We are lucky enough to have pre-K 3 and 4 at our local elementary school. My middle daughter will be a fourth grader at the school this year while her brother will be entering the pre-K 3 class. A few weeks ago, a young woman from the school system phoned to say she was hired as a parent/school liaison for new pre-K 3 and 4 kids, and kindergarteners. She was calling to do an oral assessment of my son’s readiness for pre-K.
Among her questions were:
Can he walk both up and down the stairs using only one foot at a time? I had to think. He was definitely still doing two feet on each step going up and he was still butt-scooting to go down. (Since then, I’ve noticed that he is indeed going up with one foot on a step at a time and he comes down holding the rail, but standing, two feet per step. This is not helping my stairs phobia. I do not intend to tell you, at least not right now, about my stairs phobia).
Can he button his own clothes? Use snaps, zippers? He can’t even get his underwear up without Buzz Lightyear twisted on half a butt cheek.
Can he pull his own clothes up and down? Remove his shirt/socks/pants? Silence.
“Oh, wait! He can do zippers up and down, but not the initial insertion of one side into another. I invest in Velcro.”
Can he tie his own shoes? Wait, what? He’s not quite three. Is this an expectation? Because I know some very adept 8-year-olds who are still unable to tie their shoes properly. Hell, my 11-year-old still does it so sloppily sometimes that she has to redo it five minutes later.
“Oh, no,” she assured me. These are just the questions we’re told to ask. It doesn’t affect him adversely in any sort of report or anything.” So basically, I could just lie and say he’s a prodigy.
Is he potty trained? Yes. We have passed even the “can we leave the house in regular underwear” phase.
Does he know any colors? Well, yes. He knows most colors. I mean, he might not know magenta. Shit.
Does he know body parts? If you say point to your ear, can he? Yes. But if you ask about his nose he’ll tell you to get a tissue, nasty. That’s courtesy of his sisters. Also, he’s very fond of butts. I am unable to expound; just let it go.
Can he recognize any letters? Numbers? He can count to 20 (although sometimes eleventeen is mentioned). He can say the alphabet and recognizes all the letters (although, yes, sometimes p is 9 or 9 is p and he’s quite adamant about it, so I caution the teacher to not try too hard to correct him because, well, I’ll bring more tissue).
Can he draw a good circle? I can’t draw a circle well at 38. I am ruining my children.
Does he still nap? Yes, please knock all the wood, cross all your crossable parts so as not to blindly spit in the face of things we should not discuss lest they magically reverse.
Overall, he is ready. He’s been in daycare since he was an infant so he’s used to other kids, rules, routines. I am the one who is not ready. I am the one who is afraid of his reaction to a new place, new teachers, new kids. I am the one who wants to hold mah wittle baby forever ever, forever ever. I have visions of him going through a full box of tissue for the amount of tears and snot he’ll generate that first week. I know kids are resilient and oftentimes get used to change quicker than we expect, but I will knock all the wood in Lowes not to jinx that first week. I am hoping like hell he will be fine (and not refuse to nap, pee on himself every day, pretend not to know his name, a color, a number, or what a book is).
He’ll be fine. Right?
Right. Besides, we’re totally working on those circles.