Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Preschool Evaluation


Can you believe my daughter is almost ready for PRESCHOOL?

Wasn’t she just born?

She’s nearly three and she wants to go to school like her brother. She has her own backpack and everything (bought at Gymboree during a sale.)

We went in yesterday for a preschool evaluation. This would determine if Natalie needed any services such as speech or occupational therapy. It would also show where she was in her development.

I dressed Natalie in an adorable outfit that made her look quite studious, if I do say so myself:

On the drive over I reminded Natalie not to be shy and to please please PLEASE not cry.

“Okay Mommy,” she assured me.

But guess what she did the second we were called back?

She cried.

And she cried.

And she CRIED. You’d have thought that I told her that Plex smacked Brobee or something.

“Natalie,” I said as we were led back into a room. “Natalie, it’s okay.” My voice was muffled because Natalie was trying to climb on my head. I have no idea why she always goes for my head when she’s freaked out. I really wish she couldn’t. It messes up my already unruly hair. Then when I’ve wrestled her off of me my hair resembles that of a crazy scientist.

“I don’t YIKE!” Natalie screamed into my ear. I’m seriously going to be deaf by the time she’s five.

“It’s okay,” I tried again, wrestling her onto my lap. She thrashed in my arms and her elbow clocked me in the head.

“We just need to test your hearing,” the woman spoke up. She had been watching us in silence, probably surprised that such a tiny girl could make such a racket.

Eventually Natalie calmed down. It could have been because I gave her my cell phone.

“Just don’t calm Guam,” I begged.

Natalie passed her vision and hearing tests.

Then we were led into another room. This is where the evaluation began. The woman asked Natalie her name. Natalie gave it to her. She asked Natalie to name animals and colors. Natalie did that.

Then it all went downhill from there.

It all started when scissors were brought out. Natalie eyed them with interest.

“Could you cut the paper for me?” the woman wondered sweetly.

Natalie picked up the scissors. It was obvious that she didn’t know how to handle them properly. This is because I make it a habit NOT to give my two year old scissors. Is that wrong of me? Was I meant to hand them over so she could practice? I figured giving a two year old scissors would be akin to shoving a woman wearing fur into a group of PETA members. Pure and utter disaster.

After the scissor bit, the woman would say a series of numbers.

“5 7 8,” she’d go. Then she’d look at Natalie. “Can you repeat those numbers?”

Natalie shook her head. “No thanks.”

“5, 7, 8,” the woman tried again.

“NO THANKS!” Now Natalie was irritated. She gave me a Look like, “Can’t this woman shut up for two seconds? I’m trying to figure out these scissors here.”

“4, 6,” the woman continued.

“SHHHH!” Natalie said, finger on her lips.

So the woman moved on. She built a tiny tower with blocks and asked Natalie to do the same.

Natalie just stacked the blocks one on top of the other. No fancy tower.

“There,” she told the woman triumphantly.

“Can you make a tower like mine?” The woman did something different with the blocks.

“No thanks,” Natalie responded. “Not now.”

The woman blinked a few seconds and stared at her checklist. “Okay. Moving on,” she said. “Can you give me an example of a 3 word sentence that Natalie says?”

“I can do you better than 3 words. This morning Natalie said, ‘I am very mad today, Mommy,’” I answered.

“I am very mad,” Natalie repeated dutifully.

Natalie has been telling us when she was mad since she was one. She marched up to me one day, crossed her tiny arms over her chest and went, “I MAD!”

I think I said something snarky like, “Congratulations. Me too.”

“Why are you mad?” the woman inquired. “You’re too pretty to be mad.”

Natalie nodded firmly. “I am very mad.”

Okay then.

The woman glanced at the papers. “I think that’s it. What we should do is meet again in a month and see if we can’t get Miss Natalie to repeat things, use scissors, and understand ‘on top’ and ‘under’ concepts.”

Because when the teacher asked Natalie to put the block on top of the book, Natalie tried to stick the block down her shirt.

“Ta da!” she had gone. (Natalie, not the woman.)

So I will be taking her back next month. If Natalie doesn’t pass in those areas, she has to go through a two hour evaluation. There is no way she’d tolerate two hours.

