Saturday, September 8, 2012

20/20 vision

Hindsight is 20/20, at least that's how the saying goes. If we were capable of predicting the future, we would be some very rich folks. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) we are not capable of predicting the future and we try to make the best decisions we can. We thought we made the best decision by enrolling Bella in the school she currently attends, however after very careful consideration, we realized we did not.

We enrolled Bella in preschool last February and we were super excited about. The program sounded wonderful, the school was neat/clean/organized and we had recommendations from several (I'm talking like 4-5) friends who all loved the school. I'm certain that this school is wonderful for these families. Bella has been attending this school for two-weeks and it didn't take long to realize that this wasn't the best place for Bella.

It all started with the first day of school, which was complete chaos, at both drop off and pick up. The room was tiny, the teachers were overwhelmed and the other parents were "hovering." We didn't have much time to speak with the teachers about Bella's allergies or her potty training issues. These are two big issues for us and we felt like they were simply brushed aside. Strike 1. We decided to remain positive and give the teachers a chance.

Bella remained dry for the two days she initially attended... then came the third day of school. She had TWO accidents in THREE hours, which is totally unlike her. The teachers actually seemed bothered by her accidents. They even suggested I dress Bella in Pull-Ups. Sorry. Not going to happen. Strike 2. Not to mention a teacher whom I didn't even know mentioned Bella's accidents to me. Apparently my daughter's bathroom habits were the talk of the school. Strike 3. Bella's fourth day of school came with a reward system for potty training at school (which we were pretty much past) and written directions for the teachers. It was also full of accidents, refusal to use the bathroom and refusal to allow the teachers to change her. It also came with an accident in the car and an accident as soon as walked through the door at home. Not good. The teachers seemed frustrated with her and I was REALLY frustrated with the teachers.

God only knows what they said to her for her to refuse to use the bathroom OR be changed. I assume that their frustrations may have been felt by Bella, but she won't say much about the situation. I feel bad for subjecting Bella to an environment where she may have been made to feel shameful for having accidents. She's not even two-and-a-half-years-old and she WAS potty trained before attending this school. I know there is a learning curve and regression in potty training but this was too much for our family to handle. We have to ensure Bella's emotional needs are being met by her teachers and I'm not certain her needs were being met.

We talked... and talked... and talked some more. We talked with our parents. We talked with our friends. We talked to each other. After all of this talking, we decided it would be in Bella's best interest to return to her old school. As luck may have it, the old school was having an open house today so we attended and we re-enrolled her. She starts Monday and we could not be more relieved.

Bella was thriving at her old school. She was happy and so were we. She would come home singing songs she learned and talking about her friends and teachers. While we may not have given the new school a chance, she didn't seem as happy there. Bella is a child who needs to be stimulated or else she will act out at home. Her behavior at home took a nose dive when she started the new school. Something was obviously not right. Fortunately she has only missed 9 days of the school year at her old school, so she's not that far behind. We're excited to return her with two teachers who love her and a classroom full of her little friends, old and new.

I'm certainly going to miss seeing MY friends at drop off/pick up every day, but I can talk/see my friends any time. This decision was made with Bella's best interest in mind and nothing else. I just wish we would have kept her in her old school for the sake of Bella's feelings. But like I said before, hindsight is 20/20 and you live & learn!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

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