Please try not to eat your friends’ lunch. Thank you for opening up and telling me that is what you did the other day. I know your friend’s rainbow yogurt is staring you in the face saying “eat me” and the person sitting across from you is happily devouring a tempting bowl of mac ‘n cheese while you eat almond butter & jelly for the second day in a row, but please, PLEASE stop trying to steal their lunches. This does not score points with the teacher who has to pry said rainbow yogurt out of your hands, nor will your friends want to eat with you if they are constantly looking over their shoulders waiting for you to move in on their spaghetti and meatballs. Mommy promises to get a little more creative with lunch. I think you’ll like the leftovers I packed for you today. Just a few more years until you will be served school-provided hot lunch, then you’ll have the same food as your friends. Mommy is counting down the days!
Your teachers aren’t your mother, you HAVE to listen to them. I love your independence and would never suggest that you submit to authority all your life, but trust me, you do not want to defy your teachers and get on their bad sides. In this case, authority actually has your best interests at heart – just listen!
Take a nap while you can. I am serious about this one. You will be longing for preschool nap-time when you are sitting in second period Geometry class in high school. If you can’t sleep, then just relax, meditate, or curl up with a good book while Miss Pam gives you a couple of back rubs. Never again will school so closely resemble a day at the spa. Take advantage of rest while you can, sweetheart, because once you hit first grade, life never stops for naps. When you are older, please try to go to bed at a decent hour. It makes for an easier wake-up the next day. Just sayin’.
Always lend a helping hand. You are such a kind and compassionate soul towards your friends and family, please don’t lose that quality even as life and school get more complicated. Be kind to your friends and always take care of those who may be struggling. I loved hearing the excitement in your voice when you told me how you helped at school by passing out napkins at snack. Keep that helpful spirit alive, for one day when you really need it, your friends will be there to help you too.
In a new environment, it always takes a little time to make new friends. Making new friends and getting to know people is one of the coolest things about being human, but it can be tough when you are new and don’t know anyone. With a little time, patience, and courage in reaching out to people, you will make friends, especially if you abide by rule #1 and the part about lending a hand.
You have no idea how good you have it right now – so enjoy it! It pains me to tell you but a couple of hours on the playground, snack time twice a day, nap-time, and reading circle don’t last forever. You probably have two solid years before school gets really tough. Before you know it, your days will soon be filled with algebra, reading comprehension, science projects, and HOMEWORK! Yeah, mommy is not looking forward to that either.
While I can’t be by your side every day at school (you would love that now at three, but trust me, once you hit puberty I will be like the plague to you) just know that my heart and thoughts are with you all the time. Daddy and I love you and you make us proud everyday. So many awesome things await you every time you enter those doors at school. No matter which road you chose in school and beyond, enjoy the journey and know we will be rooting for you and wishing great things for you every step of the way.
This is the third installment in what I hope to be useful bits of wisdom that I would like to bestow on my daughter, while I still have my wits about me. My other pieces of advice to her can be found here and here.