Tuesday, February 10

Something that Makes My Head Go *KABLOOEY*

I mentioned in passing that Alexis has officially moved to the Preschool Room at daycare. It was a very big deal, both for her and for me. Of course, I was totally all WAAA! WAAA! MY BABY IS GROWING UP! Alexis was all WAAA! WAAA! I DON'T WANNA MOVE! Fortunately, we both survived. Although, there was the little matter of the Introduction Letter that nearly landed me in the asylum.

The Introduction Letter was a note sent home that seems to be a standard sort of letter given to all parents of preschool kids. It outlines the rules of the room. It's mostly stuff like no toys from home, kids need to be able to identify their own coat, blah, blah, blah. Totally reasonable and expected. But, one little section caught my attention and I fixated on it for a solid week. (OK, so I'm STILL fixating on it. Whatever.)

"Preschool children should walk into the center, and not be carried by his parents. This encourages children to feel confident in themselves and have a more mature attitude."

*KABLOOOEY* (That was my head exploding. Again.)

Ignoring the grammatical mess that is that statement, the whole thing just bunched my panties. (Keep in mind that Crazy Daycare Owner Lady is very condescending, especially in person, and I'm not at all the only person who feels that way.) Someone trying to tell me whether or not I should carry my kid 20 feet from the parking lot to the door? Really?

*KABLOOOEY*

Alexis usually gets carried into daycare. There are multiple reasons for it. For one, I don't want to deal with snow/salt getting on her shoes. Crazy Daycare Lady will go Linda Blair on my ass if the kid gets the carpet dirty--I know this from experience. Another major reason is that Alexis is a cute little snugglebug in the morning. She LOVES to cuddle early in the day, and usually spends a great portion of our getting ready time hanging on me like a leech. It can be a bit annoying when I'm trying to hurry, but I figure there will come a day when she doesn't even want to be in the same room as me, so I should probably milk the cuddles for as long as I can. Most of the time I haul her in with her head on my shoulder, and she and I whisper back and forth about what she is going to do that day.

I enjoy that little moment with her. A lot.

So, telling me that I'm doing something WRONG by carrying her inside? Irks me. A lot.

And the part about encouraging confidence and maturity? *KABLOOOEY*

Ahem.

I would LOVE to poll the parents of grown-ups I consider confident and mature. I'd be willing to bet a lifetime of Starbucks that there is no correlation between getting carried 20 feet once per day and whether or not a person grows up to be confident and mature. The mere implication drives. me. batty.

So far I'm ignoring the "rule." Nobody has said anything yet. If they do? *KABLOOOEY*

(Feel free to tell me I'm being crazy. I can take it.)

56 comments:

  1. Umm ... you used the word "Kablooey" in this post. Multiple times. Dude - you gotta come up with something better than that.

    As for saying "no" to being carried? It gets a big "wtf" from me. Along with people who are convinced their preschool choice for their kids is going to dictate whether they are going to be successful in life or not.

    In other words, "Kablooey."

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  2. Okay, I don't want to offend. I love your blog. But I am a preschool teacher. I do encourage parents to let their children walk in on their own (key word their is encourage; if you choose to carry your child, I will not stop you, but I will explain why).

    Many children who get carried in (not all, many) have a difficult time seperating from the parents. There's tears, crying, and clinging. Letting a child walk in makes a HUGE difference. It's like they are making the choice to walk into the classroom rather than being forced (and we all know how much a 3 year old loves to be forced to do something they don't want to do). But, even though they don't have the choice to walk in, it's almost like they do in their mind and drop off goes way smoother.

    On that note, you need to decide what is best for your child and situation. I don't think I would put it in my welcome to the classroom letter. I actually wouldn't address the issue unless the child was having difficult seperation.

    All this to say that I understand where she's coming from; but I think she approached it wrong.

    If Alexis isn't having trouble seperating, then keep things as they are. If she is, simply putting her down as soon as you get inside the door sometimes is enough of that independence (it'll keep her carpets clean); and if this is how she transitions into her day (the whispers and such) keep it!

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  3. Yup, Jenni said exactly what I was about to. I worked in daycare and preschool back in the States and often the children who were carried into the room had a much harder time separating from parents.
    We didn't include it into an introductory letter (parents with their first or only child in preschool are freaking out enough as it is and half the time it isn't neccessary to address anyway).
    One thing I have recomended to parents who are reluctant to put their child down is to walk in with your child and then have them sit on your lap for a few minutes of together time before you leave. It's still close physical contact but it is easier to separate from a parent.