Either way, Natalie will be put on the waiting list for the September session and will go twice per week.

Do you know what that means for me?

FREEEDOOMM! <---doing my best Mel Gibson impression.

I mean, okay, she’ll only be gone for like two hours but still. It’ll be helpful seeing as Tom will be going to Korea for a year in August. So I’ll get a tiny break at least. My goal is to go to a gym while she’s in school. Will that happen? Who knows? I might just skip through the house going, “I’m free, I’m free, I’m free.”

Anyhow, after the evaluation we came home and worked on cutting.

Natalie is quite determined. I notice she opens her mouth wide when she’s concentrating. She might want to stop this by the time she starts preschool. I’m worried a kid might mistake it for a trash can seeing as it’s so big and all.

And yes, she’s in a dress. I made the mistake of letting her try on her Easter dress and the little minx refused to take it off!

That’s a whole ‘nother entry in itself.


  1. My son went to an evaluation just like that last year. And he had the same response. He cried. AND CRIED. He wouldn't stop, though, until we started playing with the toy giraffes and lions. We got nothing accomplished that day, they scared the crap out of him. And I felt the same way about the scissors. Really? My kids supposed to know how to use scissors? I thought the point was to keep them AWAY from sharp, stabby things.

  2. I have never heard of an evaluation for preschool...isn't that where they're supposed to learn all that good stuff like cutting with scissors ( so they don't cut up the furniture at home!)?

  3. OMG! All that just to get in Preschool...geeeezzzzz!

    Kyle is 14 and would have lost patience with that....I swear, what they expect out of kids these days is uncalled for!

    Glad she is taking a liking to scissors!

  4. I had no idea! I'm sure she will be the scissor champion in no time!

  5. I am having a vision of a pre-school classroom filled with two-year-olds with scissors and it looks like an explosion in a confetti factory with a side of crying due to peer-inflicted poking. Who thinks that's a pretty picture? Jeez.

  6. That's quite an eval for pre-school! GEEZ!!

  7. Every person involved in education should know that kids in their first five to six years of life develop at very different rates.

    I hope you don't find that very offensive and I don't mean it that way at all, but I will never put my child in a preschool like this.

    My kids go to a very good private preschool and progress in learning new things are documented and communicated to the parents quarterly, but it's not used to decide if a child is good enough to go there or move up to the next class etc.

  8. BTW, I think your daughter is a beautiful little girl!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Somehow I guess home-schooling is not going to happen?


    She is so cute - I YIKE the pictures!

  11. For what it's worth, I work in early childhood, and it sounds to me like your daughter is completely normal. Scissors or no scissors. I would have found it quite charming (and developmentally advanced) that she kept saying, "No thanks." :-)

  12. awww!! lol hearing natalie talk through your post cracks me up!! :) that is great that you will have some freedom and that she is learning to cut! I personally if I had a child wouldn't give them scissors until they were like at least 5.

  13. This must be some kind of advanced placement preschool, or something. What person honestly thinks a 2 year old should be able to use scissors?! Heck! I'm not even sure my kids knew how to use them properly when they entered kindergarten!
    I love how she says "no thanks"!

  14. But her manners never fail her! Dentist, pre-school, whatever, she still says, "No thanks!" I'm so impressed!

    --and enjoy those couple of hours when she goes-- they will be sweet!

  15. Natalie is quite adoriable and I'm sure very intelligent. My uncle Wilbert always said, "a coon hound or a child will always make a liar of ya!" I loved her no thank you answers. As a retired teacher, made me laugh.

    I'm sure before you know it you'll be runnin' the neighborhood declarin' your 'freedom'.

    God bless and have a fantastic day!!!

  16. She did remember to say No Thanks in the interview. She is SO cute!

  17. Aidyn can do most of those things. In fact he is far ahead of his "class" BUT

    He isn't potty trained. He knows how to go, and if there is a prize involved he will.. but He just cant give a crap about going potty! It is driving me INSANE!!!!

    The joys of mommy hood!

  18. Aidyn can do most of those things. In fact he is far ahead of his "class" BUT

    He isn't potty trained. He knows how to go, and if there is a prize involved he will.. but He just cant give a crap about going potty! It is driving me INSANE!!!!

