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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Pretty Please, Don’t Be the Screamer

By Jessica Guerrieri

I adore the wonderful world of preschool—a safe space for socialization and creativity. A wonder of glitter, Elmer’s glue, and splatter paint. Lastly, and most importantly, a glorious place that I’m not in charge of cleaning. 

This fall, my third and last daughter will be entering preschool. I put my first in a co-op preschool, which, because I was involved in running the classroom, made the metaphorical “cutting of the cord” an easier process. But ever since I discovered the magical option of the “drop-off,” I’ve been a convert. It’s a win-win: My child learns, develops, and grows, and I get to spend several blissful, child-free hours doing something that doesn’t involve large quantities of poop. 

When I take my third child through those rainbow gates, I know I will think the same things I did the first time I entered them. 

My mom-mind unintentionally generates lists for everything, from chores to shopping to my grievances against billionaires opting for space travel during a global pandemic. So naturally I have what I now call the Pretty Please List for Preschool:

1. Pretty please don’t be that kid: the follower, the smelly, the hitter, or the screamer.

2. Pretty please may I not be that parent: the classroom volunteer, incessant emailer, the know-it-all, or the drop-off lingerer who turns what could have been an uneventful goodbye into the opening scene of Love, Actually

3. Pretty please, if I’m going to sob about the fleeting nature of time and my toddler’s newfound autonomy, may I do it in the privacy of my own car.

4. Pretty please may I not stay up at night hallucinating about giant colonies of head lice and rogue strains of Hand, Foot, and Mouth. 

5. Pretty please may illnesses be limited to colds and nothing else. As we know, toddlers are basically one adorable, cuddly germ just waiting to open-mouth kiss you while sneezing.

6. Pretty please don’t come home with any new swear words, bite marks, or irreversible bad behaviors.

7. Pretty please only make friends with kids who have cool, non-judgmental moms, the kind who let their kids dress themselves and won’t send them to school with green, flowing boogers. 

8. Pretty please bring home painted mugs and popsicle-stick Christmas trees that I can pass off as Father’s Day and holiday gifts. 

9. Pretty please become the teacher’s pet. Having been a teacher, I know that anyone who says teachers don’t play favorites is a big, fat liar. 

10. Pretty please, above all, learn about the importance of kindness. Everything else is just icing on the funfetti cupcake. 

Now go forth, my child, and shine as bright as the twinkly stars you’ll undoubtedly come home singing about.  

Find Jessica Guerrieri at and on Instagram @witandspitup.