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  4. Well I guess this rule has something positive for the child's development, to be mature as what you said. But I guess it still depend on the parents, whether they will carry their child or not.

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  5. I'm from an older school of thought. If the child is having separation issues, then that child is not ready for preschool or day care or whatever. Keep him or her at home for a few months longer. There's a problem with this of course if both parents need to work. I don't have an answer for that.

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  6. First off, Boy Child was 20 pounds at 4 months old. There was no carrying him into the pre-school room thank.you.very.much. But I so squeeze in as many hugs and snuggles as I can get because one day you will be missing them. Alexis doesn't look like a baby anymore in this photo, boo hoo.

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  7. OK, I don't carry my son (who is about a year older than Alexis) into school but that's only because I am grossly pregnant and can't.

    He will walk in of his own accord but usually he *must* have my hand in his. He just doesn't want it any other way. We hang up his coat and put his stuff away and he usually wants a hug and a cuddle from me before he settles into his day.

    When he was Alexis' age and had just made the jump to the pre-school room, we did have more trouble. But from what the teachers said, his tears lasted all of 30 seconds after I walked out the door. After several weeks of getting adjusted to the new room it stopped and we don't have problems.

    I'm sorry, but I'm with you. I think the whole thing is whackadoodle. Kids are going to do what they're going to do. If I had tried to make my kid walk in of his own accord when he wanted to be carried (when he was Alexis' age) there would have been unholy hell to pay in the form of his tantrum. What's the point in that?

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  8. Alexis is totally spotty on whether she gets all, "Don't leave me!" when I drop her off. Some days she takes off without saying goodbye, others she yells that she wants mommy. It seems to have more to do with what the teachers are doing than what I'm doing, though. If they are standing together chatting and don't stop to say, "hi," I get clingy. If they greet her, she takes off running, sometimes towards them and sometimes to play.

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  9. Except Mondays, I should add. Mondays she absolutely always goes all "I want my mommy," on me, no matter what. I guess she hates Mondays just as much as I do.

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  10. As a former preschool teacher, I agree with everything Jenni said. Another issue is that the parents who carried in their child, often would do the hand off to a teacher. Then the child would cling desperately to them while they tried to pry them off and put them in the teacher's arms. Never a good idea. If you want to carry her, I say put her down as soon as you get in the door, then give kisses and snuggles. I don't think it is such an important issue that it should be in the handbook, but I guess they felt that way they wouldn't have to have discussions with the parents about it, which would be really awkward.

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  11. I had a hard time when Aurora went to preschool for the first time. Heck I still have a hard time that she's in high school!

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  12. Hey, when I was in pre-school.. my mom was prying my fingers from the seat belt to DRAG me into the building.. so you can at least be thankful you never had to go through that stage.

    She's your daughter, so I say you're allowed to do whatever you want. Preschool Welcome letter is not equal to the Bible. And if Linda Blair wants to talk about it, bring some mud to smear on her carpet.

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  13. i would bow to the wisdom of the preschool teachers who have already commented.

    meanwhile, there is a happy-medium answer to putting her down when you get to the door.

    and then MEANWHILE? *kablooey* your baby is growing up.

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  14. So not crazy. Madeline is the same way in the mornings - as it happens, today I could hardly flatiron my hair with the hanging on - and I would not trade that for anything. Ever.

    And I would be totally willing to go *KABLOOEY* on anyone who tried to make me.

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  15. @Jen--Yeah, there's no handoff. I have to put her down to open the door while entering the security code, so she always makes the actual walk into the building on her own. We're literally talking about the twenty feet (sometimes less, if I get a decent parking space) from the car to the door. Also, Alexis nearly always walks back to hang her coat up on her hook by herself.

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  16. Sounds like someone wants to be all control freak about the kids. No mud on the carpets? Geez, does she even get that it's KIDS, and even if there's no mud or dirt for miles, they will still manage to track it onto the carpet? Someone needs to buy this woman a clue.

    I'd just do what I need to do and see if this woman has the balls to say something--I'll bet she doesn't. My experience with this kind of thing is that she's counting on most parents wanting to follow the rules and not making waves, and when she finds one that doesn't cower under her Ruleness, she'll ignore it because it's beneath her. Watch her though--if she's unhappy, she'll find a way to make you (and Alexis) unhappy. But, on the other hand, the winning money is on Alexis' Mom.