    The joys of mommy hood!

  19. she is wonderfully hilarious!!!

    but it sounds to me like she did more or less a fantastic job.. that lady just does NOT know natalie.. (cause you know.. i do.. lol- i DO feel like i do though)

    and by the way.. i'm pretty sure my mother did NOT let us touch scissors till we were at least 4 or 5...

  20. That's crazy! All that for PRE-SCHOOL?? It is some sort of uber exclusive private preschool or something?

    When my daughter started preschool in September all I had to do was fill out a form. They never met her before hand...and this was a Montessori school so I could Almost expect a bit of an interview before letting her in...
    I love her outfits. So cute, so older girl like to wear dresses BUT she's pretty rumble tumble and would probably destroy them. So they don't get worn often

  21. ha ha! i guess the woman doesn't get 2 yr olds...she basically was telling the woman she was bored and didn't have time for her childish games! ha ha!

    go natalie!

  22. Sounds to me like Natalie is a whole lot smarter than her evaluator...justsayin...

    What kind of preschool is she going to? I'm afraid I wouldn't qualify for acceptance....

  23. the joys of kids & school. i agree on the scissors skill, most kids are just starting to learn it in preschool not before.

  24. your daughter is the cutest.It's so funny (for me, I know it wasn't for you that day, lol) when she says "no thaaanks",hahaha.
    a lot of kids keep their mouth open when they concentrate on doing certain things.

  25. I also think some folks missed that the eval was for determining if there any additional services Natalie might need & if there are any other issues present--not to get into the school itself (at least that's how I understood what was written).

  26. Mwhaaaaaa! I miss my daughters at that age when you could buy them anything and they looked so cute. Your daughter is adoooorable. These preschool evaluations are for the birds. I'm an elementary school teacher myself and I can believe they are still doing the scissor test. They make me laugh. I can see that your daughter is smart like anything. I also did not allow my kids to use scissors, Duh... Passing by from SITS.

  27. You and your blog crack me up. My son is 2.5 and let's just say I'm glad that there's no evaluation prerequisite for entrance to the preschool he'll be going would get ugly. And he would NOT be using nice words like "no thanks"!! My 4 year old daughter has the staff at the preschool fooled into thinking ALL of my children are normal. I keep trying to warn them that my son is on his way, but they just laugh and say, "Oh, surely he'll be fine.....his sister is SO sweet!" I just giggle inside at that point.

  28. I enjoy reading your blog. You have such a talent for writing. I loved the dentist post, too, but this one was great.

  29. Why in the world does she need an evaluation to go to preschool? Is this a public school program?

    You'd think the woman would realize how smart Natalie is by her responses to her questions.

  30. Yeah, no way am I giving Avery scissors. I don't care how many times they tell me to "practice with him at home" LOL I like having both my eyes thanks! :)

  31. I didn't give my kid scissors until she was at least 3, and even then she could only use them around me. I was not so worried she would hurt herself, but that she would try to cut her hair or clothing or curtains or something. When I finally did give her scissors at age 5 to use on her own she cut a chunk of her bangs off. Also, I cried the first day my kid went to preschool, but the next day I was skipping around the house singing "I'm free! I'm free!"

  32. Are these people loons? They actually expect 2 year old children to cooperate with them?! And if they don't for the short test, how do they expect that its gonna work for a 2 HOUR TEST??! *shakes head* I don't get it. . .its amazing that anyone makes it into preschool!

  33. How can they expect an almost 3 year old to know how to work a pair of scissors? Cause you know, if she went in there working those damn things like Edward Scissorhands they'd look at you like you've been abusing your child! Lol...that's nuts!

  34. I'm with you on the scissors, no way would I hand them over willingly to a 2 year old! Crazy!

    We have an evaluation here for 3 1/2 to 5 year old, before Kindergarten that sounds very similar. She seems too young to be successful at most of what they are asking, hopefully you aren't too stressed over it.

    So happy for your upcoming FREEDOM (and jealous!).

  35. An evaluation for pre-school?! EEK! Love her responses! And of course, she is adorable in her outfits.

  36. Preschool? Ahhh! time really does fly. My little boys are almost 5 months. It feels like I gave birth this morning. (Minus the intense pain, of course.)

