How to Really Send Your Child Off to Preschool

The moment has finally arrived.

My 4-year-old girl started her first day of preschool this week!  I am so excited for her!

I know that preschool is just preschool.  And she’s not leaving for college or anything. I’ve sent two other boys, now eight and ten, through these rungs …  I can do this.

But there is some genuine sadness in me. How did four years go by, just like that?? My daughter may still be tiny and innocent, but a baby she is NOT (she’s not so fond of being called one either).

And I regret to say this, but her babyhood and toddlerhood years were a big blur to me.

One big blur.

When it was just the boys and me, we went to the zoo, strawberry picking, tractor riding … had playdates every week. Without doubt, my sons had my energy, my enthusiasm, my undivided attention. But my daughter? Unfortunately, she has only known a fatigued mommy, one whose attention is often divided and distracted, weary.

Truth be told, I feel guilty. I feel sad that she has gotten the short end of the stick.

Because what exciting event did I have planned for her the day before her first day of preschool?  I took a deep breath and said, “C’mon. Hop in the car.  We need a new lamp.”

She did not question me, though.  She happily climbed into her booster seat, and off we went to Ikea on a mission.

I was in there to get a lamp.  But she was in there to have a good time, apparently.

Before we could even get near the lamps, she steered me over to the kid’s section where she discovered a cash register.

“Let’s play store!”   ikea cash register

She quickly abandoned that when she saw a bin of colorful aprons near a play kitchen.  She begged me to tie an apron on, and she immediately said,  “Let’s wash dishes!”

ikea kitcheb

Then before we knew it, we found ourselves in front of the stuffed animal bins, some of them looking a bit freakish in my humble opinion.

But this is where my daughter found THE frog.  “I’m gonna kiss it!”  she announced emphatically.

Because you know what happens when a princess kisses a frog …

ikea king 2… it turns into this bottom heavy, egg-shaped Swedish king with chicken legs — of course.

ikea king1Who then turns into Humpty Dumpty.

ikea flowersWho THEN must make a dramatic crash onto the floor.

ikea king 3

She was besides herself.

So I did what any sensible mommy would do to calm down a child bordering on delirium … I took her to the places where they sell fragile vases and glass bowls.

And she wanted to stop and smell the flowers, of course … or in this case, the off gassing plastic (hope it’s BPA free).

ikea cart

And to finish off this very “full” afternoon, she had a plate of Swedish meatballs, which is an Ikea must-have.

ikea king 4

I really just wanted a lamp. But she wanted to be a kid.

And how true this is.

I unexpectedly learned that this is EXACTLY how to send your child off to preschool … celebrate their wide-eyed wonder for the smallest, silliest things.  Because this wide-eyed wonder won’t always be. And thankfully, it doesn’t have to be about Pinterest-perfect, fancy excursions or require loads of non-existent energy. Just being together, however ordinarily so, is all that matters.

Oh no.  Where’s the lamp?

ikea meatballs



I love you my rascal girl.  Now you go get ’em!!


2 thoughts on “How to Really Send Your Child Off to Preschool

  1. Oh my. I love this! You sound like such a fun mommy. I was the youngest by quite a bit and I got lugged around a lot. But, I honestly just loved being my mom’s sidekick. It seems like your daughter is the same! I can’t even imagine the time when my son goes to school. I appreciate your advice… I want to try to enjoy my time with him while it lasts. Thank you for your post 🙂

  2. Your daughter’s smile is infectious! You sound like the kind of mother I would like to be. I find it’s too seldom that I stop and just enjoy the childish wonder of my kids. Lovely post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s