I made an appointment with the director of Gabe's preschool on Monday because I wanted to get her thoughts on the tangled mess of preschools for next year. Before we even got on the topic of preschools, she asked me how I thought Gabe was doing at school. Umm, fine? According to her, apparently not. Despite my asking every single day how his day has been when I pick him up, she went into a laundry list of complaints, including "wandering nonstop, beats to his own drummer, doesn't want to participate with set activities, doesn't sit still for circle time, doesn't want to do art projects, has trouble transitioning, etc".
I was... stunned. I couldn't even really respond, for a number of reasons, I guess. First, I don't do well with confrontation. Second, I was totally unprepared for this to turn into a parent-teacher conference. Third, this is ABSOLUTELY not the message I'd been receiving from his actual teachers. I left the meeting feeling totally upset and shocked and thrown off and not understanding what I was supposed to do about all of this information.
She didn't give me any tips of preschools, and now I had a whole list of "problems" I needed to address. She also went into a long discussion about how he wasn't getting enough discipline from me, and I needed to be stricter and more disciplined and the preschool I choose next year needs to be VERY disciplined to control him. Umm, okay.
I stressed nonstop about this for the whole morning until it was pick-up time at his TODDLER PROGRAM, need I remind you. As I was getting his stuff ready, I told the two teachers about my conference with the director and about how I was stressed and confused since this wasn't the message I'd been receiving from them. They looked at each other strangely, and then told me they had no idea what I was talking about. According to them, he is perfectly fine. Developmentally appropriate, doesn't wander, doesn't have trouble with transitions, has plenty of lovely skills and strengths (none of which were mentioned in my earlier conference), and yes, he doesn't want to sit for circle time, but he's two. He isn't the only one.
Sigh. I felt relieved, albeit confused, and decided to just forget about it. As long as the teachers were assuring me he was fine, I would push it out of my mind for the interim, at least until we move, and hope it all blows over.
Today, I came to drop him off and the director asked to speak to me and laid into me about how she was "sorry I was angry with her, but she has been a director for XX number of years and she isn't going to lie to me about my child and she has been receiving horrible reports from the teachers, and she thinks I need to know about the problems." Imagine yourself a huge mess, a startled and upset me, and you have yourself our morning scene. She insisted on showing me the notebook on Gabe, which I read through and by the way, said NONE of the things she kept going on about, and she says it is because the other teachers haven't "caught these behaviors".
I finally started crying in the hallway and asking what her point was. Was she saying he had a problem? Did he have ADHD? Did he need help? WHAT? She looked visibly stunned and softened a little and said no, not at all. He was perfectly normal. Definitely didn't have ADD or ADHD and he was a typical and normal 2 year old and she didn't mean for it to come out so harsh. She just thought I needed to know these things so I'd have something to work on. I continued crying while she apologized and said that from now on she was going to make the teachers write a daily progress report on Gabe (which I don't want) and we would have an accurate picture of what he was doing every day. And that was that.
I left crying, and dreaded pick-up and seeing the progress report all day and have been sad about this all day long. I don't know what to think- is there a problem or isn't there? If he is typically developing, then what is the big deal? If he isn't, then why isn't everyone on the same page? The director certainly isn't going to back down on her stance at this point. She is adamant that Gabe is doing all of those things she mentioned and his teachers just haven't noticed it.
I'm tempted to pull him out of the school and go to a school closer to our new house, but I don't want to go down that road, and I also don't think this warrants a change of school, sad though I may be. Ugh, what a mess. I'm just praying it doesn't affect him, and hopefully none of the teachers take their annoyance out on him.