Why is it I feel like I have to do well in preschool? It appears that school, any school at all, triggers in me the deep need to excel. I am paranoid that I will forget to put the parent/teacher "communicator" folder back in J's backpack or forget to pack him a lunch on Fridays or forget to take him to school altogether some day. Last Friday morning, I took him to school, which isn't my normal Friday routine (I have Friday afternoons, but J the second was sick), and I took J to his Tuesday/Thursday rather than his Friday classroom (they're different; don't ask). And when the teacher pointed it out, I felt like I'd just failed an exam. J? He was just a tad confused and happy to be in the right place once we got there.
It's pathological, I know, this compulsion of mine. It has something to do with my need to follow rules, though this need really only presents itself in school (and in my family of origin, but that's another post). Out of school, in the rest of my life, I'm more apt to flout regulations, particularly silly ones. In school situations, it's as if I've bought into the concept so thoroughly, most of the rules just seem to exist a priori. One respects the teacher's authority. One comes on time. One listens intently. One does one's homework. One completes assignments. One participates. I think some of my most consternating moments as a teacher came when students seemed incapable of following these kinds of rules. Who does that, I would think.
Sadly, now that I'm out of school (perhaps permanently--can you imagine?) and not teaching (most definitely not permanently), all these urges get funneled into the school situation at hand, my participation in J's preschool. I think I was wise not to volunteer to be his room mother so that participation is limited. I would drive everyone crazy otherwise, I know. But my favorite days right now are the ones on which J tells me how some other child was misbehaving or not following the rules and then shakes his head in disapproval. Huzzah! My sentiments exactly!