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  17. Meh. I would guess the issue isn't confidence and maturity but tears and clinging. (Wha? maybe one of the people who commented ahead of me had this brilliant observation already? I didn't read the other comments so I'm guess my thought may not be original.) Do what works for you.

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  18. OK. This is nuts! 20 feet? Do what you're comfortable with. Each child is different. Linda Blair needs to be thankful you're not getting mud (or dog-poo if she doesn't watch her step), all over the floors. Every school set-up is also different, so I can see the points that the preschool teachers made in their comments. But as for it making them into confident and mature grown-ups? BAH! My brother was the clingy-est kid around and he's waaaay too confident now (at 31) if you ask me ;)

    Although you do get a nice "KABLOOEY" because she LOOKS like a preschooler in that picture!

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  19. I have two grown children (and one nine year old). I can't remember whether I carried the two older ones into preschool or not. They both graduated from college and are self-supporting, so I guess it didn't matter much one way or the other in the end. Laura (just turned nine) walked into preschool and never looked back. But I remember the children of other mothers barnacled to their parent's leg at drop off. Every child is different, and so is every parent. I know with my oldest I tended to do things for her more than I should have perhaps, and she was less independent. But she's also a very loving and warm spirit. So. Who knows? Bottom line: Do what makes you and Alexis comfortable. Then don't doubt yourself, and be ready to adjust as needed. Semper Gumby. Finally, I'm sure you have good and well-thought reasons for having Alexis in that program, but the daycare owner sounds like ten kinds of awful. Take care.

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  20. Eh, I say do what's best for you and Alexis. That's what's important.

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  21. Definitely do what's best for you and Alexis. She won't be alright if you aren't...and if being carried works for both of you, keep it up!

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  22. @Cheri-Yeah, the owner is THE SUCK and always has been. We're still there because the teachers are fantastic and make up for her level of suck, especially if I do an adequate job of avoiding her

    We are planning to buy a new house this year, and when we do, a new school will be happening not long after. I didn't want to switch her knowing we would be moving since we don't know exactly where we'll be going, and I didn't want to pick a place only to end up having it be an hour from our eventually-to-be new house.

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  23. My first thought was, "She's probably paying a ton of money for this daycare/preschool...if she wants to carry her child on a golden silk litter like Cleopatra, then she should be allowed to do so."
    After reading some of the comments from preschool teachers though, I guess I can see their points. Still, I think it should have been offered as a suggestion for kids with separation issues, not as a demand.

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  24. Uh, yeah. You should totally carry that snugglebug into daycare as long as you can. You aren't being crazy, although it seems that Crazy Daycare Lady has some issues... Wow.

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  25. I just want to say that I'm grateful I'm a stay at home mom and don't have to make these decisions based on what other people tell me. I'm snuggling my 3 1/2 year old right now, and will snuggle her as much as she wants throughout the day.

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  26. I agree with you...that sentence is a LOAD OF CRAP. Yes, caps were indeed needed there. I would carry her 50 feet. I would walk inside there, hug her for 20 minutes and stick my tongue right out at the daycare worker.

    Independence and maturity and whatever the hell my ever-expanding butt. What the heck, people? they are CHILDREN, not little ROBOTS that have to grow-up on someone else's time table. Dang. Now I'm pissed for you.

    You have any problems....I'm telling you right now...I know people. I will lay the smack down on them. OK....so I know farmers..not hit men, but still...they could spread some dang nasty manure on those people's front lawns!

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  27. I meant the pre-school owner...not the worker. Yeah, whatever..I was steaming. Dang. (Can you tell I haven't worked in pre-school so I really am not educated enough about those issues, but I am a mommy? :-)

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  28. Last spring, at nearly 4 years old, my son officially stopped getting carried in to daycare. Certainly not due to school rules. He just is very shy upon arrival to school, and I thought it would be best for him - dare I say his confidence - if he started doing it on his own. It worked. For a few months, he always wanted to walk in behind me, now he walks in ahead of me.

    If daycare and preschool had told me I HAD to do that? I probably would have continued just because I am of the mind that no one is going to tell me when I can/can't carry my son.

    Now at 4½ and 43 pounds, the no carry rule is for safety in the winter - I can barely keep myself upright on the ice and snow, let alone an additional person who is nearly 1/3 of my own weight and well over half my height.

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  29. You're crazy. You're also right.

