So it's the beginning of the month and things are starting off with a bang. I got up with just enough time to get breakfast, shower and head out to therapy. Tom took Tai to 'school' so I spent extra time lazing in bed and reading. (I know, so decadent!) Of course, I get downstairs and realize one of the dogs has pooped all over the living room floor. There went my breakfast time. I cleaned up, showered (because cleaning up that much poop means anyone would want a shower), and checked my email for any important news.
I deleted some random newsletters, then suddenly I saw I'd gotten an email from a Montessori preschool. We were on the waiting list, and they just had a spot open up for Tai. I am so torn, but after much processing with Wendy, I think I know what we should do.
Finding a preschool with slots open in San Francisco is not easy - especially when one starts late, as I did. ("Late" creeps up!) We toured three schools - two home-based, one center. The Montessori school was the center. Tai liked two of three - one home based and the Montessori. The other home based one was a strange experience. It was in the basement - and it felt crowded with about 8 kids. There were no windows in the main room, everything felt dingy and the kids were bouncing off the walls (even though it was circle/story time). Tai went to play with a train table while I talked to the main teacher, but when I came back he grabbed on to my legs and hid his face for a long time. This is not like him, at all. I didn't like the feel, or the way he acted so that school was out. The Montessori school is expensive, big, and comparatively highly structured. It's also 5 days a week. But I've heard great things about it, they do a lot of stuff with the kids, and when we visited Tai really enjoyed himself and seemed to fit right in. I liked that they had mixed age classes, too. Tai loves hanging out with the big kids. When we did our long visit, we met a couple of parents, one of whom we talked to for quite a while. She had two kids there (one transitioned to kindergarten) and it has been a great fit for both of them, even though they have very different personalities. I would have sent Tai there right away, but they had a long waiting list. I signed him onto the list, and we went to the third place.
We ended up going there - Magic Palette. It's home based, but warm, bright, clean. Jan is a wonderful teacher, with great experience. She's been helpful during *my* transition, which was harder than Tai's. She's good with energetic kids, as well as kids who are having a harder transition. She has two dogs, two birds, a mouse, a fish and some frogs. The kids get to play outside in her yard everyday that it's nice weather. They do art, they do water play, they make play dough, they make bracelets and paper-airplanes. But - there are only 6 kids at a time. It is small. They don't leave her house for field trips or to go to the playground. Tai loves it ... but I have started to worry that he'll get bored in about six months.
Unlike me, Tai thrives on new experiences. He dives in with both feet, barely looking to see if I come along. When we went to the Rec Center's open house this week, he went off with two new 'teachers' he'd never met before, to play kickball. He kicked at his turn, ran the bases, and didn't even check to see if I was watching right away. I love that independence in him. I think he's getting bored being with me and doing the same old thing - playground, neighborhood walks, etc. He wants to play with other kids. When he's bored is when he starts tantrums and getting into trouble - throwing stuff, etc.
He loves going to 'school'. He had no issues separating. Though he had a day of testing, he's done wonderfully since then. He's made a friend, and he is always excited to go to school. But I have been thinking that maybe it won't hold his interest. That he'll get bored and start trouble because he'll want to be doing new things and they'll still be doing the same things.
I worry, though, that throwing him into a bigger place won't be good for him. Because when I was a kid, the smaller would have been perfect for me.
But I know he's smart, strong, independent and curious. I don't want to limit him because I imagine that I would want something when I was his age, so he will want that too.
I think this change would be good for him. I want him to keep loving school, as long as possible. Tom and I are going to discuss it this weekend. We have to let them know by Monday because if Tai doesn't take the spot, someone else on the waiting list will.