Preschool is a special time where your tiny little ball of mush begins to finally develop into a teensy tiny person. You are [hopefully] nearing the end of the full blown temper tantrums and you can begin to reason and converse with your child. And half the time it seems like they actually understand you!! However, there are a few things that they still just can’t even. And most of these will trigger any last remnants of those dreaded nuclear level meltdowns.
1. Juice boxes
This deceptive product is marketed directly to your preschooler. It bears the smiling happy faces of their favorite cartoon characters and bright colorful pictures of fruit ripe at harvest. It comes in a small little package just the right size for sticky little hands to wrap around. But do not be fooled. This is clearly no product for a preschooler.
You see the problem begins with the straw which has been conveniently packaged in it’s own plastic wrap and glued to the outside of each individual box. Have you ever seen a preschooler try to retrieve said straw from it’s cozy little plastic cocoon? Think total and utter meltdown. They simply do not have the wherewithal to figure out how to open this neat little package. My kindergartener has figured out where we keep the kitchen scissors and uses these. Which is exactly what I want- my 5 YO trying to use kitchen scissors to cut open a teeny tiny package. Quite frankly this is how we lose teeny tiny fingers.
So let’s say you get past the straw debacle. Now your preschooler must apply the precise amount of pressure to the box to propel the juice into his mouth- but not so much that the juice goes spurting out all over his face, eyes, and the dog. I don’t know about your kid but mine doesn’t do things “just a little.” We have 2 levels: 1. not enough and 2. Old Faithful
I’m not sure who has designed the toothpaste “snap cap” but I am convinced it will remain sealed and keep that toothpaste fresh through a nuclear holocaust. Half the time even I even get the damned thing open. I pull, I pry, I use my teeth- that sucker just won’t budge. Forget about my child begin able to manipulate the thing with her chubby stubby fingers. And once Daddy comes in to help us we have the same issue as the juice box. The pressure necessary to squeeze just the right amount of the toothbrush is a skill that must be practiced and honed. “Ahhhhhh Little Grasshopper, not yet. Keep trying.” Meanwhile I’m stuck scraping and scrubbing hot pink toothpaste out of the sink, the counter, the hand towels, the floor, and any other surface she may have come in contact with.
3. Jackets (and OMG gloves)
Could anything be harder for a preschooler? Not only do you have to get a specific arm into a specific hole. But then you have to do it again! And then there is usually some sort of a zipper or a button or some other closure device that makes the whole thing nearly impossible. Add to this the ticking time clock because “WE HAVE TO BE IN THE CAR IN 5 MINUTES!” And it’s just too much. It’s just too too much.
And why do gloves even come in a preschool size? Has anyone actually ever successfully gotten gloves onto a child of this age? Despite lacking the mental capacity to understand the instructions of “Spread apart all of your fingers. Now don’t move.” This is just too much to ask. The concentration required to stay focused on the task at hand just escapes them. I can barely even get mittens on my kid’s hands and that’s only the thumb to worry about. Forget about successfully getting all five fingers into their respective finger holes. Geez….we thought the jacket was difficult!!
So I don’t know if it’s a universal thing or if it’s just my kids. But they are born with these little alligator arms that just don’t freaking reach. If they can’t touch the top of their own heads I certainly can’t expect them to be able to wipe their own butt! And so we wait for nature to take it’s course and for their tiny tiny arms to grow to an acceptable length. And we think “At last!!”
But don’t go running through the fields of freedom just yet my friend. There is still the issue of “appropriate amount of toilet paper.” Now this is a delicate balance and it lands somewhere in between “using your bare hand” and “single handedly destroying the remaining south american rain forest.” There is also the issue of “correct pressure” (this seems to be becoming a common theme here) and the dreaded “finger slip” or “breakthrough”. Who knew that such a seemingly simple task could have such intricacies.
The first issue to arise is the color. This is enough to send me headfirst into the deep freeze to try to retrieve the last pink popsicle as if it were the last beer in the cooler at an all day lake party. Next they’re too cold and then they’re too melty and then they’re all over the damn floor the cabinets and the walls. Sticky little hands rubbing tearful little eyes leaving the perfect sweet and salty streaks down their chubby little cheeks. And heaven help us if you happen to throw away the push pop package before your cherub has had a chance to pour all over the floor drink the remaining liquid. Then you will find yourself negotiating with a terrorist who is high on a sugar rush and precariously approaching naptime. I find it’s just better to explain that “the store ran out of popsicles”.
6. Automatically flushing toilets
Let’s be honest here. I can barely negotiate an automatically flushing toilet. You lean over just a tad too far and WHOOSH!!! Ice cold public toilet water all up in your nether regions. Nothing. Nothing is more unpleasant.
And then I expect my tasmanian devil of a preschooler to sit still long enough to finish his business without setting off the damn motion detector? This is an impossible mission. So I have learned to hover just close enough to be able to scoop him up off the toilet as he screams in terror at the whirlpool below him threatening to suck him down into the pipes never to be seen again. I swear my kids have PTSD from the damn toilets at the mall and they began twitching as soon we walk into the restroom and they hear the dreaded “WHOOSH” from some other unfortunate soul.
I am positive that I’ve missed a few along the way. Leave me a comment with the things your preschooler Just. Can’t. Even.