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  30. Doesn't sound like the right kind of daycare. It's a bit rigid.

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  31. I'll agree with 'Do what's right for each individual kid.'

    That being said, my older daughter had a very rough time with the separation thing. (she's now almost 6 and very independent). After a few times of handing my screaming, crying daughter over to the pre-school teacher, she started walking down to the school on her own. (Pre-school has a long gravel driveway that leads down to the door). I guess it DOES make them feel like they're making a choice. They're choosing to walk into the pre-school. We (younger daugher and I) have our hugs and kisses at the top of the driveway before she heads down.

    The problem here is somebody telling you what to do. Unless Alexis is having a problem (which it seems like she's not), they should just shut their pie holes.

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  32. No you aren't crazy! I worked in child care years ago and always thought this was the dumbest thing. I was convinced the person that made it up forgot what it was like to bring a child in the morning. And you need to get every bit of cuddle time you can before you leave her for the day. Give me a break. Continue to ignore the rule. If anything she will feel more secure because she's with you, not less secure. Pure Silliness I tell ya!

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  33. Oh and I have to add that I have a degree in education and years of experience working in preschools and day cares. Yes, carrying in a very clingy child can sometimes make the transition harder. But I've also seen many children refuse to walk in, throwing huge tantrums, clinging to legs, etc. If they don't want to go, they don't want to go. I also have two of my own children and had to take them to day care a few years back and it didn't matter if I carried them or if they walked. If they didn't want to go, they didn't want to go. I see the point many of the other preschool teachers are making - walking gives them a choice. But sometimes that choice may be to refuse to go in the building. Then you end up having to drag them in OR pick them up and carry them anyway! I found one of the best things you could do for separation is keep the routine the same for the child in the morning and keep in consistent if it works. I could go on an on but this comment is long enough! Ha ha! Really you do know what is best for her - you are the parent after all!

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  34. ok... i guess i get the whole confidence thing, but honestly- what a load of crap. you, as her MOTHER, has to do whats right for HER. CRAZY DAYCARE LADY can just suck it. She sounds like a control freak and, if that works in her lovely labelled life, awesome- outside of those doors though- it's YOUR CHOICE.

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  35. @Misty--She's totally a control freak, and very convinced her way is the only way. I roll my eyes at her just about every time I talk to her, which is fortunately almost never since she is far more interested in the baby room than she is the big kids room.

    And GAH! My kid is one of those big kids. :-(

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  36. How can Daycare Lady run a day care if she's that OCD about stuff that just comes with kids? Weirdo. And, you keep carrying her. She's only three, and before you know it, she won't fit snuggly in your arms.

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  37. What ev'. Enjoy your little girl while you can. She's only young once!

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  38. Carry her in. I would do it just to spite evil owner lady. No one is going to tell me what I can and can't do with my own child. Oh, and your crazy (thought I would just throw that in there, see what happens :)

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  39. WTFever! Alyssa loves being carried in on most days. She's the same way. She snuggles and gets all excited about what's going on the the older classes that we pass on the way to her room. She loves it and I love it too. Some days, like this morning, she wants to walk. Usually on those days, however, I get extra snuggles when I leave and sometimes she doesn't want me to leave.

    Don't even TRY to tell me when I can and can't carry MY OWN CHILD!!!

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  40. @Kim--I AM totally crazy. That is a true fact.

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  41. Like some of the other commenters have said, it *kind of* makes sense from a separation standpoint. But I don't think that it needed to be stated as a hard-and-fast rule. what if it's icy and snowy out? (like you mentioned with the salt/ice on the carpet, ooh boy don't make a mess!!) Dictating across the board like that is silly, especially for something so minor and that will vary so much between kids.

    So funny you posted this today- just this morning I thought 'hey maybe Maggie will want to walk into school by her self today! It's not raining or snowing!' As soon as I put her feet on the gravel, she screamed and reached up for me. heh. FAIL.

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  42. I came over to the comment section to be all up in arms (get it..ha...I crack myself up. Sorry) how no one can tell me if I can or can not carry my child. But reading the comments of the teachers, they do seem to know what they are talking about. Do what is best for you and Alexis. She will help you decide when she should walk.

    It stinks they have to grow up. I almost can't carry my big boy anymore.

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  43. @Ellyn--I know. I can barely carry Alexis now. She's SOL when she asks to be picked up at the mall or a store. It's the cart or her feet 'cuz momma turns into a cripple if I carry her for more than five minutes.

