Edward is three and a half, and he loves pre-school. I mean loves it. The only way I can get him to go to bed at night is to tell him that he has school in the morning and he can’t go if he is too tired. I am aware that this strategy will likely backfire on me at some point, but for now I go with what works. And we love pre-school too, because Edward has made a lot of friends and learned a ton of cool stuff that I never would have thought to teach him, like that he has bones inside of his body. And he also learns rules.
Now, I do try to teach him rules at home, but he is not receptive to instructions when they come from me. It’s like every day is opposite day at our house. “Edward, do not throw that toy.” *throw* “Edward, eat your dinner.” *runs away from table* “Edward, pick up your toys.” *dumps every toy in house on floor as company walks in door* Everything I tell him not to eat goes right into his mouth, and everything I tell him to eat goes right onto the cat. I can’t win. The other night my wife told him to sit down, and, I kid you not, he yelled “Catch you on the flip side!” and took off up the stairs, cackling maniacally. But then school comes along and tells him some of the same things I have been trying to teach him for 3.5 years, and he totally gets it. He loves the rules at school. They are actual rules, not just annoying things that dad says to ruin good times.
He has learned a lot, but the funniest part about these rules is that they provide great insight as to what he is doing all day while he is out of my sight. Here is a sampling of some of the “rules” that Edward has been taught in pre-school, according to him anyway.
1) We don’t put boogies from our nose in our mouths.
2) We don’t say ‘poop’ unless we are in the bathroom going potty. That’s yucky.
3) Only grown-ups can push buttons.
4) Only teachers can open doors.
5) You have to only sit down at lunch time.
6) At meetings you can only be quiet.
7) Only teachers can pull wagons on the playground. NOT kids.
8) Nobody can run in the road. That’s dangerous.
Actually, the majority of the rules he tells me about involve either being too loud and crazy, or things that grown-ups are supposed to be doing instead of kids, which is exactly what Mr. Independent is working on at home too. So pre-school is the perfect place for Edward. If only we could send his sister there with him, so his teachers could get him to stop poking her all the time.