I've been stewing over this post for days and the situation for even longer.

My son.

My darling (just turned three-year-old) son.

I know who he is, I know how he operates, I know what he loves, I know what really pisses him off.

He is passionate. He is lively. He is intense. Both inward and outward. He is active. He is considerate. He says, "I love you." He gives hugs. He gives compliments. He gets upset that the Verizon "worker men" are working in the front yard during "dinner time" and he worries that they are thirsty.

He sucks his thumb. He loves all soft things. He loves to rub his soft green blankey along his nose. But he'll use my robe if that's not available.

He loves to play in the dirt and he loves to ride his bike. He knows how to pedal but he'd really rather push it really really fast with his feet.

He loves to spin around really really fast until he falls down.

He likes his privacy when he poos. (But don't we all?)

He doesn't like loud noises. He runs from the vaccuum.

He can kick a soccer ball and hit a baseball. He's got quite an arm.

He knows all about the ocean and space, and especially the earth ("Dat's where we wiv, Mommy!")

He'll throw something when he's mad (wonder where he gets that from...)

He'll jump into my bed at 6:30 in the morning and snuggle until we hear the garbage trucks outside and then he'll jump up and run out to the front to wave and watch them go by.

I never have the heart to tell him one of his cars is broken beyond repair. He is always devastated.

He loves his daddy with everything he is. Mommy runs a distant second.

He loves Busch Gardens and can spend the entire day sitting on the train that goes around the park.

He loves chocolate milk and candy and lollipops and chocolate and cake and cookies and he would eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks if Mommy would allow this.

But he will also eat broccoli and sometimes Mommy doesn't even have to beg or bribe.

We have a song we sing on Taco night. Which is Monday.

He'll sit still in a movie theater and he'll wonder out loud during the quiet parts if someone in the movie is ok when it looks like they aren't.

He doesn't make a mess when he eats. Usually.

He's a grazer. He won't sit and eat big huge meals unless they are cookies or candy or lollipops or chocolate.

He'll stop wherever he is and wave to a plane going by above him.

He'll wear his fireman hat and boots everywhere if I let him. And I do. Mostly.

You see, he is this little person. He loves hard and he plays even harder. He loves learning and he loves his people and he has likes and dislikes and wants and needs. Like a real person. He is Curious with a capital "C". And not shy. At all.

I know how to handle his outbursts and his intensity. Mostly. He's just not a "just sit there and do nothing" kind of guy. So sometimes he needs some guidance.

But I believe in him. I don't just see his potential, I know his potential. I see it every day. I see his ability to focus on building a tower or play quietly at the table for more than an hour. I see his curiousity and I see waves of learning wash over him when he figures out a puzzle. Pride and excitement and accomplishment.

Don't get me wrong, I also see him when he gets frustrated or angry, or when he dumps toys out on the floor and takes things from his brother.

But he is three. I don't actually know many three-year-olds who don't do this. So I do a lot of repeating myself. It kind of comes with the territory.

But in the end, he knows the rules.

And I'm torn. I've been in agony all week and I just don't know what to do. And it kills me to not be able to get into specifics because I would love your opinion.

But when people don't see him like I do, when they try to tell me what they believe after spending only a few short hours a week with him (and fewer when he's sick, and believe me, that's a lot), it upsets me.

And then I don't know if it's just me or if it's them. Or both. Then I feel like I am "selling" him. Like I need to make believers out of non-believers. And then it gets frustrating. And then I question myself.

Am I doing the right thing? Am I seeing things clearly?

But in the end, none of that matters.

Because it's going to be our family who decides what and how we are going to handle it. And what I want most of all is to make the best decision for him. One that is (nearly) unbiased. That is clear-headed. And above all, correct. And I am in agony. How will I know if the decision I make is the right one?

And honestly, thinking about making decisions like these when he has just turned three seems a little ludicrous to me. And I wonder how much we are actually supposed to expect from these tiny people and if somewhere along the way it has gotten completely out of control. After all, aren't all tiny people works in progress?

And then honestly, on top of the frustration (which is mounting), there is a growing bitterness. Which makes me believe that maybe it's just not a good fit at all.

Oh how I wish this answer was easy. I wish I could figure it out as un-emotionally as possible. But I am an emotional person. And I'm always emotional when it comes to my babies.

I just don't know what to do.


  1. Hi Christie,

    (((HUG))). Your post has me tearing up here at work. Your little guy sounds wonderful!

    My two both started preschool at 2.5, but for very different reasons. My daughter really wanted to go to school (was jealous of her brother going, and the preschool teacher he had said she could enroll the following year). My son had a speech delay and attentiveness issues. (He qualified for special education until he was four). It helped quite a lot, but we're at our own decision point ourselves. I'll email you offline if you'd like more details. I'm guessing that someone is making recommendations about this to you, and it can be a scary feeling, like they're going to try and "change" your child or make them grow up sooner than they're ready. If that's what's going on, you're not alone.

  2. Oh, Christie, it sounds like you really are torn on some decision for which there probably is not straight and definite answer. In general, trusting your heart combined with an open mind to other advice from other people who have reason to know the situation whose opinions you have reason to trust are probably the best decision making tools there are, no matter the question. Sounds like you are already doing that. Also, is it a decision that can be revamped an revised as time goes on if it turns out that the decision needs tweaking? I wish you much luck.

    If I am ever in your part of Florida, I'm coming to your house on Monday because singing on Taco Night sounds like something only I would do. Or you. Which is why I love me some Christie O.

  3. Some people are stupid. Some people think it's ok to judge based on limited information.

    You know your no one else. You know what is right and what is wrong...YOU would know if there was something to worry about, or not.

    Do not second guess yourself...but keep an open mind. If several people from several different areas of your life, say the same thing, then you need to be just a bit more aware...Thats it. Do not judge yourself, do not judge your child.

  4. It's too bad you don't live a few thousand miles closer. I would love to reommend the prek my oldest goes to. He loves it! You might be able to find something similar in your area. They offer programs for threes, two days a week part day. Not much, but enough to ease them into the group setting. There are also three day/part day programs and full day. Ours also offers a parent teacher conference twice a year to show you your child's growth in the class. They aren't compared to a national standard, but to where they were when they started.
    I wish you the best of luck with your decision.

  5. He sounds wonderful. Good luck on whatever this issue or decision is! You know him better than anyone else..

  6. You are a wonderful Mommy! You know that. And you know your babies better than anyone else. You will make the best decision for him. Sometimes there are no right or wrong answers or not any "one size fits all" answers.
    I was TORN about sending J to kindergarten next year (and still am to be honest). I got every opinion under the sun and ultimately I'm the Mommy and I know what my child can handle and can't.

    And as for your poll: Both my boys went to preschool at age 3 but for different reasons. The older one WANTED to go to school and begged me to go (how could I say no to that?). The younger one needed things that I could not give him so I sent him (but he had seperation anxiety and I sat at the school 2 days a week for 2.5 months while he worked that out.... not a good time). They are with you for such a short time. If you don't want to rush it, then don't. If you think he's ready then send him off with open arms. But the decision is yours and yours alone :)


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