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  44. Hi there! I am a long time reader of your blog, I've just never left a comment. Shame on me! I am currently a preschool teacher part time while I am finishing my last semester of college. While I can see the point the other preschool teachers are making, I think you should do whatever YOU and your daughter want to do. She is 3 for Heaven's sake- you should be able to carry her and snuggle on her as long as she will let you! I actually LOVE seeing the children who get lots of love from their parents right before the drop them off. They are usually the happier children in the class! Yea, most of them get a little upset when Mommy or Daddy leaves them, but guess what? I'm in my twenties and when I visit with my parents and its time for me to go back to school, I get a little teary eyed. It's natural. If it becomes an issue where she is throwing all out fits every single time you leave, then I would see a need to have her walk in by herself. They gots them some b-a-l-l-s to put that in their welcome letter!

    I also have an Evil Center Director- she is "The Suck" times a million!

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  45. That's total crap! I can't even believe that was on there! "Carry" on just as you have been my friend! : )

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  46. I'm sorry, I'd be telling you what a coddling parent you are but my head is going Kablooey!, so I can't! Plus that grammar was so bad, maybe you should just say you read a medical journal that said that kids that are carried until you can no longer bear the weight always outperform others in linguistic abilities as adults. And P.S. We're keeping the floor clean.

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  47. My head is still spinning from the grammar....she is educating young minds?! And, cuddle while you can :)

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  48. @Julie--The good news is that she absolutely never goes into the toddler or preschool rooms. She loves the nursery, but is apparently afraid of the kids that can talk back.

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  49. Ignore it. Totally.
    There is no way I would let a letter tell me how I should raise my child.
    You are the parent. If that time is special to you and Alexis then don't they think it would be more detrimental to her well being to take that away.
    And for the record, I carry my 2.5 year old in and out of daycare and some days my 4.5 year old still needs me to walk her to her classroom in Pre-K.

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  50. Well, it says should, not must, so I'd just keep doing what works for yall.

    I worked at five daycares through college and the more laid back ones who kinda let their parents decide the ins and outs had more successful transitions than the ones that were forced to do something they weren't ready for. If day care lady doesn't like salt on her floors than she shouldn't expect you to walk her in. What? Is she going to float in?

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  51. No, you're totally not crazy. I say ignore away! All too soon she'll be too big to carry and you'll kick yourself if you don't cuddle with her while you can!

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  52. I've got your back on this one. The only reason I don't carry my nearly 6 year old into kindergarten is because he WANTS to be independent. The nerve. Enjoy it. Milk it. Feel free to Kablooey on Crazy Daycare Lady on my behalf, too, if she says anything.

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  53. Yeah, I'm with you. Childcare workers can sometimes be a bit rigid and/or a little insane. She's your girl, so if you want to carry her, go right ahead.

    (does it sometimes seem their crazy rules are only there to make it easier on them??? You're paying them, so they should suck it up a little, huh? I'm just askin.)

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  54. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Okay, I can see why the preschool teacher moms advocate letting a child walk rather than be carried if it helps with transition and prevents class-disrupting melt-downs. However, if at all possible carry your child as often as possible because you will miss it when they're too big. Just tried to carry my sick, 80 lb., 11 year-old son into the doctor's office and couldn't. He would let me! Can't blame him, really. But he was soooo sick he could hardly make it in and mommy-bear wanted to protect and care for her cub, ya know? So enjoy it while it's still possible, as much as possible. It will be gone someday.

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  55. No judgment from me, since Little Man's teachers think I'm the psycho overprotective mother because I walk my child to class instead of leaving him at the drop off at the door.

    Why do I walk him to class? Because he asked me to. I left him a few times at the drop off and one day, when we pulled into the parking lot he begged me to walk him to his class.

    There are many things I'm not going to let my child manipulate me with.

    But if my child asks me to take two minutes out of my day to park my car and walk him to his class then I will. And the teachers can stuff their attitude and think what they want of me.

    Because me and my child know the truth.

    And so do you and Alexis.

    So I say if both of you are happy with the carrying arrangement, then screw the memo and the rules.

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  56. You're crazy...but for many OTHER reasons. Kudos to you and any other parent who takes the time to show their kids how important they are. I think that parents who take the time to cuddle and shower their kids with affection are less likely to have kids that turn out to be messed up later in life. You'll know when to cut back, and she'll let you know when she wants her independence.

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