How It All Shook Out

A few weeks ago, I posted about parent-teacher conferences with Pumpkin’s “teacher” (yes, I’m using quotation marks now) at her daycare/preschool. In that conference, the “teacher” told me that Pumpkin likely wouldn’t be ready for kindergarten in the fall. She had a lot to say, but one of her main reasonings for saying “no go” on kindergarten is Pumpkin’s speech.

Her “teacher” told me that her speech was hindering Pumpkin’s social side – and that once she had an IEP for speech therapy at school, maybe, JUST MAYBE, that would help her get ready for kindergarten (among other things).

You all saw how I reacted, right?

I admit, I have a very short-fused mama bear instinct. When it comes to my kids, I instantly have 101 things rolling through my head – I should do this, I should do that, that’s not right, I don’t like that… I’m a huge ball of emotions wanting to make everything right for my children. I once stumbled across a blog post discussing my Facebook/Mother’s Helper dilemma – and all of those commenters (and there were SEVERAL) all thought I was overreacting. In reality, I was venting – as I do – and ultimately after some time to process my thoughts and think – well, then I was able to calmly react, calmly do what needed to be done.

So, while my instinct may be mama bear bordering on helicopter mom, ultimately, with time to marinate my thoughts, I end up scaling back from my initial extreme reaction.

As is the case here.

I was upset. I was very upset. I’m sure most parents see sides of their kids that their daycare providers do not. There’s a comfort level in the home that there may or may not be in the daycare setting. And what I know after careful thought is this: While they provide supremely good care to Pumpkin while she is there, they aren’t REALLY teachers. They may have had a class or two about Zoophonics or how to teach, but these are not degreed teachers who are accredited to educate children. Nor are they qualified to issue assessments such as whether or not my child would be kindergarten ready in the fall.

I spoke with a (real) preschool and Pumpkin will start next semester. This is something I should have been thinking of anyway – to let her start getting to know the kids she’d be in kindergarten with in the fall (versus the daycare kids, some of whom don’t live in our district). They will be able to tell me based on their kindergarten readiness standards if she’s ready by the time June rolls around.

I also met with an Early Childhood Development speech specialist who after an hour of playing with my daughter said that she had no idea where the idea that Pumpkin would require an IEP for speech therapy came into play. She showed me on a chart the sounds Pumpkin struggles with, and the age at which a child typically masters that sound — and she’s actually pretty much within the norms on those. (She also said she’d never met a four year old who knew quite so much about dinosaurs – and she thought that Pumpkin’s curiosity about science, about people and about her surroundings were pretty darn cool).

Y’know, it’s tough. All this… STUFF parents have to think about. And learning to think, absorb, brainstorm, process and THEN react. We want the best for our children, and we want our children to be surrounded by people who have the same hopes for them as we do. Sometimes we’ve gotta step up and advocate for our kids. Sometimes we have to sit back and take a breath and trust that the pieces will fall into place. Sometimes it’s a whacky combination of the two.

It’s funny, as much as school is a learning game for the children, it is for me as well. This parenting stuff is hard work. I’m totally sure my handbook got lost in the mail.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Found you through Farmwife, and this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to leave a comment.

    Our pediatrician told us in June that our 3yo Captain Chaos was “seriously behind in speech development” and was concerned about hearing issues, chronic ear infections, and finally directed us to a Speech Therapist.

    It was the WORST thing I think I’ve heard so far…I mean…if he’d been sick, or hurt, or had some genetic thing that caused hearing issues that led to speech issues, that would be something I couldn’t control right?!?!?! But to find out that he’s just got bad habits because I was too caught up in how “cute” he sounded…UGH!

    Needless to say, I feel what you were going through, and hope and pray that the new school will be the jumping off point for your Pumpkin to truly shine and grow like crazy.

    It is never easy to hear something about our children that is less than positive and stellar…but at least it was BEFORE “formal” school started, and you’ve got a long time before the new school year begins to work and grow with your kids.

  2. Yay!!!!

    Great job advocating on Pumpkin’s behalf Mama bear!

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