With 24 hours left until “go” time, I have to say this whole process of preparing my three-year old for preschool has already taught me a lot. A couple nights ago, we attended our first parent information night where the school director and teachers talked us through a packet of standard information, reviewed school policies, and gave us a run down on what a typical school day will look like for our kids. As I flipped ahead through the pages, the restroom policy immediately jumped out at me:
…teachers will not help with wiping in the bathroom, we will talk them through this independent exercise. If necessary, you may provide wipes…
Uh-oh. We didn’t practice that one. Her whole life up to this point has been preparation for the big stuff like colors, numbers, and the alphabet. But would she flunk bathroom etiquette/hygiene 101? I was actually discouraging her from wiping on her own. Mostly because I didn’t feel like washing skid marks out of her underwear, but also because I just didn’t think she could do it by herself. Since the meeting, I have allowed my daughter to do her “business” and clean up by herself. I’m not sure if this is something most moms do with their three-year-olds. Do most of you trust your kids to fully “take care of business?” Or have I been coddling her for too long? Anyway, when she was finished, the control freak in me checked to make sure things were A-OK. Turns out, that girl can handle the whole ordeal on her own. Who knew?
Since this exercise proved pretty triumphant, I thought I would extend this to another daily activity. Rather than do the usual wrestling of the toothbrush out of my screaming, uncooperative child’s hands so I could show my daughter the “proper way” to brush her teeth, I let her do it on her own. I talked her through it and even demonstrated on myself with my toothbrush. Again, she did better than expected, although the dentist will have to confirm that at our next appointment. She was so happy I gave her the freedom to “do it myself,” that she even relinquished her toothbrush over to me to do a quick finish. She knows her mom so well. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking her up on the offer.
According to the packet of information I received, apparently other things my child is able to do or will be able to do over the next few months around the house are the following:
*Washing and drying dishes
Preschool has already taught me a valuable lesson: that my daughter can do more than I thought. At this age she is truly learning by watching me and others around her and doing things on her own. I didn’t realize what my daughter could do, until she was given the freedom to show me. I now have a little more faith in this girl of mine. But I will most definitely pack some flushable wipes…just in case.