  37. An evaluation for pre school? What's that all about. She is so darling...I'm sure she'll be fine.

  38. That girl of yours is always good for a laugh!

  39. She is so precious! Love this and try not to get too stressed about it. She seems PERFECT!

  40. And yet she's still polite. "No Thanks!" she says. Yay for two hours of freedom two days a week!! I'd definitely do some skipping if I was you.


    PS- my Lu was so shy that she cried when strangers looked at her. Now she models and acts. Go figure...

  41. Just an FYI. When my kids were working with scissors AT preschool, they would give the kids some sheets of paper with large zigzag lines....and wavy they could practice cutting on the line.

    That's quite an eval. for someone going into twice a week preschool!

    You're going to love that little bit of freedom!!

    Blessing, C

  42. I can't wait for my three to get into school. And I will run through the house, screaming freedom!

  43. Evaluation for pre-school? Huh? By the way, you have the most gorgeous kids! Just amazingly beautiful.

  44. As someone who tests kids' hearing, let me just say, the lady was used to it!!!

  45. I love that she says "No Thanks" like a lot!

  46. Two hours of freedom - almost ready to move away for college.

  47. Aww... poor little thing - I don't know who I felt worse for you or Natalie - LOL She looked beautiful regardless and I think she looks and sounds very smart - WHY on earth would they do any kind of evaluation for a preschooler anyway? Sheesh! Hopefully the next time around goes a lot smoother for you both. Big hugs! :o)

  48. Wow a test to get into PREschool?! Crazy!

  49. I LOVE Natalie! Not that you asked for my opinion, but I think you ought to join the gym now and enjoy your free time while Natalie goes to the gym daycare, since they won't test her for any ridiculously advanced behaviors. Then call the snooty lady at the preschool and tell her that as soon as Natalie learns how to use the scissors, she'll be right over to cut off that woman's ATTITUDE. ;)

  50. Oh my word, she cracks me up. That just proves to me that she is smarter than the woman evaluating her :) And I'm glad she passed her hearing test. (sorry I'm an audiologist, and my ears always perk up for those details!)

  51. Don't feel bad honey! I didn't get ANY of my three kids scissors until I was forced to buy them for the school supply list in kindergarten. They adapt well - no worries!

    Funny story: When Alex, my oldest, took this evaluation...she turned to me when it was over, but still sitting right there in front of the woman and said..."This teacher is no good!!! She doesn't know ANYTHING!!!". This was in response to her questions which Alex figured she didn't know if she was asking them, lol!

  52. If I haven't said it before, I'm saying it now...I love your writing. You tell things so well. I laughed so hard reading this post.
    You have one very sharp 3 year old and she's a beautiful little girl.

  53. Heh heh heh. I'm taking the Natalie route next time I have any kind of assessment. "No thanks. Not now.". She's hilarious! Not to mention beautifully well-dressed. Great post.

  54. what is this evaluation that you speak of? is that a military thing? I've been looking at preschools and no one mentioned it. my son (29 months) does use scissors. he was in an art class that he hated (well he loved running around inciting everyone to riots while I sat and glued so we stopped going) but I got him scissors to use at home...thought that was a good idea till yesterday when he picked them up and was saying "make a hole" and I realized the hole was in a library it seems like it was stupid stupid idea...

  55. I love Natalie. I don't blame her for not liking those questions. Dumb lady and the "5 7 8" Who wants to repeat that?!? To what purpose?

    See? She's a sharp cookie.

  56. Ohhhh boy! I truly believe you will have blog fodder from that little girl till the day she marries! And after! She is full of piss and vinegar! She never fails to make me laugh!


    It ought to be a treat to have her as a student in class! LOL!

  57. I am having a vision of a pre-school classroom filled with two-year-olds with scissors and it looks like an explosion in a confetti factory with a side of crying due to peer-inflicted poking. Who thinks that's a pretty picture? Jeez.
    work at home in india

  58. Hey, at least she's polite.

    She says, "No thanks," whereas my brother used to just roll his eyes at the authority figure asking him to complete a task.

    Plus that hat is so cute I could spit.

  59. Two hours of freedom while she's in preschool? That sounds like naptime to me, not gym time!


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