Can I just say again, for the record, how much I love preschool? J loves it too, of course, but I think I like it even more. So it was with much anxiety that I heard this message on my voicemail from Miss C, his preschool teacher: "Some things have happened this week and I wanted to check and see how J was feeling. Please call me back."
Here we were, just one week in, and already I was getting calls from J's teacher. Who knows what he did! I could only imagine: did he yell? hit? refuse to share? refuse to participate? throw a fit? all of the above? I was alarmed and instantly became some version of my earlier, less self-assured self when I called her back and she wasn't home. Should I leave a message? I should. How soon can I call her back? Is 8:30 am too early to call or just pointless since she's a teacher and already at school, certainly. How many times is too many times to call? At what point do I start to look like an unstable mother...or is she already sure that is the case, based on my son's behavior? After all that, I only called her back twice and left one message, a major victory I thought.
And then we talked. It turns out, J had been pushed several times at school, and she wanted to make sure he wasn't feeling like he didn't want to come back to preschool.
Me: Wait, what?
Her: Yes, several times, but not all by the same child.
Me: Did he provoke them in any way?
Her: Oh no, not at all. And he's such a sweet boy, he doesn't even react.
Her: Yes, but I am so worried that he might not want to keep coming and he's just so good in class. He participates in discussion and he always comes right when I call him to do his crafts. I really enjoy having him in class.
Me: Well, he's said nothing to me at all. In fact, I did see that one boy push him when we came to class yesterday [we arrived with J and his classmate J the second with whom we carpool, and this lone boy in the class pushed both of them when we walked in as I was chatting with the teacher and J the second fell down] and when he retold that story he skipped right over the part about his being pushed and kept focusing on the fact that J the second fell down. His younger brother, you've seen him, is a bit rough with him since he's so young and big, so maybe he believes that everyone who pushes you doesn't know any better.
Her: Well, I just wanted to let you know I was concerned and wanted J to be happy.
Me: Oh, he is; he loves coming. He's actually not a very passive child so I am sure if he were bothered, he would let everyone know about it!
And then we got of the phone. Later, when I was reviewing the conversation with J the second's mother and the husband, it occurred to me that perhaps I should have been more concerned that my child was being pushed randomly by other children, but in the moment, I was so happy he wasn't the one doing the pushing I was almost jubilant for the rest of the call! I did ask him about it later, but he just looked at me like I was insane and proceeded to tell me some intricate story about his travels in a toy car at recess. I've decided I'll just check in with the teacher at the end of next week and see how things have gone, to show I actually do care about my kid and then leave it at that because why make an issue out of something that clearly means so little to him?
(Did you see the part where she said he participates in discussion? That's my favorite part!)