Here is a little advice for mothers of multiples when choosing a pre-school. I always thought I would enroll my triplets in an early morning class, but when I was given the option of a noontime class, I jumped at the idea.
Why would a mother do such a thing? Would it not be easier to get all four kids out the door together in the morning?
Not in our house!!!! I learned my lesson last year. Four kids, seven and under, to school by 8 am, two mornings a week is not a feat for the faint-hearted.
I tossed around the time choices in my head:
morning …. afternoon …. morning ….. afternoon.....
I envisioned the potential early morning mayhem of our rise and shine routine. All four kids washed, fed, and dressed, is just the beginning of our saga. So many miniscule jobs need attending to, it takes a miracle for us to make it out the door, with all vital bits and bobs in the appropriate backpacks. No corners can be cut. Attention to detail is paramount. Some of these details, if forgotten, can cause a melt down of unforeseen proportions.
Let me elaborate a little further and paint an appropriate picture of our sunrise chaos. Here is a sample early morning task list if all four kids are to be ready on time:
- Make eight slices of toast. As they pop out two at a time, remember all special requests of the intended eater. Two slices cut into four triangles, two slices in four squares, two slices crustless, and two with cream cheese, rather than butter
- Complete the school trip paperwork for seven year old son, which should have been done yesterday. Somehow, that sheet of questions, and fill in the blank spaces, felt like a calculus exam at midnight.
- Find a pen that actually writes to fill out form.
- Write the check to pay for said school trip, so your poor child is not the only one left behind on the appointed day.
- Find an envelope, somewhere in the mess that is the office, to hold said form and check.
- Find the missing toy train which has rolled under the couch or the coffee table, before a tantrum starts. Suddenly it is the most important posession in the whole wide world.
- After finding said train, make a mental note to check four-year old son's backpack in a few minutes for such pre-school contraband.
- Remind four-year olds not to rub their noses on the back of their hands, but to use tissues instead.
- Apply a liberal dose of ointment under son's lower lip. Skin is red raw from a new habit of constantly biting and licking said lower lip.
- Make lunch for seven-year old, praying nobody grabs your buttered slice of bread, while you search the back of the fridge for cheese.
- Do not forget to fill a small container of honey mustard sauce, to accompany said sandwich. The teacher does not want to listen to how ketchup just does not taste the same as honey mustard sauce.
- Identify the superhero backpack that is cool enough for a seven year old, and insert lunch bag.
- Grab a handful of tissues, blow all three triplet noses, and remind them once again to use tissues.
- Apply toothpaste to four toothbrushes, as the four musketeers argue over who is going to spit out first.
- Line up three pairs of feet, apply six socks, and six shoes, and pray that number one has not removed said shoes, by the time you are finished with number three. My boys go ballistic if there is even the slightest wrinkle in one of their socks.
- Listen to seven year old whine that he failed to get the wrinkles out of his socks, then proceed to remove his shoes, straighten socks, and re-donn shoes.
- Apply hand sanitizer to help fight those germy germs, only to witness noses being wiped on the back of hands. Be thankful mittens have not yet been applied.
- Pop on coats, hats and mittens, and try to explain why it does not matter if you wear a blue mitt and a red mitt together.
- Remove toy train from four-year old's backpack.
- Decide whose turn it is to press the button to open the garage door, all the while explaining, if we open and close it three times in a row, said door might fly off the rails and collapse on the unsuspecting van.
- When all are clicked and strapped in to their car seats, attempt to evacuate the garage before someone remembers something so important, it cannot be left behind.
- Return to house to retrieve all items forgotten.
- While reversing out the driveway, try to remember whose favorite song is which track on the CD.
- Try to get to school before four-year old daughter's favorite song “Delilah” is played, since if you listen to even one line of it, you will be singing it in your head all day long.
Sorry about the length of this post. Now you know, in no uncertain terms, why I opted for afternoon pre-school sessions for my trio. Three less messy minors to fuss over first thing in the morning, is the best choice for this Irish-American Mom.
My advice for all mothers of pre-school triplets - seek an afternoon class.
Wishing you years of happy schooling.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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I wish there was pm preschool for my twins. I'm still a few years off, but just getting my three kids under four out the door for my oldest to go to preschool is a nightmare some mornings. By the time my twins hit preschool my odest will hit Kindergarten. Joy!
I totally understand why you would jump at the chance!
Irish American Mom
I have been told it will get easier as they learn to get their own coats, put their shoes and socks on, and find their own back packs. I am looking forward to that day.