Next year is preschool and I can see him using these tactics.

      BTW, every time I give in to the dumb car cart, he always gets out even though he said he would stay in! Must be a kid thing...

      Can't wait to read more of your blog! You've got a new follower!
      Sarah@ www.DailyMesses.com

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      Replies
      1. Awesome! Welcome - and I will be by to check you out too!

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    7. Sage advice my friend, sage advice.
      WHY did you leave Facebook?? You are missed my dear. Truly, so sad.

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    8. My darling,
      I am SOOOOOO sad that you left facebook, but I get it. Hopefully you'll come back when you're ready. PLEASE don't be a stranger. I truly appreciate everything you've done, and all the support you've given me, from my very first days as a baby blog, to now participating in my (along with FPL and YKIHAYHT) blog hop.

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      Replies
      1. You are too sweet - I appreciate YOU! No worries...Facebook was getting on my last nerve. I am in a self-imposed Time Out! Love and Hugs! xo

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      2. Your lighthearted posts were central to my sanity :)

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    9. You are sorely missed on fb, but know that we all love you and you are HILARIOUS! I'm sorry that people suck...

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      1. ...and I'm going to spend my time clicking on all of your ads so that you can make an extra seventeen cents this weekend 'cause that's just the kind of gal I am...

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      2. OMG this made me laugh out loud. 17 cents is usually what I make in a month on this shitbag blogger! THANK YOU for cracking me up this morning! xoxo

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      3. That is AWESOME because THAT is what I wanted it to do (and as a mother it is rare that ANYTHING I want to happen actually happens! Wow--too much sun I think...
        Anyway, you inspired me to make far too many ecards this weekend (I tried to copy and paste them on here, but I am either too dumb, or it isn't feature available to commenters--I'm pretty sure that I don't want to know the answer...)--I don't know if you can see them on my fb or not...I may put them up on my blog because you have also inspired me to write a post about haters. the problem is, when I go in with a topic, it is rare that I ever even TOUCH said topic...anyway, thanks for the inspiration!
        http://anothertiredmommy.blogspot.com/

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      4. I went to your page from my private FB and saw them - they are awesome. Thanks so much for making me laugh. FB has a mandatory 14 day waiting period to delete a page...I'm on day 4. Let's see how things go. xo hugs DG

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    10. As a preschool teacher I want to thank you for this post..all true and great advice.

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    11. Deeply depressed that you left FB :( I had to google you to track you down!! I miss your funny posts!!

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      Replies
      1. How sweet of you to post. I know, I know...I miss it too - so much. I've gotten some really amazing, heartfelt emails that really makes me think I need to come back. Maybe soon? Thank you. xo

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    12. A huge Thank You from another preschool teacher! I give a similar speech at orientation, but I can't be as colorful and straight-forward as this in my professional life. I appreciate that you do it and I hope many, many parents find this post!

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