Eruv Pre-K: Day 28 of My Favorite Things: Back to School – Starting Pre-K

The Mint Chip Mama - Eruv Pre-K

R First Day of School PAS

In honor of my daughter starting her last year of Pre-K tomorrow, I am posting my Huffington Post article from 9/26/2013 titled “It’s the End of Our World As I Know It, and I Feel… Guilty”.

Our world has changed fifteen ways up, down, left, and right since I wrote this article last year in my little 750 square foot apartment on 95th and Third.

So Many Changes

While this amazing little girl may not have changed that much between last September and this September (minus a few inches on her hair and adding a few inches on her height) many things are different in her world. Her school, her room, her city, her Daddy’s job, and that big belly I had last year is now her baby brother (born two weeks after I wrote this).

I am amazed every day at what she says, her mannerisms, and how spectacular of a little lady she has become in such a short time. Not to mention the most fantastic, loving, sensitive, caring big sister. My baby’s growing up. sniff sniff. And I could not be more proud.

Happy first day of school to all the little ones out there ready to bounce on to the bus and to all the Mamas and Papas out there who will be crying in the driveway.

*****It’s the End of Our World As I Know It, and I Feel… Guilty *****

As my husband and I dropped off Rebecca — our 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter — for her first day of nursery school last week, I realized that it was the first day of her 15 year five day scholastic journey. We’ve entered the big time. Basically, she is about to graduate high school and go off to the University Michigan — my alma mater.

I mean college.

Subsequently, I mean we’ll let her decide.

But you get my point.

The obligatory “1st Day” sign was made. We forced her to take the photos we wanted to post on Facebook (I mean save forever in our photo album). The clock struck 9:00 a.m. School was in session. Rebecca didn’t even turn around for the movie scene farewell. She was over the moment.

Pouf -She Was In School

Days pass. As every parent hopes, Rebecca talks about how much fun she is having and all the new friends she is making. The highlight of one day was finding out that one of her new classmate’s middle name is “Rebecca.” Talk about having her mind blown. We’ve discussed this five times.

Everyone talks about life flashing by in the blink of an eye. It was just February of 2010. I was just nervously packing my hospital bag, gearing up to become a first time mom (cue tears streaming as I write this). I was praying with every bone in my body for a little girl exactly like Rebecca. It is amazing to think now how I didn’t know this little girl yet. I didn’t know her personality, the sound of her voice, the feel of her little hand gripping my finger.


This little person — who I know better than anyone else in the world — is now in school five days a week. She feeds herself, goes to the bathroom herself, picks her clothes out and dresses herself (“I said a DRESS!”), and even sometimes… refuses to hug me.

And then there’s me: 35 weeks pregnant and about to pack the infamous hospital bag again for our second child, who I know just as little about as I did Rebecca at the same point. I’m freaking out more because I know what is coming instead of freaking out about the unknown.

Time Flies

I cannot believe school has started. It is the end of September and our family has reached a pivotal checkpoint in preparation for the baby’s arrival. I was excited for the return of the routine and the glorious 20 hours a week of activity (not provided by me) for the home stretch of my pregnancy. We have no outside help, so school is my babysitter/day care/nanny/childcare provider. Also, being in her groove would offer some type of continuity so when the “new sheriff” comes to town, Rebecca will have her own thing going on and not feel totally shafted.

I just cannot stop thinking how Rebecca’s time as an only child and as the center of my universe is over — which makes me so sad. She, on the other hand, is ecstatic. This very affectionate little girl, who is SO excited for her sibling to come, has no idea what is actually going to happen. I feel guilty about that. I am sure many of these emotions stem from my fear of almost being the mother of two when I am an only child (something I explored in my last blog post here).

Evolving Into A Family Of Four

I laugh at the small amount of sleep I get now since I know it will feel like a vacation compared to what is about to come. Mostly, I mourn (in-advance) the end of my alone time with Rebecca — something I cherish more than anything in this world. We have fun on our stroller-less New York City escapades, easily hopping in a bus, subway or cab with just a small bag. I know I will still have moments where it will just be the two of us, but it will not be the same again.

Color me hormonal, but each time we read, watch TV or play outside, I think how — in just a few weeks — this will be done with a newborn on my breast, my hand in a diaper, or my eyes slowly shutting and my attention to Rebecca almost nonexistent. I already resent myself for my expected short fuse, for changing Rebecca’s world, and leaving her to feel like a second-class citizen. I shirk at the anticipated tantrums and whining (is there anything worse than whining?).

OK, Game On.

Life is not like a box of chocolates for a pregnant woman with a 3-year-old. My life is like a carousel. And much like the whole summer spent unable to hop on, I can only watch it spin round and round while I get dizzy.

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Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 10, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022, 2023, 2024, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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