November 7, 2016
Preschool duty days

Matthew's preschool has a requirement that parents help out occasionally. I mentioned previously that I volunteered on Halloween, and my second duty day of the year was today.


After my initial post you would be forgiven for thinking that Matthew took to preschool like a duck takes to water, but somewhere around the second week life became more challenging. He never wanted to go. Drop-off resulted in a very clingy child who sometimes needed to be physically pried away. But the kicker was getting a couple of progress reports describing Matthew as an "extremely quiet" child who didn't play with any of the other kids directly. While some of this is caused by many of the kids being significantly younger, I suspected that part of this could be the challenge of coming into an environment where most of the other kids already knew each other from the previous year. I asked Matthew to pick a couple of kids that he'd like to have over for a play date and that seemed to help a bit.


There was also a bit of a kerfuffle at the beginning of the year when everyone was calling him "Matt". "I'm NOT a mat", he told me indignantly. "A mat is something you wipe your feet on!" Luckily another mom overheard him say this and his name was switched without any interventions required. The funny thing is that Elizabeth had taken to calling him "Math" (which I dislike) but he doesn't really like anyone else to call him that. A few weeks after the Matt incident, Elizabeth suddenly stopped using the "Math" nickname and she started calling him Matt too. But now that Elizabeth is doing it he's decided it's okay. To be safe though I recommend calling him Matthew as Elizabeth can get away with much that others cannot.


Long story short, I was definitely interested to observe to see if I could figure out anything else that would help. My first duty day Matthew ignored all of the other kids in order to play with me, tried to shoo away the kids who wanted to listen to "his" story and refused to participate in circle time. He was clearly pretty happy to play with the toys, although having seen the setup I think he likes to have a little bit more structure and most of the time is extremely unstructured play. The second duty day went better as Matthew agreed to do circle with his group. Ultimately he seems to be adjusting in his own time.

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